Hong Kong has a rich cinematic tradition and has produced some of the most iconic and influential films in Asian cinema. Hong Kong movies are known for their unique blend of action, comedy, and drama, and have had a significant impact on the global film industry.

The Hong Kong film industry has produced many famous directors and actors, such as Wong Kar-wai, John Woo, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Stephen Chow, and many more. The films from Hong Kong cover a wide range of genres, including martial arts, crime, romance, comedy, horror, and historical epics.

Hong Kong movies are renowned for their high-quality action sequences and are known for setting the standard for martial arts movies. The Hong Kong film industry has also made significant contributions to the development of Hong Kong’s cultural identity, with many films exploring the city’s unique history, culture, and society.

Some of the best-known Hong Kong movies include “Infernal Affairs,” “Chungking Express,” “A Better Tomorrow,” “Police Story,” “Kung Fu Hustle,” and “The Killer.”

Best Hong Kong Movies

These films have gained international recognition and have helped to put Hong Kong cinema on the map.

1. In the Mood for Love (2000)

“In the Mood for Love” is a 2000 romantic drama film directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film is set in 1960s Hong Kong and follows the story of two neighbors, Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan, who suspect their spouses are having an affair.

As they spend more time together trying to uncover the truth, they begin to develop feelings for each other.

The film has been praised for its stunning cinematography and atmospheric portrayal of Hong Kong in the 1960s. It also explores themes of loneliness, desire, and the complexities of romantic relationships.

The film stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai as Mr. Chow and Maggie Cheung as Mrs. Chan, and both actors deliver powerful performances that have been widely acclaimed. “In the Mood for Love” has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and has been hailed as a masterpiece of modern cinema.

2. Chungking Express (1994)

Chungking Express is a Hong Kong romantic-comedy-drama film directed by Wong Kar-wai and released in 1994. The film is divided into two loosely connected stories, each revolving around a heartbroken policeman and his encounters with different women.

The first story follows Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who has just been dumped by his girlfriend. He becomes fixated on the expiration date of a can of pineapple that he bought, hoping that it will bring him good luck. He meets a mysterious woman in a blonde wig (Brigitte Lin), who may or may not be a drug smuggler.

The second story follows Cop 663 (Tony Leung), who is also recently single. He becomes infatuated with Faye (Faye Wong), a quirky fast-food worker who breaks into his apartment to clean and rearrange his belongings while he is away.

The film is known for its non-linear storytelling, vibrant cinematography, and pop music soundtrack. It has been praised for its portrayal of urban loneliness and the fleeting connections people make in a bustling city. Chungking Express has become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of Wong Kar-wai’s best films.

   
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Chungking Express [DVD]
  • Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actors)
  • Kar Wai Wong (Director) - Kar Wai Wong (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

3. Hard Boiled (1992)

“Hard Boiled” is a 1992 Hong Kong action film directed by John Woo and starring Chow Yun-fat and Tony Leung Chiu-wai. The film follows the story of a tough police inspector, “Tequila” Yuen, who forms an uneasy alliance with an undercover cop, Alan, to bring down a powerful crime syndicate.

The film is known for its highly stylized action sequences, featuring impressive gun battles and explosions. It also explores themes of honor, loyalty, and betrayal, and is considered a classic of the action genre.

“Hard Boiled” was a commercial success in Asia and was praised by critics for its cinematography, action sequences, and performances by the lead actors. It has since gained a cult following and has been highly influential in the action film genre.

Hard Boiled [Blu-ray]
  • Hard Boiled (Ultimate Edition) - Blu-ray Used Like New
  • Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Teresa Mo (Actors)
  • John Woo (Director)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

4. The Killer (1989)

“The Killer” is a 1989 Hong Kong action film directed by John Woo and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee, and Sally Yeh. The film tells the story of a hitman named Ah Jong (played by Chow Yun-fat), who accidentally blinds a singer named Jennie (played by Sally Yeh) during a shootout.

Feeling guilty, Ah Jong decides to do one last job to pay for Jennie’s eye surgery and retire from his life of crime. However, things get complicated when the police and his former employers start closing in on him.

The film is known for its stylish action scenes and has become a cult classic, particularly among fans of Hong Kong cinema and action movies in general. It was a commercial and critical success upon its release and helped to establish John Woo as a major director in the Hong Kong film industry.

