Time Out's The 100 Best Hong Kong Movies

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From Bruce Lee kung-fu flicks to Wong Kar-wai’s tales of romance

Written by Time Out Hong Kong Saturday 12 March 2022

Hong Kong was once the Hollywood of the East. At its peak, around the early 90s, the local movie industry was the first in the world – in terms of per capita production and the second-largest exporter of films – second only to the US.

The influence of Hong Kong cinema can be seen far and wide. Bruce Lee remains a global icon and his martial arts movies are classics. The groundbreaking action of The Matrix would never have come about if not for John Woo films and the action choreography of Yuen Woo-ping. Quentin Tarantino ripped off Ringo Lam’s City on Fire for his debut, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. Moonlight owes much to the style of Wong Kar-wai films and the auteur was an influence acknowledged by Sofia Coppola when she collected the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation.

So with such a massive cultural legacy, what are the best Hong Kong movies of all time? We present to you this definitive ranking of the best films made in Hong Kong dating as far back as the 1930s.

#19 (A Chinese Odyssey) & #71 (The Blue and the Black) both have two films in each entry.

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  1. 1 new

    Fa yeung nin wah

    2000 — a.k.a. In the Mood for Love, in 30 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Tau ban no hoi

    1982 — a.k.a. Boat People, in 8 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Ying hung boon sik

    1986 — a.k.a. A Better Tomorrow, in 10 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Ah Fei jing juen

    1990 — a.k.a. Days of Being Wild, in 11 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Liang Shan Bo yu Zhu Ying Tai

    1963 — a.k.a. The Love Eterne, in 4 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Wo hu cang long

    2000 — a.k.a. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in 27 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Lun lok yan

    2018 — a.k.a. Still Human, in 0 top lists
    Check
  8. 8 new

    Ban jin ba liang

    1976 — a.k.a. The Private Eyes, in 4 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Hak se wui: Yi woo wai kwai

    2006 — a.k.a. Election 2, in 2 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Sang gong kei bing

    1984 — a.k.a. Long Arm of the Law, in 2 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Ye mei gui zhi lian

    1960 — a.k.a. The Wild Wild Rose, in 3 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Tian mi mi

    1996 — a.k.a. Comrades, Almost a Love Story, in 5 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Jing wu men

    1972 — a.k.a. Fist of Fury, in 8 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Mou gaan dou

    2002 — a.k.a. Infernal Affairs, in 13 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Qing gong mi shi

    1948 — a.k.a. Sorrows of the Forbidden City, in 1 top list Check
  16. 16 new

    Si shui liu nian

    1984 — a.k.a. Homecoming, in 1 top list Check
  17. 17 new

    Heung Gong jai jo

    1997 — a.k.a. Made in Hong Kong, in 7 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Han ye

    1955 — a.k.a. Cold Nights, in 2 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Sai yau gei: Yut gwong bou haap

    1995 — a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box, in 3 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Sai yau gei: Sin leui kei yun

    1995 — a.k.a. A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella, in 3 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Ruan Ling Yu

    1991 — a.k.a. Center Stage, in 10 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Ying xiong ben se

    1967 — a.k.a. The Story of a Discharged Prisoner, in 1 top list Check
  23. 23 new

    Chou tin dik tong wah

    1987 — a.k.a. An Autumn's Tale, in 4 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Sien lui yau wan

    1987 — a.k.a. A Chinese Ghost Story, in 6 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Kong shan ling yu

    1979 — a.k.a. Raining in the Mountain, in 4 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Chung Hing sam lam

    1994 — a.k.a. Chungking Express, in 19 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Tau ming chong

    2007 — a.k.a. The Warlords, in 0 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Zai jian Zhongguo

    1978 — a.k.a. China Behind, in 1 top list Check
  29. 29 new

    Tou ze

    2011 — a.k.a. A Simple Life, in 1 top list Check
  30. 30 new

    Sap nin

    2015 — a.k.a. Ten Years, in 0 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Tong ming yuan yang

    1960 — a.k.a. The Eternal Love, in 0 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Qian yan wan yu

    1999 — a.k.a. Ordinary Heroes, in 0 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    San taam

    2007 — a.k.a. Mad Detective, in 2 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Foo ji ching

    1981 — a.k.a. Father and Son, in 1 top list Check
  35. 35 new

    Jui kuen

    1978 — a.k.a. Drunken Master, in 9 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Yim ji kau

    1987 — a.k.a. Rouge, in 8 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Du bei dao

    1967 — a.k.a. The One-Armed Swordsman, in 4 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Ren hai gu hong

    1960 — a.k.a. The Orphan, in 1 top list Check
  39. 39 new

    Shu Shan - Xin Shu shan jian ke

    1983 — a.k.a. Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, in 5 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Nan xiong nan di

    1960 — a.k.a. My Intimate Partner, in 1 top list Check
  41. 41 new

    Jiang shan mei ren

    1959 — a.k.a. Kingdom and the Beauty, in 2 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Lung foo fung wan

    1987 — a.k.a. City on Fire, in 4 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Siu Lam juk kau

    2001 — a.k.a. Shaolin Soccer, in 5 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Nu ren si shi

    1995 — a.k.a. Summer Snow, in 4 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Zhujiang lei

    1950, in 0 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Wu Lang ba gua gun

    1984 — a.k.a. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, in 2 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    San ren xing

    2016 — a.k.a. Three, in 0 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Chui lian ting zheng

    1983 — a.k.a. Reign Behind the Curtain, in 0 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Mak Dau: Bo lo yau wong ji

    2004 — a.k.a. McDull, Prince de la Bun, in 1 top list Check
  50. 50 new

    Lan tou He

    1979 — a.k.a. Dirty Ho, in 1 top list Check
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Last updated on May 10, 2022; source