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Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Entirely set on and around a tree-lined lake where a tiny Buddhist monastery floats on a raft amidst a breath-taking landscape, this film is divided into five segments with each season representing a stage in a man's life. (Sony Pictures Classics)
Your probable score
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Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

2003
Drama
1h 43m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 71.8% from 2878 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2878)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 05 Mar 2010
55
39th
I get it. The seasons represent stages of life. The setting is beautiful, the symbolism palpable. But Ki-duk's film never went beyond the cycle of life comparison, never transcended obvious parable into meaningfulness. Or maybe, quite possibly, I just didn't get it after all. I'm not going to rewatch it, though, that's for sure.
Rated 14 Jul 2007
100
98th
This is one of those rare films that manages to be hypnotic instead of boring in its slow and deliberate pace. The scenery is beautiful, as is the story.
Rated 09 Jul 2007
5
96th
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring is a quiet meditation on the cycle of life. The film is beautifully shot, hypnotically paced, and the dialog is minimal. If I had to pick a film to explain Buddhism to someone who is unfamiliar with its most basic truths, this would be it.
Rated 19 Apr 2008
80
95th
For the Buddha lovers.
Rated 30 Jun 2008
36
32nd
Yes, this is a beautiful film. The setting is amazing, and strikingly photographed. Unfortunately, it is morally one of the most simplistic and flawed films I've ever seen. I can't fathom all of the acclaim that this film gets when it expends so much effort expressing themes which essentially boil down to eye-for-eye retribution and complete suppression of all human desires. Kim Ki-duk has brilliant composition, but he needs to pursue projects with a less narrowminded morality.
Rated 20 Jan 2010
80
84th
The movie is a meditation on life, the flaws of humanity, and serene self reflection. There is no great revealing plot or dramatic point to this film. It's more or less a reflection of humanity and the spirituality of Buddhism intertwined with our own human nature. Misses the mark from greatness simply because there were still a few points made in the film that were awkwardly conceived. Still excellent and well worth your time.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
68
32nd
For the first half, I felt like "wow, I love this movie!" It was a peaceful, remarkably beautiful meditation along the same lines as Anh Hung Tran's films. Then it takes this turn and goes gradually downhill from there. The "Winter" section has a scene which echoes back to the "Spring" section in the most obvious way, but as if that weren't enough, it actually flashes back to the earlier scene, just to make sure you get the parallel. What a letdown.
Rated 30 Aug 2012
55
21st
I don't mind slow pace and minimal dialogue in itself. What I do mind is predictability, contrivance, tacky symbolism and distracting religious overtones, all of which the film had in spades. Fortunately, it wasn't a total letdown, since there was plenty of stunning imagery as well as some interesting scenes mostly in the first half. But, frankly, I couldn't care less about the inane observations on the cycle of life or the 'up with nature' message or the Tarkovsky-lite excursions in the end.
Rated 02 Nov 2009
4
55th
More boredom from Ki-duk Kim that looks very pretty. A little unnecessarily harsh, but I cannot get over how this director just constantly misses the mark for me.
Rated 19 Jan 2013
1
13th
Animal cruelty warning (stone in fish's mouth, tying a frog and a snake to a stone, leaving all to die) . The arrogance of this director for thinking this air-filled illusion of profundity warranted such treatment (not that any movie does) boggles the mind.
Rated 09 Feb 2009
89
92nd
Only Ki-Duk can create this kind of beauty. Every scene is filled with symbolism and every one of the few lines of dialogue is well thought through.
Rated 22 Jul 2010
94
96th
Low tempo, tranquil, calming, very eastern and very Buddhist. This movie isn't about the acting or the dialogue, it's about the scenery and the raw human interaction with and within it. This film exists in stark contrast with nothing else except the way we live our lives.
Rated 09 Jul 2015
97
98th
Wow. I get it. Just thinking about this film sends me into deep contemplation. I've looked up some of the Buddhist imagery that is incorporated in the movie, too, and it's fantastic how they've handled it. It's fantastically thought-provoking and visually stunning.
