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10 Best Kung Fu movies of all time

There is nothing better than a good fight scene, so what is better than an entire movie dedicated to amazing fight scenes? Kung Fu movies!!! For the uninitiated, here are the ten best Kung Fu movies of all time to get you addicted.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

While some Kung Fu fans object to this film because of the use of special effects and flight lines, the critics on IMBD have spoken and this is the first film on our list. Directed by Ang Lee, this film was a critical success in the western market and won four Oscars. It also places female characters in the fore in a way not seen in earlier, male-dominated Kung Fu films. The move stars Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chow Yun-Fat and Chang Chen.

Enter the Dragon (1973)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

The most iconic Kung Fu movie ever made, Bruce Lee jumps off the screen with both his moves and his star power. Sadly, this is the last film he ever made. Lee’s character investigates an opium and human trafficking ring, and finds himself in the position that he must win a big martial arts competition to save the day. Lee choreographed all the fight scenes in this epic.

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

Starring Liu Chia-Hui, also known as Gordon Lui, this film combines amazing fight scenes with some deep philosophical insights, and also features the Wu Tang Clan – what’s not to like? Lui’s character escapes some Manchu soldiers, and looking for revenge he joins a group of Shaolin Monks to prepare himself. The 36th chamber is the final level of training that Lui’s character must complete before he can return to the world and seek his revenge.

Police Story (1985)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

While we call Bruce Lee the king of Kung Fu, he is given a run for his money by the legendary Jackie Chan. While Lee was intense, Chan matches his skill but with layers of infectious comedy. Also, while we will never know what height Bruce Lee might have reached, Jackie Chan has a career spanning four decades (so far). This film is Kung Fu’s answer to Lethal Weapon, with Chan playing a cop that must protect a witness from crime bosses, and his own corrupt colleagues.

The Legend of the Drunken Master (1994)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

A sequel to the 1978 film The Drunken Master, Jackie Chan again blows us away with the intensity and joy of his action scenes. The attention that goes into the detail of the scenes makes every second a pleasure to watch. The premise of the story is that Chan’s character has learnt how to utilise being drink to fight better, and open up opportunities for hilarity.

Iron Monkey (1993)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

This film tells the story of 19th century folk hero Wong Fei-Hong (also portrayed by Jackie Chan in Drunken Master and Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China) as a righteous Robin Hood style character. There are lots of stories to tell about this character, who was a kind of travelling warrior avenging those who seeded it. Iron Monkey sticks to formula, but it is a formula that works.

Fist of Legend (1994)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

A remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (see below), Jet Li takes on the starring role as we explore the world of Kung Fu in China in the 1930s when it was occupied by Japan. Li does an admirable job of filling Lee’s shoes, and the actions scenes are impressive, and make nice reference to the original without being derivative.

Fist of Fury (1972)

IMDB Score 7.4/10

With the right balance of serious action and perhaps unintentional comedy, Bruce Lee plays an intense young Kung Fu student on a mission to avenge his former master, but also trying not to dishonour the memory of his master. Lee is both a master of the art, and an undeniable presence that you can’t tear your eyes off. The movie also explores ideas of Chinese identity during the Japanese occupation of the 1930s.

Once Upon a Time in China (1991)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

The film that firmly established Jet Li as a King Fu star, Li stars as a young doctor and martial artist that is fighting encroaching colonial forces of the west, specifically the United States and the United Kingdom. This film has a more serious tone than most on this list, and combines to be an epic historical drama, with some very memorable fight scenes.

The Prodigal Son (1983)

IMDB Score 6.3/10

A critique on nepotism, Yuen Biao plays the son in a wealthy Kung Fu dynasty convinced of his abilities, only to learn that his father has been paying his opponents to take falls. This gives him the determination to become a true master. He finds himself two new teachers, an impressive fighter played by Lam Ching-Ying, and a clumsy brother who still has lessons to teach.

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