The Age of Shadows

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Age of Shadows
The Age of Shadows (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Revised RomanizationMiljeong
Directed byKim Jee-woon
Written byKim Jee-woon
Produced byChoi Jeong-hwa
CinematographyKim Ji-yong
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Music byMowg
  • Grimm Pictures
  • Warner Bros. Korea
  • Harbin Films
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • 3 September 2016 (2016-09-03) (Venice)
  • 7 September 2016 (2016-09-07) (South Korea)
Running time
140 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Budget$8.62 million
Box office$55.3 million[1][2]

The Age of Shadows (Korean밀정; Hanja密偵; RRMiljeong; lit. "Emissary") is a 2016 South Korean period action thriller film directed by Kim Jee-woon and written by Lee Ji-min and Park Jong-dae. The film is set in Shanghai and Seoul in the 1920s and stars Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo.[3][4] It was selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[5][6]

The film won the Best Picture award in the Action Features category at the 2016 Fantastic Fest held in Austin, Texas.[7][8]


Korean police captain Lee Jung-chool (Song Kang-ho) has been charged by the Japanese colonial government with rooting out members of the country's resistance movement. But while Lee has a history of selling out his own people to secure a favorable position with the Japanese, he’s been hit harder than usual by the death of Kim Jang-ok (Park Hee-soon), a resistance fighter who used to be his classmate. The leader of the resistance, Che-san (Lee Byung-hun), senses that this turncoat, if approached and handled properly, might be turned once more — this time in their favor. And so begins an incremental, coded psychological dance between Lee and a key resistance figure named Kim Woo-jin (Gong Yoo), whose antique shop is a front for a scheme to smuggle explosives from Shanghai into Seoul.


  • Song Kang-ho as Lee Jung-chool
  • Gong Yoo as Kim Woo-jin
  • Han Ji-min as Yeon Gye-soon
  • Uhm Tae-goo as Hashimoto
  • Shin Sung-rok as Jo Hwe-ryung
  • Heo Sung-tae as Ha Il-soo
  • Lee Seol-goo as Oh Nam-won
  • Shingo Tsurumi as Higashi
  • Kim Dong-young as Ha Chul-joo
  • Jung Yoo-ahn as Hwang Ui-seo
  • Go Jun as Shim Sang-do
  • Seo Young-joo as Joo Dong-sung
  • Kwon Soo-hyun as Sun-gil
  • Lee Hwan as Park Dae-yi
  • Kwak Ja-hyung as Seo Jin-dol
  • Yoo Sang-jae as Hunter Park
  • Jo Young-gyu as Kim Hak-jin
  • Choi Yu-hwa as Kim Sa-hee
  • Han Soo-yeon as Mae-hyang
  • Nam Moon-chul as Kim Hwang-sub
  • Kim Soo-woong as Saito
  • Choi Jang-won as Noh Duk-soo
  • Heo Hyung-gyu as Jung Woo-sik
  • Baek In-kwon as Park Woong
  • Jung Do-won as Woo Ma-e
  • Lee Soo-kwang as Hideo
  • Hiromitsu Takeda as Takeda
  • Shin Sung-il as Park Ga
  • Kim Ui-gun as Heo Jung-goo
  • Foster Burden as Ludvik
  • Izo Oikawa as Umano
  • Kazuhiko Ikebe as Nakada
  • Lee Byung-hun as Jung Chae-san (cameo) [9][10]
  • Park Hee-soon as Kim Jang-ok (special appearance)


On August 3, 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. would finance and distribute its first ever Korean-language 1930s set drama Secret Agent, and the $8.62 million budgeted film would also be produced by Grimm Pictures.[11] The project and script was developed by Lee Ji-min and Park Jong-dae, which Kim Jee-woon would direct and the cast would be Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo.[11] A trailer was released on July 14, 2016, revealing the new title as The Age of Shadows.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an approval rating of 100%, based on 41 reviews with an average rating of 7.3/10.[13] On Metacritic, it holds a weighted average score of 78/100, based on 14 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