Rated 11 Dec 2020
85
96th
I mean this is basically Buddhism 101, but as I write this Kim Ki-duk is dead of COVID-19 in effing Latvia out of all places. Can a human be an incredible artist, an abuser and devout believer at the same time? As this movie shows, Samsara is upon us as long as the Dharma is not followed and we will most likely be reborn in lower states of consciousness until we forget anything. Yeah, the cycle will never end. Or will it?
Rated 13 Nov 2013
60
52nd
A beautiful setting and some striking imagery, but broad and simplistic in its exploration of the human condition. The middle chapters are particularly overwrought and detract somewhat from the peace and tranquility of the rest of the film (although I understand that was probably the point). I don't regret watching it, because it is visually rewarding, but I can't say I connected with it on any kind of emotional level.
Rated 13 Jun 2011
72
66th
the episode "spring" was shocking enough and it's very incredible for the beginning of a movie and for us to be interested in the child's destiny . the idea about the cycle of life was great . although the last 20-30 minutes of the movie was somehow boring . the cinematography and the music was fantastic .
Rated 30 Mar 2011
80
87th
A beautiful meditative reflection on the cycles of life.While light on dialogue this film says more with the cinematography and music then most movies say with twice the dialogue.
Rated 21 Apr 2011
70
53rd
budizm vs maddi dunya. yonetmen hayatin dongusu-reenkarnasyon ile masalsi tadda ve oldukca dingin bir sekilde cekmis filmi ama bir konuya sahip olmaktan ziyade budizmin felsefesine odaklanmis olmasi dinsel bir mit, ibretlik bir hikaye tadi yaratmiyor da degil. dunyayi yonetenlerin veya modern insanin hic bitmek bilmeyen bir bahar mevsimindeymis gibi davrandiklarini, olgunlasmayan-kulturel birikimden faydalanmayan tarzini dusunduren bir bakis da cikarilabilir zorlanirsa.
Rated 03 Aug 2008
91
96th
One of my favourite kim ki duk movies for sure. He really is unlike any other.
Rated 28 Dec 2014
25
17th
buddhist propaganda and the sybolism.. hard to watch
Rated 09 Dec 2023
60
31st
yönetmen sinematografi için elindeki bütün düğmelere basmış fakat film, görsel anlamda o coğrafyada çekilecek herhangi bir film kadar güzel. özellikle samsara kavramı merkeze alınarak budizm düşüncesi işlenmiş ama filmin temelde stilize egzotizmden başka sunduğu bir şey var mı ona da emin olamadım. hoş film yine de...
Rated 15 Jul 2012
82
83rd
A strange, moving story set unforgettably on a historic lake in the mountains of Korea. There wasn't much dialogue but that definitely doesn't result in a boring film. Kind of makes me wish I was raised Buddhist.
Rated 11 Jul 2012
80
90th
It had a very simplistic plot with very little dialogue and often felt like one or several folk tales. The setting was absolutely beautiful and brought so much atmosphere and a sense of peace. I thought the film really highlighted the tranquility and quiet happiness that a very simple life can offer, but also how that can easily be taken away. The metaphors that the film uses may be fairly obvious, but I think this is a film everyone should see.
Rated 23 Jul 2019
70
56th
I think this ideal of a disciplined secluded lifestyle, in touch with spirituality and at one with nature, is one that resonates very universally, and the stunning locations of this film touch on that desire for the simplest type of human living.
Rated 14 Dec 2011
75
14th
Nicely shot but that's about it. Dull, hackneyed, predictable and not worth 90 minutes of time really.
Rated 01 Nov 2009
90
89th
Excelente
Rated 14 Aug 2007
76
78th
It is an experience like few others, and for two hours of interesting and thought-provoking tranquility, it is as refreshing and rejuvenating as a well-deserved vacation.
Rated 29 Sep 2012
72
36th
In the floating monastery in a serene valley shrouded in fog and trees lives the old monk and his young apprentice. The premise of the film is that the passing of each season reflects the cycle of life, which is fully encompassed in the narrative's time dilation. Although there's an austere beauty to the concept I felt that the tone was far too bare and dry for fully realizing the scope that the narrative deserved, but all things considered there's a masterful restraint at display here.
