»

Top 50 Best Fighting Movies Of All Time

AishwaryaAishwarya-Posted July 11, 2021


Fighting Movies

 

We all have an innate love for fighting no matter what age group we belong to.

 

As soon as we see a fight between two people in a market or between two car drivers at a traffic stop.

 

We all get an adrenaline rush watching one of them throw the first punch. As much as we might suppress the urge, try to appear offended by this uncivilized behavior, we invariably stop to watch the fight.

 

We start rooting for one of the guys, and we might even advise him to duck right or left and throw an uppercut in the end.

 

If you agree with me even slightly, then you are a certified fan of fight movies.

 

A simple, sedate, meek boxing matching is not sufficient anymore. You need the raw action of a no-holds-barred brawl.

 

Fists should be flying, kicks should rain down on the opponent, knock-out punches and roundhouse kicks are what you want to see.

 

It is time for some good fight movies, it can be a martial arts movie with Kung Fu, Karate, Muay Thai or a Boxing movie, or an MMA-inspired movie.

 

Play any of them and quench your thirst for a fight. Hollywood is packed with great directors who create breathtaking action movies like Christopher Nolan, George Miller, Russo Brothers, etc.

 

They use CGI to create action sequences, use behemoth sets for a visual extravaganza, yet their fight sequences are not quite up there.

 

They don’t give the same satisfaction as a fight sequence from John Woo, Justin Lin, Chad Stahelki, or a David Leitch movie.

 

Martial arts movies have a special place in the heart of every fight movie fan.

 

Directors like Lo Wei, Yuen Woo-Ping, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Chia Liang-Liu, and more have immortalized themselves with awe-inspiring martial arts sequences.

 

They rely on art, human ability, and editing to create scintillating matches. These fight movies have given us action heroes that may not be known for their acting skills but are immortalized for their fight sequences and action stunts.

 

Who can forget the great Bruce Lee, Jean Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Chuck Norris, Michelle Yeoh, Jason Statham, Keanu Reeves, Jet Li, Tony Jaa?

 

I have humbly compiled a list of the best fighting movies that I love. I am sure that I have missed many memorable performances.

 

The aim here is to include the best of different fighting styles from all countries, decades and keep CGI involvement as small as possible.

 

 

50. Hard To Kill

 

Hard To Kill

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Bruce Malmuth
Year 1990
Starring Steven Seagal, Kelly LeBrock, William Sadler
IMDb 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes 38%
Worldwide Box Office collection $59 million

 

This is a classic Stevan Seagal movie with wooden acting but nonstop action. Here, he plays an LA detective who goes undercover to investigate the mob.

 

When he gets too close to the truth, his cover is blown. His home and family are destroyed, and he ends up in a coma.

 

Once the detective wakes up, he sets out to take revenge. The action and fights start in all earnestness.

 

You are guaranteed to find gravity-defying stunts, explosions, car chases, and of course, hand combats.

 

This movie is for the old-timers who don’t bother about finesse, grace, and skill. The fights can be defined as raw, yet they are a good time pass.

 

 

49. Kickboxer

 

Kickboxer

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Mark DiSalle, David Worth
Year 1989
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Alexio, Dennis Chan
IMDb 6.5
Rotten Tomatoes 36%
Worldwide Box Office collection $50 million

 

This kickboxing movie cemented Jean-Claude Van Damme as one of the best action heroes of the 80s with his bulging muscles, seemingly impossible splits, and martial arts fights.

 

This sports movie is based on a kickboxing match gone bad. Of course, the hero has to step in to take revenge for his fallen brother.

 

That is pretty much the plot of the movie. When his brother is left paralyzed from a kickboxing match, Kirk Sloane vows to learn Muay Thai and avenge his brother’s defeat.

 

Van Damme’s training in Thailand may not be accurate, his Muay Thai skills may be limited, but there is no scarcity for great fights in the ring.

 

The movie is a must-watch if you are a fan of the ‘muscles from Brussels’.

 

 

48. Blood and Bone

 

Blood and Bone

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Ben Ramsey
Year 2009
Starring Michael Jai White, Julian Sands, Eamonn Walker
IMDb 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes 71%
Worldwide Box Office collection --

 

Blood and Bone is about the world of illegal, underground fighting scenes where everything goes.

 

The protagonist is an ex-con who is a martial artist. He enters this world of underground fighting, drugs, and mafia who keep a promise made to his friend.

 

The plot may seem like the run of a mill story, and the cast is not oscar worthy.

 

Yet the movie boasts some of the best fight sequences, and Michael Jai White does not disappoint.

 

Watch the movie to see White in action. He does a fine job at both his acting and his flawless martial arts that are worth watching.

 

 

47. Bloodsport

 

Bloodsport

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Newt Arnold
Year 1988
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres
IMDb 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes 40%
Worldwide Box Office collection $50 million

 

Bloodsport is inspired by the exploits of martial artist Frank Dux. The story follows the army captain Dux played by Van Damme (JCVD).

