The Greatest Martial Arts Movies of All Time

by fandomfest | created - 26 Dec 2012 | updated - 26 Dec 2012 | Public

This is the Ultimate list for the best Martial Arts movies of all time. These movies have either amazing martial arts scenes, were groundbreaking, introduced new martial artists or are just plain awesome.

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1. Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

69 Metascore

When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Stars: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, Suchao Pongwilai

Votes: 67,056 | Gross: $4.56M

2. Merantau (2009)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama

A young man from the countryside uses his skills in silat martial arts to survive the slave trade.

Director: Gareth Evans | Stars: Iko Uwais, Sisca Jessica, Christine Hakim, Mads Koudal

Votes: 9,134

3. Yip 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: 194,524

4. 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: 87,843 | Gross: $25.00M

5. Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing (2006 Video)

R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Sequel to the 2002 film. This time, Heavyweight Champ George "Iceman" Chambers is sent to a Russian Jail on trumped-up drug charges.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Ben Cross, Eli Danker

Votes: 30,581

6. Never Back Down (2008)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Drama, Sport

39 Metascore

A frustrated and conflicted teenager arrives at a new high school to discover an underground fight club and meet a classmate who begins to coerce him into fighting.

Director: Jeff Wadlow | Stars: Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet

Votes: 90,159 | Gross: $24.85M

7. The Raid: Redemption (2011)

R | 101 min | Action, Thriller

73 Metascore

A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

Director: Gareth Evans | Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy, Donny Alamsyah

Votes: 174,078 | Gross: $4.11M

8. Chocolate (2008)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama

An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother's debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Stars: JeeJa Yanin, Hiroshi Abe, Pongpat Wachirabunjong, Taphon Phopwandee

Votes: 16,369 | Gross: $0.01M

9. The Protector (2005)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Stars: Tony Jaa, Nathan Jones, Xing Jin, Petchtai Wongkamlao

Votes: 33,178 | Gross: $11.91M

10. Jing wu ying xiong (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: 20,830

11. Bloodsport (1988)

R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Drama

29 Metascore

Follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

Director: Newt Arnold | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton

Votes: 68,634 | Gross: $11.81M

12. Good Guys Wear Black (1978)

PG | 95 min | Action

An ex-US Army commando must find the reason why his comrades from his unit are being systematically murdered before he is next.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Chuck Norris, Anne Archer, James Franciscus, Lloyd Haynes

Votes: 2,440 | Gross: $18.33M

13. Blood and Bone (2009)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama

In Los Angeles, an ex-con takes the underground fighting world by storm in his quest to fulfill a promise to a dead friend.

Director: Ben Ramsey | Stars: Michael Jai White, Julian Sands, Eamonn Walker, Dante Basco

Votes: 29,238

14. BKO: Bangkok Knockout (2010)

R | 106 min | Action

A group of "fight club" friends, whose styles vary from Muay Thai, Capoeira to Kung Fu and Tai Chi, must join forces and fight for their lives in a daring rescue of a kidnapped friend.

Director: Panna Rittikrai | Stars: Sorapong Chatree, Kerttisak Udomnak, Krittiya Lardphanna, Supakson Chaimongkol

Votes: 1,397

15. Rigged (2008)

R | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

In the seedy underground of illegal prizefighting, a corrupt boxing promoter is embroiled in a dangerous fight-fixing scheme with his female prizefighter.

Director: Jonathan M. Dillon | Stars: Chad Ortis, Rebecca Neuenswander, Will Fowler, Matt Schroll

Votes: 1,586

16. Undisputed 3: Redemption (2010 Video)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Boyka is back. This time he is fighting in the first ever inter-prison tournament with one knee.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Scott Adkins, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Mark Ivanir, Hristo Shopov

Votes: 35,501

17. Ip Man 2 (2010)

R | 108 min | Action, Drama, Sport

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: 85,462 | Gross: $0.21M

18. Redbelt (2008)

R | 99 min | Drama, Sport

69 Metascore

A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini

Votes: 19,712 | Gross: $2.34M

19. Lung foo moon (2006)

94 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Three young martial arts masters emerge from the back streets of Hong Kong to help the powerless fight injustice.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Yuk Long Wong, Louis Koo, Isabella Leong, Ella Koon

Votes: 6,033

20. 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: 114,785 | Gross: $17.11M

21. Ninja Assassin (2009)

R | 99 min | Action, Thriller

34 Metascore

A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Rain, Rick Yune, Naomie Harris, Joon Lee

Votes: 64,141 | Gross: $38.11M

22. DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Action, Adventure

38 Metascore

The world's best fighters are invited to DOA, an invitational martial arts contest. There, four female rival fighters will have to work together to uncover the secret that the organizer of the tournament is trying to hide.

