Martial Artsby bumpylight | created - 08 Jan 2012 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris have approved these selections with roundhouse kicks, even though the productions hew to a rather broad definition of "martial arts".
Given the nature of the genre, most of the entries herein also appear in my Pizza-Worthy Guy Flicks list, although the latter omits a number of entries that struck me as being too weird or oddball to deserve the full pizza and beer treatment.
[last rationalized at 5 titles]
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1. Drunken Master (1978)
PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Comedy
Wong Fei-Hung (Jackie Chan) is a mischievous, yet righteous young man, but after a series of incidents, his frustrated father has him disciplined by Beggar So (Siu Tin Yuen), a Master of drunken martial arts.
2. Drunken Master II (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: 40,735 | Gross: $11.55M
3. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious "Axe Gang" while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.
Votes: 118,844 | Gross: $17.11M
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
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.
Votes: 242,642 | Gross: $128.08M
5. Seven Samurai (1954)
Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Votes: 290,908 | Gross: $0.27M
The original Japanese classic that inspired the American knockoff The Magnificent Seven.
6. 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: 68,304 | Gross: $4.56M
8. Iron Monkey (1993)
PG-13 | 85 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
Votes: 14,789 | Gross: $14.68M
9. Ip Man (2008)
R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
11. Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
R | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
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.
12. Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)
R | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »
13. Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997)
Not Rated | 102 min | Action, Adventure, History
Following an ambush in his visit to America, Wong Fei-hung becomes separated from his fellow travelers and suffers memory loss.
16. Wheels on Meals (1984)
TV-14 | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Two Chinese friends, who operate a food truck in Barcelona, Spain, use their martial arts expertise to help their private investigator friend protect the pickpocket Sylvia, who's been targeted by a ruthless gang.
17. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.
Votes: 69,979 | Gross: $0.49M
18. Oldboy (2003)
R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Votes: 470,181 | Gross: $0.71M
19. Sanjuro (1962)
Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.
22. Rush Hour (1998)
PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A loyal and dedicated Hong Kong Inspector teams up with a reckless and loudmouthed L.A.P.D. detective to rescue the Chinese Consul's kidnapped daughter, while trying to arrest a dangerous crime lord along the way.
Votes: 224,182 | Gross: $141.15M
23. The Karate Kid (1984)
PG | 126 min | Action, Drama, Family
A boy and his mother move to California for a new job. He struggles to fit in, as a group of karate students starts to bully him for dating a rich girl from their clique. It's up to the Japanese landlord, Miyagi, to teach him karate.
Votes: 161,542 | Gross: $90.82M
25. Tai-Chi Master (1993)
R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Two friends, ex Shaolin monks, part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rises up to be a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.
26. Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
R | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A young man visiting and helping his uncle in New York City finds himself forced to fight a street gang and the mob with his martial art skills.
Votes: 36,349 | Gross: $32.39M
27. Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)
Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Drama
When poor peasants kidnap a magistrate's daughter to coerce him into reducing taxes, a wandering ronin and two renegades from the magistrate's guard take up the fight for them.
29. After the Rain (1999)
91 min | Drama
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
31. 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.
33. Iron Fisted Monk (1977)
R | 93 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
A lowly restaurant worker aims to take revenge on the Manchurian thugs who killed his boss by joining a Shaolin temple under the advise of the monk that rescued him from certain death.
35. Unleashed (2005)
R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.
Votes: 94,983 | Gross: $24.52M
36. Who Am I? (1998)
PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A Secret Agent loses his memory after falling from a crashing helicopter. He is then chased by several other agency operatives, but he has no idea why.
37. 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: 106,536 | Gross: $2.63M
38. The Young Master (1980)
PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
After failing his fellow students in a Lion Dance competition, Dragon (Jackie Chan) is sent away from his school in disgrace, on the condition that he must find his errant brother. Much ... See full summary »
39. The Man from Nowhere (2010)
R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.
Votes: 56,562 | Gross: $0.01M
40. 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 »
41. Warriors Two (1978)
R | 95 min | Action, Drama
Beloved for its combination of thrilling combat choreography and hilarious physical comedy, the film tells the story of a humble cashier who discovers a plot to kill his small town mayor.