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Korea · 2012
1h 44m
Director Kim Ki-duk
Starring Cho Min-soo, Lee Jung-Jin, Woo Ki-Hong, Kang Eun-jin
Genre Drama

Kang-do, a loan shark who works the streets of Seoul, is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother. As they grow closer, Kang-do must decide between violence and love.

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What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by

Kim Ki-duk's film makes an exaggerated, undeserved show of its cruelty, indignity, and aspirations of importance.


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Too bad both actors are stuck in a hollow provocation. Pietà may be all about the burden of debt—financial, spiritual, or otherwise — but it’s the audience that really pays a price.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Kim Ki-duk is back in fighting form in Pieta, an intense and, for the first hour, sickeningly violent film that unexpectedly segues into a moving psychological study.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Stick with the film, though, and you might find yourself strangely moved by its oddball mix of ripe melodrama, overwrought violence and regional verisimilitude.


Variety by Leslie Felperin

The final reel packs a genuine emotional wallop, even as it makes auds laugh with the vicious precision of its dramatic irony.


Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

The performances of these two leads are compelling and the Cheonggyecheon area can almost be seen as another character in Kim’s morality tale. And even if forgiveness is not always possible in the human condition, Pieta allows that expiation of one’s sins is within the realm of the possible.


Village Voice by Nick Schager

After establishing a central parent-child relationship rife with wacko biblical undertones, the director finds nowhere to take his story except into standard vengeance territory.


The Playlist by Oliver Lyttelton

The film contains some memorable moments, and a pair of fine performances, but it’s hard not to feel that it would have proved more successful if it had stayed on the path it was heading down for the first forty minutes or so.

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