The Top 250 Greatest Martial Arts Movies of All-Timeby Eric-Scissorhands | created - 16 Mar 2011 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
"Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting, Those cats were fast as lightning, In fact it was a little bit frightening, But they did it with expert timing..."
In a genre that can be as horrendous as it is pure genius no one can deny that Martial Arts Action Cinema has influenced some of the finest directors of the past 30 years. This is the definitive list of the Top 250 Greatest Martial Arts Movies from The East, to West, And Back Again....
Movies that fall under my "Martial Arts" category and will be considered and included here are as follows: Hand to Hand Combat, (Kung Fu, Hapkido, Filipino Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Karate, Pankration, MMA, Etc...) Samurai, Ninjas, and Anything to do with Weapon Use & Swordplay.
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1. The Chinese Connection (1972)
R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A young man seeks vengence for the death of his teacher.
I know its cliche to have one of Bruce Lee's films at the top, but who can argue with his impact? Seriously. There were martial arts films before him sure, however he is the sole reason the genre exploded in the 70's, and well after his death to even today and for many more years to come, He broke down racial barriers and became the first Asian Superstar the world has ever known, His work ethic and workout regime was ahead of its time, he founded his own form of Martial Arts, and came up with the concept of mixing different aspect from different forms from all over the world to make the most affective use in any situation, basically to adapt to any fighting method, which went on to of course inspire the UFC & MMA in general and for that reason he is being hailed as the "Father of Mixed Martial Arts" and his impact on POPULAR culture is incredible, especially with just 4 completed Kung Fu films under his belt.... Bruce Lee is the KING of KUNG FU Cinema and is arguably the greatest Martial Artist of the 20th century. He is a Philosopher, a Teacher, A Director, A Writer, An Actor, A MARTIAL ARTIST, An Inspiration, A Family Man, and A Legend. Its safe to say he influenced & inspired EVERYONE on this list.
As for Fist of Fury taking the top spot, i can tell you right now, it was a bitch ranking these films, especially the Top 10, they are ALL Masterpieces, and are interchangeable really, it just so happens im in a "Fist of Fury mood" at the moment and any of Bruce's films can and should be at the top anyway, doesn't matter which one, they are ALL land marks in cinema history as far as im concerned. This film may not be as polished as many other films on this list, it had a lower budget too, and sure, it feels a bit dated by today's standards. But there is no arguing at Bruce Lee being a timeless icon. His charisma, influence and overall skill is still unmatched today. Bottom line is, there would be no Jackie Chans, Van Dammes, And/or Jet Lis without this man and his contribution to the Martial Arts World & Cinema.
TRIVIA: -A Young Jackie Chan appears as an Extra.
-Jet Li Remade the film as "Fist of Legend." He then went on to film a "Prequel" in the form of "Fearless."
-Donnie Yen Also Remade it for TV as "Fist Of Fury: Sworn Revenge." He went on to film a Sequel entitled "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zen."
2. Fearless (2006)
PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.
Votes: 66,034 | Gross: $24.62M
Based on the true story of real life martial arts master Huo Yuanjia.
This film is ranked at the # 2 spot after viewing the DIRECTORS CUT. The theatrical version was fine for casual movie goers and if i rank that version of the film on here it'd be at # 5, but if you fancy yourself a "martial arts movie fan" or a fan of GOOD CINEMA in general, pick up the DIRECTORS CUT, the one that opens and ends with a special cameo by Michelle Yeoh, features a deleted fight scene with a Muay Thai Boxer, and additional footage to help flesh out the story more and develop the characters. The Directors Cut in my honest opinion is Jet Li's Masterpiece. In it he expresses in-detail what he believes is the true meaning of "Wushu." It is a story about the journey on takes, Full of Tragedy, Self Growth, Perseverance, and Self Discovery. The Directors Cut is the only way to see this film, the story is alot more complete, the fights uncensored, uncut, and overall the film is that much more Beautiful in comparison to the butchered, dubbed, and dumbed down version released in theaters. I highly recommend you see the film the way Jet Li and the rest of the cast and crew originally intended it to be.
TRIVIA: -Huo Yuan Jia, the founder of the Jin Wu School, was the deceased master that Chen Zhen, also played by Jet Li in Fist of Legend aswell as Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury, seeks to avenge.
-With Fearless, Jet Li has now been filmed as all of the "big three" amongst the historical martial artists in Qing Dynasty (1645-1911) China, whose exploits has been novelized and dramatized many times. They are 1) Fang Shiyu (c.1700s) in the Fong Sai Yuk series, 2) Huo Yuanjia (1868-1910) in Fearless, and 3) Huang Feihong (1847-1924) in the Wong Fei Hung series.
3. The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
R | 102 min | Action, Comedy
A young martial artist is caught between respecting his pacifist father's wishes or stopping a group of disrespectful foreigners from stealing precious artifacts.
Votes: 37,535 | Gross: $11.55M
Drunken Master II - "Old Wine in a New Bottle."
Rarely does a sequel ever surpass its predecessor. This is one of those rare cases. It's got everything the original had, and more. Anita Mui stands out for her hilarious performance as Wong Fei Hung's Mother, and the fight and action scenes are phenomenal, some of the BEST in the genre for sure. Ive seen this film dozens of times and i just never get tired of it. Its just that good. Keep in mind there are no Stuntmen, Wires, or CGI, everything Jackie does here and in most of his films are REAL. That's what makes him the BEST.
Jackie Chan was named the successor to Bruce, and its not because he copied his style, make no mistake, before the 1st Drunken Master he had his share of failed Bruce Lee Clone Projects, and it wasnt until he smartened up and did things HIS way did his career truly take off, everyone knows, there will never be another Bruce Lee, and as Jackie said himself, "I dont want to be the next Bruce Lee, i want to be the first Jackie Chan."
4. Yip Man (2008)
R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
Based on the true story of real life martial arts master Yip Man. (the man who trained & taught Bruce Lee Wing Chun.)
So you think the Hulk is fierce when hes angry? Wait till you see Ip Man's reaction after witnessing a Japanese school of martial artists kill off one of his friends. His fists become the equivalent of an rapid fire machine gun.
Donnie Yen FINALLY cements his place as one of the "greats" of the martial arts cinema world alongside Bruce, Jackie, Jet & Sammo among others. This is Easily Donnie Yen's BEST. The One he'll be remembered for...
An interesting bit of Trivia is that, although Donnie has been around since the 80's, 90s, and 00's, occasionally taking part in gems such as Hero & Iron monkey, it wasnt until this film did he achieve massive mainstream acceptance. In other words while his peers Jackie, Jet, & Sammo all peaked during their 20's, it wasnt until Donnie reached his late 30's did he reach his "peak" career wise with Ip Man. Some one even argue he only got better with age, which is a rare case in cinema period. This was the role he was born to play, and is currently continuing his winning streak by releasing some of the best martial arts movies today. After 3 decades in the business, and with Jackie & Jet releasing fewer and fewer action movies, he has finally earned the title as the top martial arts star in the world. A title first given to Bruce Lee, then to Jackie & Jet, And now on to Donnie.
5. Enter the Dragon (1973)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.
Votes: 83,046 | Gross: $25.00M
The film that gained Bruce Lee World Wide Fame. He oozed charisma and stole every scene he was featured in.
NO list is complete without this, this film is truly a landmark in Cinema, and at one point i personally considered the greatest kung fu movie ever.
