Favorite Chinese films

by sitenoise | created - 03 Feb 2011 | updated - 25 Jan 2019 | Public

Favorite Chinese films from the Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Mostly from the 2000s.

If you are interested in seeing a list of ALL the Chinese films I've seen and rated: [link]http://sitenoise.com/film/chinese/[/link]

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1. Diary (2006)

R | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Winnie Leung is a lonely woman that likes to make puppets and write her diary, and she misses her boy-friend Seth Lau, who left her after breaking up their relationship. Winnie leaves ... See full summary »

Director: Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Charlene Choi, Shawn Yue, Isabella Leong, Hin-Wai Au

Votes: 756

The creative camera angles, the mostly gray/green color palette accentuating a sense of disease or decay, the original music and sound design, and the beauty of the actors add up to a sensuous ninety minute delight. At times the film seemed adrift on a sea of music carried along by the score instead of leading it, while at other times the conspicuous absence of any sound almost embarrasses the viewer in moments of voyeuristic character study.

2. The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Gong Li, Peiqi Liu, Liuchun Yang, Kesheng Lei

Votes: 5,628 | Gross: $1.89M

Zhang Yimou's sweet homage to the days of yore. The Story of Qiu Ju is a slow paced, somewhat repetitive film but it's all the better for it. Viewers are treated to a heart-warmimg world of relationships which are themselves slow-paced and repetitive. It would be a shame to rush through it.

3. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors 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, Siu Ping-Lam, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 133,054 | Gross: $2.73M

A gorgeous and remarkable film.

4. In Love We Trust (2008)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama

A divorced couple learns that the way to possibly save daughter, who is suffering from blood cancer, is to have another child. Problem is: They're both already remarried.

Director: Xiaoshuai Wang | Stars: Weiwei Liu, Jia-yi Zhang, Nan Yu, Taishen Cheng

Votes: 715

No surprise to learn director Xiaoshuai Wang studied painting before becoming a director. This is a marvelously composed film. The screenplay is brutal sharp with one large unnecessary gimmick toward the end. The four main performers are solid and compelling, with lots of shots of faces on bodies doing nothing but carrying burden within. And they all pull it off.

5. Blue Cha Cha (2005)

108 min | Drama, Romance

Just coming out of the jail, depressed and close-hearted, Ah Yu met two men with different characters from each other. One is a businessman, charming and mature; the other is a young ... See full summary »

Director: Wen-tang Cheng | Stars: Tarcy Su, Yi-Ching Lu, Leon Dai, Wu-shan Huang

Votes: 98

Blue Cha Cha requires patience, and yes, that’s code for it being an art house type film that moves slowly and doesn’t offer a lot of detail as to why things are happening. Blue Cha Cha isn’t a low-budget indie film. It has excellent production values and looks gorgeous. The direction is fluid and creative and the cinematography crisp and colorful. The real highlight here is Tarcy Su. She is able to make us care for a character we never learn much about.

6. Not One Less (1999)

G | 106 min | Drama

73 Metascore

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang, Zhenda Tian, Enman Gao

Votes: 8,455 | Gross: $0.59M

Somehow, thirteen year old Wei Minzhi, who appears unable to act her way out of a paper bag turns in the performance of a lifetime. Blushing, awkward body language, a drifting gaze, and an pre-adolescent thespian's grasp of dialog pacing, filmed docu-realistically, come together to create the most endearing character I've seen in a long time.

7. Summer Palace (2006)

Unrated | 158 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.

Director: Ye Lou | Stars: Lei Hao, Xiaodong Guo, Xueyun Bai, Lin Cui

Votes: 3,136 | Gross: $0.06M

"Because it is only when we make love that you understand that I'm gentle."

That's all the character development I need. This is an ambitious film about the stalled maturation of an idealistic but troubled young woman flanked by the Tiananmen Square protests, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the handover of Hong Kong to mainland China.

The direction is a little chaotic at times but it reflects the nature of the film and doesn't come off as a liability. The soundtrack is impeccably chosen and the film is ultimately very sad. I was glued to this 140 minute masterpiece. Politics aside, and they are on the side, this is a remarkable film in its honest portrayal of failure, not of personal character, but of circumstance.

