The Best 150 Asian Movies

by dimkovachev | created - 10 May 2012 | updated - 17 Feb 2017 | Public
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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: 235,859 | Gross: $128.08M

2. Ying xiong (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: 163,020 | Gross: $53.71M

3. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 100,781 | Gross: $2.73M

4. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

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: 112,893 | Gross: $17.11M

5. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 440,050 | Gross: $0.71M

6. The Chaser (2008)

Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Thriller

64 Metascore

A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.

Director: Hong-jin Na | Stars: Yoon-Seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim

Votes: 47,354

7. Battle Royale (2000)

Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 156,030

8. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 273,060 | Gross: $0.27M

9. Xing kong (2011)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

71 Metascore

12-year-old Mei grew up with her grandparents in the mountains, but now lives with her parents in the city. Her parents constantly fight and she ignored at home. Mei withdraws into her own world and imagination.

Director: Tom Lin | Stars: Jiao Xu, Hui-Min Lin, Rene Liu, Harlem Yu

Votes: 1,029

Starry Starry Night (星空) is a 2011 Taiwanese fantasy drama film based on an illustrated novel by Taiwanese author Jimmy Liao.

Xiao Mei used to live with her grandparents up in the mountains. When she later moves to the city to live with her parents, she finds the place cold and distant as compared to the village she once lived in. She longs for a simple and carefree life, and the experience of lying down on a field at night and looking up to the starry night above. Her parents are experiencing work-related stress and are having marriage problems.

One day, Xiao Mei was attracted to a beautiful recorder melody of a Christmas carol being played by her neighbor. She later learns that the neighbor is called Xiao Jie, a problematic child who is a new student in her school. Xiao Mei starts to be attracted to Xiao Jie, who is always getting bullied by the rest of his classmates

10. Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006)

R | 114 min | Action, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu

Votes: 39,508 | Gross: $6.57M

11. Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (2005)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Star-crossed lovers must fight on opposing sides in a battle that will determine the next Shogun.

Director: Ten Shimoyama | Stars: Yukie Nakama, Joe Odagiri, Tomoka Kurotani, Erika Sawajiri

Votes: 11,652

12. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao

Votes: 24,402 | Gross: $2.60M

13. 2046 (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

Several women enter a science fiction author's life over the course of a few years, after the author has lost the woman he considers his one true love.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong, Li Gong

Votes: 45,996 | Gross: $0.26M

14. 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: 100,452 | Gross: $11.05M

15. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

R | 129 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim

Votes: 54,464 | Gross: $0.05M

16. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

67 Metascore

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-Hyuk Lee, Kap-su Kim

Votes: 90,043 | Gross: $0.13M

17. Memories of Murder (2003)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Votes: 94,895 | Gross: $0.01M

18. Thirst (2009)

R | 135 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

73 Metascore

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hee-jin Choi, Dong-soo Seo

Votes: 36,494 | Gross: $0.30M

19. Ddongpari (2008)

Not Rated | 130 min | Crime, Drama

A bitter loan shark strikes a friendship with a troubled schoolgirl as he faces his own troubled past with his abusive father.

Director: Ik-joon Yang | Stars: Kkobbi Kim, Hwan Lee, Ik-joon Yang, Jeong-soon Park

Votes: 4,286

Sang-Hun (Yang Ik-June) works as a low-level gangster collecting money for his longtime loan shark friend. Sang-Hun seethes with rage due to his troubled childhood and abusive father. At any moment, Sang-Hun can lash out at relatives, friends & strangers with the only way he knows how to solve problems - savage violence.

One day, Sang-Hun walks along a residential road and spits on the sidewalk. He unintentionally hits a brash young high school student named Yeon-Hee (Kim Kkobbi). When Yeon-Hee tells Sang-Hun to clean up his mess, he knocks her out with a punch to the face. Sang-Hun then sits across from her until she regains consciousness. He offers to buy the girl a beer and the beginnings of an unusual friendship occurs.

