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, Fantasy

93 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: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 243,150 | Gross: $128.08M

2. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)

R | 115 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, Chia Yung Liu, Norman Chu

Votes: 13,379

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: 23,667

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: 14,805 | Gross: $14.68M

5. Hero (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

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: 168,061 | Gross: $53.71M

6. Drunken Master II (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: 40,864 | 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: 119,206 | 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: 1,855

9. Five Fingers of Death (1972)

R | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament.

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

Votes: 2,603

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, Billy Chan

Votes: 4,712

11. The One-Armed Swordsman (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.

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

Votes: 2,562

12. Come Drink with Me (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.

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

Votes: 3,367

13. Enter the Dragon (1973)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

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

Votes: 90,575 | 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, Kuan Tai Chen

Votes: 1,790

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: 361

16. The Invincible Armour (1977)

Unrated | 90 min | Action, Drama

Hwang Jang Lee is a corrupt Ming guard who frames John Liu for murder. A wanted fugitive, John hides out with a teen who is an expert in the infamous Iron Armor technique, a technique that ... See full summary »

Director: See-Yuen Ng | Stars: John Liu, Jung-Lee Hwang, Chiang Wang, Hsin Hsing Kuo

Votes: 697

17. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

Not Rated | 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 »

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

Votes: 2,334

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: 1,141

19. Warriors Two (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.

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

Votes: 1,053

20. Fist of Legend (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.

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

Votes: 21,364

21. Ip Man (2008)

R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

59 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 198,998

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: 70,359 | 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: 16,292

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: 817

25. Shaolin Temple (1982)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, 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: 3,726

26. Have Sword Will Travel (1969)

101 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: 514

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: 8,993

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: 88,556 | Gross: $0.21M

29. 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 »

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

Votes: 2,868

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, Woo-sung Jung, Xueqi Wang, Barbie Hsu

Votes: 7,126

31. True Legend (2010)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

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 »

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

Votes: 8,174 | 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, Wei Tang, Jia-Min Li

Votes: 13,087 | 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: 40,342 | 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: 201

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: 1,249

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: 1,592

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: 629

38. 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 (Siu Tin Yuen), a Master of drunken martial arts.

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

Votes: 33,276

39. The Way of the Dragon (1972)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

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: 29,351

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, Kwok-Hung Lam

Votes: 25,987 | Gross: $0.11M

41. SPL: 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: 10,738

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: 9,843 | 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: 825

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: 7,209

45. The Grandmaster (2013)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 29,331 | Gross: $6.59M

46. The Assassin (2015)

Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Drama, History

80 Metascore

A female assassin receives a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in eighth-century China.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou | Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Yun Zhou, Satoshi Tsumabuki

Votes: 14,448 | Gross: $0.61M

47. Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, Chao Deng, Carina Lau, Bingbing Li

Votes: 9,893 | Gross: $0.46M

48. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Dandan Song

Votes: 103,650 | Gross: $11.05M

49. The 13 Cold Blooded Eagles (1992)

100 min | Action, Drama