Ang Lee is a critically acclaimed film director known for his visually stunning, emotionally engaging, and thought-provoking films.

Here are some of his best films, widely regarded as some of the finest works in contemporary cinema:

“Brokeback Mountain” (2005): A powerful love story between two cowboys, exploring themes of forbidden love and social prejudice.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000): A martial arts film set in 19th century China, blending elements of action, drama, and romance.

“Life of Pi” (2012): A magical realist adventure film based on the novel of the same name, about a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck and is left adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

“Sense and Sensibility” (1995): A period drama adapted from Jane Austen’s novel, exploring themes of love, family, and social convention.

“The Wedding Banquet” (1993): A comedy-drama about a gay Taiwanese man who must pretend to be married to his partner to please his traditional parents.

These films represent the best of Ang Lee’s diverse and accomplished filmography, showcasing his versatility as a filmmaker and his ability to create emotionally rich and visually stunning works.

Best Ang Lee Movies

Whether you’re a fan of drama, romance, comedy, adventure, or historical films, Ang Lee’s filmography is a must-watch.

1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

“Brokeback Mountain” is a 2005 film directed by Ang Lee, based on the short story by Annie Proulx.

The film tells the story of two cowboys, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), who meet while working as sheep herders in 1963 and form an unexpected and intense romantic relationship.

Despite their efforts to conceal their love and lead separate lives, the two are unable to deny their feelings for one another, leading to a series of events that will change their lives forever.

The film is a powerful exploration of love, loneliness, and the consequences of social prejudice. Lee’s direction is meticulous, with breathtaking cinematography capturing the beauty and isolation of the Wyoming landscape.

The performances of Ledger and Gyllenhaal are both outstanding, capturing the raw emotion and complexity of their characters’ relationships.

“Brokeback Mountain” is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.

It is a powerful and emotionally devastating story, one that transcends its setting and becomes a universal tale of love, loss, and the struggle to find happiness in a world that does not understand or accept you.

The film was widely praised for its artistic and technical excellence, earning numerous awards and nominations, including multiple Academy Awards.

In conclusion, “Brokeback Mountain” is a film that is not to be missed. Whether you are a fan of Ang Lee’s work, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, or simply a lover of great filmmaking, this film is a true masterpiece that is sure to move and inspire you.

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Brokeback Mountain
  • Bonus Features!
  • Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - Larry McMurtry (Writer) - Diana Ossana (Producer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a 2000 martial arts film directed by Ang Lee. Set in 19th century China, the film tells the story of a warrior, Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat), who is on a quest to retrieve his stolen sword, the Green Destiny.

Along the way, he teams up with a mysterious and skilled warrior, Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), and they encounter a number of obstacles, including a young and talented thief, Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi), who has also taken an interest in the sword.

The film is a visual feast, with stunning and imaginative fight sequences that showcase the acrobatics and grace of Wushu martial arts. Lee’s direction is meticulous, creating a rich and vibrant world that is equal parts beautiful and dangerous.

The performances of the cast are excellent, with each actor bringing their own unique style and energy to their roles.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is more than just an action film; it is a masterful blending of genres, including drama, romance, and adventure.

The film explores themes of love, loyalty, and the search for one’s true purpose, and these themes are woven into the film’s stunning action set pieces, making the film both an exhilarating experience and a profound emotional journey.

In conclusion, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a must-watch for fans of martial arts films, Ang Lee, and great filmmaking in general.

With its breathtaking action, powerful performances, and emotional depth, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (4K UHD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - James Schamus (Writer) - Bill Kong (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. The Ice Storm (1997)

“The Ice Storm” is a 1997 film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel by Rick Moody.

Set in 1973, the film takes place in the suburbs of New Canaan, Connecticut, and focuses on two families, the Hoods and the Carvers, who are struggling with a range of personal and social issues.

The film explores themes of sexual desire, family dysfunction, and the cultural changes of the 1970s, and it does so with a nuanced and sensitive touch.

Lee’s direction is masterful, capturing the mood and atmosphere of the era with a sharp eye for detail. The film’s cinematography is stunning, using the icy, winter weather to reflect the emotional turmoil of the characters.

The performances of the cast are all excellent, particularly those of Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, and Tobey Maguire, who bring depth and nuance to their characters.

“The Ice Storm” is a film that stays with you long after you have seen it. It is a powerful and poignant look at the lives of ordinary people, and the ways in which they are shaped and defined by their experiences and relationships.

