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Korea · 2009
Rated R · 2h 9m
Director Bong Joon-ho
Starring Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Goo, Yoon Je-moon
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A mother lives quietly with her son. One day, a girl is brutally killed, and the boy is charged with the murder. Now, it's his mother's mission to prove him innocent in this phenomenal and dazzling thriller by Bong Joon-Ho (of “Parasite” fame) just reaching the height of his cinematic powers.

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What are people saying?

Zoe Rogan Profile picture for Zoe Rogan

Bong Joon-ho's filmography beyond the Best Picture winning Parasite is teeming with great movies ready to be seen by a wider audience, and Mother is one such film. Intriguing, surprising, and full of twists, this noir-esque story of a mother turned unlikely detective is anchored by a great performance by Kim Hye-ja.

What are critics saying?


Boxoffice Magazine by

Bong's stylistic embellishment of the simple tale of a mother who will do anything to protect her son is breathtaking.


Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Its combination of dazzling cinematic craft, psychological insight and black humor make this one of the year's moviegoing musts -- and even or especially at her most deranged, Kim Hye-ja's amazing mother is profoundly, passionately human.


Variety by Derek Elley

Key casting is aces, led by a deglammed Kim, forcefully low-key as the mother who seems capable of anything to protect her son.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

For all its jarring sound design and herky-jerky pacing, founded on sudden incidents or shocking accidents, Mother is deftly plotted, applying Hitchcockian suspense with a Hitchcockian sense of fair play.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Bong is so concerned with whodunit that his creaky genre mechanics diminish Kim's determined performance.


The New York Times by Manohla Dargis

The hard-pounding heart of Mother, Ms. Kim is a wonderment. Perched on the knife edge between tragedy and comedy, her delivery gives the narrative -- which tends to drift, sometimes beguilingly, sometimes less so -- much of its momentum.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

Again as with Bong's earlier films, Mother is a genre exercise that honors convention, yet weaves around it whenever possible. Bong carefully turns Mother into a classic gumshoe tale, with red herrings, interrogations, and moments of sublime suspense.

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