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The Age of Shadows(밀정)

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Korea · 2016
2h 20m
Director Kim Jee-woon
Starring Song Kang-ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-min, Shingo Tsurumi
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller

Set in the late 1920s, this story follows the cat-and-mouse game between a group of Korean resistance fighters --- who are trying to bring in explosives to destroy key Japanese facilities in Seoul --- and the Japanese agents who are trying to stop them. Full of exciting and ruthless characters, "The Age of Shadows" explores the ideas of torture, allegiance, and heroism in the times of Japanese-occupied Korea.

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Screen International by Fionnuala Halligan

The first half of Age of Shadows feels muddy as momentum builds; the latter stages boast a cinetic energy - cutting a violent melee to classical music (in this case Ravel’s Bolero), may be a tribute to John Woo, but it’s stunning nonetheless.


Variety by Jay Weissberg

If anything, the film is most indebted to classic cloak-and-dagger movies, in which sharp, richly succinct dialogue and plenty of atmosphere seem effortlessly carried along by the force of magnetic personalities.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

The Age of Shadows has no pretensions to being a particularly deep or politically resonant piece of filmmaking. Its more that Kim Jee-woon has found in this era and this milieu the perfect inspiration for a blisteringly entertaining and exquisite genre exercise, one that may not be recognised as such only because we we have never expected genre films to be this good.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

The Age of Shadows is a bloody and breathtaking piece of filmmaking which confirms that Kim can do pretty much anything.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

Nothing in this gratifyingly focused movie feels excessive or gratuitous, and a situation that repeatedly threatens to spiral out of control is dramatized with the utmost assurance.


The New York Times by Ken Jaworowski

The Age of Shadows might tempt another filmmaker to dwell on issues or delve deeper into its characters’ hearts. Yet, for this director, exposition can’t hold a candle to elegantly staged shootouts. And who can blame him. He knows his strengths.


Washington Post by Mark Jenkins

The movie’s visual panache and fog-of-war ambiguity are as universal as the desire to detonate TNT under your enemy’s headquarters.


The Film Stage by Zhuo-Ning Su

How Kim and his formidable technical team compose, frame and edit what could have been the most ordinary of shootouts to instantly, violently communicate peril shows not just unmistakable filmmaking prowess but a delightful, connoisseuristic appreciation of the game.

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