The film is not only a fascinating exploration of a specific time and place, but also a universal tale of the human condition, capturing the complexities and contradictions of human desire and behavior.

In conclusion, “The Ice Storm” is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking. With its insightful writing, stunning cinematography, and powerful performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

Ice Storm
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joan Allen, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - James Schamus (Writer) - Ted Hope (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

4. Life of Pi (2012)

“Life of Pi” is a 2012 film directed by Ang Lee, based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel. The film tells the story of Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), a young man who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck and is stranded in the Pacific Ocean with only a Bengal tiger for company.

The film explores Pi’s journey of self-discovery as he fights for survival and comes to terms with his place in the world.

Lee’s direction is visionary, bringing to life the stunning and imaginative world of the novel with incredible attention to detail. The film’s cinematography is breathtaking, using a combination of live-action and cutting-edge visual effects to create a truly immersive experience.

The performances of the cast are excellent, particularly Suraj Sharma, who brings a touching vulnerability to his portrayal of Pi.

“Life of Pi” is more than just an adventure film; it is a profound meditation on the nature of reality, spirituality, and the human experience.

The film explores complex and thought-provoking themes with a subtle and lyrical touch, and it is a testament to Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to bring these themes to life in such a powerful and effective way.

In conclusion, “Life of Pi” is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking. With its stunning visuals, touching performances, and profound themes, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

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5. The Wedding Banquet (1993)

“The Wedding Banquet” is a 1993 film directed by Ang Lee, and is considered one of the filmmaker’s earliest masterpieces.

The film is a comedy-drama that explores themes of identity, family, and cultural differences, and it is set against the backdrop of modern-day New York City.

The film centers around Wai-Tung (Winston Chao), a successful Taiwanese businessman who is living in the US and is in a long-term relationship with Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein).

When Wai-Tung’s parents come to visit him, they express their desire for him to marry and settle down. In an effort to appease them, Wai-Tung agrees to arrange a fake wedding to a tenant in his building, Wei-Wei (May Chin).

Lee’s direction is sharp and insightful, capturing the complexities and contradictions of the characters with a gentle touch. The film’s writing is smart and witty, and it is a testament to Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to balance the comedy and drama in such an effective way.

The performances of the cast are excellent, particularly those of Winston Chao and May Chin, who bring depth and nuance to their characters.

“The Wedding Banquet” is a film that speaks to a universal audience, and its themes of identity, family, and cultural differences are as relevant today as they were when the film was released.

The film is a testament to Lee’s skills as a filmmaker, and it is a must-watch for fans of his work, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.

In conclusion, “The Wedding Banquet” is a timeless classic, and it is a film that deserves to be seen and appreciated by audiences everywhere. With its sharp writing, insightful direction, and powerful performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

The Wedding Banquet
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Winston Chao, May Chin, Mitchell Lichtenstein (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - Ang Lee (Writer) - Ang Lee (Producer)

6. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

“Sense and Sensibility” is a 1995 film directed by Ang Lee, and is based on the classic novel by Jane Austen.

The film is a period drama set in late 18th-century England, and it tells the story of two sisters, Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet), who are struggling to navigate the complexities of love, marriage, and society in the face of financial hardship.

Lee’s direction is elegant and sophisticated, capturing the essence of the novel while bringing a fresh perspective to the timeless themes of love, family, and societal expectations.

The film’s cinematography is gorgeous, capturing the beauty and majesty of the English countryside with a painterly touch.

The performances of the cast are outstanding, particularly those of Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, who bring depth and nuance to their characters.

“Sense and Sensibility” is a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to bring such a classic work of literature to life in such a vivid and impactful way.

The film explores complex and timeless themes with a subtle and lyrical touch, and it is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.

In conclusion, “Sense and Sensibility” is a timeless classic, and it is a film that deserves to be seen and appreciated by audiences everywhere

With its elegant direction, gorgeous cinematography, and outstanding performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

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7. Lust, Caution (2007)

“Lust, Caution” is a 2007 film directed by Ang Lee, and is set against the backdrop of World War II-era Shanghai.

The film is a historical spy thriller that tells the story of a group of young students who plot to assassinate a high-ranking official, Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), who is collaborating with the Japanese occupation of China.

The film explores themes of love, politics, and sacrifice, and it is a nuanced and thought-provoking work of filmmaking.

