If you want to know the best martial arts movies, you should definitely watch our picks for the best ones of the 2000s. We hope you will enjoy the following ranking. Please let us know your favorite in the comments and make sure to subscribe to never miss a good movie again.
#10. Undisputed II: Last Man Standing
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing is a martial arts film directed by Isaac Florentine and stars Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Eli Danker, and Ben Cross. This movie sets up a new legend with heavyweight champ George “Iceman” Chambers against Russian prison fighter Yuri Boyka. After “Iceman” is sent to a Russian prison on trumped-up drug charges, his fighting skills are his only tool to make it out alive. Facing boxer after boxer and arranged fights, “Iceman” will do whatever it takes to get out of jail.
#9. Shaolin Soccer
Shaolin Soccer is a Hong Kong sports comedy film directed by Stephen Chow and stars Stephen Chow, Zhao Wei, Ng Man-Tat, and Patrick Tse. The way football is played in this utterly ridiculous representation is so way over the top and impossible that it becomes irresistibly brilliant. We follow a group of Kung Fu fanatic friends who are planning to win some money in a major football tournament. Mixing football with martial arts the results are hyper-stylized and purely fascinating.
#8. Black Dynamite
Black Dynamite is a blaxploitation action comedy film directed by Scott Sanders and stars Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, and Salli Richardson. Giving audiences the feeling of being directly sent to the future from the 70s, Black Dynamite is the instantly iconic story of its title character. After seeing his brother die before his eyes and the whole neighborhood being poisoned by the mysterious “the man”, a manhunt begins, leading our hero directly to Nixon’s white house. His weapons are charm, guns, and Kung Fu.
#7. House of Flying Daggers
House of Flying Daggers is a martial arts romance film directed by Zhang Yimou and stars Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, and Takeshi Kaneshiro. It’s an all-out war when the government tries to keep control over China but it loses against the clans taking from the rich and giving to the poor. One of those clans is the House of Flying Daggers, which is hunted by the police. But when two officers investigating the case fall for one of its members, an alliance is built that goes beyond rivalry.
Fearless is a 2006 Chinese Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Ronny Yu and stars Jet Li. Brilliantly choreographed, this movie will make you grind your teeth with its thoughtfully filmed action. Set in a sword fight tournament in 1910 China, Fearless explores the obsession of a troubled man revolving his life around martial arts swordfights. Ironically, protagonist Huo will soon find out that obsession can be a greater enemy than a sword’s edge.
#5. Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle is an action-comedy film directed by Stephen Chow and stars him alongside Danny Chan, Yuen Wah, and Eva Huang. Blending unlike ingredients into a purely tasteful experience, Kung Fu Hustle reminds audiences of a cracked up looney tunes with jarring special effects and martial arts. When two dim-witted pals try to scam the dreaded axe gang, they find themselves in a loop of conflicts, rivalries, and martial arts masters who will stop at nothing to stop the enemies of their neighborhood.
#4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a martial arts film directed by Ang Lee and stars Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen. Combining tasteful drama, breathtaking visuals, and legendary martial art style, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sets up a tale of love, violence, and betrayal. After a warrior gifts his sword to his loved one, it is stolen leading him on a manhunt for whoever is guilty. But when the journey leads to the wealthy house of Yu, a game becomes a war.
Hero is a martial arts film directed by Zhang Yimou and stars Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, and Donnie Yen. The era is about honor, glory, and blood. In this visually stunning martial arts epic, we see how a nameless fighter is glorified for killing the king’s three greatest enemies. But as he recounts his fights with those mighty warriors, the king begins to question him. With a new perspective being given on the scenario, the nameless assassin is once again confronted with death.
#2. Ip Man
Ip Man is a 2008 Hong Kong biographical martial arts film directed by Wilson Yip and stars Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, and Gordon Lam. It is based on the life of Ip Man, a grand master of the martial art Wing Chun and teacher of Bruce Lee, who has a life surrounded by the beauty of his hometown. But when the Japanese occupy his hometown, Ip will soon face the dilemma of his life. Will he suffer for the rest of his life or refuse to go down without a fight?
Before we unveil movie number one, here are a few honorable mentions.
● The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
● The Transporter (2002)
● Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)
#1. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 are martial arts films written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, and David Carradine. When a wedding is crashed by a ring of brutal assassins that leap behind a massacre and most importantly, a presumably dead bride, they are unaware that what will follow is the world’s most entertaining bloodbath ever. When the bride, who is also a master killer, awakes from a coma 4 years later, her vengeance is yet to come.
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