 

Dux learned the ways of ninjutsu from his sensei and planned to enter the Kumite, an illegal martial arts competition.

 

He goes AWOL from the army and enlists in the Kumite. The highlight of this movie is the high octane and brutal fights involving Bolo Yeung and Van Damme.

 

The movie was one of the first starring roles of JCVD, and it earned him a cult following for his athletic body and his black belt in Karate.

 

 

46. Mortal Kombat

 

Mortal Kombat

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Paul W. S. Anderson
Year 1995
Starring Christopher Lambert, Robin Shau, Linden Ashby
IMDb 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes 44%    
Worldwide Box Office collection $122.2 million

 

The film is inspired by the 1992 video game with the same name. It is a fight to save the earth from mythical forces of evil.

 

The characters of the video games are participants of a fight to the death between forces of good, namely the team of Lord Raiden, and the team of evil, namely the team of Shang Tsung.

 

The first installment was hugely successful despite the cheesy dialogues, plot holes, and bad acting.

 

The plus point for the movie is the fight sequences and grand settings. The characters like Lord Raiden, Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Goro, etc., and plotline stayed true to the video game.

 

A remake of the same movie is released in 2021 with a lot of action sequences.

 

If you are a fan of this game, you are sure to enjoy the movie just as much.

 

 

45. The Raid: Redemption

 

The Raid: Redemption

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Gareth Evans
Year 2011
Starring Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Ray Sahetapy. Joe Taslim
IMDb 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes 86%
Worldwide Box Office collection $9.3 million

 

The film is set in an Indonesian city. It follows the SWAT team as they fight the ruthless drug lord on his home turf.

 

The SWAT also faces its own troubles with corrupt officers and moles. Gareth Evans worked with Iko Uwais and Donny Alamsyah previously in another movie.

 

They gladly collaborated again on this action/martial arts thriller. The film uses the Thai martial arts form of Pencak Silat, and the all Indonesian cast was trained by their Navy special forces team before filming started.

 

The film opened at the Toronto Film festival to positive critical acclaim and successfully built a cult following in the US.

 

 

44. Southpaw

 

Southpaw

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Antoine Fuqua
Year 2015
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, 50 Cent, Forest Whitaker
IMDb 60%
Rotten Tomatoes 7.4
Worldwide Box Office collection $94 million

 

This movie is an American sports drama about a professional boxer who has anger issues and falls from grace after his wife is killed by the rival boxer’s brother.

 

Jake Gyllenhaal packed up muscles to get in great form for this movie. He rigorously trained for 5 months to ace his performance as the southpaw.

 

The role was intended for Eminem initially. It would have been a follow-up to 8-mile, and he brought in 50 Cent to play the manager who abandons him in the time of need.

 

The movie has heart and showcases Billy Hope’s fight to get back custody of his daughter and his champion title.

 

 

43. Rumble In The Bronx

 

Rumble In The Bronx

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Stanley Tong
Year 1994
Starring Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Francoise Yip
IMDb 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes 80%
Worldwide Box Office collection $76 million

 

Jackie Chan stars as a Hong Kong cop in this action-comedy that is set in New York City.

 

He is embroiled in street fights with the local mob when he tries to help a disabled boy.

 

The film is filled with Jackie Chan’s distinctive comic sense. You can catch great street fights and lightning-fast martial arts moves.

 

With Rumble in the Bronx, Jackie Chan burst into Hollywood with his hilarious comedic talent and breathtaking stunts.

 

He went on to make a permanent place in the hearts and minds of all martial arts fans.

 

 

42. Best Of The Best

 

Best Of The Best

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Robert Radler
Year 1989
Starring Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Chris Penn, Sally Kirkland
IMDb 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes 72%
Worldwide Box Office collection $1.7 million

 

The film is about the US Taekwondo team and has excellent fight choreography while it still manages to squeeze a few tears in the end.

 

The film does not boast of great acting or dialogues but has great fight sequences from Eric Roberts and Chris Penn.

 

The display of Taekwondo skills is what makes this movie memorable. The plot is a bit run of a mill, with a team fraught with moral conflict.

 

They have to come together before they face their toughest competition with Team Korea.

 

 

41. Spiritual Kung Fu

 

Spiritual Kung Fu

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Wei Lo
Year 1978
Starring Jackie Chan, Chih-Ping Chiang, Hsiu-Yi Fang
IMDb 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes N.A.
Worldwide Box Office collection $0.84 million

 

Spiritual Kung Fu is a fantasy action-comedy from the great martial arts director Wei Lo.

 

It stars Jackie Chan at his goofy best while giving a fine display of Kung Fu.

 

Yi-Lang, played by Chan, joins a Shaolin temple to learn martial arts. When a book that teaches a powerful form of Kung Fu is stolen, Yi-Lang takes the punishment for not stopping the thief.

 

He then learns martial arts from the 5 ghosts of the original masters from the Shaolin temple.

 

He uses this skill to beat the invading forces. This ensures some funny situations and excellent martial arts.

