Review: Broker

Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Dong-won Gang) run an illegal adoption business where they fast track adoptions to rich couples who don't wait to wait for the system. So-young (Ji-eun Lee) drops her daughter off at the orphanage to have a better life, but returns and quickly realizes what Sang-Heyon and Dong-soo are up to. She joins them on a search to find the perfect family for her baby.

Director Hirokazu Koreeda follows up his succession Shoplifters with another film about found family and I continue to be here for it. I'm not well versed on his work, but I plan on catching some of his earlier films. Here he is making me root for human-traffickers. It takes a masterful filmmaker to do that.

It's funny that even though Sang-Heyon and Dong-soo are committing crimes, you can't help but root for them. Especially Dong-soo. He's the emotional core of the film. It might sound strange not giving that title to So-young, the mother forced to make a difficult decision, but Dong-soo's backstory and reasoning for doing what he's doing was very compelling. I liked this little family they all put together. I didn't want it to end, but of course it has to.

I don't think the script is the tightest. There's a side story of two police officers trying to catch these men in the act that doesn't always work, but it is a necessary part of the story and there's one particular part of the film that I found completely unsatisfying personally, but for others it may not be as big of a deal breaker. No spoilers, of course.

I feel pretty lucky to get to view these foreign films ahead of the Oscars because I feel like I never do. Broker wasn't submitted for Best International Film, but I hope it still gets some loved elsewhere.

Grade: B+


  1. I haven't had the chance to catch up to Koreeda's recent films but I do love what I've seen from him as I hope to catch up on all of those films including this one as I just love what he does.

    1. Same, I've only seen his last two, so I need to go back a bit more.

  2. yeah, it's not tight, though, as you say here, the performances are good. i think it should have been better edited and shorter

    1. A bit more editing would've made this an easy A. I agree.


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