Lee’s direction is masterful, capturing the complexity and tension of the film’s narrative with a delicate touch. The film’s cinematography is stunning, capturing the beauty and danger of Shanghai during the war years with a rich and evocative visual style.

The performances of the cast are excellent, particularly those of Tony Leung and Wei Tang, who bring depth and nuance to their characters.

“Lust, Caution” is a film that is both thrilling and introspective, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to balance the action and the emotion in such an effective way.

The film is a powerful meditation on the consequences of political activism and the sacrifices that are required for true love, and it is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.

In conclusion, “Lust, Caution” is a stunning film, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker.

With its masterful direction, stunning cinematography, and excellent performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

Lust, Caution (R) (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tang Wei, Joan Chen (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - James Schamus (Writer) - Ang Lee (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

8. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

“Eat Drink Man Woman” is a 1994 film directed by Ang Lee, and is a charming and introspective film about family, love, and food.

The film takes place in contemporary Taipei, and it tells the story of a successful chef, Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung), and his three grown daughters, as they navigate the challenges and joys of modern life and family dynamics.

Lee’s direction is sensitive and insightful, capturing the complexities of family relationships with a gentle and humorous touch.

The film’s cinematography is beautiful, capturing the vibrant colors and textures of Taipei with a lush and evocative visual style.

The performances of the cast are excellent, particularly those of Sihung Lung, who brings depth and nuance to his role as the patriarch of the Chu family.

“Eat Drink Man Woman” is a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to bring such a simple story to life in such a rich and engaging way.

The film explores themes of love, family, and tradition with a warm and affectionate touch, and it is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.

In conclusion, “Eat Drink Man Woman” is a charming and introspective film, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker.

With its sensitive direction, beautiful cinematography, and excellent performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

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9. Ride with the Devil (I) (1999)

“Ride with the Devil” is a 1999 film directed by Ang Lee, and is a historical drama set during the American Civil War. The film tells the story of a group of Confederate guerrilla fighters, who band together to defend their homes and families against the Union army.

The film explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and the effects of war on ordinary people.

Lee’s direction is solid and straightforward, capturing the brutality and chaos of the Civil War with a clear and unvarnished vision.

The film’s cinematography is striking, capturing the rugged beauty of the Missouri landscape with a gritty and evocative visual style.

The performances of the cast are excellent, particularly those of Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich, who bring depth and nuance to their characters.

“Ride with the Devil” is a film that is both tense and introspective, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker that he is able to balance the action and the emotion in such an effective way.

The film is a powerful meditation on the consequences of war and the sacrifices that are required for loyalty and friendship, and it is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.

In conclusion, “Ride with the Devil” is a solid and thought-provoking film, and it is a testament to Ang Lee’s skills as a filmmaker. With its clear direction, striking cinematography, and excellent performances, this film is a true masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

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“Pushing Hands” is a 1991 film directed by Ang Lee, and is considered to be one of his early masterpieces.

It’s a drama about the cultural and generational conflicts that arise when an aging Tai Chi master moves in with his son and daughter-in-law in the United States.

One of the key strengths of “Pushing Hands” is its nuanced examination of the cultural and generational differences between the main characters.

Lee shows a deep understanding of the complexities of family dynamics, and he masterfully weaves together elements of comedy, drama, and pathos to create a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

The film also features strong performances from its lead actors, particularly Sihung Lung, who brings a quiet dignity to his role as the Tai Chi master.

The film’s cinematography is also noteworthy, capturing the suburban setting with a visual style that is both unpretentious and effective.

Overall, “Pushing Hands” is a subtle and powerful film that explores the human condition with honesty, intelligence, and grace.

It is a must-watch for fans of Ang Lee, or anyone who appreciates thoughtful and well-crafted filmmaking.

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Pushing Hands
  • Sihung Lung, Lai Wang, Bozhao Wang (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director)

11. Hulk (2003)

“Hulk” is a 2003 superhero film directed by Ang Lee and based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

The film tells the story of Dr. Bruce Banner, who transforms into a massive, indestructible green monster whenever he gets angry. As he tries to understand and control his powers, he must also confront his estranged father, who has his own sinister plans for the Hulk.

One of the most distinctive aspects of “Hulk” is its visual style, which draws heavily from comic book art and experiments with panel layouts, split screens, and graphic design elements.

This approach gives the film a unique and eye-catching look, and it sets it apart from other superhero films of the time.

