Asian American Film 101

A very subjective list of 101 Asian American films that hold some kind of meaning to me. I define "Asian American" here loosely. These are films either made by, about, with or concerning Asian Americans.

There are a lot of very good Asian American films missing from the list but I tried to keep the list to the films that made some kind of impact on me (sometimes not a positive one at that).
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1.
The House Without a Key (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother... (210 mins.)
“ I don't think I've ever seen a Charlie Chan film all the way through but I thought it was important to include one. This was the first Charlie Chan mystery movie. ” - Michael Kang
 
2.
The Good Earth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife... (138 mins.)
Director: Sidney Franklin
“ Ground zero for Asian American film. ” - Michael Kang
 
3.
Flower Drum Song (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young woman arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown from Hong Kong with the intention of marrying a rakish nightclub owner, unaware he is involved with one of his singers. (133 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster
“ Know your history. ” - Michael Kang
 
4.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover. (102 mins.)
Director: Robert Clouse
“ Read "The Fist That Shook The World" to understand how ahead of his time Bruce truly was. ” - Michael Kang
 
5.
The Way of the Dragon (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them. (100 mins.)
Director: Bruce Lee
“ This one even moreso than Enter is brilliant in its iconography. ” - Michael Kang
 
6.
The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A series of short, highly irreverent, and often tasteless skits. (83 mins.)
Director: John Landis
“ Find the translation to Dr. Klahn's welcome speech. ” - Michael Kang
 
7.
Up in Smoke (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail. (86 mins.)
Director: Lou Adler
“ Breaking all stereotypes about Asians way before there was a Harold & Kumar. ” - Michael Kang
 
8.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop the intruder. (132 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
“ Oh my! George Takei on the big screen! ” - Michael Kang
 
9.
Shogun (1980 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan. (125 mins.)
Director: Jerry London
“ This was a huge deal when it came out. I remember sitting around the TV with my family to watch the whole series because there were no other Asian people on TV and it was so refreshing. ” - Michael Kang
 
10.
Chan Is Missing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000... (80 mins.)
Director: Wayne Wang
“ This is the original game changer. ” - Michael Kang
 
11.
They Call Me Bruce? (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A goofy Korean finds his life hopelessly complicated with people continually confusing him with Bruce Lee. (87 mins.)
Director: Elliott Hong
“ This movie changed my life. ” - Michael Kang
 
12.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. (93 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
“ The character that would haunt a whole generation of Asian American men. Wasshapp'nin hot stuff? ” - Michael Kang
 
13.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace. (118 mins.)
“ I love Short Round. ” - Michael Kang
 
14.
The Karate Kid (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager. (126 mins.)
“ Wax on! ” - Michael Kang
 
15.
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect. (90 mins.)
Director: Jeff Kanew
“ Hair Pie ” - Michael Kang
 
16.
The Last Dragon (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In New York City, a young man searches for the "master" to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow... (109 mins.)
Director: Michael Schultz
“ I don't think there were actually any Asians in this movie, but it was the ultimate in black fetishization of Asian culture. ” - Michael Kang
 
17.
The Goonies (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ Data was the mold for the over-achieving science nerd Asian kid. ” - Michael Kang
 
18.
Year of the Dragon (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders. (134 mins.)
Director: Michael Cimino
“ I recall this as one of the few films I knew of that had Asian Americans in it. All I remember about it is the scene that is depicted on the cover. ” - Michael Kang
 
19.
Gung Ho (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
When a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liaison must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor. (112 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ I never actually saw this movie, but it felt like it still had a big impact on me in that I actively had to resist for fear of the Watanabe. ” - Michael Kang
 
20.
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Great homage to the Shaw Brothers with a great subversion of the white knight mythology. ” - Michael Kang
 
21.
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain... (87 mins.)
“ Powerful documentary by Christine Choy and Rene Tajima. ” - Michael Kang
 
22.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue. (116 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ After the effects of Long Duk Dong wore off on my psyche, this film had to come around and screw with me with one little sound bite. ” - Michael Kang
 
23.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
“ A sweeping epic period piece with an all Asian cast speaking English! ” - Michael Kang
 
24.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. (120 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
“ Spike Lee's best movie and yet still a problematic portrait of Koreans. ” - Michael Kang
 
