Asian American Film 101by Michael Kang | created - 17 Jan 2012 | updated - 18 Jan 2012 | Public
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)
Passed | 210 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother, who owns a hotel next to Winterslip's estate, in over twenty ... See full summary »
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.
2. The Good Earth (1937)
Passed | 138 min | Drama, Romance
Although married Chinese farmers Wang and O-Lan initially experience success, their lives are complicated by declining fortunes and lean times, as well as the arrival of the beautiful young Lotus.
Ground zero for Asian American film.
3. Flower Drum Song (1961)
Approved | 133 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
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.
Votes: 2,046 | Gross: $10.90M
Know your history.
4. 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: 83,744 | Gross: $25.00M
Read "The Fist That Shook The World" to understand how ahead of his time Bruce truly was.
5. 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.
This one even moreso than Enter is brilliant in its iconography.
6. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
R | 83 min | Comedy
A series of short, highly irreverent, and often tasteless skits.
Find the translation to Dr. Klahn's welcome speech.
7. Up in Smoke (1978)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Music
Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail.
Votes: 31,384 | Gross: $44.36M
Breaking all stereotypes about Asians way before there was a Harold & Kumar.
8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
G | 132 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 70,125 | Gross: $82.26M
Oh my! George Takei on the big screen!
9. Shogun (1980 TV Movie)
125 min | Adventure, Drama, History
An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.
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.
10. Chan Is Missing (1982)
Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Mystery
Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the... See full summary »
This is the original game changer.
11. They Call Me Bruce? (1982)
PG | 87 min | Comedy, Action
A goofy Korean finds his life hopelessly complicated with people continually confusing him with Bruce Lee.
Votes: 1,169 | Gross: $16.89M
This movie changed my life.
12. Sixteen Candles (1984)
PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance
A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.
Votes: 84,800 | Gross: $23.69M
The character that would haunt a whole generation of Asian American men. Wasshapp'nin hot stuff?
13. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure
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.
Votes: 372,058 | Gross: $179.87M
I love Short Round.
14. The Karate Kid (1984)
PG | 126 min | Action, Drama, Family
A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.
Votes: 145,204 | Gross: $90.82M
15. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
R | 90 min | Comedy
At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect.
Votes: 43,151 | Gross: $40.90M
16. The Last Dragon (1985)
PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
In New York City, a young man searches for the "master" to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow. Along the way, he must fight a martial arts expert corrupted ... See full summary »
Votes: 10,460 | Gross: $25.75M
I don't think there were actually any Asians in this movie, but it was the ultimate in black fetishization of Asian culture.
17. The Goonies (1985)
PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.
Votes: 199,567 | Gross: $61.50M
Data was the mold for the over-achieving science nerd Asian kid.
18. Year of the Dragon (1985)
R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.
Votes: 11,716 | Gross: $18.70M
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.
19. Gung Ho (1986)
PG-13 | 111 min | Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 10,201 | Gross: $36.61M
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.
20. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.
Votes: 104,456 | Gross: $11.10M
Great homage to the Shaw Brothers with a great subversion of the white knight mythology.
21. Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
87 min | Crime, Documentary
This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain by an assembly line worker who blamed him for the competition by the Japanese auto ... See full summary »
Powerful documentary by Christine Choy and Rene Tajima.
22. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
R | 116 min | Drama, War
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.
Votes: 554,160 | Gross: $46.36M
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.
23. The Last Emperor (1987)
PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of the final Emperor of China.
Votes: 78,519 | Gross: $43.98M
A sweeping epic period piece with an all Asian cast speaking English!
24. Do the Right Thing (1989)
R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 67,380 | Gross: $27.55M
Spike Lee's best movie and yet still a problematic portrait of Koreans.
25. Black Rain (1989)
R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.
Votes: 42,891 | Gross: $46.21M
I remember liking this movie. I am not sure if it was actually any good.
Unrated | 83 min | Comedy
A man is hired by a group of people he believes to be gangsters to escort a briefcase from America to Hong Kong. When he arrives, however, his contact is nowhere to be found. With no ... See full summary »
Votes: 98 | Gross: $0.11M
This is my personal favorite of Wayne Wang's movies. It was one of the reasons NC-17 became part of the ratings code.
27. New Jack City (1991)
R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.
Votes: 26,488 | Gross: $47.62M
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.