 

 

40. Never Back Down

 

Never Back Down

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Jeff Wadlow
Year 2008
Starring Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou, Amber Heard
IMDb 6.6
Rotten Tomatoes 23%
Worldwide Box Office collection $41.6 million

 

The storyline is a bit cliche with a rebellious teenager, who moves to the new city, gets sucked into trouble.

 

He learns his mistakes and trains with a martial arts coach to overcome his hurdles.

 

The movie is a teen drama with all the flashy styles and eye ball-grabbing fights.

 

Sean Faris put on 15 lbs of muscles for this role, and it pays off.

 

The underground matches between Cam Gigandet, Sean Faris, and various opponents and his training sessions are entertaining and exciting.

 

The movie is a stylized version of Karate kid. It has fast cars, scantily clad women, and underground fights.

 

The hero has to win these fights to cement his place in the new school.

 

 

39. Fighting

 

Fighting

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Dito Montiel
Year 2009
Starring Channing Tatum, Terrene Howard, Luis Guzman
IMDb 5.6
Rotten Tomatoes 40%
Worldwide Box Office collection $32.4 million

 

Shawn, played by Channing Tatum, is a counterfeiter. He is invited to participate in street fighting by a hustler.

 

Shawns wins all his fights till his old rival Evan comes along. The movie is a rip-off of Lionheart, starring JCVD.

 

But, if you are a fan of bare-knuckled brawls and no-holds-barred fights, this movie delivers on all.

 

Fans of Channing Tatum get to watch him flex his muscles and win the girls.

 

The street fights in NYC are gritty, grimey, and realistic to keep us entertained for 105 mins.

 

 

38. The Karate Kid

 

The Karate Kid

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Harald Zwart
Year 2010
Starring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji Henson
IMDb 66%
Rotten Tomatoes 6.2
Worldwide Box Office collection $359.1 million

 

The Karate Kid lacks the eponymous Karate in the plot. The plotline of a bullied kid rescued by an aging martial arts teacher, who then proceeds to teach him the art, is the only thing that it retains from the original.

 

Now that we discussed what is wrong with the film. Let us talk about what is right with it.

 

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith work well together. Smith as the irresponsible kid and Chan as the all-wise teacher are fun to watch and have great comic timing.

 

The Kung Fu matches in this Karate movie are entertaining enough to make us forget the flaws and enjoy a fun entertainer.

 

 

37. Tekken

 

Tekken

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Dwight H. Little
Year 2010
Starring Jonathan Patrick Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
IMDb 4.8
Rotten Tomatoes 31%
Worldwide Box Office collection $1.7 million

 

It is easy to confuse this movie with the Liam Neeson starring Taken. Yet, nothing is similar apart from the title.

 

Tekken is inspired by video games with the same name. It follows Jin Kazama as he fights to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of Tekken.

 

The movie is not true to the game, and the plot is thin. This has irked the fans of the game and led to low earnings.

 

Action-wise and fight-wise, the movie deserves a watch and has some enthralling matches that are eyeball grabbing.

 

 

36. Matrix Reloaded

 

Matrix Reloaded

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski
Year 2003
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving
IMDb 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes 73%
Worldwide Box Office collection $739.4 million

 

The matrix needs no introduction. This is the second installment of The Matrix trilogy and delivers on its promise of bigger, better, and more fantastic fights.

 

The fight between Neo and henchmen of the Merovingian is spellbinding. Morpheus and Trinity fight with The Twins in an incredible sequence.

 

The bike chase and the subsequent confrontation with the agents on the freeway is awe-inspiring.

 

The whole movie is to die for. If I have to name a flaw in the picture, it is the complicated philosophy on which the plot is built.

 

 

35. John Wick

 

John Wick

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Chad Stahelski
Year 2014
Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
IMDb 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes 87%
Worldwide Box Office collection $86 million

 

Simply put, John Wick is a revenge movie where an ex-assassin comes out of retirement to wipe out everyone who stands up to him.

 

Chad Stahelski, the director, worked with Keanu previously on the Matrix stunts. He brings the same CGI and wirework to the movie.

 

Gunfights, hand-to-hand combats, car chases, and Keanu Reeves are what lifts the film from the realm of the ordinary into the realm of super-stylized, cool, kickass.

 

John Wick has already lost his wife and is depressed. In walks the son of a Russian mob boss, who rashly instigates Wick by killing his dog and leaving him half dead.

 

It is now the turn of John Wick to take revenge and vent out his anger and frustration.

 

Oh boy! does he let it all out by the end of it.

 

 

34. The Raid 2

 

The Raid 2

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Gareth Evans
Year 2014
Starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhain, Arifin Putra
IMDb 8
Rotten Tomatoes 81%
Worldwide Box Office collection $6.6 million

 

Gareth Evans is back with the second installment, called Raid 2: Berendel. As in the first one, this film is also packed with high-octane fights, martial arts, explosions, and gunfights.

 

The film picks up a few months after the first one ends. Rama is back in the field as an undercover agent who sets out to clean up the corruption in the police force.

