Seven must-see Korean movies and TV shows coming in August 2022
It was another strong month for K-drama hits in July. Extraordinary Prosecutor Woothe Netflix series about an autistic lawyer with an incredibly high IQ, snagged the top spot on the streamer’s Top 10 non-English TV series chart for two weeks before dropping to second place last week.
Remarriages & Desires and alchemy of souls also joined the leaderboard, being in the top five for several weeks.
There’s plenty more to come next month. Here we take a look at some of the most intriguing Korean K movies and dramas to be released in August.
Declaration of emergency
Release date: August 3
The aviation disaster film, which will be released in North American theaters on August 12, following its August 3 release in South Korea, sees a crisis unfold on a plane following the mysterious death of a person in edge.
“I want everyone dead on this plane,” says a voice in the thrilling trailer for the film, which features explosive physical clashes, chaotic scenes of an overturned plane and screams from passengers.
The film features an ensemble cast, including Song Kang-ho (the veteran actor of Parasite) and squid game actor Lee Byung-hun (the Screen Actors Guild nominee most recently seen as the Front Man in the hit Netflix series).
Release date: 5 August
The Bourne Identity meets Impossible mission in this high octane action thriller.
The film sees a man, who wakes up with his memories completely erased, go on a hostage mission led by a mysterious voice from a device implanted in his ear that says, “Your name is Carter…listen to me if you want to live.”
Carter (played by Joo Won of Alice on Netflix) sets out to find Jung Ha-na (a “human vaccine”) amid an outbreak of a mutant virus that has infected millions.
The film’s action-packed trailer features camera-shaking fight scenes and dizzying falls, followed by explosive car chases and close, heart-pounding near-misses.
Release date: August 10
The directorial debut of squid game Star Lee Jung-jae, who received a seven-minute standing ovation during his preview screening at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in May, marks his theatrical release next month.
The spy action thriller follows two members of Korea’s Central Intelligence Agency – Pyong-ho (played Lee) and Jung-do (played by Jung Woo-sung, the veteran Korean lead actor who recently served as the producer Netflix’s gripping sci-fi executive K-drama The silent sea) – trying to track down a mole within the CIA, who consider themselves prime suspects.
Its dramatic trailer features heart-pounding chase sequences amid chaotic mass protests, explosions of gunfire and shootings. It ends in a dramatic confrontation that sees Jung-do point a gun at Pyong-ho before a voice says, “You won’t get out of here alive.”
If you wish me
Release date: August 12
This healing drama sees a broken young man living on the brink (played by Ji Chang-wook, seen most recently in The sound of magic on Netflix) attempt to help people in a hospice fulfill their last wishes.
The show’s trailer begins with a clip of a boy being beaten in the head before a voice asks, “Have you ever been happy in life?”, to which another replies, “I don’t ‘ve never been happy.”
Based on a real-life foundation in the Netherlands that grants the last wishes of terminal cancer patients, the drama also stars Sooyoung from leading K-pop girl group Girls’ Generation.
A model family
Release date: August 12
A cash-strapped professor (played by Jung Woo) unwittingly stumbles upon a wad of cash in an abandoned car, which he later realizes belongs to a drug cartel.
The intriguing trailer begins with the Professor panting and frantically grabbing money from the car, while a voice says, “War, disease, accidents. People die for such reasons. But many more people die because of money.”
As the cartel money is discovered to be with the Professor, he is forced to repay them by becoming their drug courier. “If you betray us, your family will suffer,” says Gwang-cheol (played by Park Hee-soon, seen recently in Dr Brain on AppleTV+).
Release date: August 26
This sleek action blockbuster set in the days leading up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics sees a team of drivers go undercover to bust a money laundering ring.
Yoo Ah-in, the famous Korean actor of Hell on Netflix and the masterful psychological thriller Burningplays the crew’s “supreme pilot with perfect drifting skills”, alongside a star-studded cast including Koh Kyung-Pyo (from the film Park Chan-wook decision to leave, who competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival), Lee Kyu Hyung (from we are all dead on Netflix) and others.
Offering thrilling driving sequences, colorful visuals and a groovy soundtrack, peppered with short, sassy one-liners, the film has a bit of a Ocean’s Eleven retro hip hop vibe.
“Once I step on the accelerator, I go all the way,” says Dong-wook, Yoo’s character, in the movie’s trailer.
Release date: August 26
For many years, aliens have “kept their prisoners inside human bodies”. So begins the trailer for the Korean sci-fi blockbuster Alienoidthe first of a two-part film series.
As the trailer shifts from dynamic combat scenes in intergalactic space to explosive apocalyptic scenes of masses fleeing flying spaceships, a voice asks, “If they go wild, will they kill people?”
Another voice responds, “It’s my job to stop this,” as the character The Guard (played by Kim Woo-bin, seen most recently in Our blues and several other K-dramas on Netflix), which manages these prisoners, is seen soaring through the air towards the sky on a city street.
The sci-fi fantasy also stars Kim Tae-ri (from BAFTA winner The servant) and Ryu Jun-yeol (from the movie Bong Joon-ho Taxi driver).