Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
A triumph of sheer cinematic craft that mirrors its characters' contemplative natures while extolling the virtues of lives simply led.
A little gem, it keeps its conflicting or varying themes of tranquility and violence, sacred and profane love, recklessness and wisdom, in almost perfect balance.
Unlike many movies, this one feels completely organic, as if there's no other way it could play out but this.
A balm for the soul and a reminder that even in the frenetic city, the cosmos has its own steady pendulum.
The triumph of Spring, Summer is that even those of us who don't happen to be Buddhists can catch a glimpse of ourselves in the spinning wheel of hope, destruction, suffering, and bliss.
Dallas Morning News:
The lessons offered by Spring, Summer are as old as time. And for those who choose to worship at the altar of cinema, the images are unforgettable.
The work of both master and disciple, containing at once scenes of enormous beauty and warmth, crafted by Kim's inner octogenarian, and those darker passages sealed with the imprint of a still-restless iconoclast.
In some ways, this is less a movie than a meditation. But that doesn't mean, like any meditation, it doesn't offer its own rewards.
New York Daily News:
Where Kim's best-known movie, The Isle, was a stomach-churner, this beautifully composed canvas is the sort of film one falls into, resurfacing at the end with great reluctance.
New York Times:
Kim Ki Duk, in this exquisitely simple movie, manages to isolate something essential about human nature and at the same time to comprehend the scope of human experience.
New York Observer:
[Spring] probably represents the purest and most transcendent distillation of the Buddhist faith ever rendered on the screen.
Using perfectly composed shots to amplify an emotionally resonant story, the film successfully argues that 'artistic' films do not have to be boring.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
As with most collections of short stories, some are more interesting than others. And the pacing is extremely slow -- almost meditative.
By turns humorous and tragic, Kim's film folds Buddhist belief into scenarios that capture the eye while they provoke the mind.
A sublime, witty, gritty and transcendental movie reflecting one man's life journey.
Far from a maxim-expounding sermon, the film is a fresh spring of irrational visual pleasure.