Korean movies based on true story

Real-life quite often inspires art. Silenced and A Taxi Driver are Korean films which were inspired by true events. Here are 10 Korean movies based on true story.

Published on Jun 24, 2024  |  07:30 PM IST |  81.7K
Silenced, Taxi Driver
Silenced, Taxi Driver

Many South Korean films are inspired by real-life incidents and cases. These films have an added authenticity to them as they follow twisted cases, famous personalities and much more. Art has always taken inspiration from life itself. 

Silenced, A Taxi Driver, Han Gong Ju and Road to Boston are some films which are taken from real-life incidents. Here is a list of the 10 best Korean movies based on true story. 

10 best Korean movies based on true story

  • Silenced 

  • Cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu Mi, Kim Hyun Soo, Jung In Seo, Baek Seung Hwan 
  • Director: Wand Dong Hyuk 
  • Release year: 2011
  • Genre: psychological, mystery 

Silenced is based on the novel The Crucible by Gong Ji Young, which is based on true events that took place in the early 2000s. It tells the story of a newly appointed art teacher at a school for the deaf. Though he tries his best to help these students they always seem aloof and avoid him. That is until he discovers the heinous crimes that happen with the children. 

  • A Taxi Driver 

  • Cast: Song kang Ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Ryu Jun Yeol, Yoo Hae Jin
  • Director:  Jang Hoon 
  • Release year: 2017
  • Genre: Political, Action 

The movie is set in the 1980s when South Korea was facing political unrest. A taxi driver who raises his daughter after his wife passes away works hard to make money. He gets a foreign client who offers to pay him a huge sum. However, the driver is unaware that the client is a German reporter. A Taxi Driver is based on the true story of German reporter Jürgen Hinzpeter and Korean taxi driver Kim Sa Bok.

  • Road to Boston 

  • Cast: Im Si Wan, Ha Jung Woo, Bae Sung Woo 
  • Director: Kang Je Gyu 
  • Release year: 2023
  • Genre: Sports, Drama

Road to Boston is based on true events and is set in the 1940s. The story is of patriotism and winning the gold medal at the marathon for a liberated South Korea. The film is a biographical depiction of athlete Suh Yun Bok who ran with the South Korean flag for the first time after the country was released from Japanese rule. 

  • The Chaser

  • Cast: Ha Jung Woo, Kim Yoon Seok 
  • Director: Na Hong Jin
  • Release year: 2008 
  • Genre: action, thriller, psychological 

The Chaser tells the story of a former cop who runs a small prostitution ring. As his female employees suddenly go missing, he has to search for the truth and save them. The Chaser is based on real-life serial killer Yoo Young Chu. 

  • Memories of Murder

  • Cast: Song Kang Ho, 
  • Director: Bong Joon Ho 
  • Release year: 2003
  • Genre: Thriller, Mystery 

Memories of Murder is based on the Hwaseong serial murder case. It tells the story of two local detectives who are not really known for their smartness but they take on a serial murder case. They might not be the most intelligent but they are brutal when it comes to investigatinging the case. 

  • The Last Princess

  • Cast: Son Ye Jin, Park Hae Il
  • Director: Hur Jin Ho
  • Release year: 2016
  • Genre: Historical, melodrama 

The Last Princess is set in colonial South Korea. The historical melodrama tells the story of Princess Deok Hye who was the last princess of Korea. While Korea was under the Japanese rule, she was taken as a hostage. Freedom fighter Jang Han is on a mission to bring their princess back to Korea. He also harbours feelings for her which instigates him more to fulfil the mission. 

  • Han Gong Ju 

  • Cast: Chun Woo Hee, Jung In Sun, Chase So Young
  • Director: Lee Su Jin 
  • Release year: 2014
  • Genre: crime, drama

Han Gong Ju is based on the real events of the Milyang Junior High School case. Han Gong Ju is forced to leave her school and transfer to not only a new school but also a new home. She is brought to live with her former high school teacher's mother. Past secrets slowly unravel. 

  • Northern Limit Line 

  • Cast: Jin Goo, Lee Hyun Woo, Kim Mu Yeol 
  • Director: Kim Hak Soon 
  • Release year: 2015 
  • Genre: Military, war, political 

The film is set in 2002 when North Korea deployed two patrol boats towards the Northern Limit Line. The film focuses on the naval unrest at the maritime border near Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. While on one hand, the country was enjoying the 2002 FIFA World Cup, on the other, a naval boat was suddenly attacked. 

  • Way Back Home 

  • Cast: Jeon Do Yeon, Go Soo 
  • Director: Bang Eun Jin 
  • Release year: 2013 
  • Genre: Drama 

Way Back Home is inspired by the real-life story of an ordinary housewife who was falsely accused of smuggling drugs in Paris. After a woman realizes that her family is struggling financially, she takes matters into her own hands and decides to smuggle gemstones to Paris. 

  • My Father 

  • Cast: Kim Yeong Cheol, Daniel Henney 
  • Director: Hwang Dong Hyuk
  • Release year: 2007
  • Genre: Drama

My Father follows the real-life story of Aaron Bates, a licensed insurance broker. An adopted son decides to meet his real father and hence goes to South Korea searching for him. He realizes that his biological father is a condemned murderer on death row. 


Ture events often give rise to spine-chilling stories which make for not only a great film but also act as a mirror of our society. Real life has inspired varied films from crime to sports and history. Han Gonf Ju, Silenced and Memories of Murder are some Korean movies based on true story. 

ALSO READ: Did you know Hyun Bin was first choice for Kill Me, Heal Me? Learn how Ji Sung was cast instead for hit psychological drama

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Moumita Chakraborty did her Master of Arts in Mass Communication and has been writing professionally since 2022. She is a



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