The 100 greatest martial arts actions of China

by IgorBalashov | created - 15 May 2011 | updated - 25 Jul 2016 | Public

The best "wuxia" or "kung fu" or "wushu" movies filmed in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

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1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chang Chen

Votes: 270,211 | Gross: $128.08M

2. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)

R | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A man studies kung fu at the Shaolin Temple to fight back against the oppressive Manchu government.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Yue Wong, Chia-Yung Liu

Votes: 16,767

3. Fist of Fury (1972)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A young man seeks vengence for the death of his teacher.

Director: Wei Lo | Stars: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi

Votes: 31,062 | Gross: $1.29M

4. Iron Monkey (1993)

PG-13 | 85 min | Action, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang, Sze-Man Tsang

Votes: 16,560 | Gross: $14.68M

5. Hero (2002)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

85 Metascore

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 182,102 | Gross: $53.71M

6. The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy

74 Metascore

A young martial artist is caught between respecting his pacifist father's wishes or stopping a group of disrespectful foreigners from stealing precious artifacts.

Directors: Chia-Liang Liu, Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, Lung Ti, Anita Mui

Votes: 46,490 | Gross: $11.55M

7. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

78 Metascore

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.

Director: Stephen Chow | Stars: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen, Siu-Lung Leung

Votes: 140,823 | Gross: $17.11M

8. Heroes of the East (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 »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Yuka Mizuno, Yasuaki Kurata, Naozo Kato

Votes: 2,359

9. Five Fingers of Death (1972)

R | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance

As two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament, one school's master is a dishonorable man, and to ensure his son wins the title, he hires three Japanese samurais, who target the rival school's best fighter.

Director: Chang-hwa Jeong | Stars: Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao, Chin-Feng Wang

Votes: 3,562

10. 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.

Director: King Hu | Stars: Feng Hsu, Chun Shih, Ying Bai, Peng Tien

Votes: 6,499

11. The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)

R | 115 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.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Chung-Hsin Huang, Yin-Tze Pan

Votes: 3,289

12. Come Drink with Me (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Crime

Bandits kidnap a governor's son and demand their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange. The governor's daughter, a skilled martial artist, is sent to rescue him, but eventually finds herself overmatched and in need of assistance.

Director: King Hu | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Hua Yueh, Chih-Ching Yang, Hung-Lieh Chen

Votes: 4,355

13. Enter the Dragon (1973)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

A secret agent comes to an opium lord's island fortress with other fighters for a martial-arts tournament.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri

Votes: 105,388 | Gross: $25.00M

14. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime

A laborer moves to Shanghai in the hope of becoming rich. But ends up using his kung fu skills to survive.

Director: Ching-Po Wong | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Andy On, Philip Ng, Luxia Jiang

Votes: 2,020

15. Kung Fu Wing Chun (2010)

110 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

A romantic comedy about the origins of the Wing Chun fighting style.

Director: Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung | Stars: Jing Bai, Shaoqun Yu, Collin Chou, Tak-Wah Chow

Votes: 398

16. The Invincible Armour (1977)

Unrated | 90 min | Action, Drama

A corrupt official frames a man for murder. The man studies a martial arts style that makes his body as strong as iron, so he can counter the official's own incredible fighting skills.

Director: See-Yuen Ng | Stars: John Liu, Jeong-lee Hwang, Tino Wong, Hsin Hsing Kuo

Votes: 988

17. The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama

Mongols with the help of an insider, ambush the influential Yang Family, defenders of the dynasty. The Mongols must hunt down all Yang survivors so their insidious plot to overthrow the dynasty will not be uncovered.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Sheng Fu, Lily Li, Kara Wai

Votes: 3,154

18. Fists of the White Lotus (1980)

PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Drama

The monk Hung Wen-Ting fights against the evil priest White Lotus.

Director: Lieh Lo | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Lung-Wei Wang, Kara Wai

Votes: 1,783

19. Warriors Two (1978)

R | 95 min | Action, Comedy, 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.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Ka-Yan Leung, Ho Wang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Chia-Yung Liu

Votes: 1,408

20. Fist of Legend (1994)

R | 103 min | Action, Drama

In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.

Director: Gordon Chan | Stars: Jet Li, Shinobu Nakayama, Siu-Ho Chin, Billy Chow

Votes: 23,946

21. Ip Man (2008)

R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

59 Metascore

During the Japanese invasion of China, a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home when his city is occupied. With little means of providing for themselves, Ip Man and the remaining members of the city must find a way to survive.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan, Ka-Tung Lam

Votes: 224,647

22. Fearless (2006)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Biography, Drama

70 Metascore

A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.

Director: Ronny Yu | Stars: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong, Yun Qu

Votes: 76,414 | Gross: $24.63M

23. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

47 Metascore

A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr., Natasha Liu Bordizzo

Votes: 19,815

24. Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy

A disgraced former Kung Fu expert makes a living as a merchant with the help of a hot headed friend. When the men are harassed by gangsters, the merchant decided to teach his friend monkey boxing so they can defend their business.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Liang Liu, Hou Hsiao, Kara Wai, Lieh Lo

Votes: 990

25. Shaolin Temple (1982)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A young man, hounded by a psychopathic general, learns martial arts at the Shaolin temple to avenge his father's death. To achieve this he forgoes a budding romance with his kungfu master's daughter, a shepherdess.

