Song Kang-ho Performances Ranked (Best to Worst)

by boltmarksman | created - 24 Mar 2018 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

One of the best actors of South Korea, these are his performances ranked from the most favorite.

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1. The Host (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Horror

85 Metascore

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and begins attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae

Votes: 84,494 | Gross: $2.20M

His performance exceeded my expectations in this monster flick. Very emotional and heartbreaking.

2. Memories of Murder (2003)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Votes: 100,088 | Gross: $0.01M

His first collaboration with Bong Joon-ho, Song's acting in this crime thriller blends comedy, frustration, and determination.

3. Joint Security Area (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-Hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim

Votes: 23,412

This movie pushed Song to stardom as a lead actor. His portrayal of a North Korean general was intimidating yet funny.

4. The Attorney (2013)

Not Rated | 127 min | Drama

55 Metascore

An ambitious tax attorney decides to represent an old friend in court.

Director: Woo-seok Yang | Stars: Kwang Soo Cha, Seon-Mook Cho, Ki-Jung Han, Sung-ho Hong

Votes: 4,074 | Gross: $0.56M

Based on a true story, Song captivates the tax attorney very well.

5. Thirst (2009)

R | 135 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

73 Metascore

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hee-jin Choi, Dong-soo Seo

Votes: 37,664 | Gross: $0.30M

Transitions from a renowned priest to a blood-thirsty vampire. Simply Amazing.

6. The Good the Bad the Weird (2008)

R | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Western

69 Metascore

The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-Hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 30,610 | Gross: $0.13M

One of the funniest gangster portrayals in cinema history.

7. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

R | 129 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim

Votes: 55,957 | Gross: $0.05M

The way he portrays gruesome revenge gives viewers goosebumps. It's very different from the good guy/humorous roles.

8. The Show Must Go On (2007)

Not Rated | 109 min | Action, Drama

A light hearted action noir about a part time gangster who tries to be a full time daddy and wants to live a peaceful life with his family despite of being in trouble almost all the time, due to his profession.

Director: Jae-rim Han | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Dal-su Oh, Il-hwa Choi, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 1,159

Song won his first Blue Dragon Award For Best Actor.

9. A Taxi Driver (2017)

Not Rated | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

69 Metascore

A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.

Director: Hun Jang | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Thomas Kretschmann, Hae-jin Yoo, Jun-yeol Ryu

Votes: 9,195 | Gross: $1.53M

Song's performance finally shines the real unsung taxi driver to the light.

10. The Face Reader (2013)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, History

About Nae-kyung who is able to assess the personality, mental state and habits of a person by looking at his face. Because of his abilities, he gets involved in a power struggle between Prince Sooyang and Kim Jong-Seo.

Director: Jae-rim Han | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Jung-jae Lee, Yun-shik Baek, Jung-suk Jo

Votes: 1,746 | Gross: $0.52M

An awesome cast, lead by the legendary actor himself.

11. Secret Sunshine (2007)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama

84 Metascore

A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song, Yeong-jin Jo, Mi-kyung Kim

Votes: 5,487

Song Kang-ho usually stars in crime-filled dramas and thrillers. This heartfelt, tragic tale is a break from that genre.

12. The Age of Shadows (2016)

TV-MA | 140 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

Korean resistance fighters smuggle explosives to destroy facilities controlled by Japanese forces in this period action thriller.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Yoo Gong, Richard Epcar

Votes: 6,470 | Gross: $0.54M

Highly recommended. Awesome cinematography, music, writing, and especially acting. Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo make a great duo.

13. The Secret Reunion (2010)

Not Rated | 117 min | Action, Drama

A fired South Korean agent and a deserted North Korean spy meet by chance after six years and start a business partnership, each with the intention of stealing information from the other.

Director: Hun Jang | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Dong-won Gang, Yun-seo Choi, Kyeong-min Go

Votes: 3,205

Song plays a self-interested but determined South Korean agent. Want another reason to see this? Gang Dong-won!

14. The Foul King (2000)

112 min | Comedy, Sport

Dae-Ho is an unproductive bank clerk who is late to work every morning and the object of his manager's frustrations. He was a fan of TV wrestling as a child, but can't get out of a headlock... See full summary »

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Sang-Myeon Park, Kang-ho Song, Ho-kyung Go, Hang-Seon Jang

Votes: 1,557

A gangster, a detective, a father, a policeman, a general, an agent, a taxi driver, an attorney, a king, a priest, but a WRESTLER? Very early in Song's career, but a very new character.

15. The President's Barber (2004)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama

Follows a president's barber, his wife, and their only son through four decades of tumultuous Korean history.

Director: Chan-sang Lim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, So-Ri Moon, Jae-eung Lee, Yeong-jin Jo

Votes: 631

Quite an underrated performance. Song Kang-ho is like a Korean Forrest Gump, but he's a barber.

16. The Throne (2015)

125 min | Drama, History

Set in 18th century Korea, long-ruling King Yeongjo's struggle with his son, Sado, sees the king take extreme measures in order to deal with his heir.

