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The Unjust

Sponsored by: Ciné Asie

Montreal Premiere

  • Crime / Thriller
  • /
  • South Korea
  • /
  • 2010
  • /
  • 119 min
  • /
  • 35mm
  • /
  • Korean with English subtitles
The Unjust The Unjust The Unjust The Unjust The Unjust

Hosted by Director Ryoo Seung-wan and Co-Producer Kang Hae-jung

Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2011

Screening Times

“Hard-hitting... punchy storytelling... balances cool cynicism with seething moral outrage” — Maggie Lee, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


Director: Ryoo Seung-wan
Screenplay: Park Hoon-jung
Cast: Hwang Jeong-min, Ryoo Seung-beom, Yoo Hae-jin, Cheon Ho-jin
Producers: Kim Yun-ho, Koo Bon-han
Print Source: CJ Entertainment



Chaos reigns in Seoul. For weeks, a murderer has been on the loose. The police have failed utterly in apprehending him, and the populace is angered, infuriated even. The president intervenes in the case personally and the top brass of the forces of law and order have some explaining to do. The number-one suspect is killed by the cops under dubious circumstances. The screw-ups are piling up to the point of overflowing in this dossier. That’s when they tap Capt. Choi, an ace at taking down white-collar crooks, to do his part in putting up a positive façade for the public. Who better than a fraud-buster to build one? No man with a backbone like Choi’s would get himself tangled in such a sleazy manipulation, but Choi has skeletons in his closet — his ties with a real-estate magnate in turn tied to organized crime — and the attentions of the Internal Affairs squad help convince him. At the same time, and ambitious young prosecutor with a fondness for payoffs is also digging into Choi’s files and building a nice, big, compromising dossier on him. Things really are a mess in Seoul, and they’re only going to get worse…

Had it up to here with all the loud headlines about institutional corruption and sketchy governmental goings-on of late? Fellow citizen, we have a South Korean film that puts the scoundrels in their place! THE UNJUST hits hard, but resists offering any soothing moral and presents itself first and foremost as a genuine blockbuster. Its furious pace, its stunning visual dynamism and its stinging black humour make for a smart piece of entertainment, the sort of production that batters down the wall between pop cinema and intellectual works. Ryoo Seung-wan showed with ARAHAN and THE CITY OF VIOLENCE that he could generate flicks full of fun and thrills. CRYING FIST proved his capacity for weightier, sociological fare. For THE UNJUST he applies both sides of his talent to deliver his most accomplished work yet. It’s worth mentioning that the incisive dialogue crafted by Park Hoon-jung, architect of I SAW THE DEVIL’s twisted tale, is the reinforced concrete with which a talent like Ryoo can build a solid structure, one that will stand the test of time. Add the that a first-rate cast including Hwang Jeong-min (BLADES OF BLOOD) and Ryoo Seung-beom (excellent as the tenacious yet treacherous prosecutor), and you’ve got one of the year’s best films. Case closed!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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