Rated 13 May 2017
60
47th
Offers just enough to be interesting. Not amazing, just good, with a nice scenery.
Rated 16 Jan 2023
9
84th
A contemplative journey through a monk's life with sprinklings of humor and genuine pathos. Visual storytelling par excellence.
Rated 25 Dec 2022
5
20th
The film’s symbolism was frustratingly on the nose, childishly so. Leave out the sex scenes and you could basically show this as an existential tale at elementary school; actually, scratch that, just keep those scenes, kids these days are addicted to TikTok and Instagram anyway and those are just a pair of nipples removed from resembling OnlyFans. I have absolutely no idea what I just wrote or why but I know I hated this film.
Rated 09 Jan 2010
90
94th
Beautiful film with a simple premise about the circle of life.
Rated 28 Feb 2012
88
90th
Beautiful film, minimalist - definitely requires patience for some viewers.
Rated 19 Mar 2011
86
97th
Succinct and beautiful film on Buddhism and the inevitable cyclical nature of existence.
Rated 12 Apr 2009
88
94th
Very beatifully shot and told highly symbolic story.
Rated 22 Jan 2011
85
80th
An insanely beautiful movie. Great scenery, it all flows perfectly, it's meaningful, great music. It moves along at a steady pace but every single frame is necessary. So serene.
Rated 02 Sep 2016
85
88th
the movie depicted nature of mankind. wrong behavior, curiosity, inner urges. what made me notice was the acceptance that the ostad had. acceptance of the nature of the boy. my question is why the ostad and the boy were "boy" not girl. and the other question is when guru wanted to burn him self, there were tears on the paper on his eyes, why?
Rated 16 Oct 2008
75
59th
Minimalistic in dialogue but majestic in tranquillity and scenery.
Rated 11 Feb 2024
57
79th
#24#, rw2, ratings, recommended, story, "Project 100-80-60-40-20"-2003#2
Rated 26 Jul 2021
84
94th
To what degree you'll like this film stems from whether or not you can appreciate Buddhist symbolism and morality; in this case, it's provocative enough to never be boring at least. The film portrays the Buddhist life as a constant and repeating cycle, wherein human desires leads to unhappiness and maintaining the status quo of Samsara. The film makes no pretension the Buddhist life will solve any of this, but supports the value of Buddhist belief through beautiful scenery and meditative flair.
Rated 31 Aug 2011
75
50th
Declines after a fantastic start.
Rated 06 Dec 2019
73
71st
5.12.19(+)
Rated 06 Apr 2020
70
67th
two funky monks in a misodge lodge do what monks do (on the discovery channel). a snake gets real-killed. a fish -- or two -- gets real-killed. great acting, great cinematog, but with those being the two pillars of every middle-booj film review, we must spelunk deeper: what does the film do? well. i am not from a part of the world where monk-films is a staple of the film diet. i have no fucking clue. dare we project exoticism upon such paleo-conservative pseudo-profundity? ah well. was pretty.
Rated 13 May 2024
70
53rd
Old Monk: "Didn't you know beforehand how the world of men is? Sometimes we have to let go of the things we like. What you like, others will also like."
Rated 24 Jul 2017
100
98th
Beautiful and inspiring.
Rated 19 Feb 2024
65
51st
A nicely made film, but I found little that is deep or inspiring. Strong visual storytelling with a heightened poetical effect.
Rated 07 Jul 2012
81
73rd
A serene and relaxed look at the circle of life. It's simplicity is a strength, but it does stumble a bit in some places which kinda kept me from really loving it.
Rated 02 Dec 2007
85
82nd
Worth seeing for the landscape alone.
Rated 17 Jan 2021
29
12th
Meh+
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
80th
One of the most beatiful movies I've seen.
Rated 22 Aug 2021
99
93rd
Gorgeous film that is almost a silent movie at times.
Rated 25 Jul 2010
90
93rd
Simplicity is key in this breathtakingly beautiful film about transcendence through enlightenment. There aren't many movies that have a downright calming effect on me. This is one of the few.