Director: Joon-ik Lee | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ah-in Yoo, Geun-young Moon, Hae-sook Kim

Votes: 1,581

He plays a real-life king. He changed is diction and voice for the role.

17. Snowpiercer (2013)

R | 126 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In a future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system emerges.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris

Votes: 237,195 | Gross: $4.56M

Audiences didn't see him as Song Kang-ho. Audiences saw him as Namgoong Minsu. He disappeared into the role.

18. Antarctic Journal (2005)

Not Rated | 115 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Strange things begin happening to an expedition deep in the Antarctic.

Director: Pil-sung Yim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ji-tae Yu, Kyeong-ik Kim, Hee-soon Park

Votes: 1,633

Audiences will experience the psychological damage that Song's character endures.

19. No. 3 (1997)

108 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Tae Ju, number 3 man in his gangster organization, he wants to be the number one. Can he realize his ambition?

Director: Neung-han Song | Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Min-sik Choi, Suk-kyu Han, Mi-yeon Lee

Votes: 531

This movie isn't easy to find (partly because of the title). Many have to watch it in clips, and Song Kang-ho was hilarious from the scenes alone. This film rose him to fame as an actor.

20. YMCA Baseball Team (2002)

104 min | Drama

About the history of baseball in Korea in the age of japanese forced occupation.

Director: Hyun-seok Kim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hye-su Kim, Ju-hyuk Kim, Jung-min Hwang

Votes: 247

His character was pretty interesting, and the film is quite entertaining.

21. The Quiet Family (1998)

101 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A family opens a mountain inn where their first guest commits suicide. Suddenly all their guests befall horrible fates.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: In-hwan Park, Moon-hee Na, Kang-ho Song, Min-sik Choi

Votes: 3,651

That laughing scene alone is enough.

22. Hindsight (2011)

Not Rated | 122 min | Action, Drama

A young assassin is sent to kill and retired mob boss. But things get complicated when she begins to like him.

Director: Hyun-seung Lee | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Se-Kyung Shin, Jeong-myeong Cheon, Min-Joon Kim

Votes: 1,076

I felt he was being typecast into these kinds of funny/determined characters. The film was pretty average.

23. Howling (2012)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Thriller

Veteran detective Sang-gil and beat cop Eun-yeong are in charge of a case that seems to involve a simple act of self-immolation. Sang-gil initially thinks that it was an accident, but dog ... See full summary »

Director: Ha Yoo | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Nayoung Lee, Jang In-ho, In-gi Jeong

Votes: 1,604

Interesting story and concept. Song's character wasn't very interesting, but he still did a good job.

24. Shiri (1999)

R | 125 min | Action, Thriller

50 Metascore

South Korean agents Ryu and Lee are tracking a female assassin from North Korea who has mysteriously disappeared. With new killings and the theft of a deadly bomb, time is running out to catch her.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Min-sik Choi, Yunjin Kim, Kang-ho Song

Votes: 7,539 | Gross: $0.10M

This film is a tribute to the 80's/90's action films of the USA. The acting isn't very original. It's more "adapted" from the action movies. Song Kang-ho and Han Suk-kyu are like a James Bond duo. The film tried too hard to make the actors look cool when they didn't need to be.

25. Green Fish (1997)

111 min | Drama

Returning home and finding his town drastically changed, a former soldier falls in with gangsters.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Seong-kun Mun, Seong-kyu Han, Suk-kyu Han, Jae-yeong Jeong

Votes: 1,242

One of his earliest roles. He is supposed to be an unlikeable underling to the audience (and he executes this well), but there are some scenes where he rushes his lines.

26. The Fifth Column

Thriller | Announced

A cold war thriller about a secretive gov't experiment that uses LSD on unsuspecting citizens.

His character wasn't as interesting as in other films.

27. The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well (1996)

115 min | Drama

About desires and lives of four characters in diverse circumstances. A poor novelist, a cheating wife, a mysophobic husband and a ticket girl.

Director: Sang-soo Hong | Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Eun-sook Cho, Eui-sung Kim, Eung-Kyung Lee

Votes: 733

Minor Role.

28. Lady Vengeance (2005)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years and having her child taken away from her, a woman seeks revenge through increasingly brutal means.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon

Votes: 64,314 | Gross: $0.21M


29. A Little Pond (2009)

Not Rated | 86 min | War

During the Korean War, small mountain village is evacuated as retreating American GIs approach.

Director: Sang-woo Lee | Stars: Seong-kun Mun, Roe-ha Kim, Hye-jin Jeon, Myeong-cheol Shin

Votes: 179

Special Appearance.

30. Timeless Bottomless Bad Movie (1997)

144 min | Crime, Drama

A compilation of episodes from the lives of the 'bad teens' and the homeless of Seoul.

Director: Sun-Woo Jang | Stars: Seul-ki Hang, Kyeong-won Park, Jae-kyeong Lee, Nam-kyeong Jang

Votes: 176


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