Actress Kim Go Eun is one of the most popular leading ladies of the Korean entertainment industry who has delivered some of the best movies and TV series over the years. After making her debut with the 2012 movie, ‘A Muse,’ Kim Go Eun never looked back. Not only is she loved for her incredible acting and singing skills but also her adorable and goofy nature. We have already lost count of how many times she has played the character of a high-schooler. And it seems like she can pull this off for the next decade as well, judging from how young and adorable she looks on-screen as a high school girl.
Her recent K-drama, ‘Yumi’s Cells’ went on to become a super hit as well as one of the best shows of her career. However, her success is not just limited to a few K-dramas and Korean movies. Here is a list of the top ten best movies and dramas starring the talented Kim Go Eun. Let’s get started.
10. A Muse (2012 Movie)
Screenwriter & Director: Jung Ji Woo
Park Hae Il
Starring: Kim Mu Yeol, Kim Go Eun, Kang Deok Joong, Jung Man Shik, Park Chul Hyun
Where to Watch: Line TV
This movie is strictly not for everyone. While someone fell in love with the movie’s concept, others criticized it for the bold storyline. Nevertheless, the movie earned actress Kim Go Eun an award for being the Best New Actress. The story follows a 70-year-old man, Lee Jeok, who is a renowned national poet and a young high school girl named Eun Gyo, who is found asleep on a chair on Lee Jeok’s porch. However, rather than accusing her of breaking into his property, he hires her as a part-timer to clean his home.
As Jeok Yo spends time with Eun Gyo, observing her most of the time, his long-lost feelings of lust, sense of fun, enthusiasm and genuine warmth becomes dominant. On the other hand, Lee Jeok’s assistant Seo Ji Woo has gained immense popularity with his first book which is of the psychological genre, reaching the top of the bestseller lists. However, his success has a lot to do with the poet laureate.
9. Sunset in My Hometown (2018 Movie)
Director: Lee Joon Ik
Screenwriter: Kim Se Gyum
Starring: Park Jung Min, Kim Go Eun, Jang Hang Sun, Jung Gyoo Soo, Shin Hyun Bin, Go Jun
Where to Watch: Rakuten Viki
The story revolves around an underground rapper named Hak Soo, who has been making continuous attempts to clear the audition program of a TV show, but has never achieved success. The very day he fails his seventh audition, he gets a call from his hometown, Byun San, stating that his father, who has been admitted to a hospital, needs him. Hak Soo rushes to his hometown only to find out that it was his father’s plan for bringing him back.
Although he tries to return to Seoul, he is suspected to be a scam criminal there and isn’t left with any option other than living in Byun San for the time being. He meets his high school friend, Sun Mi who has been liking him for a long time. While he spends his time in his hometown, he gradually begins to realise the true reason for not being able to achieve his dreams.
8. Memories of the Sword (2015 Movie)
Director: Park Heung Shik
Screenwriter: Choi Ah Reum, Park Heung Shik
Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Jeon Do Yeon, Sul Hee, Bae Soo Bin, Lee Kyung Young, Kim Tae Woo
Where to Watch: Viki, Prime Video
‘Memories of the Sword’ is a romantic period drama that revolves around the stories of three great warriors of the Goryo Dynasty— Deok Ki, Seol Rang and Poong Chun, who have been leading a riot to get justice and freedom. However, just as their dreams begin to come true, Deok Ki betrays them, leading to the death of Poong Chun. Guilt-stricken Seol Rang runs away with Poong Chun’s infant daughter Hong Yi and his sword, while Deok Ki intones the prophecy that the child will be the reason for the death of both him and Seol Rang. After 18 years, Seol Rang is a blind trainer who contributes to teaching women martial arts.
After a series of incidents, Seol Rang reveals to Hong Yi, the tragic story of her father’s death and instructs her to take revenge on both Deok Ki, now the most powerful person, and Seol Rang. Shocked and desperate Hong Yi, sets out on a quest to take revenge for her father’s death. The movie has a gripping storyline with great cinematography and if you like action-emotional movies, you can definitely give it a try.
7. Coin Locker Girl (2015 Movie)
Screenwriter & Director: Han Jun Hee
Starring: Kim Hye Soo, Kim Go Eun, Kim Soo An, Uhm Tae Goo, Wi Ha Joon, Park Bo Gum
Where to Watch: Prime Video
Featuring a heart-sinking story, ‘Coin Locker Girl’ is about an 18 years old girl named Ma Il Yeong who has been raised by emotionless loan sharks and a woman whom she calls Mother, after being thrown into a coin locker when she was just a baby. Mother’s trusted right hand, Il Yeong is asked to watch over a debtor’s son, Suk Hyun. However, as she becomes friends with him, she gets to experience the normalcy just like other teenage girls and opens her heart to Suk Hyun.
However, reality checks in when his father flees away and Mother orders Il Yeong to end Suk Hyun’s life. She now needs to make the most difficult choice, either to do as she pleases, or flee away from her only family.
6. The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)
Screenwriter: Kim Eun Sook
Director: Baek Sang Hoon, Jung Ji Hyun, Yoo Je Won
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan, Lee Jung Jin, Kim Kyung Nam, Jung Eun Chae
Total Number of Episodes: 16
Where to Watch: Netflix
The story revolves around the modern-day King of Korea, Yi Gon, who appears to be the perfect leader in the eyes of his citizens. However, he has been hiding a deep wound beneath his flawless appearance. After witnessing the murder of his father before his own eyes at a young age and himself experiencing a close death, he was crowned as the next king of Korea and with it, came the responsibilities. However, after growing up, his interest turned towards scientific research as he frequently used to escape the palace in order to attend university conferences.