“The Killer” has also been praised for its themes of redemption and sacrifice, as well as its exploration of the relationship between two men on opposite sides of the law.

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The Killer
  • The Killer - DVD Brand New
  • Yun-Fat Chow, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh (Actors)
  • John Woo (Director) - John Woo (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

5. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a 2000 martial arts epic film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel by Wang Dulu. The film is set in 18th century China and tells the story of two warriors, Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien, who are in love but unable to be together due to their duties as warriors.

The film features stunning martial arts sequences, breathtaking cinematography, and a beautiful score by composer Tan Dun. It stars Chow Yun-fat as Li Mu Bai, Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, and Zhang Ziyi as Jen Yu, a rebellious young aristocrat who steals a legendary sword.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film, and becoming the highest-grossing foreign language film in American history at the time of its release. It has been credited with popularizing martial arts films in the Western world and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of modern cinema.

6. Infernal Affairs (2002)

“Infernal Affairs” is a critically acclaimed Hong Kong crime thriller film released in 2002. The film was directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak and starred Tony Leung, Andy Lau, and Anthony Wong.

The film tells the story of two men, one a police officer, and the other a member of a criminal organization, who have infiltrated each other’s organizations. The police officer, Chan Wing-yan (Tony Leung), has been working undercover for years, trying to bring down the criminal organization led by Sam (Eric Tsang). At the same time, the criminal organization has planted a mole, Lau Kin-ming (Andy Lau), in the police department.

   

As the two men try to uncover each other’s identities, the tension and suspense escalate, leading to a climactic confrontation. The film is known for its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and intense action sequences.

The film’s success led to two sequels, as well as a Hollywood adaptation, “The Departed,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. “Infernal Affairs” is considered a classic of Hong Kong cinema and is credited with revitalizing the Hong Kong film industry.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS - HK BLU RAY (Region All Free) Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai (English subtitled)
  • Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Edison Chen (Actors)
  • Mandarin Chinese (Subtitle)

7. Ip Man (2008)

Ip Man is a Hong Kong biographical martial arts film directed by Wilson Yip and released in 2008. The film is based on the life of Ip Man, a legendary martial artist who is best known for being the master of Bruce Lee.

The film is set in Foshan, China, in the 1930s during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen) is a respected martial arts master who leads a peaceful life with his family. However, his life is disrupted when the Japanese army occupies Foshan and challenges the local Chinese martial artists to a series of brutal fights.

Ip Man is initially reluctant to fight, but he eventually agrees to take on the Japanese soldiers in order to protect his community. Through his skilled fighting, Ip Man becomes a symbol of hope and resistance for the Chinese people.

The film has been praised for its action sequences, Donnie Yen’s performance, and its portrayal of Ip Man as a humble and principled martial artist. Ip Man has spawned several sequels and spin-offs, as well as a resurgence of interest in Wing Chun, the style of martial arts that Ip Man practiced and taught.

Ip Man
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Fan Siu-Wong (Actors)
  • Wilson Yip (Director)
  • English, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese (Subtitles)
  • Chinese (Publication Language)

8. Drunken Master (1978)

“Drunken Master” is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and starring Jackie Chan in the lead role. The film follows the story of Wong Fei-hung, a mischievous young man who is sent to study martial arts under his strict and demanding father.

When Wong disobeys his father and gets into trouble with the local authorities, he is sent to train under a drunken master who teaches him the unique Drunken Boxing style of kung fu.

   

The film is known for its innovative fight scenes and Jackie Chan’s acrobatic and comedic performance. It also features several notable martial arts actors, including Simon Yuen and Hwang Jang Lee.

“Drunken Master” was a commercial and critical success, and is considered one of the greatest martial arts films ever made. It spawned a franchise, including a sequel, “Drunken Master II” (also known as “The Legend of Drunken Master”), released in 1994, which is also highly regarded by fans of the genre.

Drunken Master [DVD]
  • Jacky Chan, Hsiao Yuen, Siu Tien Yuen (Actors)
  • Woo-Ping Yuen - (Director) - Ng See Yuen (Producer)
  • English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

9. Police Story (1985)

“Police Story” is a 1985 Hong Kong action film directed by and starring Jackie Chan. The film also stars Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, and Chor Yuen. The plot follows Chan’s character, a Hong Kong police officer named Kevin Chan Ka-Kui, who is tasked with protecting a witness from a major drug lord. However, when the witness is killed, Chan sets out to bring the drug lord to justice, leading to a series of explosive action sequences.