Rated 16 Mar 2008
80
92nd
Beautiful.
Rated 28 Jan 2017
85
29th
Ki-duk Kim has created a beautiful world within this serene setting. The camera doesn't flinch, but it looks upon this world - and the characters within - with a steady-but-soft gaze that kept me enthralled. My enjoyment came from my experience of the aura and environment and the characters as they existed within it (with some exceptions). The direction that the plot took was a bit surprising, and I'm not sure the whole thing gelled. But I liked it none-the-less. And I loved the doorways!
Rated 09 Apr 2009
75
54th
never seen a movie wich moved slower dan dis..but given 20 extra points just for cinematography..de breathtaking way de camera interacts wid nature in dis movie! actually i think de whole point of making dis movie was to remind de viewer dat dere is something called nature and environment, so go ahead, watch it as a documentary on seasons and flowers and trees and birds...
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
98th
I fucking love this movie. One of the most memorable movie watching experiences I've had.
Rated 22 Mar 2012
80
88th
the most beautiful part was the beginning and the end. The setting is very simple: everything happens 'at home', but once the apprentice leaves and comes back and people come to visit them. Almost no speech, but when something is said it holds a lot of meaning or it's a wise saying (so dont miss it!!). Amazing and original!
Rated 15 Nov 2013
7
49th
It was a beautiful film, and it had potential to be a great film, but during the fall section - it felt a bit melodramatic and even it was a necessary element to the story, it could have been done less dramatic.
Rated 28 Jul 2012
72
61st
yo what is it with little korean boys and animal abuse
Rated 06 Aug 2021
84
81st
8???????????
Rated 08 May 2011
95
94th
96
Rated 24 Aug 2020
40
39th
That monastery has an 'Inadequate' Ofsted rating.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
58th
Prepare yourself for slow. Pretty average for current Korean film.
Rated 26 Feb 2017
89
87th
Beautiful and Deep. At least I think it is deep, I'm still not entirely sure what it is about, but it is VERY beautiful.
Rated 13 Sep 2010
73
52nd
Kim Ki-Duk's visuals and lack of words make for a very interesting film.
Rated 15 Dec 2020
94
93rd
Em honra de Kim Ki-duk 김기덕 (1960 - 2020). Belissimo exemplar dos percalços do ciclo da vida, inclusive me fez lembrar muito do período que fui budista, faz muito sentido o jovem penar em manter uma estabilidade emocional, é como se ainda não estivéssemos prontos para encarar a vida como ela é. Infelizmente não posso voltar a seguir tal caminho com o mundo do jeito que está, só morando numa casinha sem comunicação no meio do lago mesmo. BlurayRip no MakingOff.
Rated 20 Oct 2013
77
49th
The movie is very silent but makes you think immensely while you are watching it. I have to warn that the movie has a depressing streak to it as well.
Rated 13 Aug 2012
32
13th
Pretty moronic film for westerners to feel that they watch something "exotically Buddhist and Asian". I expected much more than this, still the cat is cool and I like the look of it.
Rated 04 Jan 2007
94
99th
One of the most beautiful, spiritual films I've ever seen.
Rated 03 Oct 2008
90
88th
#855 & 29 Eylul 08, 19:47, yonetmenin izledigim ikinci filmi & "sehvet, sahiplenme duygusunu dogurur. sahiplenme de oldurme duygusunu dogurur." huzur verici, siirsel ve etkileyici. favori bolumum "winter". hayata, yasama dair bir film.
Rated 01 Oct 2022
71
72nd
Meditation on cycles of life.
Rated 31 Jan 2011
30
78th
"Just as every action in the film has its own reaction, every image evokes the oneness of the film's characters to their natural surroundings." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 13 May 2014
55
44th
Packed full of wisdom & excellent life lessons.Such as,if you find yourself becoming frail with age & your eyesight is failing then set yourself on fire.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
73rd
Quality film.
Rated 13 Aug 2008
89
80th
This is a move that few can appreciate.
Rated 26 Mar 2020
84
90th
A slow and contemplative story about human nature set before a beautiful backdrop. Many of the scenes and images are sure to stay in the audience's mind.
