From the martial arts legends like Bruce Lee to Oscar titles that delve into the tales of warriors, Chinese action movies set themselves apart from other action films. Here’s some of the best Chinese action movies that you can watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
With jaw-dropping martial arts moves and rollercoaster storylines, few movies can claim to be as entertaining as Chinese action titles. These span a range of genres — comedy, murder mystery, fantasy, romance, the works. Combine this with a legendary cast — Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan — and it’s no surprise why many have a cult-classic reputation in film circles.
In a testament to this, British actor and action star Jason Statham of the Fast And The Furious fame once said, “I make action movies and no one makes them better than in China,” in an interaction with CGTN. A quick peek at viewer reviews and IMDb ratings will reveal that several entertainment enthusiasts echo his thoughts. And while accessibility has long been an issue with these titles in India, a few platforms offer classics that are a must-watch. Here’s a look at a few Chinese action movies on our watchlists.
Chinese action movies to stream for a massive dose of adrenaline
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Directed by: Ang Lee
Cast: Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lang Sihung, Cheng Pei-pe
Release date: 6 July 2000
Synopsis: In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, warrior Master Li (played by Chow Yun-Fat) hands over his 400-year-old sword ‘Green Destiny’ to his warrior partner Yu Shu Lien (played by Michelle Yeoh). The latter is entrusted to deliver it to its benefactor Sir Te (played by Lang Sihung) in Beijing. However, when it gets stolen, an action-packed, dangerous chase ensues.
Directed by: Stephen Chow
Cast: Stephen Chow, Zhao Wei, Ng Man-tat, Patrick Tse, Danny Chan Kwok-kwan
Release date: 12 July 2001
Synopsis: Shaolin Kung Fu master Sing (played by Stephen Chow) is known for his ‘leg of steel.’ However, with not many opportunities in his line of work, he along with other warrior monks takes up odd jobs to make ends meet. He then meets legendary football player Fung (played by Ng Man-tat) who’s retired with a limp and was betrayed by his former teammate. The latter inspires the former to bring martial arts into sports, and he brings his fellow monks on board to work towards a tournament that might win them USD 1 million.
Kung Fu Hustle
Directed by: Stephen Chow
Cast: Stephen Chow, Danny Chan, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Eva Huang, Leung Siu-lung
Release date: 14 September 2004
Synopsis: In 1940s Shanghai, crooks Sing (played by Stephen Chow) and Bone (played by Lam Chi-chung) try to extort Pig Sty Alley by pretending to be members of the infamous Axe Gang, led by the ruthless Brother Sum (played by Danny Chan Kwok-kwan). Their actions draw the attention of the gang, which heads to the village to restore its fearsome reputation and give Sing a chance to join them. However, a few Kung-fu masters, who happen to be residents of the region, quickly put all of them in their place.
Directed by: Wilson Yip
Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Gordon Lam, Fan Siu-wong, Xing Yu
Release date: 18 December 2008
Synopsis: Wing Chun martial arts master Ip man (played by Donnie Yen) and his family move from Foshan, China to Hong Kong, where he hopes to establish a school to teach fighting techniques to the new generation. However, once there, he finds himself faced with several hurdles, particularly from other martial arts practitioners. This definitely counts as one of the most-gripping Chinese action movies ever.
The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity
Directed by: Guo Jingming
Cast: Deng Lun, Mark Chao, Olivia Wang, Wang Duo
Release date: 25 December 2020
Synopsis: A demonic serpent is guarded by four stone guardians within the body of the Empress in Imperial City. Whenever it threatens to emerge, four warriors need to travel to the city to awaken the guardians. With signs of the same occurring rife in the air, four Yin-Yang masters work to solve a mystery and protect their world.
The Bullet Vanishes
Directed by: Lo Chi-leung
Cast: Nicholas Tse, Lau Ching-wan, Yang Mi, Boran Jing, Wu Gang, Liu Kai-chi
Release date: 14 August 2012
Synopsis: Despotic bullet factory owner Ding (played by Liu Kai-chi) resorts to intimidation to keep his employees in line. Soon, an alleged suicide of a female worker accused of stealing a box of bullets leads to a string of other mysterious deaths — sparking rumours about a curse on the factory. To find out the truth, newly-promoted, eccentric detective Song Donglu (played by Lau Ching-wan) is called upon by police chief Jin (played by Wu Gang). His partners? The fastest gunman in town Guo Zhui (played by Nicholas Tse) and newbie policeman Xiaowu (played by Boran Jing).
Enter The Dragon
Directed by: Robert Clouse
Cast: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Ahna Capri, Bob Wall, Shih Kien, Jim Kelly
Release date: 26 July, 1973
Synopsis: A Shaolin martial artist Lee (played by Bruce Lee) is recruited by British Intelligence agent Braithwaite (played by Geoffrey Weeks) to nab a narcotics dealer. Lee later finds out that the gang in question was also responsible for his sister’s death. To complete the mission, he enters a kung fu competition, hoping to fight his way to the criminal’s headquarters.
New Police Story
Directed by: Benny Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse, Charlie Yeung, Charlene Choi, Daniel Wu, Wang Chieh
Release date: 23 September 2004
Synopsis: A gang of five rob a bank to trap police officers. Unbeknownst, inspector Chan Kwok-wing (played by Jackie Chan) and his team walk in to nab them. The entire squad, with the exception of Chan, is shot dead. Including the younger brother of Chan’s girlfriend Sun Ho-yee (played by Charlie Yeung). He drowns his guilt in alcohol until his new partner Frank Cheng (played by Nicholas Tse) convinces him to return and reopen the case.
All images: Netflix/Amazon
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Where can I find Chinese movies?
Popular streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have Chinese movies on offer.
– What is the best action movie IMDB?
Black Panther: Legacy (2023) and Miscalculated (2023) are rated a perfect 10 on IMDb.