The Face Reader is a Korean movie that takes place in the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. It is about a man named Nae, who is the greatest face reader in Korea. However, he lives in seclusion and does not use his talents outside in the public. One day, the government finds him and requests that he help them search for a criminal. After much reluctance, he finally decides to help them. He successfully identifies the criminal and he becomes famous in Korea.
The success of his work catches the attention of the King. He orders him to come and work for him. He is on the lookout for a couple of major traitors living in his palace and he asks him to help him. While Nae is residing in the palace, working on the case, the Prince comes to him. He asks the face reader to help him overthrow the King so that he could take his position. He convinces him that he is much better fit to do the job, and that he must be King as soon as possible.
Nae, however, is dedicated to serving the King. Although his ways are old and of a previous generation, he is loyal to his country and its citizens. The prince and King enter into a secret battle inside the palace and the face reader is in the middle of it all.