 

The film showcases the incredible Indonesian fighting style of Pencak Silat with fast-paced fights that look real and easy flowing.

 

Definitely a must-see.

 

 

33. Gladiator

 

Gladiator

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Ridley Scott
Year 2000
Starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
IMDb 8.5
Rotten Tomatoes 77%
Worldwide Box Office collection $465.4 million

 

Gladiator is an epic movie about power struggle, greed, honor, and integrity. Set in the Roman era where an all-powerful general and heir to the throne is forced into exile after his family is brutally murdered.

 

The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius has died under questionable circumstances. His son, Commodus, swiftly does away with all opposition, but he makes the mistake of not killing Maximus.

 

He is left alive in the far reaches of the empire. Watch the revenge of Maximus, as he becomes a gladiator named Spaniard and enters the Colosseum to exact his revenge on Commodus in front of all spectators.

 

The film boasts breathtaking cinematography, thrilling gladiatorial fights, colossal sets, and Oscar-worthy acting.

 

 

32. Unleashed

 

Unleashed

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Louis Leterrier
Year 2005
Starring Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman
IMDb 7
Rotten Tomatoes 66%
Worldwide Box Office collection $50.9 million

 

Bart is an unethical man who uses Danny for his illegal fights to earn money.

 

Danny is treated almost like a guard dog and has no apparent skills apart from his talent to fight.

 

Suddenly Danny finds himself free for the first time as Bart is injured in an accident.

 

Here begins his journey of self-discovery with an unlikely friend in the form of a blind pianist.

 

The movie not only has actions and fight sequences but also surprisingly good acting from Jet Li.

 

 

31. Undisputed 3: Redemption

 

Undisputed 3: Redemption

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Isaac Florentine
Year 2010
Starring Scott Adkins, Hristo Shopov, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Mark Ivanir
IMDb 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes 70%
Worldwide Box Office collection $0.29 million

 

In the third installment of Undisputed, we are back in the prison complex, and Boyka is back too.

 

He is down in the dumps as he has badly injured his knee and has only one good knee.

 

For the first time, inter-prison fights are being organized. Boyka, the Russian inmate, is back to fight with just one knee.

 

You can find all the explosive Muay Thai fights in the ring between Boyka and his opponent.

 

The action never stops nor do the fights.

 

 

30. Rocky Balboa

 

Rocky Balboa

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Sylvester Stallone
Year 2006
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia
IMDb 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes 77%
Worldwide Box Office collection $156.2 million

 

Rocky is back from retirement. He is back after 30 years of being away from the ring.

 

He is back to prove that he still has more to give. After the death of his wife, Rocky has settled into a lull, just minding his Italian restaurant and his son, played by Milo Ventimiglia.

 

But, he is dragged back into the ring because he is challenged to an exhibition match by the reigning champ, Mason Dixon.

 

Rocky never quits, so he accepts the challenge and starts to train again. The iconic Rocky theme, the iconic race up the steps in Philly, the awe-inspiring boxing matches are all there in this 6th installment of the Rocky franchise.

 

 

29. Man Of Tai Chi

 

Man Of Tai Chi

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Keanu Reeves
Year 2013
Starring Keanu Reeves, Tiger Chen, Iko Uwais
IMDb 6.1
Rotten Tomatoes 71%
Worldwide Box Office collection $5.5 million

 

The movie directed by Keanu Reeves is bound to be packed with splendid martial arts, and The Man of Tai Chi delivers on this.

 

The motion picture was critically acclaimed, but it bombed at the box office. Reeves plays Donaka Mark, who runs an illegal fight competition under the guise of Security Systems Alliance.

 

Tiger Chen, who is learning Tai Chi, catches his attention at a competition and is invited to SSA with the lure of financial rewards.

 

As Tiger loses the confidence of his master in his Tai Chi practice and lets his greed overpower him, he wakes up to reality and defeats Donaka in a fight to redeem himself.

 

Tiger Chen is a martial artist who taught Keanu Reeves and worked as the stunt double of Uma Thurman.

 

He and Reeves work up to great martial arts magic for a stunning movie.

 

 

28. Ali

 

Ali

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Michael Mann
Year 2001
Starring Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight
IMDb 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes 68%
Worldwide Box Office collection $87.8 million

 

Ali is a biographical movie about the inspiring life and struggle of the great Muhammed Ali.

 

The film showcases his fight for the heavyweight title, his stance on the Vietnam war.

 

His conversion to Islam, his ostracization due to race and religion, and his return to heavyweight boxing.

 

They recreate his matches against Joe Frazier, George Foreman. The portrayal of Will Smith as Muhammed Ali is fabulous.

 

He aptly captures the raw energy of Ali, his powerful punches, and his bravado out of the ring as well.

 

The film was praised by critics but panned at the box office. Yet, it is a performance worth watching.

 

 

27. Ip Man 3

 

Ip Man 3

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Wilson Yip
Year 2015
Starring Donnie Yen, Lynn Xiong, Jin Zhang
IMDb 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes 78%
Worldwide Box Office collection $157.3 million

 

Donnie Yen is back as Ip Man in the third installment. He now settled in Hong Kong and is living as peacefully as can be.