In 2004, Enter the Dragon was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Its also worth noting all Three of the famous "Dragon Brothers" make appearances, Jackie Chan as Han's henchman in the cave, Biao Yuen as a Tournament Fighter, & Sammo Hung as the Shaolin fighter Bruce sparred with at the very beginning of the movie.
Their appearances are highlighted in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z6z1b-q9u8
TRIVIA: In their one scene together, Lee actually struck Jackie Chan in the face with one of the fighting sticks he used. He immediately apologized and insisted that Chan would work on all of his movies after that, but he died before he could keep the promise.
6. The Raid 2 (2014)
R | 150 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Votes: 95,030 | Gross: $2.63M
More than just a martial arts film, this movie is a crime epic in every definition of the word. With a pinch of Scorcese/Tarantino influence this movie takes place right after the first and almost feels like a completely different type of film while still keeping it in the same world. (Think how Nolan transitioned Batman Begins to The Dark Knight). While the first film was set in one location and was mostly non stop action from start to finish, this one is twice as long as the Raid Redemption and twice as epic. There are more characters introduced, more development and story driven, and dont worry, it has as much action as the first, maybe more, I will have to see it another hundred times to determine that.
Anyways, this is a sequel that joins the elite ranks of one of greatest action movies ever made IMO. Its even better than the original as hard as that is to believe. It takes all the bone smashing, jaw dropping fight scenes from its predecessor and builds on that.
Beautifully shot, acted, and scored there really isnt much to say other than holy *beep* that was a *beep* awesome thrill ride of a movie.
Highly recommended. ;)
7. Jing wu ying xiong (1994)
R | 103 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.
INTENSE. That's the word that best describes the fight scenes in this Jet Li classic. FYI this is a REMAKE of Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury." & the unofficial sequel to "Fearless."
8. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious "Axe Gang" while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.
Votes: 107,903 | Gross: $17.11M
Stephan Chow's Comedic Martial Arts Masterpiece. See. it. now.
-Bruce Lee Tribute: When the Landlady is seated between the Boss and his assistant, she faces the boss, and mimics the gestures Bruce Lee used while also facing a crime boss in Way of the Dragon. She wags her finger at him, then closes both fists, then just the right (while knuckles cracking can be heard), she jerks her head up, and the boss nods he understands, then she thumbs her nose, exactly like Bruce Lee in The Way of the Dragon. Chow tends to reference Bruce in ALL of his films.
-As of 2005, this film had the widest cinematic release in the USA of a foreign language film.
9. Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)
R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it.
Votes: 64,286 | Gross: $4.56M
"Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Bruce Lee are my masters; they're the inspiration for my work. Bruce Lee was a heavy fighter who threw hard punches. Jackie moves very fast and uses a lot of comedy, and Jet Li is very fluid. I've tried to combine all of their styles and added some things of my own." - Tony Jaa
He learned from the best, and has now created one of the Best Martial Arts/Action movies of the decade.... Jaa is fantastic in this film. When i first saw it i truly didnt expect it to be as good as it was, the next Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan? NO! the one and only Tony Jaa!
10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.
Votes: 229,443 | Gross: $128.08M
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a movie sensation, topping $100 million at the U.S. box office, the first foreign-language film to cross that mark. It elevated the Martial Arts epic to serious cinema, catapulting the genre into mainstream Western audiences.
How many martial arts films can you say have won multiple Oscars & Academy awards? Not very much...This however did just that. This is Ang Lee's Masterpiece. A modern-day 'wuxia' classic. Probably the most well known Wuxia Film ever.
11. Drunken Master (1978)
PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Comedy
Wong Fei-Hung (Jackie Chan) is a mischievous, yet righteous young man, but after a series of incidents, his frustrated father has him disciplined by Beggar So (Yuen Siu-Tien), a master of drunken martial arts.
Inspired by the "Early Years" of Legendary Martial Arts Figure and Grandmaster Wong Fei Hung.
This (along with Snake in Eagle's Shadow) are the two turning points in Jackie's Rich & Long History in 'the business.' He started off as a Stuntman and an extra appearing in blink and miss scenes in films that starred Bruce Lee & Sammo Hung. After Bruce's death he was just another face in the countless ocean of Bruce Lee clones, imitators who had no real future.
It wasnt until Jackie got a hold of his career and was given artistic freedom did he break free from all the other clones to set his own path to glory by his own style and terms.
This is a true classic and anyone and everyone whos even a little bit interested in the genre should grab a copy. Its got lots of the signature Jackie Humor, acrobatics, and choreography we all have come to love and expect from any and all of Jackie's Action pictures.
12. The Way of the Dragon (1972)
R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.
Bruce Lee's baby. He wrote, directed, & starred in this. Not to mention the Roman Colosseum fight scene alone almost made the world explode with its pure badassness. Bruce Lee VS Chuck Norris!
13. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.
Votes: 162,428 | Gross: $4.11M
An instant classic, and one of the BEST action films made in the last decade or two. Pure adrenaline rush. Indonesia's Iko Uwais who made his film debut in "Merantau" takes it up a notch and delivers the goods. If youre an action junkie you wont be disappointed.
14. Police Story (1985)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A virtuous Hong Kong police officer must clear his good name when the drug lords he is after frame him for the murder of a dirty cop.
I can honestly sum up the reason why you NEED TO SEE THIS FILM in three words:
THE. MALL. SCENE.
It has got to be one of the most incredible fight/action scenes of ALL TIME. Not to mention Jackie literally destroys an entire small village in the first major action scene alone. A Must See indeed.
15. Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey (2000 Video)
100 min | Documentary, Action, Biography
Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee is the subject of this thoughtful documentary by Lee aficionado John Little. Using interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and action sequences from Lee's ... See full summary »
Features Bruce Lee's COMPLETED Game of Death Sequences FULL & UNCUT. NO *beep* stand ins, cardboard cut-outs and/or look a likes, this is the real deal.
Forget the abomination the studio glued together called the "Game of Death" and see this version instead, its the way Bruce intended G.O.D. to be... or the closest we will ever get to it really.
16. Supercop (1992)
R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A Hong Kong detective teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar.
Votes: 16,224 | Gross: $16.27M
Jackie Chan & Michelle Yeoh make for an exciting pair here. Supercop, the 3rd film in the "Police Story" series if my favorite entry so far. Great characters, funny situations, and as always superb action.
What makes it stad out from Jackie's other films is atleast for me, his costar, Michelle Yeoh, who is the first and only one of his leading ladies to perform all her own stunts. That and their great chemistry together! its a shame they havent worked on more films outside of this and the spinoff. I loved watching them work off each other. Great stuff.
17. Ying xiong (2002)
PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History
A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.
Votes: 158,433 | Gross: $53.71M
Like ALL Yimou Zhang films, this is a work of ART. the Cinematography is just masterful.
TRIVIA: -Jackie Chan was offered the role of the King but turned it down.
-Jet Li reportedly insisted that the role of Sky, which had been tentatively filled by a different actor, be given to Donnie Yen. Li and Yen had not worked together on a movie since Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yi dong ji keung (1992).
-Is the first foreign language film to open at #1 at the US box office.
18. Chocolate (2008)
R | 110 min | Action, Drama
An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother's debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.
Votes: 15,885 | Gross: $0.01M
From the Director of "Ong Bak:Muay Thai Warrior" comes the new Martial Arts Sensation from Thailand, Ms. Jeeja (or Jija) Yanin!
