Martial Arts Cinema is one of the most popular genres in China and now it has become a part of action films culture, and it is almost impossible to find one that does not include martial-arts-inspired fight scenes. Actors like Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba make martial arts movies place in Hollywood with their action powerful performance during the 1970s. Over the 5 decades, there are innumerable martial arts films that feature well-known action stars and entertaining fight sequences with an enjoyable story with good characters development, as well as exceptional martial arts action. here is the list of top 10 best martial arts movies of all the time.
1. Enter the Dragon (1973)
Enter the Dragon Lee’s final film appearance and was released 6 days after his death. Apart from Lee, the film featured all three of the famous “Dragon Brothers”: Jackie Chan, Biao Yuen, and Sammo Hung. There’s the main plot of Bruce Lee vs Wong Jack Man, but there’s also the sub-plot with Lee’s white student falling for a Chinese girl and wanting to rescue her from thugs. The look of the movie is exotic and extravagant, especially its inspired hall-of-mirrors showdown, with Lee sporting the weird, almost tribal slashes across his midriff. It’s a first Chinese Martial Arts film to be produced by a major Hollywood studio, and in 2004 and also it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon based on the fourth novel, of the same name, in the wuxia book series Crane-Iron Pentalogy, by Chinese novelist Wang Dulu. Its mixture of amazing martial arts battles as well romance at the same time. The story set in 1778 where 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. It has been praised for its martial arts sequences, story, direction, musical score, and cinematography and received the credits of highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history and won over 40 awards including Academy Awards.
3. Ip Man (2008)
Ip Man is Hong Kong biographical martial arts film based on the life of Ip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and teacher of Bruce Lee. It covers the events surrounding Ip that took place in the city of Foshan, during the 1930s to 1940s, the Second Sino-Japanese War. The film is not only presenting martial arts life but the lifestyle of the 30s in China. It stars Donnie Yen as Ip Man, with martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung. His fight with a man who uses everything in his vicinity as a weapon is one of the most original and impressive duels ever to appear in a film of the category.
4. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Kung Fu Hustle is Hong Kong-Chinese martial arts gangster comedy film as well as the all-time tenth highest-grossing foreign language film in the United States. In 1940’s Shanghai, gangs fight for domination of the city. Starring Chow himself as Sing – the bumbling thief who aspires to be the toughest member of the notorious gangster hit squad ‘The Axe Gang suits using axes as weapons. One day, two minor crooks, Sing and Bowe, appear in the slum and all hell breaks loose. The film has some moral values and laughs as well as a satirical plot. It blends special effects, martial arts, and the Looney Toons to hilarious effect.
5. Fist of Fury (1972)
Fist of Fury is proves as the masterpiece of the legendary Bruce Lee in the role of Chen Zhen. It was accidentally released in the U.S. under the title The Chinese Connection. Chen Zhen who is a student of Huo a Yuanjia, who fights to defend the honor of the Chinese in the face of foreign aggression, and to bring to justice those responsible for his master’s death. The combination of an emotionally charged story of Chinese oppression, blazing fight choreography that put most martial arts films of the time to shame, and Lee’s incomparable charisma, “Fist of Fury” became an overnight classic.
6. The Raid 2 (2014)
The Raid 2, sequel to his 2011 film The Raid presented fight sequences into the realm of horror that proves that The Raid: Redemption” was just a warm-up. It follows Special Forces officer Rama as he is sent undercover to expose the corrupt police officials colluding with the crime families of Jakarta’s criminal underworld. The fight scenes are excellently choreographed and the way they are shot is spectacular, a lot of imagination and ingenuity is used to really throw the viewer directly into the action. Evans is able to introduce new characters like the ‘Hammer Girl’ and the ‘Baseball Bat’ guy without making them seem totally over the top and ridiculous and the fight scenes showcase the Indonesian fighting style of Pencak Silat.
7. Drunken Master (1978)
Drunken Master is Hong Kong comedy martial arts film starring Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu-Tien, and Hwang Jang Lee. It’s an especially beloved by martial arts film fans for its unusual combination of kung fu and comedy. It tells the story of a disobedient son — played by Chan — who is eventually molded into a martial arts expert by a “drunken master. The film’s classic redemption story is made even better by Chan’s gravity-defying martial arts abilities and an epic final battle with the main villain. The film is considered Chan’s breakout role and helped to popularize the “drunken boxing” style used by the title character.
8. Dragon Inn (1967)
Dragon Inn is the original of the 1992 remake of the same title (with a NEW) and 2nd of the “INN” trilogy by King Hu after Come Drink With Me. This film is a masterpiece of martial arts swords-play and speaks the tune of “The Swordsman” and the “Zatoichi” films. During the Ming dynasty, the emperor’s minister of defense is framed by a powerful court eunuch and executed, and his family is pursued by secret police. In the ensuing chase, a mysterious band of strangers begins to gather at the remote Dragon Gate Inn, where paths and swords will cross. The traditional Chinese instruments used for the background music added an otherworldly flavor.
9. Ong Bak (2003)
Ong Bak is Hong Kong Martial art film, also known in the United States as Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior. 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. The action sequences are feral and imaginative, every punch hits home and you can almost feel ribs cracking to the beat of the comical Oriental hip-hop soundtrack. The film is a spectacularly crafted showpiece not only for the reason it’s a non-American action film breakout, which has become a cult classic but also for Jaa who studied Muay Boran for the movie.
10. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
The Raid is a classic action movie that revolves around an Indonesian SWAT team who fights against enemies in Jakarta slum. The film stars Iko Uwais, who previously worked with Evans in another action film Merantau, released in 2009. The name of the film was changed to The Raid: Redemption in the United States. The crossover festival hit introduced scores of audiences to the punch-packing power of the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat and reasserted the dominance of martial arts in general when it comes to delivering original action offerings.