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553 Ratings


Directed by Spike Lee
United States, 2013
Action, Drama, Mystery


An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

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Oldboy Directed by Spike Lee

Awards & Festivals

Women Film Critics Circle Awards

2013 | Nominee: Worst Male Images in a Movie

Lee’s Oldboy is tamer than Park’s in terms of on-screen mayhem, but it’s consequently more suggestively outrageous. Like a David Lynch film, this Oldboy seems to be forever on the verge of jumping the rails into the realm of the transgressive, and that sense of enforced restraint imbues the film with a feeling of caged energy that’s disquieting.
March 11, 2014
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Lee ornaments the film with elaborate tracking shots, theatrical lighting schemes, and multitiered compositions containing screens within screens. He shifts dramatically between 35-millimeter, 16-millimeter, and even 8-millimeter film, and playfully disregards conventional flashbacks, editing, and good taste. Regardless of whether Lee succeeds here as a storyteller, he communicates such pleasure in the filmmaking process that you might appreciate it for the showmanship alone.
December 16, 2013
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If Park’s film was a re-telling of The Odyssey (the name “Oh Dae-su” always felt like a giveaway to me), then Lee’s version feels more like a fable about transformation and never being able to run away from one’s true nature, like something out of La Fontaine or Aesop.
November 29, 2013
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