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Top Martial Arts Films

12:25 Fri 09th Jul 2010 |

The Martial Arts film genre, for many, is firmly stuck in the 1970’s and 1980’s with Bruce Lee, Jet Li and the beginnings of Jackie Chan. Doubtless this may be true, however, more recently the genre has had somewhat of a renaissance and its popularity is on the rise again.

Kung Fu films very often only glance at the plot every now and again and they are richer for it. Sometimes there is a love interest sometimes not. Sometimes there is humour and there is almost always personal tragedy for the hero and during his journey for revenge he learns about himself and the art he is studying.

However, there are always numerous evil henchmen to plough through to reach the top bad guy; who is often a former pupil of the hero’s own revered Master. Old school fans, however, are looking for the glorious fight scenes which are expertly choreographed and can be almost like ballet sequences in their graceful beauty.

If you love martial arts or even if you don’t here are the Top Ten films to whet your appetite:

Enter the Dragon

Without doubt fans say this is the all time greatest martial arts film ever made. Starring and choreographed by the late and awesomely great Bruce Lee.

Game of Death

Another great film by Bruce Lee that was finished after his tragic and untimely death.

Legend of the Drunken Master

Some say this is the start of Jackie Chan’s rise to stardom. His individual slapstick fighting style is just beginning to take shape here.


This is Jet Li’s final offering in martial arts epics and some say his best. Breathtaking action scenes and a twist at the end make this a must see film.

Fists of Fury

Bruce Lee made his name with this film and although not as slick and smooth as his later work undoubtedly shows his uncommon skill and charm on screen.

Kung Fu Hustle

This is a must view for anyone. If you are a genre fan then the fight scenes will amaze, if you are not then you soon will be with a mix of comedy and action on a grand scale will convert you on the spot.

House of Flying Daggers

One of the most beautiful epics of recent years this is a staggering story of love and self sacrifice for ones ideals.


Another grand epic with a truly moving story which intertwines some of the most significant moments in ancient Chinese history with individual tales of love and honour.

Ong Bak

Not necessarily an epic movie but one with lots of heart and great kickboxing action. This film highlighted the talent and skills of Tony Jaa and made him into a martial arts star.

Kung Fu Panda

An unusual choice you may say for a top ten list of martial arts films, but for any diehard fans with children this is just the movie to start them off. The action although stylised is a genuine homage to the true genre and there is great pathos and humour in there too.

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