10 Great Martial Arts Movies

Wednesday, January 26 by Tony Dayton

Since there there are so many of these types of films to choose from, selecting 10 great martial arts movies is a relatively simple task. From Bruce Lee to Uma Thurman, below is a list of top ten martial arts films.

  1. "Enter the Dragon" This 1973 movie was martial arts legend Bruce Lee's final movie before his untimely death. Set on a remote island, Lee is invited to attend a karate tournament. Before leaving for the island, Lee is approached by British intelligence requesting he go undercover in attempt to uncover a drug operation.  
  2. "The Last Dragon" A popular 1985 martial arts film that has a cult following, "The Last Dragon" features a teenage boy looking to achieve the highest level of martial arts success known as the "final level" which would give him the power of "The Glow." The movie ended up grossing nearly $26 million.  
  3. "Karate Kid"  Popular 1980's actor Ralph Macchio starred in the 1984 hit martial arts movie, "The Karate Kid." Macchio played a teenage boy who moved to California and learned a form of karate from an Okinawan immigrant. Well received by both critics and moviegoers, "The Karate Kid" grossed over $90 million.
  4. "Bloodsport" This 1988 martial arts movie featured some serious Vandamage as Jean-Claude Van Damme played  Frank Dux, an American martial arts expert who traveled to Hong Kong to participate in an illegal, full contact tournament. Considered a cult classic, Bloodsport grossed nearly $12 million dollars.
  5. "Under Siege" Steven Seagal played a Navy Seal/cook who saved the day by thwarting an attempt by a group of mercenaries to steal nuclear warheads and sell them on the black market. This 1992 blockbuster martial arts action film ended up grossing nearly $156 million worldwide.
  6. "Mortal Kombat" Based on the popular video game, Mortal Combat follows three martial arts warriors on their journey to fight an evil sorcerer in order to save the planet Earth. The hit martial arts movie earned over $122 million worldwide, while its soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.  
  7. "An Eye for an Eye" How good would a martial arts movie list be without a Chuck Norris flick? An Eye for an Eye is one of Norris' older movies as it was released in 1981. If you like vigilante moves with a lot of action, An Eye for an Eye is the movie for you. 
  8. "Romeo Must Die"  Romeo Must Die is a 2000 film starring new martial arts sensation, Jet Li. The movie is a typical revenge movie; Li's character escapes prison and travels to America to avenge his brother's death. The film was a box office success as it grossed over $90 million worldwide. 
  9. "Gymkata" While many dubbed this 1985 martial arts movie one of the worst of all-time, "Gymkata" has a cult following and was actually pretty decent. The movie is about an Olympic gymnast who is recruited by an American intelligence agency to travel to a foreign land to participate in a challenge called "The Game." 
  10. "Kill Bill Volumes I and II" Uma Thurmon playes a sexy bad ass in yet another martial arts movie centered around revenge. Other than Thurmond, the movie features hotties such as Lucy Liu, Vivica Fox, Julie Dreyfus, and Daryl Hannah. This movie was so good that it had to be broken up into two volumes.