The 10 Best Martial Arts Movies of All Time, Ranked by IMDb

There are many types of cool and exciting action scenes that exist in the action genre. Car chases are fast and often nerve-wracking, gunfire is loud and overwhelming in the best way possible, and massive explosions are rarely boring to look at. At the end of the day, the hand-to-hand action may be the most exciting and impressive, as there is something profound and poignant about seeing two (or more) skilled fighters fight up close and personal.


Related: The most epic shootouts of all time

No subgenre offers great hand-to-hand combat in the same way that martial arts films do. For more than 50 years, martial arts has been a popular style of fighting to feature in action films, with the following ten films being among the best martial arts films of all time. All of them have average IMDb scores of 7.4/10 or higher, and are ranked below from lowest to highest.

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10/10 “Dragon Inn” (1967) – 7.4/10

Dragon in - 1967

The king is He was a Chinese director who pioneered the martial arts genre, directing many early classics of the 1960s and 1970s. while Dragon Inn It wasn’t his first film, it was arguably his first great martial arts film, and today it’s considered one of the first classics of the genre, delivering thrilling action despite being over half a century old.

Like many martial arts films, the plot is simple and designed to allow many action scenes to come together. Set largely in and around the Inn Of Dragon’s Gate, it involves dozens of assassins trying to take down the two surviving children of a recently betrayed army chief. It’s a refined and no-nonsense martial arts movie that also boasts great visuals and an unforgettable atmosphere beyond the fun action scenes.

9/10 ‘The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter’ (1984) – 7.4/10

Eight Pole Fighter Chart - 1984

Like many classic martial arts films, Eight pole fighter scheme It is located in China during historical times. When a powerful family is almost completely massacred in a battle, the survivors need to escape. The film mostly follows a young man named Yang Wu-lang, who seeks refuge in a monastery and becomes a Buddhist monk. In the end, circumstances force him to become a brutal warrior again.

Eight pole fighter scheme It is one of those glorified action movies where every action sequence is better than the last. It culminates in a stunning, drawn-out, and utterly brutal fight scene that has to be one of the best in film history. Produced by Icon Shaw Brothers – a production company that has funded many martial arts classics – as well as superstars Gordon Liuone of the best martial arts actors of all time.

8/10 “A Touch of Zen” (1971) – 7.5/10

A Touch of Zen - 1971

Dragon Inn He may have proven that King is one of the greats when it comes to directing martial arts films, however A touch of Zen bolster such a claim. A true epic that spans over three hours, it follows the story of a young woman who hides in a small village while on the run from corrupt (and murderous) government officials.

The movie eventually degenerates into a drawn-out fight for survival, but before the second half, it’s not much of a martial arts movie. It’s calm, contemplative, and soulful, all while expertly building to an extended climax that delivers incredible fight after amazing fight. It’s a great epic drama and a great martial arts movie, and while the 7.5/10 rating on IMDb is nothing to sneeze at, it really should be higher.

7/10 The Legend of Drunken Master (1994) – 7.6/10

drunk master 2

You could fill an entire list (or two) of great martial arts movies starring the legendary Jackie Chan. He’s been in the business for nearly 50 years at this point, and before making the move to Hollywood in the mid to late ’90s, he made some of the best (and craziest) action movies ever. Some combined martial arts with more modern action combos, such as car chases and shootouts, while others focused on the hand-to-hand stuff.

Related: Jackie Chan’s Best Non-American Movies, Ranked by IMDb Score

The legend of a drunken master It is one of the pure martial arts films, and perhaps his greatest ever. Also considered as the swansong of the Hong Kong era as a whole, this movie about family drama, theft of priceless artifacts, and drunken martial arts has some of the best action scenes ever and is a must watch for every fan. Action movies. , regardless of how they feel about martial arts.

6/10 “Enter the Dragon” (1973) – 7.6/10

Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee His career as a martial arts star was tragically cut short by his death in 1973. Enter the dragonTherefore, it became his final full-length film, and was released at the end of July 1973, a few days after Lee’s death.

He was already well on his way to becoming a huge action star, however Enter the dragon It cemented him as an icon, making it unfortunate that this was his last proper film (1978 Game of Death It might include a few fight sequences featuring Lee, but all things borderline unwatchable without him). Enter the dragon The opening about an elaborate martial arts tournament on an exotic island is full of fantastic action, with Lee charismatic as an actor, as well as utterly fierce and convincing as a fighter.

5/10 “The Raid” (2011) – 7.6/10

The 2011 raid

Few action movies can claim to be simple, satisfying, and absolutely brutal Raid. This low-budget Indonesian film sees a group of highly trained but outnumbered SWAT team members trapped in a high-rise building run by a crime lord who puts a bounty on their heads. After this setup, Raid It becomes a battle for survival, as the police need to fight their way out of the building.

Come to the violent martial arts, and continue to the violent martial arts, because there is not much else Raid. However, her bluntness is her greatest strength, as few martial arts movies can claim to be so straightforward and exciting.

4/10 “Raid 2” (2014) – 7.9/10

raid 2

raid 2 It currently boasts a slightly higher rating on IMDb than its predecessor (7.6/10 compared to 7.9/10). It has a more complex storyline, with different criminal gangs struggling for power, plenty of betrayals, and a setting beyond just one apartment block.

Related: Great action movies with surprisingly low budgets

The complexity may make some viewers want to go straight to the first movie, but in the end, raid 2 It is one of those sequels that are better than the first. Its action is more ambitious, it’s shot more cinematically, and the one-on-one fight scenes are even better. It’s just a shame we’ll probably never get a third raid Movie.

3/10 “Champion” (2002) – 7.9/10

Champion 2002

while a hero Not Yimou Zhang The only martial arts film, perhaps the best legendary Chinese director. It’s a stunningly beautiful movie that tells an epic story in less than two hours, with the main plot revolving around a lone warrior tasked with taking down three notorious assassins before they can make a move against the King of China.

The work is on a truly stunning scale here, and the use of color is second to none. In addition to being a great movie and soundtrack, it has some of the best on-screen sword fights in recent memory, expertly fusing them into martial arts fight scenes.

2/10 “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) – 7.9/10

Crouching Hidden Dragon Tiger

It is unlikely that a film so iconic would realize that it was originally a novel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon It is one of the most popular martial arts movies of all time. output from MineIt’s a little more fictional than most martial arts movies, with a group of people all after a legendary sword who possess fighting abilities beyond what reality would allow.

It gives the movie a unique feel, both in its story and its memorable (and beautiful) action scenes. It’s the kind of movie where you don’t have to be a martial arts fan to appreciate it; Its appeal is really wide ranging.

1/10 Kill Bill Bean. 1′ (2003) – 8.2/10

The Bride encounters a group of armed henchmen

Evaluating both volumes together, there is a good argument for doing so Quentin Tarantino epic revenge Kill Bill It is his greatest movie. while Vol. 2 has less activity, feels like a western person, Kill Bill Bean. 1 It is an action-packed martial arts tribute through and through.

Some might wonder if the homage/pastiche deserves its IMDb rating of 8.2/10, which puts it above other classics from decades past. But then there’s an argument to be made that Tarantino is making something here that feels unique, exciting, and unlike any other, simply because he’s been influenced by so many other films. This in turn makes Kill Bill Bean. 1 Both a martial arts tribute and a martial arts movie.

Next: Action movies that contain only one real action scene

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