“Police Story” is considered a classic of Hong Kong cinema and is known for its innovative and thrilling action scenes, which showcase Chan’s martial arts and stunt work. The film was a commercial and critical success upon its release, and has since become one of Chan’s most iconic films. It was also followed by several sequels, including “Police Story 2” and “Police Story 3: Supercop”.

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Police Story (Special Collector's Edition) [DVD]
  • Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin (Actors)
  • Jackie Chan (Director) - Edward Tang (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

10. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

“Kung Fu Hustle” is a 2004 martial arts comedy film directed by Stephen Chow. The film is set in 1940s China and follows the story of a young man who aspires to become a member of the notorious Axe Gang.

A group of ruthless criminals who terrorize a housing complex known as Pig Sty Alley. However, things take an unexpected turn when the residents of Pig Sty Alley reveal their own kung fu skills and defend themselves against the Axe Gang’s attacks.

The film features a blend of action, comedy, and special effects, and is known for its creative fight scenes and over-the-top humor. It stars Stephen Chow as the protagonist, along with a talented ensemble cast that includes Yuen Wah, Leung Siu-lung, and Dong Zhihua.

“Kung Fu Hustle” was a commercial success, grossing over $100 million worldwide, and was also well-received by critics. It has been credited with revitalizing the martial arts comedy genre and remains a beloved cult classic.

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Kung Fu Hustle (Blu-ray)
  • Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen (Actors)
  • Stephen Chow (Director)
  • English, French (Subtitles)

11. Fallen Angels (1995)

“Fallen Angels” is a 1995 Hong Kong romantic crime drama film directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film is a spiritual sequel to Wong’s earlier film “Chungking Express” and features a similar style of fragmented narrative and visually striking cinematography.

The film follows the lives of two characters, a professional hitman known only as “Killer” (Leon Lai) and a lovelorn woman named “The Agent” (Michele Reis). The two cross paths with another pair of characters, a mute ex-convict named “Ho Chi-mo” (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his obsessive and unstable girlfriend “Charlie” (Charlie Yeung).

The film is known for its striking visuals, which feature a mix of neon lights, slow-motion shots, and off-kilter camera angles. The fragmented narrative and nonlinear structure of the film add to its dreamlike atmosphere and sense of disorientation.

“Fallen Angels” is considered a classic of Hong Kong cinema and has been praised for its style, direction, and performances. The film was nominated for several awards, including the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It is widely regarded as one of Wong Kar-wai’s masterpieces and a landmark of Hong Kong cinema.

Fallen Angels [DVD]
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro, Charlie Yeung, Karen Mok (Actors)
  • Wong Kar-Wai (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

12. A Better Tomorrow (1986)

A Better Tomorrow is a Hong Kong crime film directed by John Woo and released in 1986. The film follows two brothers, Sung Tse Ho (Ti Lung) and Sung Tse Kit (Leslie Cheung), who are on opposite sides of the law.

Sung Tse Ho is a respected triad member who wants to retire from his life of crime, while Sung Tse Kit is a police officer who is determined to bring down the triads.

Their paths cross when Sung Tse Ho’s friend, Mark (Chow Yun-fat), is released from prison and returns to the criminal underworld. Mark’s loyalty to Sung Tse Ho is tested when a deal goes wrong and he is forced to choose between his friends and his own survival.

The film is known for its stylized action sequences, emotional performances, and themes of brotherhood and redemption. A Better Tomorrow was a critical and commercial success and is considered a classic of Hong Kong cinema.

It also helped to establish Chow Yun-fat and John Woo as major figures in the industry. The film has been remade several times and has influenced numerous other films and filmmakers.

A Better Tomorrow [DVD]
  • Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1)
  • Theactrical Trailer (in Cantonese)
  • Theactrical Trailer (in English)
  • Talent Bios
  • Languages: English: Cantonese with optional English subtitles

13. The Way of the Dragon (1972)

“The Way of the Dragon” is a 1972 martial arts film written, directed, and starring Bruce Lee in the lead role. The film follows the story of Tang Lung (Bruce Lee), a martial artist who travels from Hong Kong to Rome to help his relatives who are being threatened by a local gang.

The film is known for its iconic fight scene between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, who plays the villainous Colt. It also features several other notable martial arts actors, including Bob Wall and Robert Wall.

