The ten Finest Martial Arts Films of All Time, Ranked

The ten Finest Martial Arts Films of All Time, Ranked

All of us love a very good battle scene – consider the visceral fight, weighty blows, and beautiful choreography of The Matrix or Mission Not possible: Fallout. The brawls of those and different Hollywood blockbusters can hint their lineage to the legendary martial arts movies of China, Thailand, Indonesia, and elsewhere. The Matrix specifically was straight impressed by Shaolin kung fu and Tai Chi, as famous by GQ, and the Wachowskis employed famed Hong Kong choreographer Yuen Woo-ping to coordinate its battle sequences. For this record, we need to pay homage to the good kung fu, wuxia, muay thai, and different martial artwork movies from all over the world, movies that awe us with their stunt work and their intense portrayals of hand-to-hand fight. These are the very best martial arts motion pictures of all time, ranked.


10/10 Kill Invoice: Vol. 1 (2003)

The ten Finest Martial Arts Films of All Time, Ranked
Miramax Movies

Following the Wachowskis, Quentin Tarantino tapped legendary battle choreographer Yuen Woo-ping to work on his martial arts duology, Kill Invoice. The primary entry, Kill Invoice: Vol. 1, earns its place on this record for one scene alone: the battle on the Home of Blue Leaves, a restaurant in Tokyo that turns into the positioning of a large demise match between our protagonist (the Bride) and 88 Japanese fighters. It is bloody good enjoyable, and options a number of the finest sword battle choreography in movie historical past.

Associated: These Are the Films Quentin Tarantino Grew up Watching

9/10 The Protector (2005)

The Protector - Tony Jaa
The Weinstein Firm

The Protector can educate us all an vital lesson: do not steal Tony Jaa’s elephants. In a narrative that may make you assume John Wick meets Ong-Bak, an elephant keeper, has his prized animals stolen by gangsters, and should go on the offensive to get them again. That includes the unbelievable muay-thai abilities of Tony Jaa, that is one you activate for the battle scenes.

8/10 Hero (2002)

Jet Li in the martial arts film Hero
Beijing New Image Movie

Hero would possibly finest be described as excessive artwork wuxia. Its breathtaking use of coloration stays unparalleled, because the movie is damaged into 5 visually distinct, color-coded sections: black, white, pink, inexperienced, and blue (as mentioned by Newhouse Insider). Its ensemble forged contains Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung, and Donnie Yen, who assist deliver this formidable illustration of historic China to life.

Associated: Finest Jet Li Films, Ranked

7/10 The Raid: Redemption (2011)

The Raid
PT Merantau Movies

The Raid: Redemption put Indonesian martial arts cinema on the map. Following its launch in 2011, lead actor Iko Uwais turned one of many nation’s largest stars, not least for his spectacular bodily prowess and talent in silat martial arts. His battles with a determine identified within the movie as “Mad Canine” have change into legendary amongst martial arts fanatics, and helped earn The Raid a extremely regarded sequel in 2014.

6/10 Police Story (1985)

Golden Approach Movies

Jackie Chan’s Police Story nearly transcends the style of the martial arts movie. With its high-speed chases, mammoth explosions, gunplay, and parkour, it has extra in frequent with Hollywood’s many motion blockbusters. However, being a Jackie Chan film, it additionally incorporates a number of the most spectacular hand-to-hand fight sequences in movie historical past. Chan’s choreography is noteworthy for the best way it incorporates props and death-defying stunt work as a part of his battle scenes. The ultimate brawl at a Hong Kong shopping center is likely one of the better of Chan’s profession.

5/10 Enter the Dragon (1973)

Enter the Dragon
Warner Bros.

No martial arts retrospective can be full with out singing the praises of Bruce Lee. Maybe essentially the most well-known martial artist to ever dwell, Lee helped deliver East Asian fight sports activities to the West. His legacy is monumental, and Enter the Dragon is one in every of his biggest movies. Even its setup is iconic: working undercover, a martial arts knowledgeable should battle his method by a event to achieve info on a drug lord. With brutal fights and a forged of villains that rivals James Bond’s, Enter the Dragon is the very best martial arts film of the ’70s.

4/10 Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)


Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior is the movie that made Thai martial artist Tony Jaa a star. Within the ten years since its launch, its muay thai battle choreography has but to be surpassed. The load and ferocity of Jaa’s blows will be felt by the display screen, and his slicing elbows and flying knees are set items in their very own proper. Do not anticipate a lot in the best way of story; as an alternative, watch this one for what Jaa accomplishes together with his fists (and toes, shins, and knees).

3/10 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Columbia Footage

Probably the most internationally-acclaimed martial arts film of all time, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gained Finest Overseas Language Movie, Finest Artwork Route, Finest Authentic Rating, and Finest Cinematography on the 73rd Academy Awards. A phenomenal, romantic wuxia movie, it helped to extend the worldwide recognition of East Asian cinema. It is also noteworthy for centering on three heroic feminine characters, making it a extra inclusive challenge than most of the different movies on this record. Newcomers to martial arts cinema could need to begin right here.

2/10 Ip Man (2008)

Ip MAN 2008
Mandarin Movies

Donnie Yen had already established himself as an actor and martial artist when Ip Man launched in 2008, however its success made him a world celeb. Based mostly on the true story of Wing Chun grandmaster, Ip Man, the movie portrays occasions from his life through the time of the Sino-Japanese Struggle. Underneath occupation from Imperial Japan, Man and his household face poverty, hunger, and persecution. Hesitant to make use of his martial artwork for violence, Man should battle to defend himself and his individuals from tyranny – even when it means battling ten black belts directly.

1/10 The Legend of Drunken Grasp (1994)

Drunken Master 2
Golden Harvest

Maybe greater than another movie, The Legend of Drunken Grasp reminds us why martial arts are, nicely, artwork. There may be nice magnificence in Jackie Chan’s battle choreography, even when he is guzzling alcohol to extend his energy. This sequel to the lesser-known Drunken Grasp is much less stunt-heavy than a few of Chan’s different motion pictures, nevertheless it gives up the right mix of motion, comedy, and drunken boxing beatdowns (with just a few, fully outrageous stunts thrown in for good measure). It is a shining instance of what martial arts motion pictures are all about.

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