8. Blue Gate Crossing (2002)

85 min | Drama, Romance

61 Metascore

An is-she-or-isn't-she gay comedy focused on a Taiwanese teen, the boy she might like, and the girl she may love.

Director: Chih-yen Yee | Stars: Gwei Lun-Mei, Bo-lin Chen, Yolin Liang, Joanna Chou

Votes: 3,428

Dreamy, Romantic, Tender. This is a well-acted, well-directed, well-written movie, a joy to watch. I smiled from ear to ear, from the time sensitive boy was introduced until the very end. This is an exceptionally well done film, off-the-charts-delightful.

9. Season of Good Rain (2009)

100 min | Drama, Romance

A traveling architect meets an old friend from his student years; the pair realize their connection has always been a romantic one.

Director: Jin-ho Hur | Stars: Jung Woo-sung, Yuanyuan Gao, Shaohua Ma, Kim Sang-Ho

Votes: 684

Hur is a fascinating director. In some ways his films are just cheesy romances with questionable soundtracks, but he possesses an emotional intelligence and an eye for subtle soul-searching details that make his films powerful when he gets it right. He gets it right this time. A good rain knows when to fall.

It would be a spoiler if I were to share one of the main reasons I love this movie. I can say, however, that the film is very much about a Chinese experience, and the fact that it's directed by a Korean is what makes it interesting.

10. Aftershock (2010)

Not Rated | 135 min | Drama, History

The epic story of a family separated as a result of the Great Tangshan Earthquake of 1976.

Director: Xiaogang Feng | Stars: Daoming Chen, Chen Li, Yi Lu, Fan Xu

Votes: 8,804 | Gross: $0.06M

This isn't a perfect film but its story is so moving that any shortcomings in the telling can easily be overlooked. I was moved to tears several times during the film but more from just thinking about the scenarios than from any melodramatic presentation. It has some structural weaknesses but it's a magnificent and heart-rending story with a lot of legs. Highly recommended to those who like that kind of thing.

11. Let the Bullets Fly (2010)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

66 Metascore

In 1920s China, a bandit arrives in a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, where he faces off against a tyrannical local nobleman.

Director: Wen Jiang | Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Wen Jiang, You Ge, Carina Lau

Votes: 9,888 | Gross: $0.06M

Surprising how damn funny this film is.

12. Night and Fog (2009)

122 min | Crime, Drama

Starts at the end of the story, with the brutal murder by a man of his wife and daughters. Hui gradually unmasks the idyll of the peaceful family and that of Hong Kong as the promised land for gold seekers.

Director: Ann Hui | Stars: Simon Yam, Jingchu Zhang, Ariel Hiu-Man Chan, Audrey Hiu-Yau Chan

Votes: 484

This is one of the more painfully sad films I've seen in a long time. I put it on when it was already way past my bed time, thinking I'd just get a feel for it and fall asleep. Well, a feel for it I got, and ended up staring at it, bug-eyed, the entire two hour runtime. The acting and direction of Night and Fog are so pitch perfect, that even though the story starts at the end, so we know the result and it's unraveled through flashbacks and police interrogations, it plays out like a mystery.

13. Lust, Caution (2007)

NC-17 | 157 min | Drama, History, Romance

61 Metascore

During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, Leehom Wang

Votes: 38,478 | Gross: $4.60M

I don't care about Ang Lee's attitude towards women or whether or not this film betrays those feelings. This is a great movie. This is mainstream cinema at its best. Sex is the new violence in film. Set against a WWII backdrop and the Japanese occupation of China. It's got everything!

14. Green Tea (2003)

83 min | Drama, Romance

Well, apparently Wu Fang (Wei Zhao) is a young lady on a mission. Namely, to go on as many dates as quickly as possible, not to drink as much tea as possible, but to find the man of her ... See full summary »

Director: Yuan Zhang | Stars: Wen Jiang, Wei Zhao, Lijun Fang, Haizhen Wang

Votes: 715

Twice the Vicki Zhao Wei fun in this beautiful, saturated romance. Christopher Doyle outdoes himself.

