MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 139 this week

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
"Janghwa, Hongryeon" (original title)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 34,371 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 223 user | 293 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 29 Nov 2010
 
a list of 40 titles
created 07 Oct 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 12 Apr 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 01 Oct 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Tale of Two Sisters.

User Polls

15 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Audition (1999)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon, Dr. Génessier, helped by his assistant Louise, kidnaps nice young women. He removes their faces and tries to graft them onto the head on his beloved daughter Christiane... See full summary »

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
Dark Water (2002)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.

Director: Hideo Nakata
Stars: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi
May (2002)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Psychological horror about a lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood, and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her.

Director: Lucky McKee
Stars: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris
Psycho (1960)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Lost Highway (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius
The Hole (2001)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Four teenagers at a British private school secretly uncover and explore the depths of a sealed underground hole created decades ago as a possible bomb shelter.

Director: Nick Hamm
Stars: Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Daniel Brocklebank
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During a rural picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young FBI agent disappears while investigating a murder miles from Twin Peaks that may be related to the future murder of Laura Palmer; the last week of the life of Laura Palmer is chronicled.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family-values man named Jerry Blake marries widows and divorcées with children in search of the perfect family. As soon as his new family members show signs of being human and not robots ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reporter is drawn to a small West Virginia town to investigate a series of strange events, including psychic visions and the appearance of bizarre entities.

Director: Mark Pellington
Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, David Eigenberg
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple grieving the recent death of their little daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Kap-su Kim ...
...
Su-jeong Lim ...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seung-bi Lee ...
Park Mi-Hyun ...
Mrs, Bae (Su-mi's and Su-yeon's Mother)
Edit

Storyline

Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stepmother | death | ghost | tragedy | boy | See more »

Taglines:

Fairytales have never been this Grimm See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 June 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A Tale of Two Sisters  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$94,923 (Hong Kong) (22 August 2003)

Gross:

$95,697 (Hong Kong) (22 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On August 24, 10th anniversary of the movie was held at the cinematheque KOFA in South Korea. See more »

Goofs

In the hospital scenes, there is no scar on the back of Su-mi's hand. See more »

Quotes

Eun-ju: There's something strange in this house.
See more »

Connections

Version of Janghwa Hongryeonjeon (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece In A Sea of Faux "Masterpieces"
21 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This review is long overdue, since I consider A Tale of Two Sisters to be the single greatest film ever made. I'll put this gem up against any movie in terms of screenplay, cinematography, acting, post-production, editing, directing, or any other aspect of film-making. It's practically perfect in all of them – a true masterpiece in a sea of faux "masterpieces."

The structure of this film is easily the most tightly constructed in the history of cinema. I can think of no other film where something vitally important occurs every other minute. Quite literally, Ji-woon Kim seems to have made a movie that practically taunts the viewer to dissect it on the most detailed of levels. A seemingly insignificant object may be shown – a rack of dresses, two diaries, a drop of blood emanating from a floor crack, a bottle of pills, etc. – but upon meticulous inspection turns out to be so much more – a clue that helps to make sense of that particular scene (or perhaps the movie in total), which almost always contributes a stirring reflection upon the psychological concepts that lurk in the background until the viewer's intelligence prompts them to spring to the forefront. Such an event might occur a handful of times during any other movie, but in A Tale of Two Sisters such events occur in such a rapid-fire, relentless fashion that the viewer must watch the film in a perpetual state of alertness, lest they miss something important. In other words, the content level of this film is enough to easily fill a dozen other films. How can anyone in their right mind ask for anything more from a movie than this? It's quite simply the highest, most superlative form of cinema imaginable.

The most commonly cited criticism of A Tale of Two Sisters is nicely summarized by Zaphod B Goode, who falsely claims that the story is an incoherent, unresolved mess that uses confusion to instill a false sense of intelligence because it does not provide a final set of facts underlying the intriguing questions. He posits that Ji-woon Kim tossed up a dozen possible explanations and left it at that. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. A Tale of Two Sisters provides a series of unassailably objective facts that help the viewer to identify the EXACT occurrences of each and every scene of the film. If our good friend Zaphod had been paying attention, he would have noticed – for example – the series of obvious flashbacks which provide enough factual information to make sense of the film. These flashbacks convincingly contradict Zaphod's assertion of complete subjectivity. The objective elements of A Tale of Two Sisters are so obvious to anyone willing to see them that the mere assertion of a lack of objectivity can only call into question the patience of a viewer who apparently does not want to put forth even the slightest effort whatsoever to see them. Can Ji-woon Kim really be faulted for the impatience of viewers who lack the desire to understand his film? I think not.

Please note that I will not insult the intelligence of critics such as Zaphod that cannot "get" A Tale of Two Sisters, because it really has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence as much as a lack of persistence. The movie spells itself out so effectively that the only possible explanation for confusion is a lack of effort on the part of the viewer. Yes, this film does require a rather significant amount of puzzle-solving, but the pieces fit together to create a beautiful picture. You need only put them together. Remember, the screenplay was written by someone with the picture already in mind – he simply separated the pieces and placed them skillfully throughout for the purpose of providing a magnificent cerebral exercise that – when completed – bestows an ultimate form of satisfaction and state of awe.

Don't misunderstand me. There are films that seem to start with an incomplete picture and try to create a puzzle that is insoluble by design. Spider Forest (2004), Perfect Blue (1998) and Donnie Darko (2001) are perfect examples of this. A Tale of Two Sisters is not. It's ironic that Zaphod claims Darko to be more masterfully constructed than A Tale of Two Sisters, especially considering that Darko not only provides almost NO objective facts but also a twist ending that is the quintessential deus ex machina cliché that could be dropped at the end of any movie ever made in order to provide the ultimate in faux intelligence. I'm ashamed of myself for mentioning the two films in the same sentence, but the contrast is an important one. Although it does perplex me that Zaphod would cite a movie that crumbles when exposed to even the slightest intellectual effort as a way of criticizing a film that only becomes discernible thru a significant application of intellectual effort. He apparently likes his "intelligent" films in the most superficial form possible. This is evident when he makes 17 consecutive questions in his review that are answered quite convincingly by the film itself. Just read the threads by Opiemar within the IMDb A Tale of Two Sisters Discussion Forum. Anyone who carefully reads those threads and still asserts a lack of an objective solution to this film may as well stop watching intelligent films altogether because the answers are so damned OBVIOUS.

I'd like to say more, but I've come to my 1,000 word limit. All that has been said here needed to be said. So be it now said!


76 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Closet fell down with doors open oriental-sniper
Audition vs. A Tale of Two Sisters paperline
Discuss A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?