The Unjust

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The Unjust
The Unjust film poster.jpg
Revised Romanization Budang georae
McCune–Reischauer Pudang kŏrae
Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan
Produced by Koo Bon-han
Kim Yun-ho
Ryoo Seung-wan
Kang Hye-jung
Han Jae-duk
Written by Park Hoon-jung
Starring Hwang Jung-min
Ryoo Seung-bum
Yoo Hae-jin
Music by Jo Yeong-wook
Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
Distributed by CJ Entertainment
Release date
  • October 28, 2010 (2010-10-28)
Running time
119 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office US$18,223,928[1]

The Unjust (Hangul부당거래; RRBudanggeorae; lit. "Bad deal" or "Unfair trade") is a 2010 South Korean crime film by Ryoo Seung-wan.[2][3][4] It is a dark and bitter denunciation of corruption in the South Korean justice system.[5][6]

It was a critical and commercial success, with 2.7 million admissions at the box office and winning several awards, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2011 Blue Dragon Film Awards.[7][8][9][10]

This is director Ryoo Seung-wan's fifth collaboration with his younger brother, actor Ryoo Seung-bum.[11] Lead actors Hwang Jung-min and Ryoo Seung-bum previously worked together in Bloody Tie (2006).[12]


After the rape and murder of 5 elementary schoolgirls, a crime which deeply upsets the entire country, a fleeing suspect is shot and killed by the police. This leads to bad publicity because the guilt of the suspect cannot be proved, and the real attacker may still be at large. Under pressure from the Blue House, a senior police official assigns Choi, a corrupt captain, on a highly sensitive mission, namely to find a former child rapist who can take the blame in exchange for money for his family. Choi, in return, is promised a promotion and the dismissal of an internal investigation against him, which was caused by his illicit collaboration with Jang, a corrupt businessman. Meanwhile, a corrupt prosecutor named Joo cancels the criminal charges against a corrupt businessman named Kim.

Choi searches through several profiles of rapists, and having settled upon Lee, a border-line retarded school-bus driver, he enlists Jang and his henchmen to kid-nap Lee and coach him in how the confession should be delivered. Jang, however, who is rivals with Kim, takes photographs of Kim and Joo playing golf, and has a henchman approach Kim and murder him. The photographs are mailed to Joo to ensure that Jang will never be prosecuted. At the police station, Lee is denied immunity to the death penalty, and as such, reneges on the deal and tells Joo the truth. In response, Jang sends the earlier henchman to suffer arrest and murder Lee from within the jail. This makes Joo furious and he investigates Choi, finding evidence of his and Jang's partnership. Choi, in response, pleads with Joo not to dismantle his career, and the two agree on a truce.

Meanwhile, Jang, who is tired of being black-mailed by Choi, has saved recordings of Lee's coaching session, and black-mails Choi in return. Choi reacts by murdering Jang using a rigged elevator, and pretends to make peace with Jang's assistant before murdering him as well. However, this incident is seen by Choi's lieutenant, who wrestles with Choi and tries to stop him. During the struggle, Choi accidentally kills his lieutenant, and afterward stabs the dead body with a knife, so that the police will assume that Jang's assistant and the lieutenant killed each other. As Choi receives his promotion and the lieutenant's family mourns, Choi's subordinates become suspicious and privately capture another one of Jang's henchmen, who served as Jang's videographer and who recorded Jang's death and the ensuing fight. To Choi's immense fortune, DNA testing finally succeeds on the body of one of the girls mentioned earlier, and Lee is proved as the real attacker all along, finally satisfying the public. Nonetheless, the subordinates release the video of the coaching to prove Choi's connection with Jang, and what is more, they ambush Choi at a charnel house and murder him in revenge. The final segment shows Joo's subordinate blowing the whistle by releasing the golf photographs, but in spite of the media reporting that charges will be filed, Joo meets with a senior official who calmly assures him that everything will be alright.