25.
Black Rain (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan. (125 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ I remember liking this movie. I am not sure if it was actually any good. ” - Michael Kang
 
26.
Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A man is hired by a group of people he believes to be gangsters to escort a briefcase from America to Hong Kong... (83 mins.)
“ This is my personal favorite of Wayne Wang's movies. It was one of the reasons NC-17 became part of the ratings code. ” - Michael Kang
 
27.
New Jack City (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him. (97 mins.)
“ I remember feeling empowered that they included Russell Wong as one of the cops. Then the token Asian science/computer cop became its own stereotype. ” - Michael Kang
 
28.
Mississippi Masala (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An Indian family is expelled from Uganda when Idi Amin takes power. They move to Mississippi and time passes... (118 mins.)
Director: Mira Nair
“ Mira Nair's feature with a young Denzel Washington. ” - Michael Kang
 
29.
Mr. Baseball (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Jack Elliot, once a great baseball player, is forced to play in Japan where his brash, egotistical ways cause friction with his new teammates and friends. (108 mins.)
Director: Fred Schepisi
“ This movie happened right around when Sony bought Columbia Pictures and there was all this chatter about how that would affect the story. I don't think I saw it, so I don't know if the story was affected by the studio overlords. ” - Michael Kang
 
30.
The Lover (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other. (115 mins.)
“ The first film where an Asian male was the romantic interest that I was aware of. Problematic in the fact that he is the romantic interest to an underage girl, but groundbreaking nonetheless. ” - Michael Kang
 
31.
Combination Platter (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
(84 mins.)
Director: Tony Chan
“ One of the few Asian American films on the landscape when I first got out of school. ” - Michael Kang
 
32.
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A fictionalized account of the life of the martial arts superstar. (120 mins.)
Director: Rob Cohen
“ An important film but I prefer the source material. ” - Michael Kang
 
33.
Menace II Society (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life. (97 mins.)
“ Great film with a very hard to swallow scene of seeing an Asian woman killed point blank. ” - Michael Kang
 
34.
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
To satisfy his nagging parents, a gay landlord and a female tenant agree to a marriage of convenience, but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand. (106 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ An Ang Lee classic. ” - Michael Kang
 
35.
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Based on a true story, this is the tale of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman of the mid-nineteenth century... (121 mins.)
“ Sorely underrated western with an Asian male love interest. ” - Michael Kang
 
36.
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The life histories of four Asian women and their daughters reflect and guide each other. (139 mins.)
Director: Wayne Wang
“ Every Asian American woman I know remembers Russell eating watermelon. ” - Michael Kang
 
37.
Swimming with Sharks (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss. (93 mins.)
Director: George Huang
“ Brilliant film by Chinese American director George Huang. ” - Michael Kang
 
38.
Mod Fuck Explosion (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
West Side Story meets Rumble in the Bronx meets A Clockwork Orange. Bizarre tale of London, a lonely... (67 mins.)
Director: Jon Moritsugu
“ Jon Moritsugu's feature film. ” - Michael Kang
 
39.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ Controversial portrayal of serial-killing high school friend weirdo Mike Yanagita by In Living Color alum Steve Park. ” - Michael Kang
 
40.
Too Much Sleep (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
While riding the bus one day, night watchman Jack Crawford gets distracted by a beautiful girl and has his gun stolen. To get it back, he enlists the help of local wise guy, Eddie, and their search reveals the bizarre characters lurking in the strange underworld of a sleepy New Jersey suburb. (88 mins.)
Director: David Maquiling
“ David Maquiling's feature film that got buried as collateral damage in a distribution nightmare. ” - Michael Kang
 
41.
Strawberry Fields (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Rea Tajiri
“ Unassuming beautiful feature by my friend Rea Tajiri. ” - Michael Kang
 
42.
Face/Off (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent. (138 mins.)
Director: John Woo
“ Not John Woo's first US production, but the one that tried most to emulate his HK movies and translate the ideas of brotherhood across the lines of the law. ” - Michael Kang
 
43.
One Night Stand (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Los Angeles advertisement director Max visits his friend, artist Charlie, who was diagnosed with A.I.D.S... (102 mins.)
Director: Mike Figgis
“ Ming Na and a pre-Vampire pre-tax problems Wesley Snipes. ” - Michael Kang
 
44.
Sunsets (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(98 mins.)
“ I never actually got to see this, but I was a huge Giant Robot fan. ” - Michael Kang
 