20. Guizi lai le (2000)

139 min | Comedy, Drama, War

70 Metascore

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang | Stars: Wen Jiang, Kenya Sawada, Hongbo Jiang, Teruyuki Kagawa

Votes: 5,863 | Gross: $0.02M

21. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

84 Metascore

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 57,139 | Gross: $0.80M

22. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum, Soo-jung Lim, Geun-young Moon

Votes: 49,277

23. The Host (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Horror

85 Metascore

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae

Votes: 82,097 | Gross: $2.20M

24. Fireworks (1997)

103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 24,159 | Gross: $0.23M

25. Kagemusha (1980)

PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu

Votes: 27,782

26. Ame agaru (1999)

91 min | Drama

During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.

Director: Takashi Koizumi | Stars: Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Shirô Mifune, Fumi Dan

Votes: 3,420

27. Dung che sai duk (1994)

R | 100 min | Action, Drama

69 Metascore

A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

Votes: 11,621 | Gross: $0.17M

28. Hadashi no Gen (1983)

83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 6,195

29. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 95,902 | Gross: $3.52M

30. Dolls (2002)

114 min | Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

Three stories of never-ending love.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi, Kyoko Fukada

Votes: 14,648 | Gross: $0.00M

31. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 92,788

32. Yurîka (2000)

217 min | Drama

78 Metascore

The traumatized survivors of a murderous bus hijacking come together and take a road trip to attempt to overcome their damaged selves. Meanwhile a serial killer is on the loose.

Director: Shinji Aoyama | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Masaru Miyazaki, Yôichirô Saitô

Votes: 3,030 | Gross: $0.05M

33. Children of Heaven (1997)

PG | 89 min | Drama, Family

After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi

Votes: 47,830 | Gross: $0.93M

34. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

69 Metascore

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 63,417

35. 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.

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

Votes: 39,069 | Gross: $11.55M

36. 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, Jang Lee Hwang, Dean Shek

Votes: 30,846

37. Wong Fei Hung (1991)

R | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Biao Yuen, Jacky Cheung

Votes: 15,535

38. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

R | 92 min | Horror

48 Metascore

A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Itô, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa

Votes: 36,296 | Gross: $0.33M

39. Farewell My Concubine (1993)

R | 171 min | Drama, Music, Romance

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong, Qi Lü

Votes: 21,213 | Gross: $5.22M

40. A Better Tomorrow (1986)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Lung Ti, Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Emily Chu

Votes: 17,988

41. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 132,254 | Gross: $0.55M

42. Chungking Express (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Faye Wong

Votes: 50,237 | Gross: $0.60M

43. Kokuhaku (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 31,187

44. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (2006)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Soo-jung Lim, Rain, Seong-hun Cheon, Hee-jin Choi

Votes: 20,725

45. Saam gaang yi (2004)

R | 125 min | Horror

66 Metascore

An Asian cross-cultural trilogy of horror films from accomplished indie directors.

Directors: Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park | Stars: Bai Ling, Byung-Hun Lee, Kyoko Hasegawa, Pauline Lau

Votes: 17,407 | Gross: $0.08M

46. Ringu (1998)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi, Hitomi Satô

Votes: 57,044

47. Gin gwai (2002)

R | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

66 Metascore

A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she would be able to see again. However, she got more than what she bargained for when she realized she could even see ghosts.

Directors: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Angelica Lee, Chutcha Rujinanon, Lawrence Chou, Jinda Duangtoy

Votes: 26,539 | Gross: $0.50M

48. Pon (2002)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

After writing a series of articles about pedophilia, the journalist Ji-won receives threatening calls on her cellular and she changes her number. Her close friend Ho-jung and her husband ... See full summary »

Director: Byeong-ki Ahn | Stars: Ji-won Ha, Yu-mi Kim, Woo-jae Choi, Ji-yeon Choi

Votes: 4,583

49. Choyonghan kajok (1998)

101 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror