Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War 2004 R

Amazon Instant Video

(139) IMDb 8.2/10
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In the powerful tradition of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, comes the biggest film out of Korea to date. Two brothers battle for and against each other during the brutal Korean War.

Dong-gun Jang, Bin Won
2 hours 29 minutes

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, International, Action, Drama
Director Je-kyu Kang
Starring Dong-gun Jang, Bin Won
Supporting actors Eun-ju Lee, Hyeong-jin Kong, Yeong-ran Lee, Kil-Kang Ahn, Jin Jung, Jae-hyeong Jeon, Min-ho Jang, Yun-hie Jo, Won-hee Cho, Min-sik Choi, Do-Hee Go, Taek-ha Hwang, Dae-Hoon Jeong, Doo-hong Jung, Bo-kyeong Kim, Kyung-Hwan Kim, Su-ro Kim, Ki-su Park
Studio Destination/Goldwyn
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

No doubt, one of the best movies ever made.
Beng-teck Lim
It started with the life of two brothers before the war, a life that was almost perfect until the war shatters it.
The movie has a great story line and the actors performed well.
Ronald E. Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

176 of 184 people found the following review helpful By E. Kim on April 1, 2005
Format: DVD
I thought this movie was very good. It has its flaws (which I will get into later), but overall, it's a very well done piece of cinema. This film, along with many others is proof that Korean movies, and by extension Asian movies, have grown up and are ready to seriously compete with Hollywood for global influence, audience and market share. I am impressed with Tae Guk Gi's attention to detail, special effects, cinematography and other high production standards.

Now, enough people here give you a quick synopsis of the story and adequate description of the plot, so what I am going to do is respond to some of the comments that other reviewers have made. I think my input might be helpful be cause I am a Korean raised in North America and can understand both worlds and explain things that were either misinterpreted or not clearly understood by non-Korean reviewers.

Some non-Korean reviewers have commented that it seemed like there was some over acting or acting "over the top" going on. Well, believe it or not, Koreans act like that in real life. They are emotional by nature, yell at each other a lot, slap around their younger peers, etc. Jin Sok and Jin Tae's mother collapsing after the train departs looks like something a Korean mother would do in that situation. What some non-Koreans would consider as "overacting" I would, as someone from a Korean background, consider realistic and normal (give the extreme situations that the characters go through). Anyone who thinks overacting is purposely going on in this movie needs to join the peace corp or something and get exposed to other cultures in different parts of the world.

One reviewer thought that Koreans fought unusually well given their supposed reputation at the time as poor soldiers.
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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2005
Format: DVD
This 2004 Korean film is about two brothers caught up in the national tragedy of the Korean War. The older brother is large and strong and shines shoes for a living with the hopes of becoming a shoemaker. His younger brother is 18 years old and the pride of the family because he is going to college. We first meet these brothers in a happy time when their future looks bright and the older brother is planning to get married. But suddenly, war is upon them and the family is forced to flee their home in Seoul. The two brothers are forcibly drafted and we soon see them on the battlefield.

The older brother is determined to protect the younger one. He risks his life to go on dangerous missions because he knows that if he receives a medal, the younger brother will be able to get out of the army. The battles are gruesome and real and better than any I have ever seen. I understand that the director accomplished this with a very small budget and I have nothing but applause for him for this effort. There's a human side of every battle, and I felt real emotion watching them.

Somewhere along the line, the older brother turns into a monster of aggression. Not only does he show exceptional bravery, he also shows exceptional cruelty.

This story goes deep into the heart of Korean national identity. Both sides are equally cruel to ordinary villagers who are just trying to survive. But one thing is clear and that is the bond between the brothers even though they eventually wind up in opposing armies. This is a serious film about brotherhood. And it is also a film about Korea. Actually, it helped me understand what is happening there today.

The film is 2 hours and 20 minutes long and it didn't drag for one single moment.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2005
Format: DVD
TAE GUK GI (literally translated, is the name of the South Korean Flag) or THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR is one of the most consistently moving, desperately realistic, harrowingly poignant films about war in the international motion picture repertoire. While many directors and writers have prolifically produced films about the Civil War in the US, World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, and other wars from other countries, few have touched on the Korean War. Director Kang Je-gyu corrects that omission with this dazzling epic and in doing so, he elects to make the story of that war a tale of two brothers (a metaphor for the North vs. South Korean conflict ignited by the fires of communism versus capitalism).

Jin-tae (the strikingly handsome and fine actor Jang Dong-gun) shines shoes and works at small jobs to encourage his younger brother Jin-seok (the refined and delicate actor Won Bin) to study to go to college to be the saviour of their poor family. The degree of camaraderie of these two brothers is some of the most touchingly portrayed on film. The joy of this South Korean family fills the screen for the first moments of the film, only to change abruptly on June 25, 1950 when suddenly the North Koreans attack at the 38th parallel, forcing communism and death down the throats of the South Koreans. Jin-tae realizes he must join the South Korean army to protect his mistakenly conscripted brother from the horrors of war.

The remainder of the film explores the progress of this war with great detail, leaving no battle untold and visually depicting the atrocities of war more brutally than any other film of this genre.
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