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Seoul Searching

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Korea, China, United States · 2015
1h 45m
Director Benson Lee
Starring Justin Chon, Jessika Van, Cha In-pyo, Yoo Teo
Genre Drama, Comedy

In the 1980s a group of foreign-born Korean teenagers who meet at a Seoul summer camp to learn what it means to be Korean. The three boys, from the U.S., Mexico, and Germany, then meet three girls who rock their world.

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What are critics saying?


San Francisco Chronicle by

A John Hughes-inspired comedy-drama — think “The Breakfast Club” set in rural Korea — starring a group of teenagers coming to terms with the passionate feelings and issues that evolve with impending adulthood.


Variety by Justin Chang

Lee’s movie at once examines and embodies the complicated riddle of cultural identity: Beneath its boozy antics and largely predictable narrative developments, it offers warmly perceptive insights into how difficult it can be for so many first- and second-generation Asian immigrants to define themselves.


The Hollywood Reporter by Justin Lowe

Liberally riffing on situations and themes familiar from the high school-set movies that established the renowned writer-director’s legacy, Lee has crafted an entertaining alternative interpretation that substitutes an international cast of Asian actors for Hughes’ largely white, suburban ensembles.


Los Angeles Times by Katie Walsh

Despite the overwrought stylization, the heart of Seoul Searching does ultimately emerge: a tender story that’s more about the high stakes of youthful connection than culture, proving that this universal tale transcends borders.

75 by Nick Allen

The episodic narrative of Seoul Searching can be too long and unfocused, but its stubbornness comes from filmmaking that is overflowing with self-pride.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

With so many recycled scenes and cliches to get through, Lee let his comedy run on too long. But Seoul Searching is worth a look and a laugh.

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