The Thieves – Korean Movie Review

When I heard that semi-recent Korean movie The Thieves was the third best-selling film in South Korean box offices ever, my interests were piqued to say the least.


The Thieves is one of those movies whose synopsis alone doesn’t come anywhere near doing it justice. As the movie starts, you’re introduced to a myriad of thieves, each one of them with a particular quirk or specialty. Aiming for a rather pricey diamond known as the Tear of the Sun, thief Macao Park gathers thieves from both Korea and China to plan the heist. With the movie’s cast and general setting for the heist taking place in a casino, you may think of this as the Korean version of Ocean’s 11, though to leave it at that wouldn’t come close to explaining the rest of the movie.

While the cast has a certain charm that makes you root for their robbery, there’s another level to the characters in the form of their interactions with each other. Besides the tension brought about in the Korean thieves mingling with the Chinese thieves, additional tension is introduced in the form of backstories with characters. It’s this slow reveal of backstory, making you side with certain thieves over others, that gives a refreshing take on the genre. The intricate and sometimes overlapping stories certain thieves have is this movie’s biggest strength, making for a narrative that delivers on so many levels.

From my understanding, each thief is played by a big name actor, though my ignorant American know-how was only able to spot out Gianna Jun, best known as the main lead in Korean dramady movie My Sassy Girl. Jun’s performance does not disappoint, delivering an expected amount of sassiness that her previous works have made her known for and stealing practically every scene she’s in. Though that’s not to say that the rest of the cast doesn’t deliver either; the rest of the thieves from the false-mustachioed Popie to the dopey Andrew really make the characters their own, interacting with each other in a way that you really believe that they’re a team of professionals, albeit occasionally goofy ones.

Usually, when it comes to movies with large casts, there’s bound to be more attention given to certain characters over others. And while such is true for The Thieves, you don’t really mind it since each character is given the amount of screen time they deserve, with nobody getting absolutely shafted. It’s the kind of movie that knows how to deal with each of its characters and their personal character arcs, as numerous as they may be for just one movie.

Overall, The Thieves deserves every bit of praise it’s gotten, with my only gripe being that its American release isn’t as packed to the brim with special features as its native Korean release was. Still, if that means a cheaper price on amazon, then you have even more reason to blind buy it. I did so myself and loved every minute of it.


About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic ( to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (

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