12 Must-See Korean Movies to Stream Right Now From Phantom to The Suspect


K-movies are a red hot following the Squid Game frenzy so get in the game with these 12 classic Korean movies steeped in secrets and spies.

Phantom spy movie
Phantom (2023)

1. Phantom (2023) 

This South Korean spy action thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. The plot revolves around the Japanese colonial government who have gathered five suspects in a remote hotel on a seaside cliff to find 'phantom', a spy planted by an anti-Japanese organization - and they only have one day.

Hunt, a spy thriller movie

2. Hunt (2022) 

Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae (Player 456) makes his directorial debut in this confident spy thriller with enough crosses and double crosses you may want to see it twice! Lee also stars in the movie as Park, the chief of the South Korean National Intelligence Service's Foreign Unit, who is battling flashbacks from a tragedy. He's in charge of tracking down suspects in an assassination attempt on the president, leading to a mysterious individual codenamed Donglim.

The Age of Shadows movie


3. The Age of Shadows (2016)

Squid Game’s slap-happy recruiter (Gong Yoo) was a star long before the Netflix series. Check out The Age of Shadows (2016, Amazon Prime) about a Japanese police officer ordered to take down a Korean independence group. He also starred in the horror film Train to Busan and the Guardian: The Lonely and Great God series. Gong Yoo’s superstar status left fans wondering if Squid Game was laying the groundwork for a series focused on him.

10 Korean Films to Stream after Squid Game

4. The Berlin File

Pyo Jong-seong (Ha Jung-woo), a North Korean spy in The Berlin File, interrupts an illegal arms sale and prepares for the ultimate sacrifice. Meanwhile, a North Korean agent tests the loyalties of everyone involved including a CIA agent, Mossad, and an international terrorist organization. (Prime Video, Netflix in some countries)


5. The Spy Gone North (2018)

An agent for South Korea's National Intelligence Service is caught between the ruling classes of North and South in The Spy Gone North. Codenamed ‘Black Venus’, he is sent to infiltrate a group of high-ranking North Korean officials based in Beijing to acquire intel on the North's nuclear program. (Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube) 


12 Must-See Korean Movies to Stream Right Now From Phantom to The Suspect

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K-movies are a red hot following the Squid Game frenzy so get in the game with these 12 classic Korean movies steeped in secrets and spies.

Phantom spy movie
Phantom (2023)

1. Phantom (2023) 

This South Korean spy action thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. The plot revolves around the Japanese colonial government who have gathered five suspects in a remote hotel on a seaside cliff to find 'phantom', a spy planted by an anti-Japanese organization - and they only have one day.

Hunt, a spy thriller movie

2. Hunt (2022) 

Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae (Player 456) makes his directorial debut in this confident spy thriller with enough crosses and double crosses you may want to see it twice! Lee also stars in the movie as Park, the chief of the South Korean National Intelligence Service's Foreign Unit, who is battling flashbacks from a tragedy. He's in charge of tracking down suspects in an assassination attempt on the president, leading to a mysterious individual codenamed Donglim.

The Age of Shadows movie


3. The Age of Shadows (2016)

Squid Game’s slap-happy recruiter (Gong Yoo) was a star long before the Netflix series. Check out The Age of Shadows (2016, Amazon Prime) about a Japanese police officer ordered to take down a Korean independence group. He also starred in the horror film Train to Busan and the Guardian: The Lonely and Great God series. Gong Yoo’s superstar status left fans wondering if Squid Game was laying the groundwork for a series focused on him.

10 Korean Films to Stream after Squid Game

4. The Berlin File

Pyo Jong-seong (Ha Jung-woo), a North Korean spy in The Berlin File, interrupts an illegal arms sale and prepares for the ultimate sacrifice. Meanwhile, a North Korean agent tests the loyalties of everyone involved including a CIA agent, Mossad, and an international terrorist organization. (Prime Video, Netflix in some countries)


5. The Spy Gone North (2018)

An agent for South Korea's National Intelligence Service is caught between the ruling classes of North and South in The Spy Gone North. Codenamed ‘Black Venus’, he is sent to infiltrate a group of high-ranking North Korean officials based in Beijing to acquire intel on the North's nuclear program. (Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube) 


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10 Must-See Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game


6. The Man From Nowhere (2010)

An ex-secret agent, Cha Tae-shik (Won Bin), is in touch with So-mi, a woman whose mother smuggles drugs for a gang. Tae-shik’s identity is discovered and they kidnap So-mi and her mother, demanding Tae-shik make a drug delivery in The Man from Nowhere. (Prime Video, Hoopla, Mubi)


10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game


7. Secret Reunion (2010)

A deserted North Korean spy and a fired South Korean agent start a business partnership, each intending to steal intelligence from each other in Secret Reunion. (Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play) 


10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game

8. Swiri (aka Shiri, 1999)

South Korean agents Ryu and Lee are up against the clock in Swiri (sometimes called Shiri) as they track a female assassin from North Korea who has mysteriously disappeared. Meanwhile, there are murders aplenty and a bomb is stolen. (Prime Video)


10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game


9. Veteran (2016)

A detective tracks down a successful young man running a crime syndicate. Korean action hero Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File, The Unjust) is at the top of his game in this comedy. No, it’s not for everyone, but Korean audiences loved it and The Veteran has a wise-cracking US influence. (Prime Video, Netflix in various countries).

10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game


10. Old Boy (2003)

Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. Upon his release, he must find his captor in five days. Choi Min-sik received critical acclaim for his role in Oldboy, as well as I Saw the Devil (2010), and The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014). He also starred with Scarlett Johansson in Lucy (2014). (Prime Video, AMC+ Apple TV, Disney+ ESPN)


10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game


11. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Crime boss enforcer Kim Sun-woo (Lee Byung-hun) and boss Kang (Kim Yeong-cheol) share concerns over business dealings with Baek Dae-sik (Hwang Jung-min), a son from a rival family, in A Bittersweet Life. Think The Sopranos meets Dynasty, Korean-style. (Prime Video, Vudu)

10 Korean Films to Stream After Squid Game

12. The Suspect (2013)

So what if it is a Bourne clone? The Suspect is adrenaline-fueled and focused on North/South tension. A North Korean defector is chased in his quest for vengeance. But who are the bad guys and who are the good guys - or are there even divisions any more? The star is Gong Yoo, who you may remember from Squid Game. (Prime Video, Netflix in some countries)

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