Netflix movie of the day: Oldboy is a masterpiece that will haunt you long after the final credits roll

A movie poster for Oldboy of Choi Min-sik's face
(Image credit: Netflix)
Movie of the day

Every day, we cut through the bottomless list of streaming options and recommend something to watch. See all our Netflix movie of the day picks, or our Prime Video movie of the day choices.

Oldboy might not be billed as a horror like some of my other Netflix movie of the day recommendations, but that doesn’t stop it from being a harrowing watch. This is one that’s best experienced knowing as little as possible, so I will do my best to be vague when summing it up.

The movie follows Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) after he is arrested for being drunk in public, which causes him to miss his daughter's fourth birthday. Following his arrest, Oh Dae-su is kidnapped and held captive in a hotel room, where he'll remain until finally being released 15-years later. It is now up to him – a newly freed from captivity, confused man – to find out why he was put there. That’s about all you need to know, because Oldboy takes you on a truly wild journey that will shock you throughout, making it the perfect choice if you’re wanting to check out a new Netflix movie that's dark and twisted. 

If you need convincing even further, Oldboy won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival in 2004, a prize which has also been awarded to movies like The Zone of Interest and Inside Llewyn Davis. 

OLDBOY - Official Trailer - YouTube OLDBOY - Official Trailer - YouTube
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The iconic Korean drama movie has an 85% Rotten Tomatoes rating, indicating mostly favourable reviews from critics – including from your very own TechRadar, which has previously recommended it as one of three skilful assassin movies

Described as a “strange, powerful tale of revenge” in the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes – that is certainly one way of putting it. Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian put it another way: “A dark and thrillingly horrible adventure into the realms of the unthinkable.”

Legendary critic Roger Ebert added in his perfect review: “Oldboy is a powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.”

Finally, the BBC summed it up best saying: “Full of insanely grand passions, bloodthirsty violence and jet black comedy, it's a sadistic masterpiece that confirms Korea's current status as producer of some of the world's most exciting cinema.”

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Lucy Buglass
Senior Entertainment Writer

Lucy is a long-time movie and television lover who is an approved critic on Rotten Tomatoes. She has written several reviews in her time, starting with a small self-ran blog called Lucy Goes to Hollywood before moving onto bigger websites such as What's on TV and What to Watch, with TechRadar being her most recent venture. Her interests primarily lie within horror and thriller, loving nothing more than a chilling story that keeps her thinking moments after the credits have rolled. Many of these creepy tales can be found on the streaming services she covers regularly.

When she’s not scaring herself half to death with the various shows and movies she watches, she likes to unwind by playing video games on Easy Mode and has no shame in admitting she’s terrible at them. She also quotes The Simpsons religiously and has a Blinky the Fish tattoo, solidifying her position as a complete nerd.