Jeeja Yanin, has been described as "the Female Tony Jaa" and i can honestly say its fitting. Like Jaa, she does ALL of her own stunts and fighting, Like Jaa, her films uses little to NO cgi effects and wires, and like Jaa, Jeeja's debut film, 'Chocolate' is mindblowingly good, especially for long time fans of hardcore wireless Martial Arts action. Not to mention theyre both from Thailand and work with the same directors. Thailand is quickly becoming the "new Hong Kong" in terms of the quality of above average martial arts spectaculars coming out in recent years, its very reminiscent to Jackie Chan & Michelle Yeoh back in their prime. And like Jackie & Michelle who joined forces in "Supercop," Tony & Jeeja WILL BE teaming up for the sequel to Tony Jaa's The Protector, The Protector 2... Lets just hope their chemistry is as good as Jackie & Michelle's in that film, because we all know they both have the skills and ability to blow us away with their crazy stunts, action, and fight choreography.
Bottom line, If you love martial arts films, Do NOT miss this, i can honestly say as a long time fan of the genre this is going to be a classic, and i look forward to seeing more of this upcoming star in the near future.
PS the final 30 minutes of the film is non stop action, one of the greatest climaxes of the decade IMO. Like stated earlier, very reminiscent to early Jackie Chan... Stunt wise.
TRIVIA: The film originally included Zen watching scenes from Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies (in addition to Tony Jaa), but these scenes were eventually cut due to licensing problems. These licensing problems also caused other scenes to be removed from the original movie. The ice factory scene was originally shot as a split screen of Zen imitating the exact same moves she had seen Bruce Lee do in a fight scene from the movie Tang shan da xiong (1971). It showed a clip of Bruce Lee doing his fight moves at the same time as Zen was mimicking Bruce Lee's moves. The warehouse scene was shot in a similar fashion, but this time it showed a split screen of Zen imitating Jackie Chan, wherein she would do her interpretation of a Jackie Chan fight routine. Eventually not only were the split screen scenes removed, but any scenes that involved Zen performing moves that too closely resembled fight sequences from Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan movies were all cut as well. The original full version that included these scenes has not been released anywhere in Thailand.
19. Fei lung mang jeung (1988)
TV-14 | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
Three successful Hong Kong lawyers are hired by a chemical company of questionable ethics and must eventually make a difficult decision when their employer's motives become clear.
When the Dragon Gang gets together Magic Happens. The chemistry these three martial arts legends have are unmatched. This flick is hilarious & the fight scenes? good lord they rocked.
20. Zhong hua zhang fu (1978)
R | 105 min | Action, Comedy
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
the concept of displaying Chinese martial arts vs Japanese martial arts is extremely interesting. Plus the chemistry Gordon Liu & Yuka Mizuno share is fantastic. A Must See for fans of either Martial Arts Forms, Chinese, Japanese, or otherwise.
And yes, im aware most "Martial Arts Movie Purists" would give the nod to The 36th Chamber as Gordon Liu's finest work, and while i LOVE that film to death, i personally prefer this one.
21. The Protector (2005)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.
Votes: 31,937 | Gross: $11.91M
I consider this the true sequel to Ong Bak more than the actual sequel to Ong Bak. The one shot upstairs fight sequence is amazing. The Stunts? Incredible. Jackie Chan can rest easy and retire with the thought that Jaa will continue on in his place for the next generation of Action Movie fans.
The final 20 minutes are Bone Crushingly spectacular.
22. Kuai can che (1984)
TV-14 | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Cousins Thomas and David, owners of a mobile restaurant, team up with their friend Moby, a bumbling private detective, to save the beautiful Sylvia, a pickpocket. Action and humor abound in... See full summary »
Jackie Chan. Sammo Hung. Biao Yuen. - The Gangs all here.
Watching this film made me realize something, that the "dragon brothers" are so much like the Three Stooges in terms of physical comedy. They are their equal in hilariousness. They make me laugh like no other when the three of them are all together.
23. Shao Lin san shi liu fang (1978)
R | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A man studies kung fu at the Shaolin Temple to fight back against the oppressive Manchu government.
The Shaolin training sequences are unforgettable. This is essential viewing for all martial arts movie fans.
24. Wong Fei Hung (1991)
R | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »
Based on the Real Life Story of Legendary Folk Hero and Martial Arts Master Wong Fei Hung.
The Once Upon A Time in China Series is seriously EPIC. An All time Great.
TRIVIA: According to the commentary on the Region 1 DVD, this movie started out as a proposed new film to star Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao. Jackie would have played Wong, (which he'd previously played in Drunken Master), Sammo would have played Butcher Wing (as he did in Lin Shi Rong), and Yuen would be Lueng Foon (who played the role in Lin Shi Rong). This idea fell through and only Yuen Biao made it into the finished film.
25. House of Flying Daggers (2004)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.
Votes: 97,563 | Gross: $11.05M
Another Yimou Zhang film. Beautiful.
TRIVIA: -The literal English translation of the Chinese title is "Ambushed From Ten Directions".
-Yimou Zhang conceived the story in the late 1990s as a companion to Ying xiong (2002) (aka Hero).
26. Tai-Chi Master (1993)
R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Two friends, ex Shaolin monks, part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rises up to be a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.
Jet Li + Michelle Yeoh = WIN.
This is a tale of Friendship and Betrayal. One of the best ever.
One thing you'll notice while watching this flick is the Matrix borrowed heavily from this, sure Woo Ping choreographed both films, but its pretty obvious how the fight scenes in both film are pretty similar... except that the ones featured here are superior in every way.
27. Yip Man 3 (2015)
PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Biography, Drama
When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer make a play to take over a local school, Master Ip is forced to take a stand.
Votes: 32,563 | Gross: $2.68M
So I finally got around to watching this and I wasnt disappointed. It had everything that made Ip Man such an entertaining martial arts movie. Still not quite up there with the original IMO, but a definite improvement over 2, production wise anyway. The final fight scene, the fight scene with Ip man and Mike Tyson and Young Bruce Lee meeting Ip Man again were all A+ moments.
28. Wu Lang ba gua gun (1984)
PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Drama
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
The Yangs are a well-known family of soldiers in the service of the government but are betrayed by a government official conspiring with the Mongols. All of the Yang family males except the 4th, 5th, and 6th brothers are killed (played by Hsiao Ho (actor), Gordon Liu and Fu Sheng respectively). 4th brother is captured by the Liao and is not mentioned again (in the source story he marries a Liao princess and returns). Fu Sheng loses his mind after the death of his family, while the other brother (Gordon Liu), takes refuge in a temple to put his anger and past behind him. Liu’s superb martial arts skill, particularly with the quarterstaff, impress the temple’s senior monks. After refusing to leave the temple at first, Liu later fights for the right to depart after he learns that his sister has been captured by the conspirators and a senior monk is killed by the Mongols. Liu confronts the Mongols and during the ensuing battle to free his sister, the monks from the temple arrive to lend support and help him to defeat the Mongols.
29. Project A (1983)
PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Comedy
Fighting against pirates in "old Hong Kong". Chinese costume drama with plenty of over-the-top tongue in cheek action and music.
INCREDIBLE Stunt and fight sequences. Stuff you'd expect from the masterful Jackie Chan. Sammo Hung And Biao Yuen stars as well, so you know youre gonna get some quality physical humor as well as brilliant stunts and action scenes.
30. Ip Man 2 (2010)
R | 108 min | Action, Biography, Drama
Centering on Ip Man's migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.
Votes: 79,798 | Gross: $0.21M
ALMOST as good as the first, not quite as awesome but still awesome none the less.
Plus Donnie Yen Vs Sammo Hung go for Round II! (they went head on in a little flick prior to this called Kill Zone.)
31. The Big Boss (1971)
R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear.