28. Mississippi Masala (1991)
R | 118 min | Drama, Romance
An Indian family is expelled from Uganda when Idi Amin takes power. They move to Mississippi and time passes. The Indian daughter falls in love with a black man, and the respective families... See full summary »
Votes: 4,191 | Gross: $7.31M
Mira Nair's feature with a young Denzel Washington.
29. Mr. Baseball (1992)
PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport
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.
Votes: 8,779 | Gross: $20.88M
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.
30. The Lover (1992)
R | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 16,447 | Gross: $4.90M
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.
31. Combination Platter (1993)
84 min | Drama
One of the few Asian American films on the landscape when I first got out of school.
32. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A fictionalized account of the life of the martial arts superstar.
Votes: 23,905 | Gross: $35.11M
An important film but I prefer the source material.
33. Menace II Society (1993)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.
Votes: 43,610 | Gross: $27.90M
Great film with a very hard to swallow scene of seeing an Asian woman killed point blank.
34. The Wedding Banquet (1993)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 11,847 | Gross: $6.93M
An Ang Lee classic.
35. The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
R | 121 min | Drama, Romance, Western
After being thrown out of her home, a young woman decides to disguise herself as a man to survive the ruthless Wild West.
Votes: 1,231 | Gross: $0.54M
Sorely underrated western with an Asian male love interest.
36. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
R | 139 min | Drama
The life histories of four Asian women and their daughters reflect and guide each other.
Votes: 13,266 | Gross: $32.86M
Every Asian American woman I know remembers Russell eating watermelon.
37. Swimming with Sharks (1994)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime
A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.
Votes: 20,259 | Gross: $0.38M
Brilliant film by Chinese American director George Huang.
38. Mod Fuck Explosion (1994)
67 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
West Side Story meets Rumble in the Bronx meets A Clockwork Orange. Bizarre tale of London, a lonely teen yearning for affection and a leather jacket who lives in a dysfunctional family ... See full summary »
Jon Moritsugu's feature film.
39. Fargo (1996)
R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 515,756 | Gross: $24.61M
Controversial portrayal of serial-killing high school friend weirdo Mike Yanagita by In Living Color alum Steve Park.
40. Too Much Sleep (1997)
PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Mystery
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.
Votes: 112 | Gross: $0.04M
David Maquiling's feature film that got buried as collateral damage in a distribution nightmare.
41. Strawberry Fields (1997)
90 min | Drama
Votes: 62 | Gross: $0.00M
Unassuming beautiful feature by my friend Rea Tajiri.
42. Face/Off (1997)
R | 138 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 307,431 | Gross: $112.23M
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.
43. One Night Stand (1997)
R | 102 min | Drama, Romance
Los Angeles advertisement director Max visits his friend, artist Charlie, who was diagnosed with A.I.D.S. in New York City. There he meets Karen, they are attracted to each other and after ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,975 | Gross: $2.62M
Ming Na and a pre-Vampire pre-tax problems Wesley Snipes.
44. Sunsets (1997)
I never actually got to see this, but I was a huge Giant Robot fan.
45. The Replacement Killers (1998)
R | 87 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
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.
Votes: 24,585 | Gross: $18.97M
Chow Yun Fat's first attempt at a US production.
46. Too Tired to Die (1998)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the ... See full summary »
An amazing cast in a very quirky film by my friend Wonsuk Chin.
47. Hundred Percent (1998)
103 min | Comedy
Three Asian men live in L.A. Isaac is a romantic coffee shop worker, who waits for the woman of his dreams, and loses his balance after meeting a femme fatale called Thaise. Slim is a ... See full summary »
My man, Eric Koyanagi's first film. Features a hot cast of then and future stars within Asian American Hollywood.
48. Shopping for Fangs (1997)
R | 90 min | Drama
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.
From the first wave of new Asian American cinema.
49. Yellow (I) (1998)
R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Eight friends in Los Angeles spend their last evening together as they face graduation from high school and the onset of their adult lives. One of them gets in unexpected trouble when he ... See full summary »
The first Korean American feature film (by and about Korean Americans).
50. Mulan (1998)
G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
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.
Votes: 199,982 | Gross: $120.62M
Disney's first Asian lead character. Not quite a princess, but a step forward.
51. Three Seasons (1999)
PG-13 | 104 min | Drama
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, and when Woody's case of wares disappears, he thinks the ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,862 | Gross: $2.02M
Sundance favorite. Tony Bui's first feature.