45.
The Replacement Killers (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A troubled hitman seeks aid from a forger to help him get papers to China. However, the drug lord has hired replacements to finish the job, and kill the hitman. (87 mins.)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
“ Chow Yun Fat's first attempt at a US production. ” - Michael Kang
 
46.
Too Tired to Die (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her... (97 mins.)
Director: Wonsuk Chin
“ An amazing cast in a very quirky film by my friend Wonsuk Chin. ” - Michael Kang
 
47.
Hundred Percent (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three Asian men live in L.A. Isaac is a romantic coffee shop worker, who waits for the woman of his dreams... (103 mins.)
Director: Eric Koyanagi
“ My man, Eric Koyanagi's first film. Features a hot cast of then and future stars within Asian American Hollywood. ” - Michael Kang
 
48.
Shopping for Fangs (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A married woman, who's been getting seductive phone calls from a lesbian, and a man, who believes he might be a werewolf, are about to find out who they deep down really are. (90 mins.)
“ From the first wave of new Asian American cinema. ” - Michael Kang
 
49.
Yellow (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Eight friends in Los Angeles spend their last evening together as they face graduation from high school and the onset of their adult lives... (90 mins.)
Director: Chris Chan Lee
“ The first Korean American feature film (by and about Korean Americans). ” - Michael Kang
 
50.
Mulan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China's greatest heroines in the process. (88 mins.)
“ Disney's first Asian lead character. Not quite a princess, but a step forward. ” - Michael Kang
 
51.
Three Seasons (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An American in Ho Chi Minh City looks for a daughter he fathered during the war. He meets Woody, a child who's a street vendor... (113 mins.)
Director: Tony Bui
“ Sundance favorite. Tony Bui's first feature. ” - Michael Kang
 
52.
Life Tastes Good (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Two San Francisco detectives discover a corpse in an abandoned car. From the dead man's wallet and a tape recorder... (88 mins.)
“ Philip Kan Gotanda's first feature. ” - Michael Kang
 
53.
Disoriented (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Disoriented is a unique and touching comedy about an immigrant family lost inside the American Dream... (90 mins.)
“ My buddy Francisco Aliwalas's first feature film. ” - Michael Kang
 
54.
Girlfight (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Diana, without her father knowing it, trains as a boxer and achieves impressive success, blazing new trails for female boxers. (110 mins.)
Director: Karyn Kusama
“ The film that put Michelle Rodriguez on the map. ” - Michael Kang
 
55.
The Debut (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage... (94 mins.)
Director: Gene Cajayon
“ Gene Cajayon's first feature which proved successful in making a self-distribution model. ” - Michael Kang
 
56.
Shanghai Noon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A Chinese man who travels to the Wild West to rescue a kidnapped princess. After teaming up with a train robber, the unlikely duo takes on a Chinese traitor and his corrupt boss. (110 mins.)
Director: Tom Dey
“ Except for the fact that Jackie doesn't get to kiss Lucy Liu at the end of this movie, I prefer this series to the demeaning Rush Hour movies. This one was smart and funny. ” - Michael Kang
 
57.
Autumn in New York (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Romantic drama about an aging playboy who falls for a sweet, but terminally ill, young woman. (103 mins.)
Director: Joan Chen
“ Joan Chen's first US directorial effort. ” - Michael Kang
 
58.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ Ang Lee's triumphant return to Asian themes after a string of great non-Asian movies. ” - Michael Kang
 
59.
Charlie's Angels (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Three women, detectives with a mysterious boss, retrieve stolen voice-ID software, using martial arts, tech skills, and sex appeal. (98 mins.)
Director: McG
“ Lucy Liu an equal partner in kicking ass. ” - Michael Kang
 
60.
Face (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Genie, a Chinese-American teenager, develops feelings for a charming African-American DJ, but her grandmother forbids their romance forcing Genie to choose between family and love. (89 mins.)
“ Bertha Pan's first feature film. ” - Michael Kang
 
61.
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities. (101 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
“ The game changer... or so we hoped. ” - Michael Kang
 
62.
Charlotte Sometimes (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Michael, a young mechanic, is forced to choose between a daring tryst with an alluring stranger and the habitual comfort of his bittersweet obsession: his beautiful young tenant. (85 mins.)
Director: Eric Byler
“ Eric Byler's first feature done for $20K and a dream. ” - Michael Kang
 
