"Oldboy has touches of Kafka, and echoes of British paranoia thrillers like The Ipcress File and The Prisoner. But it opens up a whole new sicko frontier of exotic horror, and more or less reduced my intestines to guacamole both times I watched it, not so much with its violence - although heaven knows there's a super-sized helping of that - but with a queasily ingenious imprisonment-torture impossible to contemplate without a prickling of cold sweat."
"It's a movie that you feel you're not so much watching on screen as having beamed directly into your skull from some malign, alien planet of horror. I've seen thrillers where I identified with the bad guys, with the victims or with the cops. This is the first time I've fervently identified with a small, live octopus - of which, more in a moment."
"Oldboy certainly shows that it's Asia where the farthest reaches of extreme cinema are to be found, and the worst nightmare is that 15 years in prison, which leaves the numbed viewer wondering if that is an unspeakably long time - or perhaps an unspeakably short time in the nihilist wasteland Park conjures up. "What happens after you've revenged yourself?" wonders Dae-su. "I bet the hidden pain will come back." This is cinema that holds an edge of cold steel against your throat."