 

But the trouble is not far away. In this installment, he has to contend with a rival Wing Chun expert for his title as a grandmaster.

 

There are additional concerns like the failing health of his wife and corrupt property developers.

 

The action choreography by Yuen Woo-Ping is stunning. Mike Tyson makes a special appearance in the role of Frank.

 

The movie lives up to the expectation of a true martial arts biopic of Ip Man.

 

 

26. Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing

 

Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Isaac Florentine
Year 2006
Starring Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Ben Cross
IMDb 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes 70%
Worldwide Box Office collection $11 million

 

George Chambers is a heavyweight champion in his prime. He is sent to prison on trumped-up charges, and here starts the action.

 

In the illegal prison fights, Chambers faces off with Boyka. It is a stunning and bone-crushing martial arts sequence.

 

Both actors are seasoned martial artists, and the action is enthralling from the get-go. White and Adkins deliver pure dynamite performances with their power-packed fight sequences in a kick-ass movie.

 

 

25. Fight Club

 

Fight Club

 

Entity Detail
Directed By David Fincher
Year 1999
Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf
IMDb 8.8
Rotten Tomatoes 79%
Worldwide Box Office collection $101.2 million

 

Fight Club is a neo-noir psychological thriller about an insomniac fed up with the purely materialistic world run by blatant consumerism.

 

It is packed with witty dialogue, engaging screenplay, and fabulous acting of the biggest actors in Hollywood.

 

The film is based on a novel by the same name written by Chuck Palahniuk.

 

It generated a cult following with fight clubs springing up across the nation from Alaska to Princeton University.

 

The movie was critically praised and panned in equal measure for its fights, editing, tight and screenplay.

 

Critics felt that the message relayed would promote violence among young men and boys. Despite what critics felt, the movie is a must-watch for the anarchical and anti-establishment rhetoric, and of course, the raw punches that rain down during the fights.

 

 

24. Legend Of The Drunken Master

 

Legend Of The Drunken Master

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Chia-Liang Liu
Year 1994
Starring Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, Lung Ti
IMDb 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes 84%
Worldwide Box Office collection $34 million

 

The movie is the sequel to Drunken Master, but this installment is directed by Chia-Liang Liu.

 

The story is about a young Kung Fu master who finds it difficult to find a peaceful resolution to conflicts when he can just fight his way around.

 

Chan plays the Cantonese folk hero who has to fight foreign invaders who try stealing the imperial seal.

 

You can expect exciting, fast-paced, and seemingly impossible martial arts stunts and sequences under the direction of Chia-Liang Liu and Jackie Chan.

 

Legend of the Drunken Master is a visual treat with great comedic display and even greater martial arts display.

 

 

23. Romeo Must Die

 

Romeo Must Die

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Andrzej Bartkowiak
Year 2000
Starring Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isaiah Washington
IMDb 6.1
Rotten Tomatoes 32%
Worldwide Box Office collection $91 million 

 

Romeo Must Die is a typical commercial potboiler. The movie is replete with a revenge plot, dangerous villains, a lady love, and a comedic sidekick.

 

Jet Li is a cop on a mission. He has to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of the mob.

 

The story has enough scope for fast-paced fights, dare-devil stunts, and all-around entertainment. You can watch the movie purely for the entertainment factor at least once.

 

You may be disappointed with the flimsy and predictable plot, but you can enjoy the film once.

 

 

22. Ip Man 2

 

Ip Man 2

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Wilson Yip
Year 2010
Starring Donnie Yen, Summo Hung, Huang Xiaoming
IMDb 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes 96%
Worldwide Box Office collection $49.7 million

 

Ip Man 2 is a biographical account of the life and struggles of Ip Man, the teacher of Bruce Lee and a grandmaster of the Wing Chun style of martial arts.

 

In the second part of the story of Ip Man, we follow his struggle to set up his martial arts school to teach Wing Chun in Hong Kong.

 

He faces opposition from the Hung Ga school of martial arts. The film cast includes Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, and many other acclaimed martial artists from Hong Kong and mainland China.

 

You can watch a spectacular display of Wing Chun Kung Fu from Ip Man and his first disciple Wong Leung.

 

As well as the Hung Ga style of martial arts.

 

 

21. Kill Bill: Vol 1

 

Kill Bill: Vol 1

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Year 2003
Starring Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, David Carradine
IMDb 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes 85%
Worldwide Box Office collection $181 million

 

Kill Bill is a Quentin Tarantino movie replete with extreme violence, over-the-top dialogues, and a touch of black comedy.

 

Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, and more come together to make the movie memorable.

 

Kill Bill Vol 1 starts with the Bride, from the Deadly Viper assassination squad, waking up from her coma after 4 years.

 

Now she sets out to take revenge on the 5 squad colleagues who betrayed and attempted to kill her along with Bill.

 

You get to watch and enjoy many fights with Katanas, nunchucks, and every other weapon as The Bride carries out her plot of vengeance.

