I've always been a fan of asian cinema, specially on the martial arts section. I've seen many and have a lot of favorites to choose from but I think this lists will be excellent for viewing if you have not seen them.
Heres my 10 list of excellent martial arts movies. Enjoy!
10. Ip Man (2008)
This movie is not just the story of Ip Man, it's the story of China during WW2. It shows the brutal reality of life after the Japanese invaded the country and brutalized its people. It's a brilliant martial arts film that is also a heartfelt historical drama. The fight choreography will make your jaw drop. Ip Man's signature style of Wing Chun Kung Fu is highlighted and used to perfection. This movie makes it abundantly clear that Ip Man was so much more than just the master who taught a young Bruce Lee.
9. Chocolate (2008)
This is one of the most unique martial arts movies I've ever seen. Chocolate tells the story of an autistic woman who learns martial arts by watching Kung Fu movies and mimicking what she sees. It features some great stunt work and interesting fight choreography that makes excellent use of the surroundings that the characters are fighting in. Not to mention the supremely talented JeeJa Yanin, who manages to deliver a performance full of emotional gravity as well as intense ass-kickery. I am very much in love.
8. The Raid (2011)
Of all the movies on this list, this one has my favorite concept by far: A lone police officer fighting his way through a building full of criminals in order to assassinate their leader on the top floor. The tension created by the enclosed environments really helps to fuel the non-stop action. As always I love seeing a film that highlights a specific fighting style. In this case, the Indonesian style of Silat is the star of the show.
7. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
This masterpiece by the great Stephen Chow is a perfect blend of brilliant action and hilarious comedy. It manages to be exaggerated and silly while at the same time featuring fight scenes that are dynamic, explosive and compelling. The film is a love letter to classical kung-fu cinema. A tribute to the Shaw Brothers' era that delivers on every level.
6. Ong Bak (2003
When Tony Jaa exploded onto the scene in 2003, he was a breath of fresh air. The explosive energy that is contained within that man is unbelievable and his swagger is next level. Also worth noting is that before Ong Bak there weren't really any movies that highlighted the style of Muay-Thai. The sequels are just as good (if not better).
5. Fearless (2006)
One of jet Li's greatest films IMO. This film tells the story of one of China's national heroes: Huo Yuanjia. Admittedly a large part of the story is untrue but everything that was added, serves to make this one of the most uplifting and beautiful stories of redemption I've ever seen. The fight scenes are gorgeous and it's hugely satisfying to watch Kung Fu defeat western fighting styles such as boxing, fencing and spear-combat.
4. Unbeatable (2013)
As a huge MMA nerd, I'm really biased towards this film. Finally a martial arts movie that depicts competitive MMA! How often do you get to see Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a fight scene?! So awesome. The story of a boxer who has lost his way but regains his passion when he discovers Mixed Martial Arts. In many ways it's a classic underdog sports movie and is totally satisfying as such. Go! Go watch it now!
3. Ninja (2009)
I absolutely love the style of this movie. A throwback to the over the top and cheesy ninja films of the 80's and 90's, this movie revels in the cartoonish nature of its subject matter. Don't for a second think that they didn't take the action seriously though. This is pure, nostalgic fun at its best and they couldn't have picked a more perfect leading man than Scott Adkins.
2. Blood and Bone (2009)
While Blood and Bone doesn't have the pedigree or quality of some of the other films on this list, I had to include it because it's just so different. Michael Jai-White is as far as you can get from your typical Martial Arts movie protagonist but he makes this movie work like no one else could. We watched this fight scene on repeat for about 15 minutes before carrying on with the rest of the film. It was just so unexpected and satisfying. Typical Mortal Kombat plot: Sinister villain sets up underground tournament between diverse fighters.
1. Man of Tai Chi (2003)
I'm going to get this out of the way immediately: The presence of Keanu Reeves as this films sinister yet monotonous villain is completely bizarre. But honestly, that just makes me love it even more. Definitely not the most down-to-earth of the movies on this list, Man of Tai Chi feels like a video game or anime adaptation. Viewed from that point of view it's a hell of a lot of fun.