The film was based on the true story of Cheng Chiu-on who fought the tyrants in Thailand. Cheng lived at the end of the 1800s and beginning of the 20th century. A memorial statue of him was erected in a garden in the Bangkok more than 80 years ago.
I dont give a damn what its listed as, this films title is THE BIG BOSS. Calling it FistS of Fury, never made sense to me, all it did was cause confusion with Bruce's follow-up to this Fist of Fury. Same goes for the renaming of Way of the Dragon to The Return of the Dragon in a low attempt at cashing in on Enter the The Dragon. KEEP THEIR ORIGINAL TITLES DAMMIT.
This is Bruce Lee's 1st movie as an adult (he was a child actor some time during his youth). AND the most bloody. It broke box office records in its first release and reintroduced the world to its first Asian Superstar aswell as its first Martial Arts Cinema Icon.
32. Legendary Weapons of China (1982)
R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
A band of killers from an ailing kung fu and magic society are sent on a manhunt for a former member of the society, whose bad mouthing threatens it's existence.
18 Weapons, 1 Fight.
The final 10-minute fight between the 50-year-old Liu and his real brother, Liu Chia-rong, features the most outstanding and authentic Chinese weapons choreography in the history of the genre. Each weapon is clearly demonstrated in one continuous scene that you wish would never end.
33. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of.
Votes: 817,597 | Gross: $70.10M
Quentin Tarantino Pays "homage" to Asian Cinema.
I personally consider Both "Volumes" one long 4 hour Martial-Arts-Spaghetti-Western-Revenge EPIC.
While watching this film in the theater i had on the biggest grin, i couldnt help but whisper to myself, "Damn, Tarantino sure knows his *beep* - This film is like watching a 4 hour "best, of martial arts & Asian cinema," the countless amount of 'nods', 'homages', and 'references' were a blast to watch. The soundtrack is also damn near PERFECT for the mood, and for setting the tone of the film. I could not praise this film enough. Its just that damn good, especially for us movie nerds. Some of the films that got referenced that i immediately spotted include but not limited to are:
Lady Snowblood Various Shaw Bros. Kung Fu Films Samurai Fiction Bruce Lee Another Battle Sex & Fury Zatoichi Black Lizard The Streetfighter Sukeban Deka Master of the Flying Guillotine Tatooed Swordsman Lone Wolf & Cub Battle Royale Ichi the Killer Five Fingers of Death Samurai Reincarnation etc....
The anime sequence was awesome too, it was the icing to an already tasty cake.
BTW I recommend you pick up the Uncut, Uncensored JAPANESE release of the film, the color is restored during the final fight climax scene with the crazy 88.
34. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
R | 137 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.
Votes: 561,602 | Gross: $66.21M
I personally consider Both "Volumes" one long 4 hour Martial-Arts-Spaghetti-Western-Revenge EPIC.
Quentin Tarantino Pays "homage" to Asian Cinema.
This one showcased the 1 inch punch, made famous by Bruce Lee, and the AWESOME Gordon Liu, of 36 Chambers fame as the BEST character in the entire film. PAI MEI.
TRIVIA: -In order to achieve the specific look of Chinese "wuxia" (martial arts) film of the 1970s, Quentin Tarantino gave director of photography, Robert Richardson, an extensive list of genre films as a crash-course in the visual style they used. The list included films by genre-pioneers Cheh Chang and the Shaw Brothers. Tarantino also forbade the use of digital effects and "professional" gags and squibs. As such, he insisted that bloody spurts be done in the fashion made popular by Chang Cheh: Chinese condoms full of fake blood that would splatter on impact.
-Part of the movie was shot at the legendary The Shaw Brothers Creative Group studio in Hong Kong. Quentin Tarantino has seen so many movies made at the studio that he felt it was important for him to work there.
-Quentin Tarantino had intended for three actors of different nationalities to represent their respective countries. Chia Hui Liu represents China, Sonny Chiba represents Japan, and David Carradine represents the United States. Tarantino said that had Bruce Lee still been alive he'd have been asked to appear in Kill Bill as well.
-The Character Pai Mei is based on Pak Mei, the originator of the "White Eyebrow" kung fu technique. According to legend, Pak Mei was one of the few masters left following the decimation of the Buddhist temples, and later sold out other masters to save himself and his team during an attack they had mounted that subsequently went wrong. For this reason, Pak Mei Kung Fu has always been known as the "forbidden technique," and Pak Mei himself has been a villainous figure in Chinese folklore and film for hundreds of years.
35. The Man from Nowhere (2010)
R | 119 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.
Votes: 49,531 | Gross: $0.01M
Tae-Sik Cha makes Jason Bourne look like an sissy-boy.
36. Unleashed (2005)
R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.
Votes: 90,137 | Gross: $24.52M
"Chained by Violence. Freed by Music."
This is by far Jet Li's finest acting performance. The only film in his career that demands more range as a "serious actor" than anything hes starred in before or since... And he pulls it off quite well. The Martial Arts arent bad either, Woo Ping And Jet collaborates once again to choreograph some of the most vicious and exciting fight sequences produced.
The supporting cast is all star aswell and hits the ball out of the park. Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman, & Kerry Condon were all gave great performances.
37. Shogun Assassin (1980)
R | 85 min | Action, Adventure
When the wife of the Shogun's Decapitator is murdered and he is ordered to commit suicide by the paranoid Shogun, he and his four-year-old son escape and become assassins for hire, embarking on a journey of blood and violent death.
"He whips out his sword and relieves his victims of their heads!"
SHOGUN ASSASSIN is actually a re-released, dubbed version of the first two "Lone Wolf and Cub" films that came out from Japan in the Seventies.
I saw the original two films before seeing this recut, reedited and dubbed version, and i can honestly say i prefer this version, i usually prefer films in their native tongue however the lack of a soundtrack in the original had me literally falling asleep. The story is "dumbed" down here in the dub, but it really doesnt matter, the story wasnt very "intelligent" or complex to begin with, its supposed to be a straight out REVENGE flick. They cut out a few sex and rape scenes in this version aswell as altering or completely removing plenty of the original dialogue, which is refreshing for me, since i felt they were really unnecessary. They kept all the stuff i like from the original cut, which were the decapitation, blood, violence, and Action. But The main reason i prefer this cut is because of the introduction of Daigoro's narration, which isn't present in the original films. It adds a different dimension to the story that it changes the whole tone of the film.
Besides bad dubbing, this flick is better edited, scored, and just an easier place to start. If you like this film then im sure youll hunt down the rest of the "Lone Wolf & Cub Series." like i did... Theres 6 movies in all.
38. Siu nin Wong Fei Hung chi: Tit ma lau (1993)
PG-13 | 85 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
Votes: 13,916 | Gross: $14.68M
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. This is Pure Wire Fu Greatness. Its kinda like a prequel to Jet Li's Once Upon a Time in China Series. A young Wong Fei Hung is featured here before he went on and became an legendary figure in martial arts history.
This could also be described as The Chinese Robin Hood.
39. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)
R | 97 min | Action
The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.
A Shaw Bros Classic and fine piece of Chinese story-telling.
Now while ill admit, most Kung Fu flicks especially those from the 70s & 80s lack any real "story" or "plot" and that the filmmakers are more concerned with the fight choreography & ACTION, not that different from say... Porn. Theres the 1 on 1, 2 on 1, then the group scene right?
This film is an exception. It has a well thought out plot, lots of character development and of course delivers the action only Hong Kong Cinema brings the action.
40. The Street Fighter (1974)
X | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Tough karate master Terry Tsurugi takes it upon himself to protect a late businessman's daughter from the Yakuza.
