The Best Chinese-Language Movies

by ChartreuseGreen | created - 20 May 2018 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

My all time favorite Chinese-language movies, in no particular order. For Kung Fu or Hong Kong gangster movies, please check out my other lists, The Best Wuxia Movies and The Best HK Gangster Movies.

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1. To Live (1994)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama, War

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu, Wu Jiang

Votes: 14,850 | Gross: $2.33M

2. Farewell My Concubine (1993)

R | 171 min | Drama, Music, Romance

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong, Qi Lü

Votes: 23,235 | Gross: $5.22M

3. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao

Votes: 27,472 | Gross: $2.60M

4. Postmen in the Mountains (1999)

Unrated | 93 min | Drama

62 Metascore

A father, a retiring mailman, walks his son over his job in the mountainous regions of Hunan province.

Director: Jianqi Huo | Stars: Hao Chen, Eddie Eagle, Ye Liu, Rujun Teng

Votes: 1,210 | Gross: $0.20M

5. Mountain Cry (2015)

107 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Set in a remote village, the story begins with the sudden death of a husband and father whose family is new to the village's tight-knit traditional community. In the aftermath of that ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Yang | Stars: Yueting Lang, Ziyi Wang, Jin Guo, Taishen Cheng

Votes: 324

6. Dearest (2014)

128 min | Drama

A story centered around a divorced couple living in a southern Chinese city Shenzhen and dealing with the disappearance of their missing son.

Director: Peter Ho-Sun Chan | Stars: Wei Zhao, Bo Huang, Dawei Tong, Lei Hao

Votes: 1,891

7. Getting Home (2007)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

A black comedy about a farmer who tries to bring home the body of his friend, who died far from their town.

Director: Yang Zhang | Stars: Benshan Zhao, Qiwen Hong, Dandan Song, Degang Guo

Votes: 1,518

8. Mr. Six (2015)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Drama

57 Metascore

A well respected man residing in what's left of old-Beijing attempts to exonerate his son from his wrongdoings with his own methods and beliefs.

Director: Hu Guan | Stars: Xiaogang Feng, Hanyu Zhang, Qing Xu, Kris Wu

Votes: 3,028 | Gross: $1.42M

9. 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: Li Gong, Peiqi Liu, Liuchun Yang, Kesheng Lei

Votes: 5,121 | Gross: $1.89M

10. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Sihung Lung, Kuei-Mei Yang, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu

Votes: 17,300 | Gross: $7.29M

11. Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

114 min | Drama, Romance

Romance sparks between a young woman and a young man from different economic backgrounds during China's Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Xuejian Li, Taishen Cheng, Dongyu Zhou, Rina Sa

Votes: 2,581

12. Hai shang hua (1998)

Unrated | 125 min | Drama

In the "flower houses" (upscale brothels) of Shanghai, various interweaving stories of love, loyalty, and deceit play out subtly.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis, Carina Lau

Votes: 2,291

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, Wei Tang, Joan Chen, Leehom Wang

Votes: 35,533 | Gross: $4.60M

14. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, 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, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 112,284 | Gross: $2.73M

15. Chungking Express (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Faye Wong

Votes: 56,196 | Gross: $0.60M

16. Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996)

118 min | Drama, Romance

Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a close friendship. Over the years this grows into love, but there are obstacles.

Director: Peter Ho-Sun Chan | Stars: Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai, Eric Tsang, Kristy Yeung

Votes: 4,452

17. The King of Masks (1996)

91 min | Drama

Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story. His wife left him with and infant son over 30 years ago. The son ... See full summary »

Director: Tian-Ming Wu | Stars: Li Chen, Zhaoji Jia, Zhigang Zhang, Zhigang Zhao

Votes: 3,017 | Gross: $1.10M

18. Together with You (2002)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Music

60 Metascore

A violin prodigy and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son's success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Yun Tang, Peiqi Liu, Hong Chen, Zhiwen Wang

Votes: 4,132 | Gross: $0.60M

19. A World Without Thieves (2004)

113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.

Director: Xiaogang Feng | Stars: Andy Lau, Rene Liu, Baoqiang Wang, You Ge

Votes: 4,399

20. 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: 4,155 | Gross: $0.67M

21. My Left Eye Sees Ghosts (2002)

98 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A car accident gives a spoiled, troubled young woman the ability to see ghosts, including one of a former classmate.

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai | Stars: Sammi Cheng, Ching Wan Lau, Cherrie Ying, San-san Lee

Votes: 961

22. Duckweed (2017)

102 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In the near-death after an accident, a sports car driver time-travelled back to the 1990s to meet his severe father and never-seen mother in a small Chinese town.

Director: Han Han | Stars: Chao Deng, Eddie Peng, Zanilia Zhao, Zijian Dong

Votes: 1,103 | Gross: $0.47M

23. 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, Jie Dong, Biao Fu

Votes: 3,778 | Gross: $0.24M

24. The Piano in a Factory (2010)

Not Rated | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

To fight for custody of his daughter who loves playing the piano, a steel factory worker decides to forge a piano from scratch.

Directors: Meng Zhang, Bo Gao | Stars: Qianyuan Wang, Yongzhen Guo, Shin-yeong Jang, Qian Liu

Votes: 1,089

25. The Taste of Rice Flower (2017)

102 min | Drama

1. Peng Fei's second feature. He is the co-writer of Tsai Ming-Liang 's STRAY DOGS. 2. Peng Fei's debut UNDERGROUND FRAGRANCE won Fedeora Best Film Award at 2015 Venice Film Festival, and ... See full summary »

Director: Peng Fei Song | Stars: Ze Ying, Bule Ye, Men Ye, Pin Ye

Votes: 88

26. Eternal Beloved (2009)

Drama, Romance

Happily married Mo Xiao-yu is visited by A Ming, a yearning ghost who tells her the tale of his tragic love story with beautiful A Jiu.

Director: Feihong Yu | Stars: Feihong Yu, Yihong Duan, Lu Yao, Jia Li

Votes: 198



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