Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Slow, enigmatic character study with nudity, violence.

Movie NR 2018 148 minutes
Burning Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 17+

Slow and steady

This film has guts. It swings for the fences in its subtlety, its cinematography and its insistence in layering in North Korean references. Yuen is excellent as the enigmatic friend and You-Ah-In is cast perfectly as the main protagonist dropped in the middle of circumstances and a class hierarchy that he is ill suited to navigate well. The relationships in the film have an underlying tension that is slow and awkward. Director Lee Chang-dong expertly vacillates between the countryside and the city, provincialism and sophistication, winners and losers. You can't be in a rush for this one, it will get you there on its own timetable.
age 18+


The movie is slow but keeps you going. You never know when it turns. Korean movies are now quite interesting. The actors are good.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

At right around two and a half hours, this quiet, slow-paced character study offers a lot of food for thought while keeping the audience at arm's length. The slow pace, isolated lives, and enigmatic characters make it hard to establish an emotional connection with Burning. It does provoke some thought about why we live the way we do, how that affects us, and what the consequences are of living cut off, if only emotionally, from other people.

The absorbing story, thoughtful direction, and talented acting manage to hold the viewer's interest; we're drawn in despite not being able to feel a real connection to the characters. The ending isn't really an ending, and contributes to a sense of unease, but also encourages thought about where the story might go from there. Strong sexual content, adult themes, and rare but strong violence make it best for oldest teens and up.

Movie Details

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