  • Hwang Jung-min ... Police captain Choi Cheol-gi
  • Ryoo Seung-bum ... Public prosecutor (D.A.) Joo Yang
  • Yoo Hae-jin ... Gangster/businessman Jang Seok-gu
  • Chun Ho-jin ... Police bureau chief Kang
  • Ma Dong-seok ... Police lieutenant Ma Dae-ho
  • Woo Don-gi ... Lee Dong-seok, the scapegoat
  • Jo Yeong-jin ... TK chairman Kim Yang-su
  • Jung Man-sik ... Assistant D.A. Gong
  • Lee Sung-min ... Chief prosecutor/D.A.
  • Kim Su-hyeon ... Soo-il
  • Gu Bon-woong ... Yoon-jjang
  • Kim-jae ... Detective Lee
  • Lee Hee-joon ... Detective Nam
  • Oh Jung-se ... Reporter Kim
  • Lee Jong-ju ... Representative Goh
  • Baek Seung-ik ... killer
  • Song Sae-byeok ... Cheol-gi's brother-in-law
  • Go Seo-hee ... Cheol-gi's younger sister
  • Kwak Ja-hyeong ... Detective Kwak
  • Jo Jong-geun ... Detective Jo
  • Kim Gi-cheon ... old inspector
  • Lee Do-hyeon ... young inspector
  • Hwang Byeong-guk ... defense counsel
  • Lee Kyoung-mi ... forensic examiner
  • Kim Weon-beom ... squad leader Park
  • Kang Hyeon-joong ... squad member
  • Jo Ha-seok ... squad members
  • Lee Mi-do ... Dong-seok's wife
  • Park Ha-yeong ... Dong-seok's daughter
  • Kim Seung-hun ... Yu Min-cheol
  • Jung Jin-gak ... President of South Korea
  • Kim Hye-ji ... Joo Yang's wife
  • Park Seo-yeon ... Joo Yang's hostess
  • Kang Hae-in ... Reporter Kim's hostess
  • Ahn Gil-kang ... team leader
  • Lee Chun-yeon ... National Police Agency head
  • Lee Joon-ik ... President Jeong
  • Jo Cheol-hyeon ... Haedong investor
  • Oh Seung-hyeon ... Haedong investor

Film festivals[edit]

The Unjust has screened at numerous film festivals around the world, including the Panorama section of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival,[13] the Hong Kong International Film Festival,[14] the Shanghai International Film Festival,[15] the New York Asian Film Festival,[16] the Fantasia Festival,[17] the Hawaii International Film Festival,[18] the Vladivostok International Film Festival - Pacific Meridian,[19] the Sitges Film Festival,[20] the London Korean Film Festival,[21] and the Udine Far East Film Festival.[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
13th Director's Cut Awards[23][24]
Best Director Ryoo Seung-wan Won
5th Asian Film Awards[25][26]
Best Supporting Actor Ryoo Seung-bum Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Nominated
2nd Seoul Art and Culture Awards[27][28][29]
Best Film Director Ryoo Seung-wan Won
47th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Film The Unjust Nominated
Best Director Ryoo Seung-wan Nominated
Best Actor Ryoo Seung-bum Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Nominated
15th Fantasia International Film Festival[30][31][32]
Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Won
Ryoo Seung-bum Won
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Won
20th Buil Film Awards[33][34]
Best Film The Unjust Nominated
Best Director Ryoo Seung-wan Nominated
Best Actor Ryoo Seung-bum Won
44th Sitges Film Festival[20][35]
Best Film (Casa Asia section) The Unjust Won
48th Grand Bell Awards
Best Film The Unjust Nominated
Best Director Ryoo Seung-wan Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Yoo Hae-jin Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Nominated
Best Editing Kim Sang-bum, Kim Jae-bum Nominated
Best Planning Koo Bon-han Nominated
32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards[7][8][9][10]
Best Film The Unjust Won
Best Director Ryoo Seung-wan Won
Best Supporting Actor Yoo Hae-jin Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Won
Best Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon Nominated
Best Lighting Bae Il-hyeok Nominated