52. Life Tastes Good (1999)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama
Two San Francisco detectives discover a corpse in an abandoned car. From the dead man's wallet and a tape recorder, they determine the man was a money launderer. The story is then told in ... See full summary »
Philip Kan Gotanda's first feature.
53. Disoriented (1999)
PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Drama
Disoriented is a unique and touching comedy about an immigrant family lost inside the American Dream. Twenty-something West Cordova is trapped in a waking nightmare. His overbearing mother ... See full summary »
My buddy Francisco Aliwalas's first feature film.
54. Girlfight (2000)
R | 110 min | Drama, Sport
Diana, without her father knowing it, trains as a boxer and achieves impressive success, blazing new trails for female boxers.
Votes: 8,613 | Gross: $1.52M
The film that put Michelle Rodriguez on the map.
55. The Debut (2000)
R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama
The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to... See full summary »
Votes: 589 | Gross: $1.74M
Gene Cajayon's first feature which proved successful in making a self-distribution model.
56. Shanghai Noon (2000)
PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
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.
Votes: 105,456 | Gross: $56.94M
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.
57. Autumn in New York (2000)
PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Romance
Romantic drama about an aging playboy who falls for a sweet, but terminally ill, young woman.
Votes: 21,983 | Gross: $37.75M
Joan Chen's first US directorial effort.
58. 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: 231,063 | Gross: $128.08M
Ang Lee's triumphant return to Asian themes after a string of great non-Asian movies.
59. Charlie's Angels (2000)
PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Three women, detectives with a mysterious boss, retrieve stolen voice-ID software, using martial arts, tech skills, and sex appeal.
Votes: 155,286 | Gross: $125.31M
Lucy Liu an equal partner in kicking ass.
60. Face (2002)
R | 89 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 250 | Gross: $0.11M
Bertha Pan's first feature film.
61. Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities.
Votes: 8,273 | Gross: $3.80M
The game changer... or so we hoped.
62. Charlotte Sometimes (2002)
R | 85 min | Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 1,011 | Gross: $0.08M
Eric Byler's first feature done for $20K and a dream.
63. Die Another Day (2002)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
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.
Votes: 182,393 | Gross: $160.94M
Michelle Yeo's crossover film.
64. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team.
Votes: 95,703 | Gross: $32.54M
The indie film hit.
65. Robot Stories (2003)
Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Winner of over 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart, four stories in which utterly human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office... See full summary »
Votes: 1,344 | Gross: $0.13M
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.
66. 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: 830,483 | Gross: $70.10M
Tarrantino's homage to Japanese film.
67. Torque (2004)
PG-13 | 84 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
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), leader of the most feared biker gang ... See full summary »
Votes: 24,940 | Gross: $21.22M
An unfortunate first time out for maverick music video director Joseph Kahn.
68. Sideways (2004)
R | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 161,584 | Gross: $71.50M
Sandra Oh's motorcycle wielding ass-kicking performance (literally).
69. Saving Face (2004)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.
Votes: 8,469 | Gross: $1.19M
Alice Wu's awesome romantic comedy.
70. Mysterious Skin (2004)
Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Mystery
A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.
Votes: 60,536 | Gross: $0.70M
The first serious film I saw by Gregg Araki. Beautiful melding of his out there aesthetic and sentimental storytelling.
71. The Motel (2005)
Not Rated | 75 min | Comedy, Drama
Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,252 | Gross: $0.05M
I have to include my own films here of course.
72. The Grace Lee Project (2005)
68 min | Documentary
Is your name Grace Lee? Do you think you are the only Grace Lee? Did you know there quite a few of you? Oh yes, it is true. There are many of you and they are all over. They are mostly ... See full summary »
Votes: 110 | Gross: $0.01M
The documentary that put Grace Lee (all of them) on the map.
73. Red Doors (2005)
R | 90 min | Drama
The Wongs struggle to cope with life, love, and family dysfunction in the suburbs of New York.
Georgia Lee's first feature film.
74. Conventioneers (2005)
95 min | Comedy, Romance
At the 2004 Republican Nation Convention, love blooms between a Republican delegate and a Democrat protesting the event.
Mora Stephens' first narrative feature shot totally guerilla and combining doc elements seamlessly.
75. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
PG-13 | 157 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A young wizard finds himself competing in a hazardous tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares.
Votes: 443,204 | Gross: $290.01M
Introduction of the love interest Cho Chang played by Katie Leung.
76. Punching at the Sun (2006)
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.
