My Favorite Martial Arts Moviesby theNeoplatonist | created - 16 Jun 2014 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
The Martial Arts movies that appeal most vividly to the twisted sensibilities of theNeoplatonist.... In attempted alphabetical order, except that IMDb keeps changing the titles. In the words of the celebrated martial arts expert Tony Hancock, they need a punch up the bracket.
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1. Azumi (2003)
Not Rated | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Raised to deal in cold blooded death, the teenage assassin girl Azumi must defeat three evil warlords while also battling her own heart.
Heart-rending stuff. Almost an existentialist epic - but some gripping fight scenes.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Votes: 17,047 | Gross: $0.01M
The little girl effortlessly demolishing the tough men must be seen to be believed.
4. Enter the Dragon (1973)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.
Votes: 94,199 | Gross: $25.00M
Bruce Lee's movies are, I suppose, beyond comment; but this is probably the best one, in theNeoplatonist's pathetic opinion.
6. Five Elements Ninjas (1982)
R | 107 min | Action, Drama
When five ninjas whose fighting styles are based on natural elements unleash their fury on a rival school, a lone survivor vows deadly revenge.
"Five Element Ninjas" - or "Super Ninjas". A feast for martial eyes.
7. Fist of Fury (1972)
R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A young man seeks vengence for the death of his teacher.
Votes: 25,486 | Gross: $1.29M
"Fist of Fury" or "The Chinese Connection" - same movie.
8. Fist of Legend (1994)
R | 103 min | Action, Drama
In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.
Pretty much a remake of "Fist of Fury" (see above) but with interesting variations of character and motive.
9. Flash Point (2007)
R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A hot-headed inspector takes on a small but powerful Vietnamese-Chinese gang, after a series of crimes and murder attempts committed and putting an undercover cop and his girlfriend in great danger.
Votes: 12,212 | Gross: $0.00M
10. Heroes of the East (1978)
R | 105 min | Action, Comedy
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
Or "Shaolin Challenges Ninja". One of the best.
11. Legend of a Fighter (1982)
Unrated | 89 min | Action, History
The story of "Fok Yun Gap" also know as "Hou Yuan Chia" one of China's greatest marital artists.
The movie almost seems comical until you get to the final segment, when it suddenly morphs into heart-rending tragedy. By the way, I doubt that he was really a "marital artist" as the description says.....!
12. Ip Man (2008)
R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama
During the Japanese invasion of China, a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home when his city is occupied. With little means of providing for themselves, Ip Man and the remaining members of the city must find a way to survive.
Donnie Yen's masterpiece. Unmissable.
13. Ip Man 2 (2010)
R | 108 min | Action, Biography, Drama
Centering on Ip Man's migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.
Votes: 95,098 | Gross: $0.21M
And a fine sequel to Donnie's masterpiece.
14. Ip Man 3 (2015)
PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Biography, Drama
When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer make a play to take over a local school, Master Ip is forced to take a stand.
Votes: 46,757 | Gross: $2.68M
A worthy third part of the trilogy.
15. SPL: Kill Zone (2005)
Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A near retired inspector and his unit are willing to put down a crime boss at all costs while dealing with his replacement, who is getting in their way. Meanwhile, the crime boss sends his top henchmen to put an end to their dirty schemes.
Another great entry in the Donnie Yen canon, with one or two fights so real, they must have been - er - real.
16. Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A betrayed intelligence officer enlists the aid of a prostitute to prove his innocence from a deadly conspiracy while returning a favor to her.
Votes: 60,050 | Gross: $36.85M
17. Lady Snowblood (1973)
Not Rated | 97 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A strikingly beautiful young woman is raised from birth to be a deadly instrument of revenge against the swindlers who destroyed her family.
18. The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
R | 102 min | Action, Comedy
A young martial artist is caught between respecting his pacifist father's wishes or stopping a group of disrespectful foreigners from stealing precious artifacts.
Votes: 42,179 | Gross: $11.55M
19. 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.
Should be far more widely known and loved.
20. Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
R | 134 min | Action, Adventure, History
Late 1800s Foshan, Guangdong: Wong Fei Hung/Jet Li trains men in martial arts to help defend against foreign powers already holding Hong Kong and Macau. He looks after cute 13th Aunt, who's just returned from England. Lots of fight scenes.
21. Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)
R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
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.
Votes: 70,106 | Gross: $4.56M
Difficult to see how these fights are not real!!
23. Police Story (1985)
PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A virtuous Hong Kong Police Officer must clear his good name when the drug lord he is after frames him for the murder of a dirty cop.
Votes: 28,233 | Gross: $0.11M
Watch it for the climactic fight in the shopping center. Stunning. The rest of the movie is so-so from a martial arts standpoint. But that ending....!
24. The Protector (2005)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama
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.
Votes: 34,704 | Gross: $11.91M
Either "Warrior King" or "The Protector".
25. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
R | 101 min | Action, Thriller
A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.
Votes: 186,707 | Gross: $4.11M
Bloody (literally) good stuff, especially the climactic clash between the villain and the two heroes. Possibly the best fight ever.
26. The Raid 2 (2014)
R | 150 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Votes: 111,729 | Gross: $2.63M
Good sequel, demanding a third installment.