  1. ^ "Boodang Guhrae (aka The Unjust / Conflict of Interest / Unfair Trade)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  2. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (18 November 2010). "INTERVIEW: Director Ryoo Seung-wan - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (18 November 2010). "INTERVIEW: Director Ryoo Seung-wan - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ Gottlieb, Zak (8 March 2010). "KOFFLA 2010: Interview with Ryoo Seung-Wan". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  5. ^ Han, Sun-hee (10 August 2010). "THE UNJUST, Food chains of beasts with clashes of desire". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ Song, Woong-ki (5 October 2010). "Ryoo's new film tells tale of corruption". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ a b Lee, Claire (27 November 2011). "The Unjust Best picture at Blue Dragon Awards". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ a b Lee, In-kyung (26 November 2011). "The Unjust Wins Top Honors at Blue Dragon Film Awards". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ a b Hong, Lucia (28 November 2011). "Korean pic The Unjust wins big at the 32nd Blue Dragon Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ a b "The Unjust takes top prize at Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ D'Sa, Nigel (12 November 2010). "The Unjust has strong domestic opening". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ Nam, Timothy (15 November 2010). "Hwang Jeong Min: "Ryu Seung Bom is talented, and Yoo Hae Jin is in my league"". JTN via Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ Hong, Lucia (19 January 2011). "Nine Korean films invited to the Berlin International Film Festival". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ Hong, Lucia (21 March 2011). "10 Korean films invited to Hong Kong film fest". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  15. ^ Hong, Lucia (7 June 2011). "4 Korean movies invited to international film fest in Shanghai". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  16. ^ Hong, Lucia (3 June 2011). "11 Korean films invited to New York Asian Film Festival". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ Hong, Lucia (8 July 2011). "10 Korean films invited to the Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ Hong, Lucia (2 September 2011). "8 Korean pictures invited to int'l film fest in Hawaii so far". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  19. ^ Hong, Lucia (1 September 2011). "Several Korean movies invited to int'l film fest in Russia". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ a b Hong, Lucia (17 October 2011). "Several Korean movies score wins at Spain film festival". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  21. ^ Hong, Lucia (26 October 2011). "SHINee to perform at the London Korean Film Festival next month". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  22. ^ Hong, Lucia (9 April 2012). "8 Korean pics invited to 14th Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  23. ^ 류승완, 감독들이 주는 감독상 수상 "날 뽑고 싶었다" 소감. Newsen (in Korean). 22 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  24. ^ 감독의, 감독에 의한, 감독을 위한 영화 시상식! 제13회 디렉터스 컷 어워즈. Movist (in Korean). 23 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  25. ^ "The 5th Asian Film Awards Nomination List Announcement". Asian Film Awards. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  26. ^ Hong, Lucia (16 February 2011). "Nominations for 5th annual Asian Film Awards announced today". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  27. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (15 February 2011). "Rain, Girls Generation win Seoul Art Awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  28. ^ Kim, Heidi (15 February 2011). "Rain, Girls' Generation, Lee Beom-soo to receive arts & culture award". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  29. ^ "Rain, Jeon Do Yeon, and Lee Bum Soo to Win at Seoul 2011 Art Awards". KBS Global. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  30. ^ "A Thundering Success with an International Reach for Fantasia's 15th Edition". Fantasia Festival Blog. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  31. ^ Frater, Patrick (9 August 2011). "Asia dominates Fantasia prize list". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  32. ^ Hong, Lucia (10 August 2011). "The Unjust and Night Fishing score wins at int'l film fest in Canada". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Ryu Seung Bum and Jung Yoo Mi Win Best Actor and Actress at 20th Buil Film Awards". Soompi. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  35. ^ "2011 Awards: Red State, Best motion picture". Sitges News. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

External links[edit]