15. Blind Mountain (2007)

95 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

A young woman is kidnapped and sold to a villager in the mountains.

Director: Yang Li | Stars: Lu Huang, Youan Yang, Yuling Zhang, Yunle He

Votes: 1,721 | Gross: $0.01M

16. The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011)

115 min | Drama

The film tells the story of Qiu Jin and her involvement in revolutionary uprisings against the Qing Dynasty in Anhui province. Influences on her life are shown through a series of flashbacks.

Director: Herman Yau | Stars: Yi Huang, Yu-Hang To, Rose Chan, Pat Ha

Votes: 366

Action and social commentary. Fun for the whole family.

17. City of Life and Death (2009)

R | 133 min | Drama, History, War

85 Metascore

In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.

Director: Chuan Lu | Stars: Ye Liu, Wei Fan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Yuanyuan Gao

Votes: 10,579 | Gross: $0.12M

18. Blind Shaft (2003)

Unrated | 92 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »

Director: Yang Li | Stars: Yixiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang, Jing Ai

Votes: 2,539 | Gross: $0.03M

19. The Equation of Love and Death (2008)

96 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the ... See full summary »

Director: Baoping Cao | Stars: Xun Zhou, Chao Deng, Wang Ning, Yanhui Wang

Votes: 1,112

20. Happy Times (2000)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Lifan Dong, Benshan Zhao, Dong Jie, Biao Fu

Votes: 3,924 | Gross: $0.24M

21. Hear Me (2009)

109 min | Drama, Romance

A delivery Boy falls for a young girl who is hearing impaired. Comparing themselves with "water birds" and trees, together they are going to break the barrier and pursue their dreams and take their relationship to the next level.

Director: Fen-fen Cheng | Stars: Eddie Peng, Ivy Yi-Han Chen, Michelle Chen, Mei-Hsiu Lin

Votes: 2,869

22. Hero (2002)

PG-13 | 120 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: 176,272 | Gross: $53.71M

23. Lost in Beijing (2007)

112 min | Drama

58 Metascore

A look at modern-day life in China's capital centered on a ménage-a-quatre involving a young woman, her boss, her husband and her boss's wife.

Director: Yu Li | Stars: Bingbing Fan, Dawei Tong, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Elaine Jin

Votes: 2,153 | Gross: $0.01M

24. Lost in Time (2003)

109 min | Drama

Sui Wai lost her fiance Ah Man in a car accident. With the obligations of life sitting heavy on her shoulders, she lives on only to find herself confiding in her beloved through a phone ... See full summary »

Director: Tung-Shing Yee | Stars: Cecilia Cheung, Ching Wan Lau, Louis Koo, Daichi Harashima

Votes: 995

25. Lost Indulgence (2008)

100 min | Drama

The relationship between a teenage son and his mother become complicated when they take in secretive young woman into their home.

Director: Yibai Zhang | Stars: Karen Mok, Wenli Jiang, Eason Chan, Bowen Duan

Votes: 200

26. Peacock (2005)

136 min | Drama

China in the late 1970s and early 1980s: the life of an ordinary working family as seen through its three siblings.

Director: Changwei Gu | Stars: Jing An, Li Feng, Changwei Gu, Meiying Huang

Votes: 992

27. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 44,544 | Gross: $0.63M

28. Red Cliff II (2009)

142 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Second and final part of epic tale about a legendary battle that changed the course of China history.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 23,390 | Gross: $0.63M

29. The Road (2006)

114 min | Drama

Aboard a bus in the rural mountains of China, a naive young girl name Li Chunfen attends to passengers' needs, all the while speaking of the virtues of the Communist Party. The always loyal... See full summary »

Director: Jiarui Zhang | Stars: Wei Fan, Lu Huang, Hongyi Li, Yuan Nie

Votes: 281

30. Waiting Alone (2004)

107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Chen Wen, an antique shop worker and aspiring author, who has just met the girl of his dreams. The only problem is that she only wants him as a very close friend, not as a boyfriend.

