[PICK] Korean Movies Starring Actors Who Will Shine Brighter in 2021

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Once you fall in love with an actor, naturally, you search for his or her past projects. And looking through our favorite actors gives us pleasure and odd satisfaction in finding fresh charms spotted in their rookie days or perhaps a whole new side of them. Of course, there are times when we encounter a past that we just cannot overcome even with our fan spirit. If you haven’t found your “bias” yet, then let’s check out exciting films starring actors who will show even better performances this year.


Beautiful Vampire (2018)


The story starts when a boy whose scent strangely resembles her lover from the past appears in front of Ran, a 500-year-old beautiful vampire who chooses to live an ordinary life among human beings as the owner of a make-up shop in the neighborhood of Mangwon in Seoul. Jung Yeon Joo stars as Ran, a poor vampire even after living 500 years, and Song Kang, who is upping his value with Sweet Home, plays the new landlord’s son Lee So Nyun, who falls in love with her, captivating viewers’ attention with his refreshing and bright visuals.


Overman (2015)

Credit: KT&G Sangsangmadang

It’s a youth film about a fresh communion between Do Hyun, a high school gymnast who is ordered to perform community service as a punishment for fighting, and Soo Hyun, a high school girl who borrows books every day. The film frankly captures the process of the two, who are struck by the tough reality, communicating and getting healed with books as a medium. Kim Jung Hyun, who made back-to-back hits with Crash Landing on You and Mr. Queen, made his feature film debut with this and still managed to wow us with his solid performance. Kim Ok Vin’s younger sister Chae Seo Jin plays Soo Hyun, who opens the door to her heart after meeting Do Hyun, amplifying the bittersweet afterglow.


There is an Alien Here (2019)


Before Jo Byung Gyu, who debuted with the 2015 drama Who Are You: School 2015, made his face known through SKY Castle and became one “trusted” actor with Hot Stove League and The Uncanny Counter, he appeared in about 70 different works. As diligently as he worked, he showed his face in numerous works, and of them, There is an Alien Here that premiered at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival last year will soon be released. It’s about a small group of “alien research clubs” barely surviving in the underground bunker when most of the human race disappeared due to the yellow liquid aliens’ invasion. For this film, Jo takes on the role of Do Gun Tae, a backup national athlete in taekwondo.


Fantasy of the Girls (2018)

Credit: Dream Fact Entertainment

All of us have been captivated by strangely fluttering yet puzzling and difficult to explain feelings when we were in our teens. Fantasy of the Girls is about 17-year-old Bong Seon Hwa being cast to play the role of Juliet after she was noticed by a senior in the theater club and feeling the emotions of being in the first love from Ha Nam, another senior who plays Romeo. Itaewon Class and Royal Secret Agent actress Kwon Nara exudes her mysterious charm as every girl’s idol from school, while The Day I Died: Unclosed Case actress Roh Jeong Eui turns into a bright and youthful Seon Hwa and portrays the complex mind of a teenage girl. Jo Byung Gyu appeared in the film as Woo Chul, who has a big crush on Seon Hwa, adding to the cheerful vibe.


Memories of a Dead End (2018)

Credit: Triple Pictures

It’s a film adaptation of a novel of the same name by author Banana Yoshimoto. It revolves around Yoo Mi, who heads to Nagoya to find her long-distance boyfriend who went off grid, and calmy captures the process of her recovering from her wounds in a strange city after the unexpected breakup. Choi Soo Young, who has garnered enthusiastic supports from female viewers recently with her role in the drama Run On, leads the play with her subtle expressions, and Ahn Bo Hyun, who played impressive villain roles in Itaewon Class and Kairos, appears as the worst boyfriend who doesn’t have the gut to tell his girlfriend that he met a new woman. Of course, the beautiful scenery of Nagoya in the midst of cherry blossom season needs no further words.


Set Me Free (2014)

Credit: CJ Entertainment

Choi Woo Shik, who recently became the hottest topic as the intern of producer Na Young Seok’s new show Youn’s Stay, also had to work on various projects before he attained the fame. And Set Me Free that earned him recognition as an actor is a must-mention work in his filmography. The movie depicts the harsh reality that teenage boy Young Jae faces after leaving his home to escape the shadow of his incompetent and irresponsible father and joins a group home. Carefully portraying the precarious inner minds of a boy who doesn’t have a single person to rely on, Choi Woo Shik leaves behind a heartbreaking aftertaste.


The Battle of Jangsari (2019)

Credit: Warner Bros Korea

It’s a work that moved the true story of a group of student soldiers who staged a small diversionary operation at Jangsari beach a day before the Battle of Inchon that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal during the Korean War onto the big screen. It certainly boasts its star-studded cast lineup, from Kim Myung Min and Minho to Megan Fox, and sheds light on the painful history through the stories of student soldiers who were put into a dangerous operation without proper military training during the war. Among all the outstanding cast, two actors clearly stand out: Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol actor Lee Jae Wook and Do You Like Brahms? actor Kim Sung Chul. Playing the roles of Lee Gae Tae, who flaunts excellent marksmanship, Gi Ha Ryun, who is at odds with the squad-leader (played by Minho), respectively, the two actors have perfected their own stories among various characters.


Edited Hong Hyun Jung: K-content guide who publishes various articles for people to enjoy Korean movies and dramas deeper and richer. I’ll introduce you to the works that you can laugh, cry and sympathize with.

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