10 Greatest Kung Fu Movies

Wednesday, March 2 by Matt Visconage

Kung Fu films are intrinsically linked with the culture of Asia and often lead to the creation of new action stars, which is why it is important to know the ten greatest Kung Fu movies. Let's get to Kung F fighting!

  1. "Enter The Dragon" Considered by many to be Bruce Lee's finest English movie this film is where the now classic cliche of "being invited to a martial arts tournament that is actually something else and planned by a dude with a claw hand" comes from. This movie is pure win and this little blurb does not do it the justice it deserves. Seriously go out and watch this movie.
  2. "Game of Death" Another classic by Bruce Lee, this time made classic by its extremely awesome fight between Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bruce Lee has to fight masters of different martial arts on each level of a pagoda before reaching the top to beat the bad guy. Pretty much every video game ever owes to this plot structure. Also many of the "bad guys" in the movie were actually students of Bruce Lee.
  3. "Legend of the Drunken Master" This film is considered the grandfather of the Kung Fu/comedy genre and stars a very young Jackie Chan. Jackie uses an ancient form of Kung Fu that involves looking drunk and actually being drunk. And even while completely hammered he still manages to beat up every single bad guy in sight. Go Jackie.
  4. "Once Upon a Time in China" This Kung Fu film is the father to all of the Kung Fu films now that have millions of sequels. There are literally six sequels to this movie and most of them star the amazing Jet Li. This film is actually highly regarded in China for the way it accurately portrays history and is credited with starting the Kung Fu craze of the early '90s.
  5. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" This film helped put Kung Fu films on the map once again in the 2000s when it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Picture. It also put them on the map for its scenes which feature Kung Fu fighters climbing up trees with relative ease. Many Americans tried to imitate this in the months following leading to many casts and broken arms.
  6. "Five Deadly Venoms" This cult '70s Kung Fu film is a favorite of the Wu-Tang Clan and it is easy to see why. The film centers on five masters of five different kinds of deadly forms of Kung Fu, all of which are pretty awesome even for 1970s production values.
  7. "Ong-Bak" This film formally introduced the world to Muay Thai and Tony Jaa, whose approach to martial arts was akin to the days of Bruce Lee. Jaa uses no wires and all of his stunts are 100 percent real and 100 percent incredible. Even though the film is not in English it still features some comedy which helps offset the extreme and realistic violence of the Muay Thai.
  8. "Kung Fu Hustle" Oh Steven Chow, why are you so great? This film does the seemingly impossible, it makes a film about Kung Fu incredibly hilarious and not especially violent. Steven Chow is now seen at the master of the comedy-Kung Fu genre and anyone who questions that title should watch this movie.
  9. "Seven Samurai" Not necessarily a Kung Fu movie, not necessarily a War movie this classic from Akira Kurosawa is full of samurai action and Katana slicing. If you are a student of film this movie is a must see.
  10. "Iron Monkey" This '90s Kung Fu film takes the classic story on Robin Hood and puts an Asian twist on it, with amazing results. Even though it was made only fifteen or so years ago it is still considered by some to be one of the greatest Kung Fu movies ever made.
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COMMENTS

  1. March 2, 2011 6:03 pm

    Micheal Boswell

    do me a favour, I doubt if you have ever watched a martial arts movie !! Every Lee fan knows GOD
    was an insult to the great man . DO YOUR RESEARCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!1


  2. March 2, 2011 6:03 pm

    Marcello

    First off, listing Game of Death, a film where Bruce Lee was only in about %30 of it ABOVE Drunken Master? Where are Fist of Legend, 36 Chambers, Fearless??? Kung Fu Hustle is more of a comedy than anything else….


  3. March 2, 2011 6:03 pm

    Ejfripley

    You’ve confused Jackie’s 1978 movie “Drunken Master” with his 1994 sort-of sequel which was called “The Legend of Drunken Master” in the US (original title was “Drunken Master 2″). An easy enough mistake I suppose, but I have to wonder how many kung fu films you’ve seen if you don’t know about both of these films: There are a number of people who think “Drunken Master 2″ is Chan’s best kung fu film.


  4. March 2, 2011 6:03 pm

    Academy of Kung Fu

    Drunken Master 2 aka Legend of Drunken Master is arguably one of Chan’s best Kung Fu films as the other commenter noted.

    We posted your list on our schools’ facebook page. Crouching Tiger and Ip Man were among our students favorites. There was some question on Ong Bok and Seven Samurai being on a Kung Fu list especially when their respective genres are rich enough for their own Top 10. Again fun article!

    http://www.wutangmountain.com
    http://www.schoolofkungfu.com