Do not confuse this with the crappy video game adaptation featuring Van Damme. This one grabs you in the nuts and ripps your balls off. Plus Sonny Chiba makes some of the funniest faces and battle cries since the legendary Bruce Lee. A personal favorite.
TRIVIA: -The blind assassin wielding a cane sword appears to be an obvious reference to the Zatoichi blind swordsman films starring Shintarô Katsu.
-First film to ever get an X rating for violence.
41. Da zui xia (1966)
Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Crime
A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange.
The one that started it all.
This classic directed by the legendary King Hu stars kung fu’s first screen queen, Cheng Pei-pei. She plays the mysterious swordswoman Golden Swallow, who tries to free a kidnapped official held in a Buddhist monastery. It set new standards for martial arts movies as its 20-year-old star became the most renowned kung fu heroine in martial arts cinema history. With fight direction by Hang Ying-jie (the big boss in Bruce Lee’s The Big Boss), Come Drink With Me inspired Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is why Lee insisted on casting Cheng as the treacherous Jade Fox.
42. Zan xian sheng yu zhao qian Hua (1978)
R | 95 min | Action, Drama
Beloved for its combination of thrilling combat choreography and hilarious physical comedy, the film tells the story of a humble cashier who discovers a plot to kill his small town mayor.
Sammo Hung Kicks Ass - Shaw Bros Style!
This flick while not really a Shaw Bros production really feels like a Shaw Bros film, from the look, feel, plot, everything is reminiscent and can be easily mistaken as one of their classics.
This film has some of the best Wing Chun action around.
I for one firmly believe Sammo Hung is just as talented as a film maker and as an martial artist as Jackie Chan. Both Legends in my Book.
43. My Young Auntie (1981)
121 min | Action, Comedy
Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) is an honest and faithful servant of a dying patriarch who wants nothing more than to protect his vast wealth from his selfish, conniving nephew, Yung-Sheng. ... See full summary »
A Personal Favorite, this is a Charming Tale of an Odd Generational Gap. What makes this film work is the always great Kara Hui as the "Young Auntie." Her Martial Arts skills is as magnificent as her Beauty. the film revolves around its provincial protagonist, who struggles to find her way in Americanized Canton. Unlike most "kung-fu comedies," the action scenes are used to reinforce the comedy, instead of the other way around.
Oh and BTW I think its worth mentioning Gordon Liu has an amusing cameo. Complete with a ridiculous looking wig, a mustache, a guitar, and a dance number!
44. The Blade (1995)
105 min | Drama, Action
After the master of the Sharp Manufacturer saber factory abdicates and appoints On, his least popular worker, as his successor, On, unwilling to lead his surly colleagues, embarks on a ... See full summary »
Maybe the Greatest Wuxia film of the 90's.
Tsui Hark’s visceral retelling of The "One-Armed Swordsman."
45. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)
R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.
Votes: 54,760 | Gross: $0.80M
A classic samurai tale that, while very similar to Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” in spirit, is actually a remake of the 1963 film by Eiichi Kudo. It’s a first for Miike, but he still puts his stamp on the material with some great visuals, buckets of blood, and one of the best (and without a doubt longest) fight sequences of the last 30 years.
46. Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978)
PG | 90 min | Action, Comedy
Jackie Chan is a boy who is used as a janitor at his kung-fu school. Jackie Chan can't fight and is always getting bullied by the teachers and pupils. One day an old man helps Jackie train ... See full summary »
One of the two films that separated Jackie from the countless Bruce Lee clones during the 70's, the other being Drunken Master. These two films literally turned Jackie Chan into an overnight sensation.
47. A Touch of Zen (1971)
Not Rated | 200 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks.
A Touch of Zen is the Asian answer too "Once upon a Time in the West" (1968) by Chinese director "King Hu".
48. The Legend II (1993)
R | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
The Cantonese hero Fong Sai Yuk becomes involved in the secret brotherhood "The Red Flower", who are trying to overthrow the Manchurian emperor and re-establishing the Ming dynasty. The ... See full summary »
Now while both films are brilliant and really hilarious i prefer the sequel.
Both Films feature the greatest Mother & Son Kung Fu tag team Ever. Josephine Siao Steals the show BOTH times from Jet Li! Now you have to be one hell of an actor/actress to steal the spotlight from someone like Jet. She was the best thing about both films, well her and the awesome fight choreography of course.
49. Wing Chun (1994)
TV-14 | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Wing Chun, a woman living in a remote village often pillaged by robbers. When Wing Chun finally loses her cool and defeats them, her heroic actions stir up even more trouble in this ... See full summary »
Loosely Based on the life of Yim Wing Chun, Founder of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
There are many schools of Chinese martial arts and their history date back to decades, if not centuries. Among the different sects, Wing Chun is one of the most popular and widely practiced. Wing Chun tells the story of the Founder of the Style. (Some famous Wing Chun Students & Masters include Bruce Lee, Yip Man, Biao Yuen, Sammo Hung, & Jackie Chan. Among many others.)
Donnie Yen stars aswell but as comic relief for a change. Highly recommended.
TRIVIA: -An unofficial prequel/remake has recently been released also based on the life of Yim Wing Chun titled: "Kung Fu Wing Chun" starring: Bai Jing, Yu Shaoqun, Kara Hui, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Colin Chou, so go pick that up ASAP, Because it actually features Wing Chun Martial Arts ALOT more than this film, which is my only complaint for this Michelle Yeoh Gem.
-Pei-pei Cheng, Who stars here as Wing chuns Sifu (Teacher) was a huge female martial arts action star of the 60s and 70s, she was like Michelle Yeoh is today back in the 60s, casting her as Michelle's Wing Chun instructor is sort of like the "passing of the crown."
50. SPL: Sha po lang (2005)
Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A near retired inspector and his unit are willing to put down a crime boss at all costs while dealing with his replacement, who is getting in their way. Meanwhile, the crime boss sends his top henchmen to put an end to their dirty schemes.
No wire-fu, super-slo-mo, or metaphysical metaphors to be seen here, just straight in your face martial arts brutality. Two of the greatest fight scenes ever filmed is featured here back to back.
Which FYI are: Donnie Yen Vs Jacky Wu & Donnie Yen Vs Sammo Hung.
51. Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991)
PG-13 | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Agent Jackie is hired to find WWII Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara desert. He teams up with three bundling women (the 3 stooges?) who are all connected in some way. However a team of ... See full summary »
Votes: 15,337 | Gross: $10.44M
Jackie Chan does Indiana Jones!
52. Dou fo sin (2007)
R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A hot-headed inspector takes on a small but powerful Vietnamese-Chinese gang, after a series of crimes and murder attempts committed and putting an undercover cop and his girlfriend in great danger.
Votes: 11,247 | Gross: $0.00M
Donnie Yen VS Collin Chou. Thats reason enough to see this.
Awesome choreography. The Final Fight sequence was incredible. Donnie Yen has mentioned being a fan of American Mixed Martial Arts action, utilizes some of the grappling moves hes seen them use in this. Good stuff.
53. Seven Samurai (1954)
Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Votes: 254,122 | Gross: $0.27M
One of the greatest Movies Ever Made by one of the Greatest Directors of All-Time.
Even your average film snobs who absolutely despise martial arts movies love this film, and for good reason, its a film that help shape what cinema is today.
54. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Sport
A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.
Votes: 62,759 | Gross: $0.49M
Hilarious movie. a great parody/mix of the Martial Arts & Sports Genre, often copied NEVER duplicated.
