Mother (2009) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

IMDB: 7.8
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin
Length: 129 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 25 out of 138 found boring (18.11%)

One-line Reviews (128)

Rather than desperately trying to shock the audience as many of his contemporary Korean directors did, Bong simply focuses on making the movie enjoyable to watch, giving attention to every scene.

It's this that actually makes it so unpredictable.

But enough with technicalities, is the content of film exciting?

Mother (she is never named) sells herbs for a living and practices some illegal acupuncture on the side to help ends meet, but everything she does is for the sake of her 27-year-old son Do-joon (Won Bin), who is a little slow in the head, prone to short-term memory loss and often behaves like a 12-year-old.

The only really issue I found with it was it kinda of lulled in the middle slightly, I feel like it could have been trimmed to be slightly tighter.

And things go along in quite mundane fashion until she is met with a dilemma that reveals just how far she's willing to go to protect him.

Their movies are always original, creative and exciting to watch.

Predictable Movie .

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

It slowly, but surely builds to a truly unexpected climax.

However the delivery is slow and could be better.

Do-joon is a bit slow.

Rest is boredom with longer than necessary scenes.

This is a riveting story, beautifully filmed.

Good Direction,,,better if they make movie more short,,,,but it a good movie with unexpected ending

Thrilling, on the edge of your seat drama is this film!

It features a stunning central performance by Hya-Ja Kim as a woman whose mildly retarded son is accused of the murder of a schoolgirl.

Narration, Music and Cinematography make it an absorbing experience.

In one year, Bong has managed to mature cinematically and challenge audiences worldwide with a film that's deep, VERY thrilling, intelligent to a tee and indubitably important.

This is suspenseful film-making, from the overall arc of finding out the details of the crime, to little moments that are just suffocating.

My reviews are intended to inspire, (if I may be permitted to use that word) everyday, ordinary people who recourse to popular cinema: domestic and international and might be tired of the same mind numbing, brainwashed, predictable entertainment on our screens today.

South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho loves to color outside the lines: In Memories of Murder, he balanced a bleak police procedural with unexpected, sometimes uproarious humor (imagine David Fincher's Zodiac crossed with The Odd Couple).

There's a grand surreal scene at one point where he convinces you that a very minor character is going to perform a deeply uncanny suicide, and then something totally banal happens instead.

He has a gift for composing great scenes of black humor that balance well with the more intense situations on screen.

Unique and utterly compelling in its entirety, "Mother" concludes in a manner that solves all (or nearly all) outstanding riddles.

It is way too long.

I can't say more about the plot because I might give away some spoilers, but trust me when I say every single scene, every single character counts, and Bong Joon-ho has gone meticulously through the film to present us one of the most exciting thrillers ever.

But entertaining "at times" will not be enough.

The film progresses with remarkable clarity, while drawing surprise and suspense from unexpected places.

During my intense viewing experience I was astounded by Mother's multi-layered narrative where characterisation and plot twists have striking effects.

Yes, it's good, exciting, new fresh story compared to USA crap-adaptation nowadays.

Totally unpredictable mystery drama.

What you will discover is a rather calm and authentic drama with an atmosphere reminiscent of the French film noir genre and a stunning and authentic acting.

In retrospect I might not have bothered, because for a film that opens with random solo geriatric dancing in a field Mother ended up a bland and largely unmemorable piece of work.

Director Bong Joon-ho has given the declining Korean movies a shot in the arm, with his allegory sci-fi "The Host" (2006) and then this crime mystery that steers clear of the customary heavy-handed Korean movie handling that has long become rather tiresome.

This film takes you through an intense journey that is reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock film.

However, when the film was over, and reflecting on it, while I can't say it is as good as the average of many of the reviews here, it is an intriguing film none the less.

Mesmerising unpredictable murder mystery .

To keep a story engaging, thrilling and suspenseful whilst making it intelligently humorous is quite the achievement.

Story-wise it felt too long and should have gone more darker and intense into the story and genre.

Intense, witty, and engaging .

In a province in Pusan, South Korea, the slow Yoon Do-joon (Bin Won) is a young man overprotected by his mother (Hye-ja Kim) that works with acupuncture and herbs and does not like his worthless and reckless friend Jin-tae (Goo Jin).