Director: Corey Yuen | Stars: Jaime Pressly, Devon Aoki, Sarah Carter, Holly Valance

Votes: 41,467 | Gross: $0.48M

23. Fighter (I) (2007)

100 min | Action, Drama

Aicha attends Kung Fu at her high school in Copenhagen. Her Muslim, Turkish father wants her to study hard and become a doctor but instead she starts training at a Kung Fu club where Emil helps with her training. They become friends.

Director: Natasha Arthy | Stars: Semra Turan, Nima Nabipour, Cyron Melville, Molly Blixt Egelind

Votes: 1,387

24. The Kick (2011)

PG-13 | 94 min | Action, Sport

After the son foils an attempt to steal a priceless Thai artifact, the family becomes national heroes and the target of revenge by the criminal gang whose robbery they stopped.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Stars: Jae-Hyun Cho, Ji-won Ye, Petchtai Wongkamlao, JeeJa Yanin

Votes: 774

25. Haywire (2011)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

67 Metascore

A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Angarano

Votes: 78,337 | Gross: $18.94M

26. District B13 (2004)

R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

Set in the ghettos of Paris in 2010, an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb.

Director: Pierre Morel | Stars: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D'Amario, Bibi Naceri

Votes: 62,295 | Gross: $1.20M

27. District 13: Ultimatum (2009)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

Damien and Leito return to District 13 on a mission to bring peace to the troubled sector that is controlled by five different gang bosses, before the city's secret services take drastic measures to solve the problem.

Director: Patrick Alessandrin | Stars: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Philippe Torreton, Daniel Duval

Votes: 40,870 | Gross: $0.04M

28. Yamakasi (2001)

90 min | Action, Drama, Crime

7 guys from Paris' suburbs like challenges like climbing tall buildings and doing parkour - especially with cops/flics chasing them. When a kid fan urgently needs a heart the Yamakasis try to find a way.

Directors: Ariel Zeitoun, Julien Seri | Stars: Châu Belle Dinh, Williams Belle, Malik Diouf, Yann Hnautra

Votes: 10,214

29. The Great Challenge (2004)

PG-13 | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Six parkour adepts open a gym in Bangkok. When the new gym starts to attract the area's kids, a local gang feels challenged. Their Eurasian leader Kien attacks the foreigners while they are training on a scaffold.

Director: Julien Seri | Stars: Williams Belle, Châu Belle Dinh, Malik Diouf, Yann Hnautra

Votes: 2,006

30. Beautiful Boxer (2004)

Unrated | 118 min | Action, Biography, Drama

66 Metascore

Bio-pic of transgender Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol who pursued the sport to pay for her sex change operation.

Director: Ekachai Uekrongtham | Stars: Asanee Suwan, Sorapong Chatree, Orn-Anong Panyawong, Nukkid Boonthong

Votes: 2,994 | Gross: $0.00M

31. The Bodyguard (2004)

105 min | Action, Comedy

A hapless bodyguard is fired from his client's son for the death of his clients father. The son is then hunted by assassins who do not want him to inherit his fathers company.

Directors: Panna Rittikrai, Petchtai Wongkamlao | Stars: Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, Piphat Apiraktanakorn, Surachai Chantimatorn

Votes: 1,293

32. Bangkok Dangerous (2000)

R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Romance

45 Metascore

The story is of a deaf-mute hitman and his partner who are based in Bangkok. He is friends with his partner's girlfriend who is a stripper at a local club. They go about their assassination... See full summary »

Directors: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Pawarith Monkolpisit, Premsinee Ratanasopha, Patharawarin Timkul, Pisek Intrakanchit

Votes: 3,352 | Gross: $0.02M

33. Raging Phoenix (2009)

R | 112 min | Action, Romance

A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched ... See full summary »

Director: Rashane Limtrakul | Stars: JeeJa Yanin, Kazu Patrick Tang, Nui Saendaeng, Sompong Leartvimolkasame

Votes: 1,978



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