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The Executioner

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Nov 13, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

(Korean with English subtitles) The first execution scheduled in 12 years creates a hostile and stifling atmosphere among guards in one jail. This has profound effects on the dehumanization of Jae-kyoung, a young, newly appointed guard who nonetheless happens to find that a cold-blooded colleague of his, Jong-ho, still has some humane traits.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jo Jae-hyeon, Yoon Kye-sang, Park In-hwan, Cho Sung-ha, Cha Su-yeon
  • Directors: Choi Jin-ho
  • Writers: Kim Young-ok
  • Producers: David Cho
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Asian Crush
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A7040N6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,963 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
The Executioner tells the story of a prison that is ordered to execute three prisoners on Christmas Eve- the first executions in 12 years. This event shows the true characteristics of the correctional officers and the prisoners, and asks several significant questions. The Executioner is a thought-provoking and compelling drama.

The story in this film is deep and powerful. It uses drama and some light humor to create an emotional experience. We witness the lives of the correctional officers, some that are conducting their first executions, and how they change throughout the experience, including the chilling executions and haunting aftermath. It really focuses on the relationships between characters, from loneliness to hardships in a relationship to officer-prisoner friendship, as well as addressing the issues that surround executions; on that note, I didn't feel like the film ever preached because it leaves you thinking about the issues instead of simply agreeing or disagreeing. This film doesn't follow the Hollywood "happily-ever-after" formula and I love that; the ending just leaves you in awe. The acting is superb, and the music is excellent.

Overall, The Executioner is an excellent and thorough drama with amazing performances, a balanced story, and a chilling ending; another gem from South Korea. As of 3/16/13, this film is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix Streaming, a purchase is highly recommended.

The Executioner has some strong violence and blood, some nudity and sex.
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Format: Amazon Video
This film takes a strong stand against capital punishment in S. Korea. S. Korea is one of 5 industrially developed democracies which still have capital punishment. The other 4 are the US, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. S. Korea has not administered the death penalty since the 1990s and this is the background to the movie. A serial murderer is captured and sentenced to death. His crimes were so heinous that public opinion is demanding his death now, not later. Under this pressure the govt. decides to proceed with his execution and those of 9 others who have been on death row since at least the 1990s. The film focuses on the prison guards reaction. A few have been there since the last executions took place and generally want no part of resuming them again. Death is by hanging and the guards selected to perform the hangings must clean up and prepare the place where the executions are performed. The main characters are seen struggling with their consciences as the day of executions nears.

The main weakness I see in the film is a lack of subtlety. That may sound absurd when talking about capital punishment. But the film "hits you over the head" with all the objectionable aspects of capital punishment. There is a good deal of over dramatization in the hanging of the serial killer among other scenes. Sometimes less is more in making a serious point.

That being said this is still a strong film, generally well acted by the lead characters. Unfortunately there was no sound in my streaming instant video but in some ways that wasn't such a bad way to watch this particular film. And I was thankful for the subtitles.
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Format: Amazon Video
The reviewer OH noted elsewhere that the film can be a touch "heavy handed" and agreeing with that critique, I found the rest almost flawlessly well done.
The background of the situation isn't as well presented in the movie as it is by a reviewer, but if one allows oneself the experience of accepting the cultural norm of the film, it is a very powerful exploration of the moral, psychological and ethical ambiguities involved in the experience of the State killing of prisoners.
The effect on all involved is the focus of the film and the scene of Officer Kim carrying out his duties while he accompanies his inmate friend, "shrimp eyes" to death, is as powerful emotionally, and as deeply affecting, as any scene you are likely to see on film.
For my taste, any film that makes you think and moves your imagination and emotions to a good extent, is A-OK as they say.
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Format: Amazon Video
Great movie, plot is well detailed in realizing an individuals sense of morality when its being tested by ones will and also by others. Also reminds you of The Green Mile
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