The Film Stage gave the film a positive review, writes "In short, mainstream audiences should get a kick out of this polished, often exciting patriotist drama. But those looking for a deeper, mightier resonance would be well advised to keep their expectations in check."[15]

The Hollywood Reporter describes the film as "a patriotic costumer" and says, "Several impressive action scenes sustain the tension and electrify this overlong, often hard-to-follow story".[16]

Variety wrote, "Cult director Kim Jee-woon delivers the goods with an ultra-stylish cloak-and-dagger actioner".[17]

Screendaily noted that, "Local audiences should respond well to the stirring patriotic sentiment on display here".[18]

Box office[edit]

The film topped the South Korean box office for three consecutive weeks.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Citation(s)
2016 36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Film The Age of Shadows Won
Best Music Mowg Won
37th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Film The Age of Shadows Nominated
Best Director Kim Jee-woon Nominated
Best Actor Song Kang-ho Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Uhm Tae-goo Nominated
Best Art Direction Jo Hwa-seong Nominated
Best Music Mowg Nominated
53rd Grand Bell Awards Best Film The Age of Shadows Nominated
Best Director Kim Jee-woon Nominated
Best Actor Song Kang-ho Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Han Ji-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Uhm Tae-goo Won [20]
Best Art Design Jo Hwa-sung Won
2017 11th Asian Film Awards Best Film The Age of Shadows Nominated [21]
Best Composer Mowg Won
Best Cinematographer Kim Ji-yong Nominated
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Film The Age of Shadows Nominated
Best Director Kim Ji-woon Won
Best Actor Song Kang-ho Won
Best Supporting Actor Uhm Tae-goo Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Han Ji-min Nominated
Best Screenplay Lee Ji-min, Park Jong-dae Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Age of Shadows". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ "The Age of Shadows". The Numbers. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  3. ^ Park Jin-hai (8 August 2016). "Movie sheds light on Japanese occupation". The Korea Times. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ "AGE OF SHADOWS, CITY OF MADNESS, HANDMAIDEN Selected for Toronto"'
  5. ^ "S. Korean film "The Age of Shadows" submitted to Oscars". Yonhap News. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  6. ^ Kil, Sonia (30 August 2016). "Warner Bros.' 'Age of Shadows' Picked as Korea's Oscar Contender". Variety. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Report From Fantastic Fest Day Eight - And The 2016 Fantastic Fest Awards!".
  8. ^ "The Age of Shadows’ selected as 2017 Oscars contender".
  9. ^ "'밀정' 이병헌, 의열단장 정채산으로 특별출연".
  10. ^ "Song Kang-ho and Lee Byung-hun reunite in 'Age of Shadows' ".
  11. ^ a b Kil, Sonia (3 August 2015). "Warner Bros. Sets Kim Jee-woon's 'Secret Agent' as Debut Korean Production (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ "[밀정] 1차 예고편 공개 The Age of Shadows (2016) teaser trailer (ENG SUB)".
  13. ^ "The Age of Shadows (Mil-jeong) (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  14. ^ "The Age of Shadows Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  15. ^ Su, Zhuo-Ning (9 September 2016). "The Age of Shadows Venice 2016 Review". The Film Stage. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ Young, Deborah. "'The Age of Shadows' ('Miljeong'): Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  17. ^ Weissberg, Jay (2 September 2016). "Film Review: 'The Age of Shadows'". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  18. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala. "'Age of Shadows': Venice Review". Screendaily. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Gong Yoo And Song Kang Ho’s “Age Of Shadows” Defends No. 1 At Box Office".
  20. ^ "Winners Of The 53rd Grand Bell Awards Revealed".
  21. ^ "11th Asian Film Awards – Nominees 2017". Retrieved 2 March 2017
  22. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규…백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". 7 April 2017.
  23. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017.

External links[edit]