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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A phantom sniper methodically assassinates key figures in a South Korean intelligence investigation. Special Agent Ryu and his partner, Lee, suspect North Korea's most lethal female operative, Hee. When a security breach prompts the theft of high-tech liquid explosive, CTX, from South Korean authorities, Ryu and Lee are certain there's a mole within their ranks. Deceptions are uncovered, loyalties questioned and two nations threatened in the thriller that smashed the Korean box office record set by TITANIC!


A dazzling action movie from South Korea, Shiri follows two South Korean government agents, Ryu and Lee, as they pursue a female super-assassin from North Korea. Meanwhile, an elite paramilitary squad from North Korea has stolen a shipment of CTX, an undetectable liquid explosive of enormous power, which they've planted all over the city of Seoul. As their investigations are successively foiled, Ryu and Lee begin to suspect that there is a mole within the ranks of the agency--and it may be one of them. Both hyperstylish and hyperrealistic, Shiri rips along as a smooth fusion of Hong Kong and American action movies. Ryu's troubled romance with his alcoholic fiancée adds a striking emotional counterpoint to the blazing gunfights and high-speed chases; the ending is unexpectedly moving. It's not surprising that this film beat Titanic's box-office records in Korea. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Documentary: The Making of Shiri
  • Music Video: "When I Dream"

Product Details

  • Actors: Suk-kyu Han, Min-sik Choi, Yunjin Kim, Kang-ho Song, Johnny Kim
  • Directors: Je-kyu Kang
  • Writers: Je-kyu Kang
  • Producers: Kwan-hak Lee, Moo-Rim Byun
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000633R6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shiri" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

I consider this a good action movie.
Lonnie E. Holder
The male recruit glances nervously at the female recruit who calmly finishes her gun first, points it at him and blows his head off.
Daigo Parry
Overall, it's a good movie but just like many others said it's another action movie.
Ugur Galatali

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2004
Format: DVD
I was excited about having a chance to watch this movie; after all, Shiri became South Korea's most successful and most-watched film of all time, surpassing even the mighty Titanic. It seems only right that a Korean film should hold the box office record in South Korea. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from Shiri; I knew it was an action film involving a deadly female assassin from North Korea and that the plot revolved in some way around the idea of Korean unification, but that was the extent of my knowledge going in. Shiri definitely delivers, offering up heaping platefuls of suspense, action, and gritty violence; it also, much to its credit, carries an emotional payload of love, friendship, betrayal, duty, all of the angst that surrounds the question of unification. The special effects are well done (Shiri had a budget of only five million dollars, but that qualifies as a big budget in Korean cinema), the cinematography is beautiful, and the overall presentation of the film serves to touch the viewer in any number of ways.
I do have to admit that I found parts of the film somewhat confusing, especially early on; I also had trouble keeping some of the characters straight in my mind. I think this is explained by my American viewpoint and the fact that I could not devote all of my attention to the events on the screen as I had to depend on subtitles to follow the dialogue. Additionally, the whole theme of reunification obviously doesn't impact me the way it would a Korean audience. Even I can see how ambitious and daring the plot of this film was, though; this is truly a film borne out of the very soul of Korea.
Hee is North Korea's most infamous assassin, and as the movie opens, she seems to have reappeared for the first time in a year.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Brainy Babe on July 21, 2004
Format: DVD
Explosions and car chases...check. Intrigue and espionage...check. Romance...check. Requires a brain to watch...check. This is quite possibly the smartest and most well-rounded action movie in the history of action movies. I loved it. The plot is interesting and makes you see the North Korea/South Korea conflict from a different perspective. (I told you it's smart.) The action leaves you breathless. Normally, I don't like romance in my action movies because it's usually just a cheap attempt to get a woman's top off and a few seconds of sex. The romance in this movie, however, is understated and appropriate. (I never thought I would write something like that in a review of an ACTION movie.) I do have one piece of advice for viewing Shiri: watch it in its native language with English subtitles. Under no circumstances should you listen to the dubbed English soundtrack. It is disappointing and disgusting to see the actors on screen giving it their all while their voices sound like they're watching paint dry. There are several extras, but the music video "When I dream" is the best of them. The song is absolutely beautiful, not to mention heartbreaking. (I even bought a CD by the singer, Carol Kidd, after watching this movie.) For anyone who thinks action movies can't be entertaining and brainy or who still think Godzilla is the true measure of foreign films, watch Shiri. You won't be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By =^-^= designer kitten=^-^= on May 31, 2004
Format: DVD
Dubbed by the local press as the 'small fish that sank Titanic', "Shiri (Swiri)" is the most successful film in South Korean box office history.visuals rivaling both Hollywood and Hong Kong action movies, the star power of popular Korean actors Han Suk-kyu ("Christmas in August") and Choi Min-shik, and a story centered around the continuing Cold War tensions between North and South Korea, this espionage action-thriller easily won over domestic audiences when it was released in 1999. "Shiri" also marked a turning point in the evolution of South Korean cinema.That said, the film's action sequences are rather fun to watch, and probably the film's only saving grace. Though the film was made for a paltry $5 million US (which is six times the typical budget for a typical Korean feature), the production values, particularly in the action department, are top-notch.So if you like action films then you will love this film.I give it 5stars because its one better action movies i have seen in good while.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Schar VINE VOICE on April 12, 2005
Format: DVD
Yunjin Kim from the ABC TV show "Lost" is the North Korean mole at the center of this movie. You've seen all this before - a conflicted agent, duty and honor, a McGuffin that could destroy all of Seoul - but you've probably not seen it Korean style, or put together with obvious love by the filmmakers.

Surprisingly, "Shiri" is a loving travelogue of Seoul as much as an action movie. I've never been, but man does this movie make it look attractive. I think we see more of Seoul in "Shiri" than we do of Tokyo in "Lost in Translation."

By and large, this is an energetic action film that starts off over-the-top violent and then ends up as "Black Sunday." The plot is a bit confused, and at more than one location my wife and I were left scratching our heads trying to figure out what exactly was going on. The actions of the police are often equally strange - ambushing terrorists in one room of a building in which everyone else is going about their normal business? But it's an action movie, so just roll with it. It makes as much sense as any random Michael Bay movie and it cost a fraction as much to make.

If you're in the mood for an Asian action movie, this is worth a shot. Indeed, if you're not familiar with Asian cinema in general, "Shiri" is a good way to ease you into a whole other world of film.
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