TRIVIA: -This was the most successful Hong Kong-made movie ever in Hong Kong, making HK$60 million (about US$4.7 million) at the local box office.
-The Shaolin goalkeeper is a humorous homage to martial arts legend Bruce Lee. H develops a Lee-style haircut and wears a Game of Death (1978) yellow jumpsuit.
55. Sun lung moon hak chan (1992)
88 min | Action
This big hit at the Sundance Film Festival had audiences cheering. Set during the Ming Dynasty, this acclaimed production tells the story of a power hungry eunuch who employs an evil sect ... See full summary »
Hark Tsui's Remake of King Hu's Martial Ats and Swordplay classic "Dragons Inn (1967)" does not disappoint.
Now while both films are magnificent i gotta say i favor this version alot more. and the reason being? - Maggie Cheung. She is Wonderful as the inn keeper, definitely one of her finest performances.
56. Lady Snowblood (1973)
Not Rated | 97 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A young girl is born and raised to be an instrument of revenge.
She spells out revenge with strokes of gushing blood. Her name is Yuki, Japanese for “snow.” Born to be a child of hell, walking the path of vengeance…
Most don’t realize that the film is based on the 1972 Manga of the same name. Writer Kazuo Koike, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, creates his ultimate revenge epic, with Kazuo Kamimura drawing the art. The manga series had never been published in English before despite the pop culture influences of film (Kill Bill for example), probably because of its hyper-violent and hypersexual adult content.
The title character of the series is Syura-Yuki Hime, a cold-blooded assassin-for-hire, who lives only to find and kill those who destroyed her family. Her dark adventures take place during an interesting era in Japanese history called the Meiji Period (1868-1912). It is a time of drastic change as old, traditional customs are torn away by western influences. The age is analogous to the Victorian Era or the old west. The film The Last Samurai would be a good visual frame of reference, note, I say “visual.”
Although her name, Syura-Yuki Hime, is translated as Lady Snowblood, it has several deeper meanings as with all things Japanese. Syura is another way to say cursed or wicked. Snowblood can also be seen as an inverse of Snow White, as her life is the opposite of a fairy tale. A fitting moniker for a woman who carves a bloody course through the Japanese gilded age.
57. Za jia xiao zi (1979)
PG-13 | 92 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Knockabout is Sammo HungÂ's (TVÂ's Martial Law, The Legend Of Zu) brilliant cinematic achievement at merging comedy with kung fu. His meticulous blending of the two ingredients is vividly demonstrated in this film.
Biao Yuen is extremely underrated. The most acrobatic man in Martial Arts cinema needs more praise and exposure than he gets. See this film and hopefully you'll agree with me.
Seriously though, once you get to the training sequences the things he pulls off gets insane.
58. Samurai Fiction (1998)
111 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A noble young samurai searches for a thief who has stolen a precious treasure and killed one of his clansmen and meets an older samurai who tries to deter him from the violence of revenge.
Amazing Combination of Modern and Traditional Film Styles.
59. The Matrix (1999)
R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Votes: 1,356,665 | Gross: $171.48M
There is only 1 true Matrix Movie.
This is Arguably one of the Greatest Martial Arts flick the West has ever produced besides Kill Bill and Enter the Dragon.
And one of the major reasons why is, 2 of those 3 films were choreographed by Hong Kong legend Woo-ping Yuen. (While Enter the Dragon was choreographed by Bruce Lee.)
TRIVIA: -In the combat training program before Keanu Reeves starts his furious attacks on Morpheus, he rubs his nose with his thumb and finger, a similar mannerism of Bruce Lee before he attacks on his opponents. The move was improvised by Reeves.
-When Tank is uploading the Martial Arts training to Neo, there is a shot of the computer screen as it scrolls through the various Martial Arts styles. The graphics have a computer image of a person and the title of the style below. The fifth one on the screen is entitled "Drunken Boxing". Woo-ping Yuen, the fight choreographer for this movie, was director and fight choreographer for Jackie Chan's early hit, Jui kuen (1978) in which Jackie Chan's character masters the style of Zui Chuan, or Drunken Boxing. Some of the other Martial Arts fighting styles being downloaded are Ju Jitsu, Savate, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, and, of course, Kung Fu.
60. Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung (1992)
R | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »
As good as the first.
My only beef with the film really is that Biao Yuen does not reprise his role from the first film (as Boon) and is instead recast with another lesser known actor. I hate that whenever it happens in all films in general.
This film is still worth the view for the Jet Li Vs Donnie Yen Showdown alone.
61. Du bei dao (1967)
R | 111 min | Action, Drama
A noble swordsman, whose arm had been chopped off, returns to his former teacher to defend him from a villainous gang of rival swordsmen.
Chang Cheh's Early Masterpiece.
62. Rurôni Kenshin: Meiji kenkaku roman tan (2012)
TV-MA | 134 min | Action, Drama, History
A former assassin who has resolved to never kill again has his vow sorely tested.
A wonderful adaptation to a great manga.
I hope to see more, particularly live action takes on Samurai X.
63. San siu lam zi (2011)
R | 131 min | Action, Drama
After ambushing and killing his rival, losing everything in the process, dispirited warlord Hou Jie turns to a Shaolin monastery seeking salvation.
Votes: 17,034 | Gross: $0.06M
"In a land torn by strife, the righteous monks of Shaolin stand as a beacon of hope for the oppressed masses."
Shows just how BADASS the Monks of Shaolin can truly be. Andy Lau stars, and for the first time since Legend of Drunken Master, reunites with Jackie Chan, but in a supporting role. This is a great throwback to Jet Li's Older Shaolin films.
64. Dragon (2011)
R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A papermaker gets involved with a murder case concerning two criminals leading to a determined detective suspecting him and the former's vicious father searching for him
Votes: 12,104 | Gross: $0.01M
Wu Xia: China's answer to A History of Violence.
Along with Reign of Assassins, Shaolin, & the Ip Man films, the new wave of kung fu cinema has arrived. A Donnie Yen is Top Dog.
TRIVIA: -Playing the villain of the film is a true legend, Jimmy Wang Yu. This will be the first film Wang appears in in nearly two decades.
Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Five warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each holds a part of information needed to complete the assassination of a mad clan leader.
Once he agrees to kill, nothing can stand in his way.
66. Bai ga jai (1981)
R | 100 min | Action, Comedy
A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »
Biao Yuen, Sammo Hung Delivers once again.
"Martial Arts Purists" will have you believe this is the greatest wing chun film ever made. Now while im obviously a huge kung fu fan, aswell as being an admirer of Biao Yuens work, disagree, sure its pretty damn good, but ive always thought Sammo's Warriors Two was the best, right up until i saw Donnie Yen's Ip Man films.
I dont even think its Biao's best work, his best IMO is Knockabout.
67. Fists of the White Lotus (1980)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Drama
The monk Hung Wen-Ting fights against the evil priest White Lotus.
Gordon Liu Chia Hui plays Hong Wen- Ting, the hero who had defeated Pai Mei only to go toe- to- toe with his twin, who has mastered the fatal "hundred pace palm" technique. Many years later in Kill Bill 2, Gordon Liu acted the part of the evil Pai Mei, the same white- haired character with a fatal "five point palm exploding heart technique."
68. Red Cliff (2008)
R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).
Votes: 39,368 | Gross: $0.63M
As EPIC as they come.
69. Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A betrayed intelligence officer enlists the aid of a prostitute to prove his innocence from a deadly conspiracy while returning a favor to her.
Votes: 55,772 | Gross: $36.85M
One of Jet Li's better NON Chinese efforts.
