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Parents' Guide to

The Drug King

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Ultra-violent Korean crime movie has cursing, drug use.

Movie NR 2019 139 minutes
The Drug King Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This movie is incredibly derivative. The slow descent into the drug-crazed madness of the lead character (among other moments) mirrors Scarface. The "follow the money" montages mirror Casino. And the ironic use of '70s bubble-gum pop, classic rock, and opera is by now as much of a cliché as any other cliché in the "rise and fall of a player in the drug-smuggling underworld" genre. The attempts at humor often fall flat, and end up muddying the waters as to the type of person the lead character is supposed to be. Is he a bumbling fool? A criminal mastermind? Both? Neither? With the movie running for two hours and 20 minutes, there comes a point when the triteness and the confusion become wearing.

The acting is universally solid, and there's a compelling story in all of this. But it's so often lost in hitting all the overdone tropes, exhausted character types, and missed plot points that The Drug King lacks any potential originality it could have had. The result is the constant feeling that you have seen this all before in so many other (better) movies.

Movie Details

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