63.
Die Another Day (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul who is funding the development of an international space weapon. (133 mins.)
Director: Lee Tamahori
“ Michelle Yeo's crossover film. ” - Michael Kang
 
64.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team. (112 mins.)
Director: Gurinder Chadha
“ The indie film hit. ” - Michael Kang
 
65.
Robot Stories (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Winner of over 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart, four stories in which utterly... (85 mins.)
Director: Greg Pak
“ My man, Greg Pak's first feature. A collection of four short sci-fi stories done on a micro-budget. Also a successful run at self-distribution. ” - Michael Kang
 
66.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (111 mins.)
“ Tarrantino's homage to Japanese film. ” - Michael Kang
 
67.
Torque (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
Biker Cary Ford is framed by an old rival and biker gang leader for the murder of another gang member who happens to be the brother of Trey (Ice Cube)... (84 mins.)
Director: Joseph Kahn
“ An unfortunate first time out for maverick music video director Joseph Kahn. ” - Michael Kang
 
68.
Sideways (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. (126 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
“ Sandra Oh's motorcycle wielding ass-kicking performance (literally). ” - Michael Kang
 
69.
Saving Face (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations. (91 mins.)
Director: Alice Wu
“ Alice Wu's awesome romantic comedy. ” - Michael Kang
 
70.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth. (105 mins.)
Director: Gregg Araki
“ The first serious film I saw by Gregg Araki. Beautiful melding of his out there aesthetic and sentimental storytelling. ” - Michael Kang
 
71.
The Motel (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way... (75 mins.)
Director: Michael Kang
“ I have to include my own films here of course. ” - Michael Kang
 
72.
The Grace Lee Project (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Is your name Grace Lee? Do you think you are the only Grace Lee? Did you know there quite a few of you... (68 mins.)
Director: Grace Lee
“ The documentary that put Grace Lee (all of them) on the map. ” - Michael Kang
 
73.
Red Doors (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The Wongs struggle to cope with life, love, and family dysfunction in the suburbs of New York. (90 mins.)
Director: Georgia Lee
“ Georgia Lee's first feature film. ” - Michael Kang
 
74.
Conventioneers (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
At the 2004 Republican Nation Convention, love blooms between a Republican delegate and a Democrat protesting the event. (95 mins.)
Director: Mora Stephens
“ Mora Stephens' first narrative feature shot totally guerilla and combining doc elements seamlessly. ” - Michael Kang
 
75.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young wizard finds himself competing in a hazardous tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares. (157 mins.)
Director: Mike Newell
“ Introduction of the love interest Cho Chang played by Katie Leung. ” - Michael Kang
 
76.
Punching at the Sun (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the aftermath of 9/11 and his brother's murder, a South Asian teen living in Queens struggles to keep his anger in check.
Director: Tanuj Chopra
“ My man Tanuj Copra's first feature. ” - Michael Kang
 
77.
Journey from the Fall (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Thirteen years after the end of the Vietnam War, a family who was tragically affected by the war are forced to emigrate to America. (135 mins.)
Director: Ham Tran
“ A huge hit in the Vietnamese American community. Shines a light on the biggest problem with the Asian American community in its inability to come together and support a great film regardless of the specific cultural setting. ” - Michael Kang
 
78.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America. (104 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
“ Justin Lin's launch into full-fledged bankable blockbuster film director. Single-handedly reviving a tired franchise. ” - Michael Kang
 
79.
The Departed (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. (151 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Scorcese's remake of the incredible Andy Lau film. ” - Michael Kang
 
80.
American Zombie (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Pic documents the daily lives of a small community of the living deceased who make their home in Los Angeles. (90 mins.)
Director: Grace Lee
“ Grace Lee's first turn at narrative film. Very well done. This along with Gina Kim's Never Forever and my film West 32nd were the three films in that time period that were being scrutinized for their Korean / US co-production models. None made the impact that I think any of us hoped for. ” - Michael Kang
 
81.
Owl and the Sparrow (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In modern-day Saigon, three lonely strangers form a unique family as a ten-year old orphan plays matchmaker to a zookeeper and a beautiful flight attendant. (97 mins.)
Director: Stephane Gauger
“ Great little film made as part of this new wave of Vietnamese American films. ” - Michael Kang
 
