There’s a reason why martial arts movies are among the most popular genres of cinema. They’re visually beautiful and physically exciting. There are three main stars in this genre: Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan. These stars have changed the way action fans see fight scenes.

1. Enter the Dragon (1973)

Enter the Dragon is a quintessential Kung-Fu action movie that helped make Bruce Lee an international star. The film is a blend of martial arts, blaxploitation, and espionage. Director Robert Clouse worked closely with Bruce Lee to engineer the iconic fight sequences in Enter the Dragon. Among them is the famous “Hall of Mirrors” climax duel fight situation.

2. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (1995)

With this film Quentin Tarantino combines his love of spaghetti westerns and Asian martial arts movies. His style is very much a pastiche of B-movie attitudes and situations, but with the added gimmick of some excellent fight scenes. The story follows an assassin who wakes from a coma and seeks revenge on her former hit squad the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and their boss Bill (David Carradine). It’s an extremely violent film where gallons of blood are spilled. You can watch it on gnula if you have not watched it.

3. Police Story (1993)

With its high-speed chases, mammoth explosions and some of the most amazing fight scenes in martial arts film history, Police Story almost transcends the genre. Jackie Chan is in top form as honest police inspector Eddie Chan, who fights mobsters, corruption and his own demons while trying to save a kidnapped businessman. Kirk Wong’s gritty realism attacks the power and influence of Hong Kong’s triad organizations in this dark and edgy film.

4. Legend of the Fox (1978)

This wuxia epic, from Ching Siu-tung, is a masterpiece of creative carnage. It blurs the line between real and supernatural, as ninja who seem neither human nor poltergeist battle with one another in this high-vaulting martial arts actioner. Bruce Lee is in full, unapologetically brutal form in this wuxia classic. It’s a kung fu film that turned Lee into a national hero.

5. Come Drink With Me (1980)

A defining watershed in Hong Kong’s wuxia cinema, Come Drink With Me is the first of director King Hu’s trendsetting martial arts films that catapulted Cheng Pei-Pei to stardom. Featuring the best pure martial arts fight choreography of all time, this is one of the most important titles in the genre and should be on every true martial arts fan’s list.

The fight scene aesthetic is a direct influence on Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which featured Cheng as the treacherous Jade Fox) and many other kung fu films that followed. 88 Films’ Region B-locked 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is a step up from the SD edition, bringing out more of the film’s original visual charms.

6. Iron Monkey (1995)

If you like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and you’re looking for a movie with a good balance of characters, plot and fighting then this is the film for you. While it has a lot of special effects it’s more about the fight scenes. It also stars Kam Kong as a Manchurian General who wants to crush the rebellion that is led by Shaolin monks. In addition to the usual “shadowless kicks” and King Kong fists, there is a final confrontation with a deadly renegade monk.

7. The Legend of Drunken Master (1993)

The Legend of Drunken Master is one of Jackie Chan’s most notable films. Its dazzling action sequences are the talk of the town. This kung fu flick is helmed by a seasoned directing vet, Lau Kar-leung. He had previously helmed a series of genre-defining kung fu lookmovie, including 36 Chambers of Shaolin and Eight Diagram Pole Fighter.

8. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (1988)

A dazzling action-packed martial arts epic, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon features masterful choreography from Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix). It is also a sweeping romance between two warriors whose romantic destinies are intertwined. When the Green Destiny sword is stolen, two master warriors must battle to defend their lives and honor. But their greatest test is love.

9. The Matrix (1999)

The Wachowskis melded Hollywood’s panache for visual effects with Hong Kong’s stylized fight choreography. Among other things, they employed “bullet-time photography,” an effect that allows the camera to go in and out of slow-motion without slowing down the action. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a computer programmer who has been a rebel against the machines that control the Matrix. He joins a crew of hackers led by Morpheus (Tony Leung) to hack into the system.

10. The Killer (1995)

If you’re looking for a movie that is high on action, drama and hard-punching kung fu fights, then The Killer is the perfect film for you. The plot revolves around a serial killer and FBI agents who have an encounter that changed their lives. Lucian Morano (Tobin Bell) escapes prison and begins targeting his victims, including FBI agent Selby Younger (Kim Delaney) and detective Cole Grayson (Gary Hudson). In order to stop him, the two must reunite intensely.

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