Like the rest of the world, I have been watching Squid Game on Netflix. With Squid Game likely to become the most watched Netflix show ever, many are joining the hallyu wave and are ready for more!

The popularity of South Korean movies and TV is growing in the USA. Two years ago the Korean film Parasite (FL KOR 1067) won multiple Oscars including Best Picture. Last year the American Korean language film Minari (FL KOR 1072) won the first Oscar for a Korean actor and was nominated in numerous categories. Now, Squid Game is taking the whole world by storm.

Although not as well known to Americans, Squid Game actually has some of South Korea’s most prominent and popular actors. Here at the Orem Public Library we have many movies and TV series starring actors from Squid Game.

Kim Young-ok

Kim Young-ok is a prolific South Korean actor. In Squid Game she plays Seong Gi-hun’s mother. She is fondly referred to as Korea’s “National Grandmother” because of her many roles playing a strong, wise grandmother. Her international fame came when she starred as the grandmother of Goo Joon Pyo (played by Lee Min Ho) in the enormously popular k-drama Boys over Flowers. (Boys Over Flowers, FL KOR 1068)

Gong Yoo

Gong Yoo makes a small cameo in Squid Game but sets the show in motion and hints at a possible second season. He is the recruiter/salesman for the game. Gong Yoo’s first big hit was the popular k-drama Coffee Prince which also stars Kim Young-ok. He has gone on to star in some of the biggest k-dramas and films in Korea. He is known internationally for Train to Busan which was a world-wide hit. (Train to Busan, FL KOR 1042)

Lee Byung-hun

Undoubtedly the most well-known actor in Squid Game, Lee Byung-hun plays the Front Man/In-ho. Lee Byung-hun is an international star and happens to be the lead in one of my favorite Korean movies The Good, the Bad, the Weird, which is a great Korean follow up to watch after Squid Game along with Parasite and Train to Busan. He also stars in the acclaimed Korean films I Saw the Devil, Old Boy and Masquerade. Americans probably know him best for the G.I. Joe series and The Magnificent Seven.

The Good, The Bad, and the Weird

Produced By Chae-un Ch’oe
Foreign Language Film – Korean

Three men in pursuit of a treasure map fight off gangsters and entire armies in order to get to the treasure first.


Directed By Ch’angpmin Ch’u
Foreign Language Film – Korean

Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae orders his trusted counselor to find a royal body double. He recruits a crude, working-class peasant, Ha-seon, a village performer who bears a startling resemblance to the ruler. When the king falls into a coma from poisoning, he is secreted away to recover and Ha-seon reluctantly assumes the throne, forced to pull off history’s biggest masquerade.

I Saw the Devil

Directed By Jee-Woon Kim
Foreign Language Film – Korean

On a freezing, snowy night, a dangerous psychopath’s latest victim is the beautiful Ju-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief and pregnant fiancée of elite special agent Soo-hyun (The Good, The Bad, The Weird‘s LEE Byung-hyun). Obsessed with revenge, Soo-hyun decides to track down the murderer, even if doing so means becoming a monster himself. And when he finds Kyung-chul, turning him in to the authorities is the last thing on his mind. 

Old Boy

Directed By Ch’an-uk Pak
Foreign Language Film – Korean

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Daesu is released and sets out to find his abductors.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

By Stephen Sommers
Adventure Film

The elite special missions force called G.I. Joe tries to stop the terrorist organization known as Cobra from launching missiles that could destroy large parts of the world.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

By Stephen Sommers
Adventure Film

The greatest American heroes are back, and they’ve been set up to take the fall for a terrible crime they didn’t commit. Now, Roadblock, Duke, and the other G.I. Joes must once again face their mortal enemy, COBRA, as well as dangerous new threats operating within the government. When all else fails, one option remains: retaliation.

Terminator Genisys

By Alan Taylor
Science Fiction Film

When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline.

The Magnificent Seven

By Alan Taylor
Western Film

The town of Rose Creek is under the deadly control of Bartholomew Bogue, the townspeople are desperate for protection. They find protection in seven outlaws. These seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

By Melissa P, Assistant Librarian