International Spotlight: TOP 7 Korean Movies in 2023 Based on the 2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey

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The Korean Wave, known as Hallyu, is spreading Korean culture worldwide. In November 2023, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism conducted the 2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey, with 25,000 people from 26 countries sharing their opinions on Korean entertainment. Let’s take a closer look at the survey results and discover the top seven popular Korean movies that gained global attention in 2023.

2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey Highlights the 7 Best Korean Movies Loved Internationally in 2023

TOP 7 Korean Movies in 2023
7 best Korean movies that are popular globally in 2023. | MDL

The 2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey involved 25,000 people from 26 countries who enjoy Korean culture. The countries involved were China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Australia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and South Africa.

The survey focused on 11 areas related to the Korean Wave, covering drama, entertainment shows, movies, music, animation, publishing, webtoons, games, fashion, beauty, and food. It was conducted online from November 10 to November 30, 2023.

The 2024 Overseas Korean Wave Survey results, announced by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism alongside the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange, reveal how positively South Korean cultural content is received globally. Significantly, 70% of people view South Korean content positively. Particularly, countries such as Indonesia (86.3%), India (84.5%), Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (83.0%), and Vietnam (82.9%) show high appreciation for K-content.

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism shared survey findings on April 2, 2024, highlighting the most beloved Korean movies internationally in 2024. 

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7 Most Popular Korean Movies in 2023


Topping the list is the Korean movie by Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite” (2019), which is famous worldwide for its excellence. Featuring a cast including Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Jang Hye Jin, Park Myung Hoon, and Lee Jung Eun, the movie also clinched an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Train to Busan

Coming close to the second position is “Train to Busan.” The famous zombie-themed movie from Korea featured renowned South Korean actors and actresses, including Gong Yoo, Jung Yu Mi, Ma Dong Seok, Sang Hwa, Kim Soo An, Seo Soo Ahn, Kim Eui Sung, Choi Woo Shik, and Ahn So Hee. The movie achieved great success, winning 10 awards across multiple categories at various award events.

“Parasite” and “Train to Busan” have maintained top positions on the list for five consecutive years. This achievement solidifies their enduring popularity in the Korean entertainment industry globally.


In third place is the Korean movie “Unlocked,” starring Chun Woo Hee, Im Si Wan, and Kim Hee Won. Just two days after its release on Netflix on February 17, this thriller mystery movie topped the top 10 list in five countries. The countries include South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Also Read: 5 Best Thriller K-dramas to Stream on Netflix.


The 2023 Netflix original Korean film, “Ballerina,” in fourth place, has taken the entertainment world by storm. It features standout performances from Jeon Jong Seo, Kim Ji Hoon, and Park Yoo Rim. This captivating revenge-themed movie intertwines thrilling action sequences, heartfelt emotions, and artistic flair. It promises to make a lasting impression.


In fifth place is “Phantom,” a pulse-pounding action-espionage film. It showcases an ensemble cast of top-tier South Korean talent. The cast includes Sol Kyung Gu, Lee Ha Nee, Park So Dam, Park Hae Soo, and Seo Hyun Woo. This epic combines elements of film noir, heart-pounding action, and fierce heroines. It delivers a thrilling and patriotic story of Korea’s liberation movement in the 1930s.

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In sixth place, director Yeon Sang Ho, renowned for works like “Train to Busan,” helmed the Netflix original Korean film “Jung_E.” The movie immerses viewers in the futuristic world of 2194 and combines thrilling science fiction elements with a touching and heartfelt story, making it truly unique. Starring Kang Soo Yeon, Kim Hyun Joo, and Ryu Kyung Soo, “Jung_E” is a significant tribute to Kang Soo Yeon’s illustrious career in cinema.

Kill Boksoon

“Kill Boksoon” concludes the seven best Korean movies that are popular globally. This Netflix original Korean movie is an action-packed masterpiece directed by Byung Sung Hyun. The film delves into the intriguing tale of Gill Bok Soon, a single mom who doubles as a top assassin. The talented Jeon Do Yeon brings depth and allure to this multifaceted character, making the movie compelling.

Have you seen any of these most popular Korean films in 2023? Which one caught your eye?

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Source: mcst.go.kr

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