Director: Dayyan Eng | Stars: Yu Xia, Bingbing Li, Beibi Gong, Qi Gao

Votes: 1,040

31. What Time Is It There? (2001)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

A watch salesman meets a young woman soon leaving for Paris and becomes infatuated, so he begins to change all the clocks in Taipei to Paris time.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai | Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao

Votes: 4,714 | Gross: $0.19M

32. Where Have All the Flowers Gone (2002)

90 min | Romance

A story about the lives and love among two young men and a beautiful girl.

Director: Xiaosong Gao | Stars: Xun Zhou, Yu Xia, Shu Pu, Ming Li

Votes: 104

33. Confucius (2010)

TV-MA | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life story of the highly-influential Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

Director: Mei Hu | Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Xun Zhou, Jianbin Chen, Quan Ren

Votes: 3,663

34. The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)

R | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance

75 Metascore

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Gong Li, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun, Xiaohe Lü

Votes: 6,036 | Gross: $1.33M

35. If You Are the One (2008)

130 min | Comedy, Romance

After making a killing, Fen returns to China a rich man. After seeking a wife on internet, he meets many women but only likes air hostess Liang/Shu Qi, who's in love with a married man and only wants friendship.

Director: Xiaogang Feng | Stars: You Ge, Shu Qi, Wei Fan, Alex Fong

Votes: 3,228

36. The Message (2009)

118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

1942, Nanjing (Nanking). Following a series of assassination attempts on officials of the Japanese-controlled puppet government, the Japanese spy chief gathers a group of suspects in a ... See full summary »

Directors: Kuo-Fu Chen, Qunshu Gao | Stars: Xun Zhou, Bingbing Li, Hanyu Zhang, Xiaoming Huang

Votes: 3,413

37. Red River (2009)

100 min | Drama

A haunting, tragic love story about the aftermath of the American War in Vietnam, and the long-term effect it had on ordinary people's lives. Set in a border town between China and Vietnam,... See full summary »

Director: Jiarui Zhang | Stars: Jingchu Zhang, Nick Cheung, Loletta Lee, Danny Lee

Votes: 175

38. The Road Home (1999)

G | 89 min | Drama, History, Romance

71 Metascore

Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng, Yulian Zhao

Votes: 12,713 | Gross: $1.28M

39. Spring Subway (2002)

93 min | Drama, Romance

A young man and a young woman have been in Beijing for seven years since they came here together to find their career. But life is pretty tough and their love is facing a crisis now.

Director: Yibai Zhang | Stars: Le Geng, Yang Zhang, Lan Ke, Yuanyuan Gao

Votes: 417

40. Stolen Life (2005)

90 min | Drama

When Yan'ni starts college, she believes she is embarking on a new life away from her family, and she is but without the new beginning she anticipates. Once at school, she immediately meets... See full summary »

Director: Shaohong Li | Stars: Ming Cai, Xiaoming Su, Jun Wu, Ni Yan

Votes: 330

41. Last Train Home (2009)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Drama

86 Metascore

A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.

Director: Lixin Fan | Stars: Changhua Zhang, Yang Zhang, Suqin Chen, Qin Zhang

Votes: 3,492 | Gross: $0.29M

42. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

Two youths sent for a Maoist "re-education" in the mountains fall in love with the village tailor's granddaughter.

Director: Sijie Dai | Stars: Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Ye Liu, Shuangbao Wang

Votes: 4,325 | Gross: $0.67M

43. Painted Skin (2008)

103 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

An action-thriller centered on a vampire-like woman who eats the skins and hearts of her lovers.

Directors: Gordon Chan, Andy Wing-Keung Chin, Danny Ko | Stars: Donnie Yen, Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Wei Zhao

Votes: 4,623

44. Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

Not Rated | 139 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.

Director: Teddy Chan | Stars: Xueqi Wang, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Jun Hu, Edison Wang

Votes: 7,700

45. Shanghai Dreams (2005)

123 min | Drama

In the 1980s, encouraged by the government, a large number of families leave Chinese cities to settle in the poorer regions of the country, in order to develop local industry. The film's ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaoshuai Wang | Stars: Yuanyuan Gao, Bin Li, Hao Qin, Yang Tang

Votes: 1,095

46. The Longest Night in Shanghai (2007)

110 min | Drama, Romance