Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Mother: movie review

A psychological thriller set in South Korea, ‘Mother’ is unpredictable at every turn.

View video

Joon-ho Bong, the South Korean director of the psychological thriller 'Mother,' arrives at the Independent Spirit Awards March 5 in Los Angeles.

Matt Sayles/AP/File

View photo

The South Korean director Bong Joon-ho is best known abroad for his terrific new-style monster movie “The Host,” about a river serpent spawned by toxic waste. In “Mother,” he presents us with a different type of monstrousness.

Do-jun (Weon Bin), a mentally challenged 27-year-old who lives with his widowed mother (Kim Hye-ja) in a nondescript town, is accused of brutally murdering a young girl. Although he confesses under police pressure, his mother campaigns for his innocence by, in effect, acting as a one-woman truth squad.

About these ads

Nothing in this movie plays out the way you expect it to. Bong’s style is comically tart even in the film’s most noirish moments, and Kim, a legendary actress in South Korea but almost unknown outside it, is formidable as a matriarch who will go to any lengths to make things right. Grade: B+ (Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence, and drug use.)

Other movie reviews

Harlan – In the Shadow of ‘Jew Süss’

Mother

Green Zone


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.