 

 

20. Tom Yum Goong (The Protector)

 

Tom Yum Goong (The Protector)

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Prachya Pinkaew
Year 2005
Starring Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Bongkoj Khongmalai
IMDb 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes 53%
Worldwide Box Office collection $27.2 million

 

Tony Jaa and Prachya Pinkaew team up once again. They make a Thai martial arts extravaganza but are let down by a weak plot.

 

Jaa sets out to retrieve his elephant, it gets smuggled out of Thailand by an evil international Thai mafia organization.

 

Since his village considers these elephants as family, he will go to any length to save his family.

 

The storyline may be repetitive, but the martial arts are refreshing and stunning. This movie has the lengthiest single-fight sequence filmed in one take.

 

The story moves from Thailand to Australia. Due to this, matches are filmed in new and different locales with a greater scope for stunts.

 

 

19. Rocky 2

 

Rocky 2

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Sylvester Stallone
Year 1979
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
IMDb 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes 71%
Worldwide Box Office collection $200.9 million    

 

Rocky beat Apollo Creed in the first movie, but he also injured his eye badly.

 

He now decides to marry Adrian and settle down with his winnings, but will the fight let him settle down?

 

With a child on the way and his lucrative career in commercials drying out, Rocky willingly accepts the challenge issued by Apollo.

 

He hopes to repeat his win and secure his future and position. Rocky is not just a boxing movie, and it stands for the indomitable spirit to keep bouncing back.

 

This motto is what Rocky does best.

 

 

18. The Transporter

 

The Transporter

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Louis Leterrier, Corey Yuen
Year 2002
Starring Jason Statham, Shu Qi, Matt Schulze
IMDb 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes 54%
Worldwide Box Office collection $43.9 million

 

The film is a French action thriller where an ex-special forces operative Frank Martin is the Transporter.

 

He will transport anything, no questions asked, as long as the price is right. This premise is used to shoot many stunning car chases, gunfights, and action sequences in picturesque locales across Southern France.

 

The writer, Luc Besson, was inspired by the BMW film series named, The Hire. It showcases the performance of different BMW automobiles.

 

Corey Yuen utilizes the athleticism and martial arts skill of Jason Statham to create a visually engaging film.

 

The excessive action was panned by few critics, but the audiences loved the movie and spawned 3 sequels and a TV series.

 

 

17. The Karate Kid

 

The Karate Kid

 

Entity Detail
Directed By John G. Avildsen
Year 1984    
Starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elizabeth Shue
IMDb 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes 89%
Worldwide Box Office collection $130.4 million

 

Daniel moves to California and joins a new school. He is severely bullied, and Mr.Miyagi steps in to rescue him.

 

The bullies belong to the Karate class of a very aggressive sensei.

 

Mr. Miyagi and Daniel join forces to teach these bullies and their teacher a lesson in humility.

 

The movie was promoted as a teen movie, but it teaches many important lessons on handling aggression, anger.

 

It highlights the discipline, control, and humility that Karate instills in us. The fun and entertaining way in which Mr. Miyagi trains Daniel is a treat to watch.

 

 

16. Police Story

 

Police Story

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen
Year 1985
Starring Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin
IMDb 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes 93%
Worldwide Box Office collection $16.3 million

 

Police Story is an action-comedy movie based in Hong Kong. Jackie Chan plays an honest cop who successfully arrests a big-time drug lord.

 

As revenge, the druglord implicates Chan in the murder of another corrupt police officer. Here starts the comedic chase between the cops, Chan, and the druglord to catch the actual criminals.

 

The film boasts many large-scale action scenes with elaborate and dangerous stunts, performed by Chan and his stunt team.

 

The chase involving the double-decker buses, the car chase through the slums, and the various fight sequences make this a nail-biting entertainer.

 

 

15. Drunken Master

 

Drunken Master

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Yuen Woo-Ping
Year 1978
Starring Jackie Chan, Siu-Tin Yuen, Jang-Lee Hwan
IMDb 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes 79%
Worldwide Box Office collection $15 million

 

This masterpiece kung fu movie is directed by Yuen Woo-ping, the legendary martial arts master.

 

The film set the trend for future Kung Fu comedy movies. The story follows Wong Fei-Hung, a Chinese folk hero, and Beggar So, his teacher.

 

Wong Fei-Hung is mischievous but a good-hearted young man. His father is fed up with his shenanigans and sends him to Beggar So to learn martial arts.

 

The comedy arises from the attempts to train and discipline Fei-Hung. He flees at every possible opportunity.

 

When Wong Fei-Hung is humiliated by a fellow martial artist, he gets determined to learn the art and get back his honor.

 

 

14. Million Dollar Baby

 

Million Dollar Baby

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Clint Eastwood
Year 2004
Starring Hillary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
IMDb 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes 90%
Worldwide Box Office collection $216.8 million

 

This American boxing movie is about a female boxer who wants to break stereotypes and become a professional boxer.

 

The film garnered 4 Academy awards for best picture, director, actress, and supporting actor, apart from many more prestigious awards.