Director: Hsin-Yen Chang | Stars: Jet Li, Hai Yu, Chenghui Yu, Lan Ding

Votes: 4,470

26. Have Sword, Will Travel (1969)

102 min | Action, Drama, History

Ying Ke-Feng, head of Peerless Manor, is an expert swordsman whose escort business transports 200,000 taels of silver to the capital each year. This year, however, he is afflicted with an ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Ching Lee, Miao Ching

Votes: 697

27. 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.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Siu-Ho Chin, Fennie Yuen

Votes: 10,280

28. Ip Man 2 (2010)

R | 108 min | Action, Biography, Drama

67 Metascore

Centering on Ip Man's migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Xiaoming Huang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Lynn Xiong

Votes: 105,871 | Gross: $0.21M

29. Wing Chun (1994)

TV-14 | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Wing Chun's village is yet again being plundered by bandits. This time she uses kung fu to defeat them. The fighting doesn't end here.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, King-Tan Yuen, Catherine Yan Hung

Votes: 3,242

30. Reign of Assassins (2010)

R | 117 min | Action, Adventure

Drizzle/Zeng Jing tries to start a new life after she had betrayed her gang and hid the remains of monk.

Directors: Chao-Bin Su, John Woo | Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-sung, Xueqi Wang, Barbie Hsu

Votes: 8,353

31. True Legend (2010)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

China, 1861: After rescuing the Qing prince from rebels, General Su retires to start a martial arts school. His foster brother betrays him and Su barely survives. Su has a new enemy to defeat.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Wenzhuo Zhao, Xun Zhou, Andy On, Xiaodong Guo

Votes: 8,929 | Gross: $0.08M

32. Dragon (2011)

R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

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

Director: Peter Ho-Sun Chan | Stars: Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tang Wei, Jia-Min Li

Votes: 15,077 | Gross: $0.01M

33. Ip Man 3 (2015)

PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Biography, Drama

57 Metascore

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.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Lynn Xiong, Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson

Votes: 56,088 | Gross: $2.68M

34. The Bells of Death (1968)

84 min | Action, Drama

Wei Fu is a seemingly unremarkable woodcutter but when his family is wiped out by psychotic marauders, Wei undertakes extensive martial arts training at the hands of an expert swordsman and sets out to exact revenge on the evildoers.

Director: Feng Yueh | Stars: Yi Chang, Ping Chin, Hsin-Yen Chao, Kau Lam

Votes: 271

35. Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Drama

A son tries to avenge his father, and gets two sword fighters to help him.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Pai Wei, Damian Lau, Kong Lau, Chau-Wah Yim

Votes: 1,616

36. Duel to the Death (1983)

R | 86 min | Action, Drama

The best sword master from China vs the best sword master from Japan. Who will win?

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Norman Chu, Damian Lau, Flora Chong-Leen, Paul Chang Chung

Votes: 2,142

37. The Magic Blade (1976)

Not Rated | 86 min | Action, Drama

Don't miss this one it is excellent. Chinese sword masters pair up to fight off yet another villain for the deadly PeacockDart. The ending is eye popping don't miss this one. Shaw Brothers come thru yet again

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lung Ti, Lieh Lo, Li Ching, Ni Tien

Votes: 802

38. Drunken Master (1978)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Comedy

68 Metascore

Wong Fei-Hung is a mischievous yet righteous young man, but after a series of incidents his frustrated father has him disciplined by a master of drunken martial arts.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Jackie Chan, Siu-Tin Yuen, Jeong-lee Hwang, Dean Shek

Votes: 40,756

39. The Way of the Dragon (1972)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

Director: Bruce Lee | Stars: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao, Ping-Ou Wei

Votes: 37,762 | Gross: $4.06M

40. Police Story (1985)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

78 Metascore

A virtuous Hong Kong Police Officer must clear his good name when the drug lord he is after frames him for the murder of a dirty cop.

Directors: Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen | Stars: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Yuen Chor

Votes: 37,267 | Gross: $0.11M

41. Kill Zone (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.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Jing Wu

Votes: 12,563

42. Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

In postwar Hong Kong, legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is reluctantly called into action once more, when what begin as simple challenges from rival kung fu styles soon draw him into ... See full summary »

Director: Herman Yau | Stars: Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Gillian Chung, Jordan Chan, Eric Tsang

Votes: 11,286 | Gross: $0.04M

43. Gallants (2010)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Weedy office worker Cheung is sent to a remote village to secure property rights for his real estate company. Two martial artists run the village's teahouse, which was once the kung-fu ... See full summary »

Directors: Clement Sze-Kit Cheng, Chi-Kin Kwok | Stars: Siu-Lung Leung, Kuan Tai Chen, Teddy Robin Kwan, You-Nam Wong

Votes: 959

44. 14 Blades (2010)

R | 114 min | Action, History, Thriller

50 Metascore

A kung fu thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and centered on a secret service agent (Donnie Yen) in the emperor's court who is betrayed and then hunted by his colleagues.

Director: Daniel Lee | Stars: Donnie Yen, Wei Zhao, Chun Wu, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung

Votes: 8,165