Elevated by Bong's beautiful composition a masterful performance from Kim Hye-ja, Mother is a strange, suspenseful, and wholly unconventional detective story.

This is as engrossing a film as I've seen in many years, with an excellent (almost Andalusian in style) accompanying score - well worth watching.

Bong joon ho gives a film with elements like grippy,intense,artistic and twisty performance of all characters are fantastic technically also a good film.

It makes you think, yet keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Bin also gets a mention for his engrossing role as the accused son.

Writer and director Joon-ho Bong, who also did The Host, combined with writer Eun-kyo Park, and they really put together and engrossing film.

Yeah, I wanted to be the first to title this summary as, "the Mother of all Films," but it did seem kind of forced, so I settled for something more mundane.

Inconsistent, Slow and Disconnected .

It's constantly engaging.

As in Memories of Murder this murder mystery has sympathetic characters, a mother and her mentally challenged son, unexpected humor and suspense.

Bong retreads much of the same territory as he did in "Memories of Murder," but in a slower, more straightforward fashion.

And she uproots her normally quiet, traditional repetitive routine life and sets out on a perilous investigation into a web of lies and cover ups.

Coming, as it does, from the director of not one but (at least) TWO outstanding films- the gripping MEMORIES OF MURDER, one of the most riveting True Crime movies I've ever seen (and which may have inspired the makers of ZODIAC) and THE HOST, one of the truly great Monster Movies-, MOTHER is exceptionally well-crafted...

I heard it was very different from other movies in the same genre and I thought that meant it was going to be pretentious.

A mediocre whodunit with a solid conclusion that drags out far too long .

Some scenes look very strange for some western viewers, like mother's seemingly senseless dance at the beginning and end of the film, but they are far from pointless.

Watch if you are in the mood for a suspenseful slow-burner.

It has a real kick in its tail, absolutely devastating, but it really is quite brilliant and as we reach it's thrilling climax I was utterly gripped.

It's the balm that makes the rest of the film more enjoyable.

I found the movie to be predictable and too long.

The film's final moments of closure are dragged out so long that I kept checking the time wondering if I should just turn it off, and in the end I wish I had.

), and empty your soul during the third act.

Formally, Bong understands the value of a telephoto lens, manipulating focus across planes in his gorgeously layered shots throughout; virtually any frame of this film would make for compelling art as a still photograph.

This film can be described a quite strange, yet fascinating.

It's an unexpected twist which Bong executes masterfully.

The movie is watchable, and because it gets progressively better as it goes along, I have a more favorable impression of it than if I'd given up during the tedious first half.

I cannot say enough about the cinematography; it was stunning, artful and very well executed.

The story I found to be quite predictable and unsurprising.

The toned down realm of colors, structured compositions and slow camera movements made it hard for me to stay interested in the film...

The story is original and unpredictable and totally engrossing from start to finish.

And I must say some of the twist and turns were great, which is why the film is so darn engaging.

Most murder mysteries in typical films involve engaging the audience in uncovering the complex 'truth' that keeps us guessing until the end.

We learn that Do-joon is mentally retarded or at least slow in the head with a bad memory.

On an overall scale, Mother is part unsettling, part heartbreaking & part thrilling black comedy that promises an emotional roller-coaster ride & delivers so.

A slow burning thriller that rewards the viewer .

"Madeo" is an original and dramatic South Korean thriller that has an engaging story with a surprising plot point and many twists.

The film starts off slow, letting us in on the inhabitants of the rural town and the characters of Hye-Ja, her son Do-Joon, and Do-Joon's hoodlum friend, Jin-tae.

Sometimes, the flick feels ever-so-slightly aimless and, even, slow.

That ambiguity plus the meandering plot, which culminates in a completely unpredictable way, makes for a solid masterpiece of entertainment; given that this is just Bong Joon-ho's fourth feature, a lot remains to be expected from this director, who by now must be counted among the world's greatest.

Her mentally slow son, Do-joon hangs out with Jin-tae, a local trouble maker against her wishes.

Mother, Bong's fourth film, continues that unpredictable tradition.

Some plot twists also ensure that we're always on the edge of our seat.

Although the film is a bit slow at times, but the pay off is well worth the time, plus it's engaging from beginning to end so the slowness of the film doesn't really hurt it.