 

The story is about a reclusive boxing trainer who reluctantly takes in a young girl to train her into a champion boxer.

 

In her WBA championship bout, she is fatally injured when her opponent plays an illegal sucker punch.

 

The film is a heart-touching story of the bond between the trainer and his protege.

 

Although, it has a sad twist of fate at the end.

 

 

13. The Fighter

 

The Fighter

 

Entity Detail
Directed By David O Russell
Year 2010
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
IMDb 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes 90%
Worldwide Box Office collection $129.2 million

 

This is a biographical account of the comeback made by the American professional boxer Micky Ward.

 

Ward is briefly retired from boxing after an injury he sustains while stopping the police from arresting his half-brother Dicky Eklund.

 

The Fighter chronicles the struggles endured by Micky during the start of his career, this injury, and subsequent comeback.

 

The professional boxing career of Eklund ends, and he falls into a habit of cocaine, and later crime, to fund his habit.

 

During one of his attempts to fleece money off a fake prostitution attempt, Eklund is arrested, and Ward ends up with a broken arm.

 

How the two half-brothers reconcile and train to make a professional comeback becomes the crux of the film.

 

It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and won 2 for best-supporting actor and supporting actress.

 

This is a must-watch sports drama that has a happy ending.

 

 

12. Fist Of Fury

 

Fist Of Fury

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Lo Wei
Year 1972
Starring Bruce Lee, Nora Miao
IMDb 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes 83%
Worldwide Box Office collection $100 million

 

Chen is a Kung Fu student who goes to Shanghai for his marriage, only to return to find his master killed by the local Japanese Dojo.

 

As the atrocities of the Japanese increase, Chen has more brutal and violent altercations with them.

 

All this means, more stunning martial arts display for viewers. This movie is considered the most violent Kung Fu movie done by Bruce Lee.

 

The audience received the movie well, making it a major success too. However, the screenplay was considered to be racially biased against the Japanese.

 

As a result, Bruce Lee and Lo Wei never worked again.

 

 

11. The Way Of The Dragon

 

The Way Of The Dragon

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Bruce Lee
Year 1972
Starring Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao
IMDb 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes 92%
Worldwide Box Office collection $130 million

 

Bruce Lee arrives in Italy to help his relative in the restaurant business. He finds that the Italian mob is trying to bully them out of their land.

 

Lee steps in to protect the interests and defend the rights of his cousin. The movie boasts of multiple Kung Fu fights between Lee and various international martial artists.

 

The final face-off between Lee and Chuck Norris at the Colosseum is the highlight of the film.

 

Bruce Lee wrote, directed, and co-produced the movie on a tight budget.

 

He went on to earn 1000 times his investment.

 

 

10. Cinderella Man

 

Cinderella Man

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Ron Howard
Year 2005
Starring Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Craig Bierko
IMDb 8
Rotten Tomatoes 80%
Worldwide Box Office collection $108.5 million

 

Cinderella Man is a sports biographical film about the world heavyweight champion James J Braddock.

 

The film received 3 Academy Award nominations, apart from BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice nominations and awards.

 

During the Great American Depression, Braddock was forced to retire from a light heavyweight boxing career after an injury.

 

He faces many difficulties to fend for his family during this time. When he has another chance at boxing, he takes it despite his injury and makes it with pure grit, honor, and determination.

 

Cinderella man is a movie about honor, sporting integrity, grit, and perseverance through tough times.

 

 

9. The Matrix

 

The Matrix

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski
Year 1999
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving
IMDb 8.7
Rotten Tomatoes 88%
Worldwide Box Office collection $466.3 million

 

The motion picture Matrix needs no introduction. This movie introduced groundbreaking technology into filmmaking, production, direction, and choreography.

 

This noir film is about a dystopian future, where machines, artificial intelligence, computers have fully taken over the human race, and humans have been reduced to farm animals with lesser to non-existent rights.

 

In this world, Neo, a recently freed human, becomes a messiah of hope, change, and revolution for a brighter future.

 

The stunt coordination, action choreography, wirework, CGI, and overall style are path-breaking and revolutionary in many ways.

 

Everyone needs to watch the movie at least once.

 

 

8. The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin

 

The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Chia-Liang Liu
Year 1978
Starring Gordon Liu, Lo Lieh, Yue Wong
IMDb 7.7
Rotten Tomatoes 89%
Worldwide Box Office collection --

 

The movie is considered by many as the most distinguished martial arts film. The Harvard Film Archives states the film is an exhilarating rendition of the legendary dissemination of the Shaolin martial arts.

 

The story traces the progress of San Te, the legendary martial arts disciple of Zhi Shan.

 

From his beginnings as the young student who protests against the oppressive Manchu government up to his victory over general Tien Ta, and the subsequent set up of the 36th Chamber of the Shaolin Temple that teaches Kung Fu to ordinary folk.

 

The film is replete with exciting martial arts, a good plot, and exceptional action choreography.

