Nameless Gangster

The Best Foreign Films of 2012

The title of this list is slightly misleading in that not all of the films were released this year. The sad fact is that the vast majority of foreign language films never reach our shores, and the ones that do often appear a year or two (or more) later. So while all of the films below played in the US in 2012 (in some capacity) they may have premiered elsewhere in 2011 or earlier. Three of the titles below are also featured in my list of the 12 Best Movies of 2012. And because I know you’re curious, no, Holy Motors didn’t make the cut. (It is included in the Honorable Mentions list at the bottom of the page though!) I know every other critic loved the merde out of it, but I found it to be an occasionally engaging series of sketches highlighted by a love for cinema. Now read on for what I think are twelve better films (in alphabetical order).

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The 11th Annual New York Asian Film Festival runs from June 29th through July 15th in NYC. South Korea, 2012 133 minutes, in Korean with English subtitles Directed by: Yun Jong-Bin Starring: Choi Min-Sik, Ha Jung-Woo, Jo Jin-Woong, Ko In-Beom South Korea existed beneath military dictatorships up until the 1980s, but that only encouraged black market dealings and illegal activity for illicit profit. In 1990 though, President Roh Tae-woo’s fledgeling democracy came out strong against organized crime and went so far as to declare war on the criminals behind it all. Caught up in the mass of arrests is the very unassuming Choi Ik-hyun (Choi Min-sik). He’s tasked with telling the police as much as he can about his time in Korea’s mafioso, but as his story unfolds from the beginning it becomes clear that Ik-hyun is either a criminal mastermind… or a bumbling idiot.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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