70. Goemon (2009)
128 min | Action, Drama, History
Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief... See full summary »
Kazuaki Kiriya has delivered one of the best-looking ninja fantasy films ever made. Many attempt it, but few actually accomplish making a "live-action anime" -- yet that is precisely what Goemon is: a movie in love with making ninjas look like superheroes ... except, ya know, superheroes who kill without remorse.
My recommendation? See it in High Definition. This film is BEAUTIFUL in HD.
71. Project A 2 (1987)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Dragon is now transferred to be the police head of Sai Wan district, and has to contend with a gangster kingpin, anti-Manchu revolutionaries, some runaway pirates, Manchu Loyalists and a corrupt police superintendent.
Unfortuantaly Sammo and Biao does not reprise their roles from the first film, that doesn't necessarily mean this isnt a good follow up, Jackie has proven time and time again why he is the best in the business, even without the help of his "Dragon Brothers" This film is Just as good as the first, Action and Comedy-wise.
72. The Legend (1993)
R | 100 min | Action, Comedy, History
This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. ... See full summary »
Balances Martial Arts, Sappy Romance & Humor Perfectly.
Josephine Siao steals the show as Jet's Mother. SO HILARIOUS!
73. Taken (I) (2008)
PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.
Votes: 513,164 | Gross: $145.00M
The martial art style used by Liam Neeson is Nagasu Do. It's a hybrid martial art style that borrows from Judo, Aikido and Ju Jitsu.
74. Su Qi-er (2010)
R | 115 min | Action, Drama, History
Su Qi-Er retired from his life as a renowned Qing dynasty general in order to pursue his dream of a family and his own martial arts school. However, Su's peaceful life is shattered when his... See full summary »
Votes: 7,776 | Gross: $0.08M
Legendary Director Woo-ping Yuen who gave us classics such as Drunken Master, Iron Monkey, & Wing Chun returns to the Directors chair after 14 years since his last directional effort.
A welcomed throwback to the wonderfully awesome Old School Kung Fu Chop Socky Cinema. With special Appearances by Michelle Yeoh, Jay Chou, and the legendary Gordan Liu.
75. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)
R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.
Votes: 43,023 | Gross: $0.85M
Takeshi Kitano takes on this iconic character and makes it his own.
-The blood in the film has been described by many as being "too CGI". Kitano did this intentionally, wanting to "soften the shock to the audience" due to the high body count. Kitano told the CGI artist he wanted the blood to "look like flowers blossoming across the screen."
76. Police Story 2 (1988)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
The Hong Kong super-cop must stop a group of blackmailing bombers at the same time that the villains of the first Police Story are out for revenge.
Not as good as the first or the 3rd IMO but still a damn good movie. Jackie Chan has no bad movies really. Just movies that arent up to par as others.
The Playground Fight Scene is a highlight.
77. Zhong hua zhan shi (1987)
R | 91 min | Action, Drama
Action film about Chinese resistance after Japanese invasion in 1930's
Loads of Fun. Like Jackie did in his Armor of God Films, Michelle Yeoh does the same here, she brings on her take on the 'Indiana Jones' styled action/adventure, cept Hong Kong Style of course, full of superb martial arts fight sequences, humor, thrills and fast paced action.
Michelle Yeoh takes on the Imperial Japanese Army! As the Female Chinese Indiana Jones!
78. District B13 (2004)
R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Set in the ghettos of Paris in 2010, an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb.
Votes: 59,480 | Gross: $1.20M
Great Fight Choreography, Jaw Dropping Stunts & Action Sequences, & Bad English Dubbing. This film has all the elements of a typical Hong Kong Action Classic.
Because that's precisely what this is, Well not really, its got all the elements except actual Hong Kong Actors. Like Ong Bak did before, French director Pierre Morel took cues from Action Classics such as Jackie Chan's Police Story Series and paste em on here with their own special twist to create a thrilling, action packed, flick that's definitely worth your time. Its got it all, "free running," (which Jackie Chan popularized in the 80's and early 90s.) gun fights, hand to hand combat, gangs, car hopping, fence jumping, and the mandatory fight with an unnaturally tall enemy. (well in this case Cyril takes on a tall fat guy.)
Cyril Raffaelli who i was already familiar with prior, thanks to his phenomenal fight scene with Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon is definitely a rising star to keep an eye out for. This is the first flick ive seen him in as a lead and i hope to see more.
79. The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.
Votes: 92,827 | Gross: $52.08M
Jet Li VS Jackie Chan. Nuff said.
I can look past the cliches and predictable story lines just to see my two favorite ass kickers on the planet square off on film for the very first time.
Oh and another thing i really liked was the opening title sequence, call me a major nerd but it was a thrill to see all those Shaw Bros & Bruce Lee homages. :-D
80. Undisputed 3: Redemption (2010 Video)
R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Boyka is back. This time he is fighting in the first ever inter-prison tournament with one knee.
These Undisputed sequels just keep getting better and better.
This is a damn good fight film, great choreography, decent acting & a simple enough story to follow. BUT it lack that certain "something" to truly rank it up there with the greats.
Scott Adkins as a talent to watch out though. The man is a complete Beast.
81. Gong fu yong chun (2010)
110 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
A romantic comedy about the origins of the Wing Chun fighting style.
Based on the early life of Yim Wing Chun, Founder of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
There are many schools of Chinese martial arts and their history date back to decades, if not centuries. Among the different sects, Wing Chun is one of the most popular and widely practiced. Kung Fu Wing Chun tells the story of origin and development of Wing Chun. (Some famous Wing Chun Students & Masters include Bruce Lee, Yip Man, Biao Yuen, Sammo Hung, & Jackie Chan. Among many others.)
Jing Bai is impressive as the title role and even more impressive is the supporting cast which includes Collin Chou as the main villain, Qiu & Wah Yuen as a Married Couple (YES, AGAIN, theyre best known in the west as the Landlord & Lady in Kung Fu Hustle, they have starred together in many more kung fu flicks afterwards including here and is always a joy to watch.) and my favorite casting of all is that of Kara Hui (of My Young Auntie fame) in the role of Wing Chuns Sifu. It reminded me of the casting of Pei-pei Cheng in the original Wing Chun with Michelle Yeoh, they reserved the role for another former "queen of kung fu cinema." And hopefully itll be another "passing of the crown moment."
TRIVIA: -A Young Ip Man shows up at the end were in he asks Yim Wing Chun to teach him martial arts in the same way a Young Bruce Lee shows up at the end of Ip Man 2.
-This is a Remake of Michelle Yeoh's "Wing Chun." & also an "unofficial" Prequel/Spin-Off to Donnie Yen's Ip Man films.
82. Shao Lin xiao zi (1984)
TV-14 | 99 min | Action, Comedy
Two rivaling families live on opposite sides of a river. One of them practices Shaolin kung fu and has only sons, while the other has only daughters and practices the Wu-Tang sword. The ... See full summary »
The Shaolin Temple & Kids from Shaolin are two COMPLETELY different films. The look, feel and overall tone couldn't be more different, the first was more serious with little bits of humor, this is just plain plain fun, and the pace is set in motion by the opening scenes, this one starts of with an animated opening, and a musical. Totally different from the far more serious opening of the 1st film.
With that said, this is still really enjoyable on its own.
What makes this aswell as ALL of Jackie & Jet's "Early" work stand out is the absence of wires, cranes, stuntmen, and CGI, everything you see here is real by actual martial artists, yes even the kids, and thats why the martial arts featured is top notch. No Fakes.