Overall this was just a waste of my time.

This is a movie that keeps you watching throughout despite the slow pacing and lack of action.

"Madeo" is a calm and intriguing study of a relationship between and old mother that sacrifices her whole life for her mentally handicapped son with whom she lives in relative isolation from society.

I watched it late night, the screenplay is engrossing to such an extent that some scenes of the movie gave me goosebumps.

A good start, boring middle, great end...

Found it to be a bit slow n long.

This film here is a strange kind of realism, paired with an unbearable intensity behind each character.

It is pure waste of all your time spent watching every second.

Unexpected and really .. quite something.

However, despite the fact that the story really was interesting and compelling, then it moved forward in a fairly slow speed, which made it seem that you got almost nowhere in a very long time.

The only character I found engaging was the street-wise thug who has the sense to kick some people's teeth in sometimes.

Aside from the many cultural nuances, of which there are many, I found it a riveting tale with some very nice twists.

Kim Hye-ja shows an incredible emotional range within a de-glamorized exterior, and Won Bin subtly side-steps dumb-guy shtick, managing to keep Do-joon lastingly unpredictable and mysterious.

Mother is definitely a note-worthy film for those seeking serious drama and complicated characterisations that provided compelling insights and twists.

Joon-Ho Bong is one of the most exciting and wonderful storytellers coming out of Asia today.

His films are full of irony, intense thrills, and satirical jabs at society.

Though there is an evocative score by Lee Byeong-woo, the film's use of ambient sounds such as the slashing of Hye-ja's herb chopper and the rustling of leaves add to an ominous mood, though it often clashes with the absurdist events seen on screen.

It was a great mix of clarity and confusion.

The story was compelling and not predictable in the least, a true drama-thriller.

The ability to combine beautiful aesthetics with gripping story lines, excellent scripts, wonderful direction, whilst within all that being able to blend genres has amazed and bewildered me beyond imagination.

Bong Joon-hoo follows up his "Gwoemul" ("The Host") with the equally intense "Madeo" ("Mother").

It felt dragged out too long and was too depressing maybe, even for me.

There are twists are aplenty, and deductions achieved too easily are simply the result of contrived clues and convenient witness testimony.

You'll laugh at the dark humour, bite your nails during thrilling sequences (although didn't your mother tell you that's a bad habit!

This different, murder mystery drama has all the makings of a quirky Korean classic find, being dark, comic and suspenseful.

Another absorbing Korean movie .

Smartly directed by Bong Joon-ho, who introduces dark humour & radically shifting narratives but still make the story work as a whole, brilliantly written & smoothly photographed as well, what makes this film really fascinating is the impressive lead performance by Kim Hye-ja as the unnamed mother living with her son & wonderfully portrays how far she is willing to go to protect her son out of maternal love & care.

It was frustrating to see but at the same time so intriguing to watch.

Her performance is understated but at the same time intense, cold and at the same time powerful.

Mother doesn't offer much if at all and it is aimed for a specific audience, but at times when it didn't bore me, it was actually entertaining.

I gave it 7/10 because its worth watching and fun.

Overall, this has a good plot and is definitely one to watch, albeit slow moving at times.

The only problem I have with this movie is that there are a couple of unnecessary lengths in it and that the ending was a little bit too predictable to me.

The story ends unexpected, so I like it.

The director Joon-ho Bong of "Gwoemul" makes a simple but effective film with a credible story of a single woman that does everything possible and impossible to prove the innocence of her son that is slow probably because he was poisoned when he was five.

"Mother" is a rather enjoyable character-driven crime mystery movie of the better end.

If there's one word to describe 'Mother (2009)', it's 'unpredictable'.

Mother opens in a haunting way, and then resets, and as it progress like a slow train on a cold day it continues to build tension and subvert what it presents on its surface.

However, the good performances and the way the director Joon-ho Bong approaches the story, produces a thought-provoking slow-burning psychological thriller with a shocking ending that will make you forget how sad everything is.

There are scenes of nothing happening, and scenes that you can't tell if they are meant for laughs or taken seriously.

Predictable it is not.

It keeps you on the edge of your seat and, for a movie that starts off as nothing, it really turns into something crazy.

It also felt too dragged out in 2hrs 9mins and could have definitely been a 90min or 1hr 40min film.