During one of his ventures, he finds himself in the middle of a parallel world where there is no concept of a King or royalty. He comes across an inspector named Jeong Tae Eul, who happens to be the same person Yi Gon had been searching all these years.
The series can either be a complete masterpiece or really confusing for you— there’s nothing in between. The storyline is indeed complicated as the showmakers have tried to make a blend of science fiction, romance and mystery. However, the way they have put in hints throughout the sixteen episodes is very clever of the writers and definitely should be appreciated.
5. Tune in for Love (2019 Movie)
Director: Jung Ji Woo
Screenwriter: Lee Sook Yun
Starring: Kim Go Eun, Jung Hae In, Park Hae Joon, Kim Gook Hee, Choi Jun Young, Jung Yoo Jin
So, apparently Ji Eun Tak and Tae Hee from the 2016 K-drama, ‘Goblin,’ gets to become the love interest of each other in this retro romance movie as Mi Soo and Hyun Woo. When a high-schooler named Mi So first encounters Hyun Woo in 1994 in a bakery, during the first airing of the popular radio show ‘Music Album,’ they begin to develop a close bond with each other gradually. Just like the songs from the radio, the frequency of their heartbeats comes in sync owing to pure coincidence and inevitable events.
Destiny and obstacles of life force them to part ways again and again till their last meeting in 2005. Although they keep crossing paths, lack of communication and wrong-timing keep separating the two of them.
4. Canola (2016 Movie)
Screenwriter & Director: Chang
Starring: Youn Yuh Jung, Kim Go Eun, Kim Hee Won, Shin Eun Jung, Yang Ik Jun, Choi Min Ho
A good rollercoaster of emotions, the movie will make you smile, cry and laugh amidst all the family melodrama. The story revolves around a high school student named Hye Ji who has been reunited with her grandmother, Gye Choon, after ten long years of separation. However, their reunion doesn’t seem to bring with it, the good old times. While Hye Ji is a troubled teen with a scar on her heart, Gye Choon works as a female driver on Jeju Island.
3. Cheese in the Trap (2016)
Director: Lee Yoon Jung
Screenwriter: Kim Nam Hee
Starring: Park Hae Jin, Kim Go Eun, Seo Kang Joon, Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, Park Min Ji
Total Number of Episodes: 16
Where to Watch: Netflix, We TV, Viki
Inspired by a webtoon by Soonkki, going by the same name, ‘Cheese in the Trap’ is a psychological romantic drama centring on a hard-working student of a university, Hong Seol, who is forced to skip college for a year owing to her poor background and unforeseen situations. After she returns to college, she somehow ends up being on the wrong side of a college senior, Yoo Jung. Although he is handsome, kind-natured, smart and athletic, he has been hiding a dark secret. As Yoo Jung and Hong Seol start dating, the latter notices her life turning more miserable as Yoo Jung keeps plotting against her. Moreover, things get more complicated when Yoo Jung’s childhood friend Baek In-ho, along with his sister, In-ha, reappears in his life.
The character of the female lead is naive and innocent, while the male lead is extremely mysterious, confusing the viewers with his menacing actions. His motives and true personality are revealed gradually as the show proceeds.
2. Yumi’s Cells (2021)
Screenwriter: Song Jae Jung, Kim Kyung Ran, Kim Yoon Joo
Director: Lee Sang Yeob
Starring: Kim Go Eun, Ahn Bo Hyun, Park Ji Hyun, Lee Yoo Bi, Joo Jong Hyuk, Park Jin Young
Total Number of Episodes: 16
Where to Watch: Viki
Actress Kim Go Eun doesn’t do a lot of TV series, but trust us, when she does, it ends up being one of the most popular shows of the year. ‘Yumi’s Cells’ is one such kind of show! A psychological romance drama, the show revolves around the daily life of a plain office girl named Yumi who is poor at expressing her emotions. The interesting thing about the drama is how the viewers get to witness her life through the eyes of her brain cells, representing various emotions like good, bad, love, violence and rationality. The story showcases her growth as a person who finds love and happiness, while the cells deal with her troubles and complicated feelings.
Just imagine a rom-com Korean drama with a cocktail of animation with sweet-fluttering-emotional and realistic-embarrassing moments! The series has already been renewed for a second season. You are never gonna regret watching this.
1. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016)
Screenwriter: Kim Eun Sook
Director: Lee Eung Bok
Starring: Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun, Yoo In Na, Yook Sung Jae
Total Number of Episodes: 16
Where to Watch: Viki, Netflix
You might already have seen this coming! The character of the nineteen-year-old Ji Eun Tak from ‘Guardian: The Lonely and Great God’ remains the most popular role ever played by actress Kim Go Eun. The story revolves around a powerful general in Goryeo’s military, Kim Shin, who ends up dying a tragic and unfair death but comes back to life with an immortality curse. He has been searching for his bride for nine hundred years who is supposed to be the only person who can pull the sword out of his chest and end his immortality for good. That’s when he comes across Ji Eun Tak, a cheerful and optimistic high school student with the ability to see ghosts. Despite her hard life as an orphan, she stays strong and brave.
Turns out that she is the goblin’s bride and is eager to pull out the sword. However, as time goes by, they realise it’s easier said than done when the two fall in love with each other. The storyline is extremely gripping with great cinematography and a handful of amazing original sound tracks.