 

 

7. Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior

 

Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Prachya Pinkaew
Year 2003
Starring Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Sittiaumponpan
IMDb 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes 86%
Worldwide Box Office collection $20.1 million

 

This is the first installment of the highly acclaimed Thai martial arts film starring Tony Jaa.

 

This movie propelled Jaa to international fame as the next name to watch out for in the world of martial arts.

 

This movie also started the collaboration between Tony Jaa, Prachya Pinkaew, and Panna Rittikrai. It lasted for 4 more films.

 

The best fact of the action in this film is that no ropes, wires, or CGI works were used in any of the fights.

 

We get to watch pure Muay Thai action at its best.

 

 

6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

 

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Ang Lee
Year 2000
Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang
IMDb 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes 97%
Worldwide Box Office collection $213.5 million

 

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is set in the waning years of the Qing dynasty. Li Mu Bai is the current owner of the fabled sword of Green Destiny.

 

It gets stolen while it is being returned to Governor Yu. The rest of the film explains the struggles of an oppressed love, unfair societal norms, fights to change tradition and customs.

 

The film was a masterpiece by Ang Lee, and it won the Academy Award for the best foreign-language film.

 

The sword fights, cinematography, story, and narration are a class apart.

 

 

5. Ip Man

 

Ip Man

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Wilson Yip
Year 2008
Starring Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
IMDb 8
Rotten Tomatoes 85%
Worldwide Box Office collection $22.1 million

 

Ip Man or Yip Man was the legendary grandmaster of the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu.

 

He is accredited as the teacher of Bruce Lee. This film is a biographical tale of the escape of Ip Man from China during the Japanese invasion, his fight against Japanese oppression, his struggle to set up his school in Hong Kong, and his rise to fame.

 

The movie is the first of a 4 part series starring Donnie Yen as Ip Man.

 

The film is a scintillating display of martial arts skills. At the Hong Kong film festival, the movie won awards for best film and best action choreography.

 

 

4. Raging Bull

 

Raging Bull

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Martin Scorsese
Year 1980
Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty
IMDb 8.2
Rotten Tomatoes 93%
Worldwide Box Office collection $23.4 million

 

This Martin Scorsese masterpiece is a biographical movie about the professional boxer Jake LaMotta. It highlights the violent tendencies that fuel the rage in the ring and how he carries it into his personal life and marriage.

 

The movie has a gritty storyline that shows violence in the ring and domestic abuse.

 

The film is not for the faint-hearted. It was shot entirely in black and white to create an ambiance of darkness, melancholy that went with the depression era.

 

Raging Bull won 5 Academy awards for best picture, actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, and film editing.

 

It marks a high point in the partnership of Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese.

 

 

3. Warrior

 

Warrior

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Gavin O Connor
Year 2011
Starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte
IMDb 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes 83%
Worldwide Box Office collection $23.3 million

 

Warrior is one of my favorite fight movies, starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte.

 

It is an emotionally charged movie against the backdrop of the new international Mixed Martial Arts tournament.

 

It is about two estranged brothers who are both competing for the same title. One is an army man, trained by his father.

 

The other is the estranged brother who is fighting to earn money for the surgery of his daughter.

 

Emotions are high as both of them feel betrayed by the other and their father.

 

We watch some brutal matches, and the final fight between the Conlon brothers will keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

 

2. Rocky

 

Rocky

 

Entity Detail
Directed By John G Avildsen
Year 1976
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
IMDb 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes 92%
Worldwide Box Office collection $225 million

 

Rocky Balboa is a small-time boxer in Philadelphia who is struggling to make it big.

 

Heavyweight boxer Apollo Creed visits Philly and fights an exhibition match with Rocky. What was supposed to be an easy walkover becomes a ticket to big the league for Rocky, and he is not ready to let it go.

 

The movie is iconic in all ways. We have the famous Rocky theme, the infamous training run on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, and the last fight with Apollo Creed.

 

The film was written by Sylvester Stallone, and he performs the titular role. It won 3 Oscars for Best Picture, director, and film editing.

 

 

1. Enter The Dragon

 

Enter The Dragon

 

Entity Detail
Directed By Robert Clouse
Year 1973
Starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly
IMDb 7.7
Rotten Tomatoes 93%
Worldwide Box Office collection $350 million

 

Enter The Dragon is the iconic movie that spawned the craze for martial arts in the west.

 

Enter The Dragon paved the way for many martial artists in Hollywood and immortalized Kung Fu in the hearts of Americans.

 

Lee is a British special agent recruited to infiltrate the secret island of the opium drug lord Han.

 

He uses the martial arts competition to gain entry into this place where he gets help from two other artists, Roper and Williams.

 

The film boasts many iconic Kung Fu matches between Lee and the other contestants, but the best and the most memorable is the fight in the mirror maze with Han.

 

These were my top 50 iconic fight movies. Many more amazing films could not be included.

 

If you have any suggestions or names that you want to add, feel free to contact us.

 

Feel free to reach out and tell us about your most favorite movie and why.

 

If I have missed any, I will amend the list.