Rated 13 Feb 2012
100
91st
Beautiful, minimalist and terribly touching, this movie is not for all.
Rated 28 Nov 2014
80
63rd
Simple plot like a parable, but strikingly beautiful film
Rated 21 Feb 2014
54
36th
3
Rated 02 Jan 2013
88
87th
This movie is like a poetic parable. Simple, yet profound. While I enjoyed the first act much more than the others, the movie as a whole impressed me tremendously.
Rated 14 Feb 2021
88
86th
Another movie where Director is also writer and on of the lead actors. When in US films this is bad combination, it looks to be working in oriental films. The movie is about different stages in life. Specially the summer, where everything is at the peak, was every a bliss.
Rated 18 Sep 2008
85
97th
I'm not a big fan of highly religious films, but this was beautiful. The storytelling without the need for words mixed in with the different seasons of the year seems to come with ease for Ki-duk Kim. Really, I cannot say enough about how the story is told with guilt, isolation, atonement, spirituality...
Rated 28 Feb 2017
90
95th
Kim Ki Duk un kung fu mastürbasyon sahnelerini çıkarırsak kusuruz film.
Rated 08 Dec 2013
63
17th
I have nothing against meditation like I have nothing against jogging or whatever... but this movie is nothing but ignorant. It celebrates a way of living that denies all kinds of human behaviour and stigmatize them as immoral. It acts like its our choice to feel or to be the social figures we are. And Ki-duk does that in a (good looking but) emotional every didatic and trivial way. For this reason its not poetic (a word morons use when they see animals and woods in long scenes) - its cynical.
Rated 26 Nov 2009
35
17th
Kim Ki-duk is a hack.
Rated 10 Mar 2011
92
93rd
Fresh, endearing life of a Buddhist.
Rated 16 Nov 2012
80
20th
slow but not bad
Rated 15 Jan 2009
93
96th
Incredible Movie, with so few spoken words its incredible the amount of beauty and emotion that Ki-duk conjurs up.
Rated 07 Dec 2023
88
90th
A work of breathtaking beauty, as aesthetically pleasing as things like Raise the Red Lantern and Days of Heaven, with a delicate and impactful story that feels spiritual, even mystical at times. Superficially simple, yet complex, and every shot is just beautiful.
Rated 20 Jun 2011
89
93rd
mesmerizing, delicate, intelligent and present.
Rated 02 Mar 2009
87
73rd
Lovely aesthetic, maybe over symbolized at times but still great.
Rated 30 May 2010
91
62nd
Every scene is highly memorable and deliberate, though the pace may be slow, it's a wonderful cinematic study in the Buddhist concepts of the circle of life, mindfulness and presentness, forcing viewers into a state of peace and tranquility. Beautiful. Acting could use a little work, but I've realized that Asian standards for acting are different from American ones.
Rated 30 Dec 2012
100
97th
Superb movie depicting simplicity, discipline and sacrifice in monk's life
Rated 04 Sep 2016
87
97th
I love Kim Ki-Duk, and this is probably the first movie of his that you should watch. The way he films and the way he tells stories is so unique and refreshing and always just beautiful to watch. This movie, like many of his, is more of a genuine work of art than any movie I can think of. If you liked this movie, you should watch 3-iron (empty houses) from him next, and, my personal favourite, Address Unknown, at some point, but this one may not be for everyone.
Rated 25 Jan 2010
86
73rd
Acting is not that good, but the pictures are absolutely beautiful.
Rated 14 Apr 2018
72
20th
Beautiful scenes but superficial story and teachings.
Rated 24 Jun 2019
62
14th
I left this film feeling unmoved and frustrated. Things didn't add up, (a child raised solely by a Buddhist monk would commit cruelty to animals, AND the monk would observe this without interfereing?). The enlightenment thread of the entire film just felt manufactured to boot, everything falls neatly into place.. . I DID like the nuances/imagery. The 5 pets, the change in directions of the hut/life. As my own Buddah Vern would say, it's overrated, sincerely.

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