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Joint Security Area (2002)

Yeong-ae Lee , Byung-hun Lee , Chan-wook Park  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim, Ha-kyun Shin
  • Directors: Chan-wook Park
  • Writers: Chan-wook Park, Hyun-seok Kim, Mu-yeong Lee, Sang-yeon Park, Seong-san Jeong
  • Producers: Eun Soo Lee
  • Format: Color, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Korean
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tai Seng
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000687FL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,905 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Joint Security Area" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Joint Security Area - JSA is sensitive film related to political issue. One night, two North Korea soldiers were dead by gunshot, the bodies lie within the area of JSA. This incident triggers the enmity between the North and the south. Both sides decide to resort to the help of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) (comprised of Swiss and Swedish delegates) to carry out the investigation. One of a suspect South Korean soldier was found and can start the investigation. At this moment, the witness to commits suicide......

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toe The Line June 13, 2004
One incredible tightly-woven story drives this political thriller of friends and enemies along the Joint Security Area (JSA) between North and South Korea.
An apparent exchange of hostilities leaves two soldiers of the North Korean Army dead. Another is wounded, and a fourth soldier -- a South Korean soldier -- appears to be the hero ... but is he? As both sides refuse to allow an investigation to prove anything conclusive, a Neutral Nations officer -- a woman -- is brought in to uncover the truth ... but will she?
Being perfectly honest, I purchased JSA solely on the basis of the recommendation of, and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed in the least. Comparisons to SHIRI are very off-base in that -- politics aside -- SHIRI is a great formula action film from start to finish ... but JSA is a pure political thriller. It is a 'thinking man's action film' where the action is a result of the plot and not because of the character's motivations (with one notable exception I won't give away to spoil the surprise). However, this film's script keeps you guessing and even delivers tremendous surprise up until the very last frame!
Again, JSA is not intended for fans of the John Woo mentality (and I'm a huge fan of Woo's work). This is a drama -- which deservedly won many at the Korean Film Awards -- but certainly stands up to most American films easily. In fact, I would have to say that I never saw what all of the excitement was about MYSTIC RIVER -- a rather conventional crime drama -- but there's plenty to get excited about in JSA.
I'll be watching this one again this weekend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect representation of Korean tragedy October 10, 2004
By Will
Those who study, or have lived in, Korea will appreciate the dynamism and importance of this impeccably made film. Outside of a passing awareness most Americans have no idea what the split nations of south and north Korea mean. This film captures, in a slowly building awareness, the true tragedy and heart break that is the modern Korean nation: one racially, ethnically and culturally monolithic people harshly divided in two with one the last vestige of a dead socioeconomic theory (communism) and the other a raging Asian Tiger and the world's 11th largest economy. While the north has clearly lost this last stand off of the Cold War, the nations remain divided and JSA does a superb job of bringing this into the human dimension. Note the subtle jabs at the US as well as the neutral nations. This gives Americans a view into a world most do not understand, but one that could consume our military in a flash. Not to be missed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BREATH TAKING AND HEART BREAKING April 18, 2004
Living in South Korea gives you a chance to get some idea of the heart breaking reality of this divided country. As Americans we have no concept of how it must feel to be in this situation. To see this film is to get a "taste" of the reality. To feel the horrible pain and taste the tears -- friends gained only to be lost to bloodshed!! I cannot even imagine what it must be like to see this film as a Korean. I have many Korean friends here in this beautiful country I now call my home(for the next few years). After seeing this, I feel differently than I did before seeing it. I feel like I have grown as a human after the experience watching JSA has given me. I think everyone living in Korea certainly should see this film. It wouldnt hurt all Americans to see it to understand how a country divided hurts the soul. Excellent film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Spotlighted as one of the most expensive & highest grossing domestic Korean films to date (ranking third in overall audience attendance in Korea for a domestic film, just behind "Chingu" ["Friend"] and "Shiri" [or "Swiri"], and just ahead of the quirky romantic comedy "Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo" [aka "My Sassy Girl"], "JOINT SECURITY AREA" -- (Korean title: "Gongdong Kyeongbi Kuyeok - JSA") -- is one of those stories which starts off confusingly, but by the end ties everything together neatly and beautifully with some of the most sincere and genuine raw emotion ever experienced in a feature film.

"JSA" begins with a couple of contradictory flashbacks of an assassination-type event which takes place in a guardshack North of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) in the Joint Security Area, each based on the 'official version' of the story as propogated by North and South. As the film progresses, we are pulled along by a third and equally contradictory flashback, this one apparently revealing the truth not only of that fateful night's event which nearly ignited a small war between the two Koreas, but also giving us insight as to what led up to that point, and does so very tenderly and emotionally.

The story revolves around an 'illegal' friendship forged between two pairs of soldiers stationed on opposite sides of the DMZ in the Joint Security Area, which began as a result of a nighttime border patrol team in the South getting disoriented and venturing too far north, accidently venturing into Kim Jung-Il's Communist state where one of the soldiers gets separated from the rest of the group and becomes stranded under frightening and dire circumstances in what is one of the most tense and dramatic moments of the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A love letter from the South to the North
This is the movie that lent me a first peek into the collective consciousness of the South Korean people. It is a love letter from the South to the North. Read more
Published on July 14, 2005 by Tintin
5.0 out of 5 stars By Author of the Novel "Sleeping Dragon"
After hearing many positive comments about this movie, I bought it. This is a "world class" movie in that it is high quiality acting, production, etc. Read more
Published on January 29, 2004 by Milton L. Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller
This offering reminds me so much of "A Few Good Men". The movie started by laying out the groundwork, of soldiers from both North & South Korea died in a conflict. Read more
Published on November 26, 2003 by Ping Lim
4.0 out of 5 stars More subtle approach to the conflict at hand
Joint Security Area drew many comparisons with Shiri, as it dealt with the same conflict and had some of the actors in both films. Read more
Published on October 19, 2003 by Henry H. S. Yoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this film!
I am a Korean and watched 'Joint Security Area' when in freshman year of university. I spent my childhood under anti-communism(exactly saying, Anti-North Korea) education and... Read more
Published on May 20, 2003 by Song, Ja-young
3.0 out of 5 stars A great movie, a questionnable transfer.
It's been said earlier, but I can only confirm. On a technical note, this DVD is less than great. For instance, although it's double-layered, what is really encoded is the whole... Read more
Published on April 30, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Imitating Art or Vice Versa
At times the film's narrative is tedious and the acting skills of the female lead is annoying--indeed, almost embarrassing at times. Read more
Published on March 4, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars great movie
five strars for the movie and one star for this dvd release. korean release is far more superior with many more extras.
Published on December 11, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars jsa
awsome movie, better than shiri in my oppinion. from what i've seen, korea is consistantly making the best movies these days. Read more
Published on November 12, 2002 by warren
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever!
This movie is absolutely fantastic. Buy it and if you don't like it, sell it to a Korean friend. My guess is 98% of Koreans living all over the globe would be willing to buy it... Read more
Published on November 6, 2002
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