Broker (2022)

What does family really mean? Is it the people who are related by blood through no choice of your own? Or is it more? Is it the people who choose to protect you and stick with you – the people who genuinely care about you? Well, this conversation is the driving theme of acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s newest film, Broker. With a cast of broken characters fatefully brought together by one confusing and societally shameful decision, an unlikely family is formed on a rather untraditional road trip. It’s a film with a, frankly, absurd plot and melodramatic elements, but despite all of the things that should be the film feel ridiculous, it somehow works and works beautifully!

"feels exceptionally honest in everything it does"

There’s a downpour on the night that Moon So-young (the captivating Lee Ji-eun) painfully decides to leave her newborn child in a “baby box” – a place where unequipped mothers can leave their babies for adoption. She leaves a note, saying she’ll come back for him, but deep down she knows that some other family adopting him will be better than any life she would provide. But what she doesn’t know is that there are people watching.

Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho), a laundromat owner, and his business partner Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), a part-time worker at the church that owns the baby box, see her drop off the baby. As their side business, they illegally take some of the babies from the baby box and sell them off to couples who can’t/don’t want to go through the lengthy adoption process. A baby black market. They delete the video evidence of Moon-So young’s baby, and set their plan in action, betting she won’t come back (that’s what all of the mother’s say). But Moon So-young actually does. And when she finds them out, she decides to join them on their road trip to interview her baby’s potential new parents. And while all of this is happening, watching them all are Soo-jin (Bae Doona) and Detective Lee (Lee Joo-young) who are determined to catch the baby brokers in the act.

In just over two hours Hirokazu Kore-eda manages to pack in a surprisingly dense and moving story but never one that feels overwhelming or overly sentimental. There is a lot going on in the plot, but it is the characters’ stories and interactions that are the hallmarks of Broker. Whether or not the trio gets caught on their expedition becomes the least of the concerns because you know they probably will. It’s clear that the movie isn’t about that. Frankly, the thing that the audience is most concerned about, like So-young is whether or not her child ends up in a safe and happy family.Broker (2022)

Each character has their own version of a broken family. This story centers on So-young’s, but no character is stranger to the feeling of loneliness and failure. Each character gets their own story told in the most story gets told in the most efficient and impactful ways. Whether it is So-young’s shady past, Dong-soo’s struggles with growing up in the adoption system, or Sang-hyeon’s failures as a father. They all have their own baggage that gets opened up on the road trip.

But despite their past family failures, they form an unorthodox family in the countless hours spent in Sang-hyeon’s falling-apart van. They lie, they cry, they take turns watching the baby, they roll down the windows in a car wash, and they all come to face themselves. This temporary, unorthodox family transforms each character though they don’t realize it at the time.

Broker has a little bit of everything. It has the melodrama, the comedy, the tears, and even a bit of suspense. What feels so special about this film is that Kore-eda knows how to make a sentimental film that feels genuine without making it corny. It feels exceptionally honest in everything it does. And the writer/director knows how to round up a magnificent cast that nails each of their performances, respectively. The weight of all the characters' brokenness is felt through the screen with the looks, the words not said, and the hard choices they make. This bittersweet film is a funny and beautiful portrait about family that is hard not to enjoy.

Broker is now available on Blu Ray courtesy of Decal Releasing.

4/5 stars


Broker (2022)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Decal Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- February 21, 2023
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English; English SDH
Korean: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Five years after winning the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with Broker, starring Cannes Best Actor winner Song Kang Ho (Parasite). The film follows two brokers who sell orphaned infants, circumventing the bureaucracy of legal adoption, to affluent couples who can’t have children of their own. After an infant’s mother surprises the duo by returning to ensure her child finds a good home, the three embark on a journey to find the right couple, building an unlikely family of their own.


Presented in its 1:85:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p High-Definition transfer of Broker offers a nice and clean presentation of the film. Everything from the scratches and imperfections of the broken van to the tall buildings and skylines can be seen with great detail and texture. The color maintains a nice, natural palette for most of the film, highlighting the warmer tones during interior sequences and cooler tones during exterior sequences.


Though it isn’t exactly a film that shows off the power and capabilities that the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track has to offer, it nonetheless, allows for a great mix for the film. The warm and delicate score of Jung Jae-il that perfectly accompanies the sentimental mood of the film is given a nice boost into the mix when there is a break from the dialogue-heavy film. Everything is crisp and clear.


No commentary. No featurettes. No trailers. Nothing. A sad thing for such a beautiful film you want to know more about!


  • None

Special Features:

  • None

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 0/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

Broker (2022)

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content throughout, graphic nudity, language and some drug use.
129 mins
: Kore-eda Hirokazu
Kore-eda Hirokazu
Song Kang-ho; Gang Dong-won; Bae Doona
: Comedy | Drama | Drama
From the directors of Shoplifters
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 13, 2023 (limited)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 21, 2023
Synopsis: Follows two brokers who sell orphaned infants, circumventing the bureaucracy of legal adoption, to affluent couples who can't have children of their own. After an infant's mother surprises the duo by returning to ensure her child finds a good home, the three embark on a journey to find the right couple, building an unlikely family of their own.


Broker (2022)