The film’s performances are also noteworthy, particularly Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, who brings a sensitivity and vulnerability to the role. Jennifer Connelly is also effective as his love interest, and Nick Nolte delivers a memorable performance as Banner’s father.

However, “Hulk” also has some shortcomings. The film’s script is uneven, with some clunky dialogue and underdeveloped subplots.

Additionally, the film’s pacing is sometimes slow and the action scenes lack the excitement and thrills that are typical of the superhero genre.

Overall, “Hulk” is a mixed bag of a film, but it is still worth watching for its unique visual style and strong performances.

It’s an interesting experiment from a talented director, and it’s a must-see for fans of Ang Lee or the Marvel Comics character.

Hulk
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Eric Bana, Bruce Banner, Jennifer Connelly (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - Stan Lee (Writer) - Gale Anne Hurd (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. Taking Woodstock (2009)

“Taking Woodstock” is a 2009 comedy-drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on the memoir of Elliot Tiber, who played a role in the organization of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

The film tells the story of Elliot (played by Demetri Martin), a struggling young man who is searching for direction in his life.

When he discovers that a group of concert promoters are planning a music festival in the town where he lives, he sees an opportunity to help save his family’s struggling motel and make a name for himself.

One of the strengths of “Taking Woodstock” is its depiction of the cultural and historical context of the 1960s, which was a time of great social and political upheaval.

The film does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the era and the sense of optimism and freedom that was in the air at the time.

Another strength of the film is its strong cast, which includes standout performances from Demetri Martin as Elliot and Emile Hirsch as a Vietnam War veteran who befriends Elliot. The film also features memorable turns from Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, and Imelda Staunton, among others.

Despite its strengths, “Taking Woodstock” is not without its flaws. At times, the film feels a bit uneven, with a meandering plot and some scenes that drag on too long.

Additionally, the film’s tone can be a bit uneven, veering from lighthearted comedy to more serious drama at times.

Overall, “Taking Woodstock” is a charming and nostalgic look back at a defining moment in American history.

Despite its flaws, the film is an enjoyable and thought-provoking journey through one of the most important and iconic events of the 1960s. For fans of Ang Lee and of the Woodstock era, “Taking Woodstock” is definitely worth watching.

Taking Woodstock
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Emile Hirsch, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Liev Schreiber (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - James Schamus (Writer) - James Schamus (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3 Characteristics of Ang Lee Films

Cultural Diversity: Ang Lee is known for his ability to explore different cultures and time periods with a keen eye for detail.

He has directed films set in Taiwan, China, the United States, and India, among other places, and has explored a wide range of cultural and historical subjects, from Chinese martial arts to the Woodstock era.

Emotional Depth: Lee is known for his ability to create deep, emotional stories that resonate with audiences.

Whether it’s the powerful love story of “Brokeback Mountain” or the existential journey of “Life of Pi,” Lee’s films often delve into complex themes that explore the human experience in meaningful ways.

Technical Mastery: Ang Lee is known for his technical mastery as a filmmaker. He has been praised for his innovative use of technology, including 3D and special effects, to bring his stories to life.

Whether it’s the incredible fight scenes in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or the use of CGI in “Life of Pi,” Lee’s films are often visually stunning and technically impressive.

3 Reasons Why You Should Watch Ang Lee Films

Cultural Exploration: Ang Lee is known for his ability to delve into different cultures and time periods, offering a unique perspective on the world and its diverse societies.

By watching his films, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world’s many cultures.

Emotional Resonance: Lee’s films are often filled with deep, emotional stories that resonate with audiences. They often explore complex themes and human experiences, making them thought-provoking and memorable.

Technical Brilliance: Ang Lee is known for his technical mastery as a filmmaker, and his films often showcase his innovative use of technology to bring his stories to life.

From stunning visual effects to precise camera work, Lee’s films are a treat for both the eyes and the mind. Whether you’re a fan of technology or just appreciate good filmmaking, Lee’s films are sure to impress.

Best Ang Lee Films – Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Ang Lee is one of the most talented and versatile filmmakers of our time, and his body of work is a testament to his creativity and technical mastery.

From “Brokeback Mountain” to “Life of Pi,” Lee’s films have received critical acclaim and have touched audiences with their emotional depth and cultural diversity.

Whether you’re a fan of historical dramas, romantic stories, or action-packed films, Ang Lee has a film for you. So, if you’re looking for a filmmaker who can tell stories that move you, challenge you, and captivate you, look no further than Ang Lee.