“The Way of the Dragon” was a commercial success and received critical acclaim for its action sequences, humor, and performances by the lead actors. It is considered one of Bruce Lee’s best films and a classic of the martial arts genre.

The Way Of The Dragon (The Return of The Dragon) (1972)
  • Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Paul Wei (Actors)
  • Bruce Lee (Director)
  • English, Mandarin Chinese (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

14. Happy Together (1997)

“Happy Together” is a 1997 Hong Kong drama film directed by Wong Kar-wai and starring Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung. The film tells the story of a gay couple from Hong Kong, Lai Yiu-fai (played by Tony Leung) and Ho Po-wing (played by Leslie Cheung), who travel to Argentina in an attempt to save their troubled relationship. However, things do not go as planned, and their relationship continues to deteriorate.

“Happy Together” is known for its beautiful cinematography and Wong Kar-wai’s signature style of non-linear storytelling. The film explores themes of love, loss, and identity, as well as the struggles faced by gay couples in a society that often does not accept them.

The film was a critical success and won the Best Director award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, cementing Wong Kar-wai’s reputation as one of Hong Kong’s most talented and innovative filmmakers.

Happy Together [DVD]
  • Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chen Chang (Actors)
  • Kar Wai Wong (Director) - Kar Wai Wong (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

15. Shaolin Soccer (2001)

“Shaolin Soccer” is a 2001 sports comedy film directed by Stephen Chow. The film tells the story of a group of former kung fu monks who use their martial arts skills to form a soccer team and compete in a national tournament. Along the way, they must overcome various obstacles and challenges, both on and off the field.

The film features a unique blend of martial arts and soccer, and is known for its creative special effects and over-the-top humor. It stars Stephen Chow as the team’s coach and leader, along with a talented ensemble cast that includes Ng Man-tat, Patrick Tse, and Vicki Zhao.

“Shaolin Soccer” was a commercial success, grossing over $50 million worldwide, and was also well-received by critics. It has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the most popular and influential Asian films of the 21st century.

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Shaolin Soccer [DVD]
  • Stephen Chow, Wei Zhao, Yut Fei Wong (Actors)
  • Stephen Chow (Director) - Kan-Cheung Tsang (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

3 Characteristics of Hong Kong Movies

Action-packed and visually stunning: Hong Kong movies are known for their intense and creative action scenes, often featuring martial arts and other forms of combat. These scenes are typically well choreographed and filmed with a focus on visual flair and excitement.

Blend of Eastern and Western influences: Hong Kong movies often blend elements of Chinese culture and traditions with influences from Western cinema. This has resulted in a unique and diverse film industry that is able to appeal to audiences around the world.

Exploration of social issues: Many Hong Kong movies explore social issues and themes such as crime, corruption, and inequality. These films often provide commentary on the state of society in Hong Kong and the wider world, and are known for their realism and gritty portrayals of urban life.

3 Reasons To Watch Hong Kong Movies

Unique cinematic style: Hong Kong cinema has a distinctive style that is a blend of Eastern and Western influences. Hong Kong movies often feature innovative cinematography, dynamic fight scenes, and complex storytelling that sets them apart from other types of films.

Rich cultural heritage: Hong Kong movies often showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region, including its history, traditions, and values. Watching Hong Kong movies can provide insight into the culture and way of life of the people who live there.

Diverse range of genres: Hong Kong cinema offers a wide range of genres to suit different tastes, including action, martial arts, romance, comedy, and drama. Whether you’re in the mood for an adrenaline-fueled action movie or a heartwarming romantic drama, there’s something for everyone in Hong Kong cinema.

Best Hong Kong Movies – Wrap Up

Hong Kong cinema has a rich history and has produced some of the most iconic and influential films in the world. From classic kung fu movies to epic historical dramas, Hong Kong cinema has something for everyone.

In this list, we have highlighted some of the best Hong Kong movies of all time, including “In the Mood for Love,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Infernal Affairs,” “Kung Fu Hustle,” “Shaolin Soccer,” “Ashes of Time,” “Fearless,” and “The Warlords.”

These films represent a diverse range of genres and styles, from art house cinema to martial arts epics, and showcase the talent and creativity of Hong Kong’s filmmakers and actors.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it offers a starting point for anyone interested in exploring the rich and vibrant world of Hong Kong cinema.