My man Tanuj Copra's first feature.
77. Journey from the Fall (2006)
R | 135 min | Drama
Thirteen years after the end of the Vietnam War, a family who was tragically affected by the war are forced to emigrate to America.
Votes: 793 | Gross: $0.64M
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.
78. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
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.
Votes: 203,694 | Gross: $62.51M
Justin Lin's launch into full-fledged bankable blockbuster film director. Single-handedly reviving a tired franchise.
79. The Departed (2006)
R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.
Votes: 988,114 | Gross: $132.38M
Scorcese's remake of the incredible Andy Lau film.
80. American Zombie (2007)
Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
Pic documents the daily lives of a small community of the living deceased who make their home in Los Angeles.
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.
81. Cú và chim se se (2007)
PG | 97 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 830 | Gross: $0.05M
Great little film made as part of this new wave of Vietnamese American films.
82. Tie a Yellow Ribbon (2007)
Estranged from her family due to a childhood indiscretion with her white brother, a young Korean adoptee woman seeks to regain a sense of home by exploring ties with the Asian Americans she... See full summary »
My friend Joy Dietrich's first feature.
83. West 32nd (2007)
86 min | Crime, Drama
A lawyer gets mixed up with Korean gangsters in New York City.
I have to include my own films here of course.
84. The Air I Breathe (2007)
R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 32,336 | Gross: $0.03M
Star-studded cast film by director Jieho Lee which was unfortunately not given a chance by critics or audiences.
85. Dòng máu anh hùng (2007)
R | 103 min | Action, Drama, Romance
In French ruled Vietnam in 1922, the French and Vietnamese officers plot to sniff out arch-rebel De Canh. But, Officer Cuong is disabused. He and De Canh's daughter, rebel Vo Thanh Thuy, ... See full summary »
Charlie Nguyen's game changer, creating a new model for Vietnamese American filmmakers to do Vietnamese / US co-productions.
86. Knocked Up (2007)
R | 129 min | Comedy, Romance
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.
Votes: 318,042 | Gross: $148.73M
The first film that put Ken Jeong on the map. As well as the scene stealer performance of Charlyne Yi.
87. Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Music, Romance
Romantic sparks occur between two dance students from different backgrounds at the Maryland School of the Arts.
Votes: 72,888 | Gross: $58.02M
Jon M Chu did to dance movies what Justin Lin did to car movies.
88. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)
R | 104 min | Adventure, Comedy
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.
Votes: 120,535 | Gross: $38.09M
This movie was more subversive and nuanced in its attack on race identity politics than the first. And it was funnier.
89. Ping Pong Playa (2007)
PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Sport
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.
Votes: 2,790 | Gross: $0.08M
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.
90. Gran Torino (2008)
R | 116 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 624,963 | Gross: $148.10M
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.
91. Sin Nombre (2009)
R | 96 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama
A Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster are united in a journey across the American border.
Votes: 28,034 | Gross: $2.53M
92. Up (2009)
PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.
Votes: 766,676 | Gross: $293.00M
A great Asian American lead character of Russell voiced by Asian American Jordan Nagai.
93. The Hangover (2009)
R | 100 min | Comedy
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.
Votes: 633,842 | Gross: $277.32M
Ken Jeong's literal balls out performance.
94. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 184,858 | Gross: $152.27M
Lee Byun Hun's crossover film.
95. Ninja Assassin (2009)
R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy
A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.
Votes: 61,850 | Gross: $38.11M
Rain (비)'s crossover film.
96. The Last Airbender (2010)
PG | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Family
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.
Votes: 129,554 | Gross: $131.56M
M. Night's complete turn away from his community.
97. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart.
Votes: 310,621 | Gross: $31.49M
Graphic novel by hapa Brian Kim O'Malley. Also a major Asian Canadian character Knives Chau played by Ellen Wong.
98. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
PG | 90 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
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.
Votes: 208,591 | Gross: $165.25M
Korean American director at the helm.
99. Fireflies in the Garden (2008)
R | 120 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 11,459 | Gross: $3.39M
Star-studded cast and executive produced by Julia Roberts film by Dennis Lee which unfortunately had been shelved long past its expriration date.
100. 4 Wedding Planners (2011)
TV-PG | 77 min | Comedy
After Lily rejects her boyfriend's marriage proposal, she returns home to Hawaii where she must help out with her mother's weddingplanning business.
I have to include my own films here of course.