20+ Great Cantonese Movies That Are Worth Binging


From the Shaw Brothers, Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan to John Woo and Johnnie, there’s no denying that Cantonese movies have established standards for action movies. In this article, we’ll go over the 20 best Cantonese flicks that everyone should’ve watched by now! Let’s go!

Hong Kong boasts a vibrant cinematic legacy that deserves to be revered and honored. The undeniable influence of Hong Kong films and artists on the world of cinema cannot be overstated. At one point in time, Hong Kong stood as Asia’s counterpart to Hollywood, commanding immense admiration. During the early 1990s, the local film industry proudly held the position of being the second-largest exporter of films globally, following only the United States. Additionally, it held the distinction of being first in per capita production. Thus, in this article, we embark on a journey to explore some of the most remarkable Cantonese movies of all time, paying homage to their enduring greatness.

Must-Watch Hong Kong Movies

The impact of Hong Kong cinema is universal. Martial arts films starring Bruce Lee are considered timeless masterpieces. With such a rich history, what are the top films to come out of Hong Kong? Check out these must-see Hong Kong movies that will thrill, scare, and make you laugh out loud.

Suk Suk (2019) – 叔.叔 (Suk1 . Suk1)

Genre: Drama/Romance

Director: Ray Yeung

Cast: Tai Bo, Ben Yuen, Lo Chun Yip

One of the many lessons that this movie will teach you is that love knows no gender, age, race, or religion. Suk Suk, also called Twilight’s Kiss, is a sweet story about two older guys who find a long-hidden love for each other. The movie shows how hard it is for men to think about starting a life together because of all the outside problems they have to deal with.

Ten Years (2015) – 十年 (Sap6 Nin4)

Genre: Drama/Anthology

Director: Jevons Au; Zune Kwok; Chow Kwun-Wai; Ka-Leung Ng; Fei-Pang Wong

Cast: Jevons Au; Fun-Kei Chan; Peter Chan

We don’t walk into the future. We make what will happen in the future. Ten Years is a Cantonese science-fiction film made up of five short films. It depicts Hong Kong in 2025 when human rights and freedom of speech are not as robust as they are right now.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004) – 功夫 (Gung1 Fu1)

Genre: Action/Comedy

Director: Stephen Chow

Casts: Stephen Chow, Danny Chan, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Eva Huang, Leung Siu-lung

This kung fu film is a mix of action and humor. In this movie, you’ll follow the story of Sing and his friend Bone as they try to trick the people in a slum into thinking they are in a gang. Kung Fu Hustle became super popular, and it won a lot of awards, including five Golden Horse Awards and six Hong Kong Film Awards.

Infernal Affairs (2002) – 無間道 (Mou4 Gaan1 Dou6)

Genre: Thriller/Action

Director: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak

Casts: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong

Infernal Affairs, which stars Andy Lau and Tony Leung, is one of the most important movies in recent years to come out of Hong Kong cinema. The movie is about a Hong Kong police officer who works secretly in the Triad to find a Triad spy who has joined the police force.

In the Mood for Love (2000) – 花樣年華 (Faa1 Joeng6 Nin4 Waa4)

Genre: Romance/Drama

Director: Wong Kar Wai

Casts: Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung

In the Mood for Love is arguably one of the finest Hong Kong films of the twentieth century. The film depicts the love tale of two middle-aged Hong Kongers in the 1960s. Both having been deceived by their partners, the lonely neighbors want to find comfort in each other but are scared to take things further.

Police Story (1985) – 警察故事 (Ging2 Caat3 Gu3 Si6)

Genre: Action/Crime

Director: Jackie Chan

Casts: Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Chor Yuen, Charlie Cho

Police Story, without a doubt, is one of the most creative action movies made in the 1980s. In this case, Jackie Chan also wrote the script and ran the show. In the movie, the cop, Jackie, is falsely accused and has to use both wit and force to show his innocence.

Drunken Master (1978) – 醉拳 (Zeoi3 Kyun4)

Genre: Action/Comedy

Director: Woo Ping Yuen

Casts: Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu-tien, Hwang Jang-lee, Dean Shek

This Hong Kong film is about a young boy who is the goofy son of a martial arts schoolmaster. When he should be learning kung fu, he is always making jokes instead. Drunken Master made Jackie Chan, then 24 years old, a star. After that, he was praised as the true heir of Bruce Lee. From then on, Jackie Chan’s movies were viewed as an important element of Kung Fu cinema, especially because he added comedy to them.

Ip Man (2008) – 葉問 (Jip6 Man6)

Genre: Martial Arts/Action

Director: Wilson Yip

Casts: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung

Ip Man is a movie about the life of Ip Man, an expert in Wing Chun martial arts who taught Bruce Lee. Donnie Yen, a Hong Kong star, plays the main character, who lives in Foshan and battles with the effects of the Sino-Japanese War.

Other Cantonese Movies To Watch

There are a variety of great Cantonese movies made throughout the years. Here are some of them:

English NameCantonese NameGenre
A Guilty Conscience (2023)毒舌大狀 (duk6 sit6 daai6 zong6)Mystery
Mad Fate (2023)命案 (ming6 ngon3)Mystery
Where The Wind Blows (2023)风再起时 (fung1 zoi3 hei2 si4)Mystery
One More Chance (2023) 別叫我“賭神”
(bit6 giu3 ngo5 “dou2 san4 ”)
Still Human (2018)淪落人
( leon4 lok6 jan4)
Love in the Puff (2012)春嬌與志明
(ceon1 giu1 jyu5 zi3 ming4)
A Simple Life (2011)桃姐
(tou4 ze2)
Shaolin Soccer (2001)少林足球
(siu3 lam4 zuk1 kau4)
Center Stage (1991)阮玲玉 (yun5 ling4 yuk6)Drama/Romance
Once Upon a Time in China (1991)黃飛鴻
(wong4 fei1 hung4)
The Killer (1989)喋血雙雄
(dip6 hyut3 soeng1 hung4)
City on Fire (1987)龍虎風雲
(lung4 fu2 fung1 wan4)
An Autumn’s Tale (1987)秋天的童話
(cau1 tin1 dik1 tung4 waa6)
A Better Tomorrow (1986)英雄本色
( jing1 hung4 bun2 sik1)
Boat People (1982)投奔怒海
(tau4 ban1 nou6 hoi2)
Drama/Political drama
The Prodigal Son (1981)敗家仔
(baai6 gaa1 zai2)
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)少林三十六房
(siu2 lam4 saam1 sap6 luk6 fong4)
Fist of Fury (1972)精武門 (zing1 mou5 mun4)Action/Adventure
The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)獨臂刀 (duk6 bei3 dou1)Action/Drama

Enjoy Every Cantonese Film. Learn Cantonese Now!

What’s even greater than watching a Cantonese film without using subtitles? Thankfully, the Ling app can help you achieve that goal. With the Ling app, you can master your language skills in 10 minutes a day. Supported by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time. So, waste nothing of your time. Learn Cantonese with the Ling app now!

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