Bottom line is, if youre looking for Some Lighthearted Martial Arts Fun, look no further than Kids from Shaolin.
83. Wu guan (1981)
R | 110 min | Action, Drama
When you combine "Kung-fu" Liu Chia-liang with the greatest kung-fu film character of all time, Huang Fei-hung, you get one of the finest "pure" kung-fu films ever made, with martial arts mastery in every scene.
Liu Chia-liang—whose first directed film, Spiritual Boxer (1978), started the kung fu-comedy genre—helmed Martial Club, which stars Gordon Liu Chia-hui as Huang Fei-hong and includes a rare appearance by Wang Lung-wei as a nonvillain. The final conflict involving those two—which takes place within the confines of a 3-foot-wide alley and without wires—beautifully depicts the effectiveness of hung gar kung fu in tight spaces. This fight inspired Jet Li’s bathroom battle sequence in Unleashed.
84. Bo ming chan dao duo ming qiang (1979)
Unrated | 97 min | Action, Adventure
The titular 'Odd Couple' are Sammo (King of Sabres) and Lau Kar Wing (King of Spears). They compete regularly against each other but every encounter results in a draw! Both decide to ... See full summary »
Aka "Odd Couple"
Skillful balletic duels between the sword and the spear rival even the best work of Jackie Chan and Liu Chia Liang in their intricacy
85. Jian yu (2010)
R | 117 min | Action, History
Drizzle/Zeng Jing tries to start a new life after she had betrayed her gang and hid the remains of monk.
Classic Wuxia Tone Without The Trendier Clichés.
86. Spooky Encounters (1980)
R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Cheung's wife and boss are seeing each other, and decide to dispatch him with a wizard. But the wizard's rival aids and defends Cheung and a magic war rises.
A Vampire/Kung fu movie starring Sammo Hung?! sounds stupid, and it is just that. But guess what? its also extremely entertaining and loads of fun.
87. Shen bu you ji (1980)
Unrated | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Chung Yao, a martial arts expert, has long been on the run from his stepbrother, who he caught trying to rape his wife on their wedding night. His brother has never given up the chase ... See full summary »
Sammo Delivers a funny, and entertaining kung fu film once again, lots of great choreography, from the man, the legend. The "Fat Dragon," Sammo Hung.
88. Karate baka ichidai (1977)
91 min | Action, Biography, Drama
This movie is based on the true life story of a Korean fighter named Choi Bae-dal (who later changed his name to Masutatsu Oyama), the founder of Kyokushin Karate in Japan.
the finale in the Japanese trilogy based on the real life of Masutatsu Oyama--actor Sonny Chiba's instructor in Kyokushinkai Karate, and IMO the Best. The first two films were great aswell give them a view before seeing this.
They are: -Karate Bullfighter (1977) -Karate Bear Fighter (1977) THEN: -Karate for Life (1977)
Word of warning though, this film directly rips off Enter the Dragon's "mirror fight" climax. Chiba even imitates Bruce Lee in the scene. Call it a "homage" a "tribute" or whatever, i still see it as a rip-off. But nevertheless, i still enjoyed the film immensely.
Also worth a mention is the South Korean Remake/Prequel called "Fighter in the Wind:" (Which comes next of my list.)
89. Shao Lin yu Wu Dang (1983)
Unrated | 87 min | Action
Two friends from rival schools are turned against one another by a jealous chief who wants to eliminate those whose fighting styles may rival his own.
AKA "Shaolin & Wu Tang."
Gordon Liu does a great job as he stars and directs this flick about two friends from opposite sides of rival schools of the martial arts.
For the fans of the Hip Hop super group the Wu Tang Clan, this is where they got SOME of the sound samples featured in Enter the 36th Chambers record. They got it from the DUBBED version, which i personally have never seen, i prefer seeing these films in their native tongue. But thats just me.
90. Baramui paiteo (2004)
120 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A young Korean man arrives in Japan near the end of World War II with hopes of being a fighter pilot, but ends up on the streets battling racism, organized crime, occupying American ... See full summary »
South Korean film Based on the (EARLY) years of the life of legendary Korean martial artist Choi Bae-dal (who later changed his name to Masutatsu Oyama), founder of Kyokushinkai Karate.
This could also be classified as a "prequel" too Sonny Chiba's "Oyama Trilogy" were Chiba plays the lead back in the 70's which was also based on the life of Choi Bae-dal.
91. Five Fingers of Death (1972)
R | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance
Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.
Just watch it, its great fun.
TRIVIA: -The English dubbed version, released through Warner Brothers, was the film that launched the craze for "kung fu" movies in the United States.
92. Azumi (2003)
Not Rated | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Raised to deal in cold blooded death, the teenage assassin girl Azumi must defeat three evil warlords while also battling her own heart.
Lots of sword fighting, blood, and over the top fun here. its based on a Manga & spawned a sequel. Check it out.
93. Merantau (2009)
R | 134 min | Action, Drama
In Minangkabau, West Sumatera, Yuda a skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations to begin his "Merantau" a century's old rites-of-passage to be carried out by the ... See full summary »
At first glance this looks like an Ong Bak ripoff. The main actor even resembles Jaa, however this isnt from Thailand and it doesnt showcase Muay Thai at all. Its Indonesian and i think its stands on its own and is pretty damn good. Give it a shot.
94. Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976)
R | 81 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across.
GREAT over the top B-Movie Kung Fu Fun.
95. Arahan jangpung daejakjeon (2004)
114 min | Action, Comedy
As a dorky cop falls in with five Tao masters who admire his c'hi, an ancient foe comes looking for them all.
A truly great modern-urban martial arts film. Not to mention its pretty friggin hilarious too. Its kinda like the South Korean "Kung Fu Hustle."
96. Jing wu feng yun: Chen Zhen (2010)
R | 106 min | Action, Drama, History
Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,697 | Gross: $0.05M
The "Unofficial Sequel" to Fist of Fury. In this Donnie Yen plays that of Chen Zhen a role previously portrayed by Bruce Lee, dones the Kato Costume also a character portrayed by Bruce in the Green Hornet in a strange mix of a film which blends War/Super Hero/Gangster & the Martial Arts genre together. But dont let that scare you from seeing this because the fight sequences are amazing. For Donnie brings on his A game as he pays tribute to his Idol, Bruce Lee.
97. Executioners from Shaolin (1977)
R | 98 min | Action, Drama
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
Another highlight from the era of the "Old School" Kung Fu Flick boom of the 70's.
98. Ji dong qi xia (1989)
114 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
A frozen Ming Dynasty royal guard and the equally frigid rapist-killer he's tracking are thawed out in modern-day Hong Kong.
Also known as "The Iceman Cometh"
the Extremely underrated Martial Arts action star Biao Yuen cuts his ties with Sammo & Jackie to prove in this film that even he can stand on his own.
Maggie Cheung is delightful as his love interest as usual.
Overall i enjoyed the flick it was a nice balance of goofy humor, romance, and action. Highly recommended.
99. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller
A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.
Blood, Gore, and LOTS OF IT! There is no shortage of Over the top goodness here, so if you like that sort of thing, this is a must see...
TRIVIA: -So much and so thick was the fake blood used in the "Meat Grinder" finale that Siu-Wong Fan, the actor who played Ricky, could not wash the red off his skin for three days.
100. Beautiful Boxer (2004)
Unrated | 118 min | Action, Biography, Drama
Bio-pic of transgender Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol who pursued the sport to pay for her sex change operation.
Votes: 2,918 | Gross: $0.00M
Based on the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol