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Billed as Full Metal Jacket meets Heat meets Nikita, Kang Je Gyu directs this wildly popular action-thriller about tensions between North and South Korea. The film opens with agents in North Korean spy school T19 engaged in an unbelievably difficult rigorous training regime. The school's fanatically committed leader, Park Mu Young (Choi Min Sik) singles out the beautiful and sinewy Lee Bang Hee (Kim Yun Jin), an ace student and a deadeye shot, for a top-secret mission. A couple of years later, South Korean intelligence agents are baffled by a spate of murders of scientists working on a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Features explosive effects and flashy action best viewed on a large screen."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"Suffers from all the excesses of the genre."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Starts as an intense political and psychological thriller but is sabotaged by ticking time bombs and other Hollywood-action cliches."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"Nothing more than a run-of-the-mill action flick."
‑ Jamie Gillies, Apollo Guide
"An action film that delivers on the promise of excitement, but it also has a strong dramatic and emotional pull that gradually sneaks up on the audience."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Compelling, kinetic, fast and furious."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"There's a neat twist, subtly rendered, that could have wrapped things up at 80 minutes, but Kang tacks on three or four more endings."
‑ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"Thoroughly awful."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Little more than an assemblage of cliches drawn from Hollywood and Hong Kong that, in the end, is almost risible."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Ends up offering nothing more than the latest Schwarzenegger or Stallone flick would."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It's a post-Cold War action yarn with a nose for Hong Kong-style melodrama, and a loopy cop drama with undeniable entertainment value."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"A huge box-office hit in Korea, Shiri is a must for genre fans."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Polished Korean political-action film is just as good -- and bad -- as Hollywood action epics. Is this progress?"
‑ James Rocchi, Netflix
"Proves mainly that South Korean filmmakers can make undemanding action movies with all the alacrity of their Hollywood counterparts."
‑ Bryant Frazer, Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
"An action/thriller of the finest kind, evoking memories of Day of the Jackal, The French Connection, and Heat."
‑ Tor Thorsen,
More reviews for Shiri on Rotten Tomatoes