Korean suspense thrillers are a little like Korean soccer games: rough, provocative and erupting with violence. Ultimately though, the scenes — like the soccer plays — are rigorously disciplined and calculated down to the tiniest detail. It goes without saying that both are extremely watchable.

“Memories of Murder” (2003) and “Mother” (2009) — both directed by Bong Joon Ho — are among the genre’s masterpieces. With “Secret,” a husband and wife tale of murder and betrayal, first-time director Yoon Jae Gu doesn’t quite reach the bar set by those films: It feels a little short on surprises and also takes its sweet time in getting to the crux of the matter. Still, the compulsion to keep watching — and guessing — becomes addictive.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.