82.
Tie a Yellow Ribbon (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Estranged from her family due to a childhood indiscretion with her white brother, a young Korean adoptee...
Director: Joy Dietrich
“ My friend Joy Dietrich's first feature. ” - Michael Kang
 
83.
West 32nd (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A lawyer gets mixed up with Korean gangsters in New York City. (86 mins.)
Director: Michael Kang
“ I have to include my own films here of course. ” - Michael Kang
 
84.
The Air I Breathe (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life. (95 mins.)
Director: Jieho Lee
“ Star-studded cast film by director Jieho Lee which was unfortunately not given a chance by critics or audiences. ” - Michael Kang
 
85.
The Rebel (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In French ruled Vietnam in 1922, the French and Vietnamese officers plot to sniff out arch-rebel De Canh... (103 mins.)
Director: Charlie Nguyen
“ Charlie Nguyen's game changer, creating a new model for Vietnamese American filmmakers to do Vietnamese / US co-productions. ” - Michael Kang
 
86.
Knocked Up (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child. (129 mins.)
Director: Judd Apatow
“ The first film that put Ken Jeong on the map. As well as the scene stealer performance of Charlyne Yi. ” - Michael Kang
 
87.
Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Romantic sparks occur between two dance students from different backgrounds at the Maryland School of the Arts. (98 mins.)
Director: Jon M. Chu
“ Jon M Chu did to dance movies what Justin Lin did to car movies. ” - Michael Kang
 
88.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After being mistaken for terrorists and thrown into Guantánamo Bay, stoners Harold and Kumar escape and return to the U.S., where they proceed to flee across the country with federal agents in hot pursuit. (104 mins.)
“ This movie was more subversive and nuanced in its attack on race identity politics than the first. And it was funnier. ” - Michael Kang
 
89.
Ping Pong Playa (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A kid dreams of playing professional basketball in order to escape his dead-end job, living in the suburbs, his bossy older brother and running his Mom's ping pong classes. (96 mins.)
Director: Jessica Yu
“ Jessica Yu's first outing as feature film director after a successful career in TV and documentaries. A personal sidenote, this was the film we saw the night before my daughter was born. ” - Michael Kang
 
90.
Gran Torino (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. (116 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Easily one of the best Asian American film not made by an Asian American. Clint Eastwood subverts the tired trope of the white man savior on its head in a masterful way. ” - Michael Kang
 
91.
Sin Nombre (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster are united in a journey across the American border. (96 mins.)
“ Sundance favorite. ” - Michael Kang
 
92.
Up (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. (96 mins.)
“ A great Asian American lead character of Russell voiced by Asian American Jordan Nagai. ” - Michael Kang
 
93.
The Hangover (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding. (100 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
“ Ken Jeong's literal balls out performance. ” - Michael Kang
 
94.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
An elite military unit comprised of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, operating out of The Pit, takes on an evil organization led by a notorious arms dealer. (118 mins.)
Director: Stephen Sommers
“ Lee Byun Hun's crossover film. ” - Michael Kang
 
95.
Ninja Assassin (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan. (99 mins.)
Director: James McTeigue
“ Rain (비)'s crossover film. ” - Michael Kang
 
96.
The Last Airbender (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Follows the adventures of Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, who must master all four elements and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water Tribes and the Earth Kingdom. (103 mins.)
“ M. Night's complete turn away from his community. ” - Michael Kang
 
97.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. (112 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ Graphic novel by hapa Brian Kim O'Malley. Also a major Asian Canadian character Knives Chau played by Ellen Wong. ” - Michael Kang
 
98.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past. (90 mins.)
“ Korean American director at the helm. ” - Michael Kang
 
99.
Fireflies in the Garden (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The Taylor family is devastated by an accident that takes place on the day their matriarch is due to graduate from college -- decades after leaving to raise her children. (120 mins.)
Director: Dennis Lee
“ Star-studded cast and executive produced by Julia Roberts film by Dennis Lee which unfortunately had been shelved long past its expriration date. ” - Michael Kang
 
100.
4 Wedding Planners (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  
After Lily rejects her boyfriend's marriage proposal, she returns home to Hawaii where she must help out with her mother's weddingplanning business. (77 mins.)
Director: Michael Kang
“ I have to include my own films here of course. ” - Michael Kang