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15 Best Chinese Movies You Must Watch 2022

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What Chinese cinema is like is a big mystery for the mass audience. There are literally a couple of pop films on hearing, and one gets the feeling that these are all the best films in China, and in principle there is nothing good in the industry of the Middle Kingdom anymore. But such an impression is deceptive. The best Chinese films are not counted by a few projects, and the level of the cinema itself is not much inferior to the masterpieces from Hollywood.

The Chinese have enough films with an interesting plot, modern special effects, excellent acting and an indescribable national flavor that you are unlikely to see anywhere else. If modern Western cinema is nothing but yawns, it’s time to take a look at our top Chinese films of 2022. It includes both new items and timeless classics.

Lust

  • IMDB: 7.5
  • Kinopoisk: 7.4

The spy war thriller from the eminent director Ang Lee “Lust” sends the viewer to Shanghai in 1940. The Japanese occupation is in full swing, and the local government is just puppets in the hands of cruel invaders. A group of students from the resistance decides to kill one of the prominent officials by introducing the girl Jiazhi into his entourage , but everything does not go according to plan.

This is a tense film in a military setting, based on a real-life story. Critical acclaim and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival only confirm the quality of the picture.

Flowers of War

  • IMDB: 7.5
  • Movie Search: 7.9

The best films of Chinese cinema are rarely visited by Western actors, this one is a pleasant exception. The main role was played by the young Christian Bale, in the center of the story, once again, the theme of the Japanese invasion, painful for the Chinese, namely its darkest episode – the Nanjing massacre.

A simple American undertaker, who by chance finds himself in the midst of a besieged city, has to pretend to be a priest in order to protect civilians from the rampant Japanese. Bale’s acting talent and the work of one of the most prominent Chinese directors, Zhang Yimou, are definitely a reason to watch.

Red kaoliang

  • IMDB: 7.3
  • Kinopoisk: 7.3

The famous director Zhang Yimou’s career began in the 1980s with the film Red Kaoliang. It was based on the novel by Nobel laureate Mo Yan, and in terms of the degree of drama, the movie does not lose much to the original source. The plot of the picture revolves around a simple peasant woman Jiuji, who had to enter into an unequal marriage and take on the responsibility of managing the distillery.

“Red Kaoliang” is unlikely to appeal to everyone – it is already an old and deliberately simple film that is in no hurry. But it is precisely this technique that creates the atmosphere of peasant life without embellishment.

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Hero

  • IMDB: 7.9
  • Movie Search: 7.9

One of the hallmarks of Chinese cinema is the wuxia genre. It’s a martial arts fantasy where smashing trees with a fist and flying through the air is the go-to technique. And without Wuxia, the rating of the best Chinese films could not even begin.

The film “Hero” with Jet Li is a prominent representative of the genre, and not so much because of the spectacular fights, but because of the beautifully presented plot. The nameless warrior defeated three enemies of the Chinese emperor and got an audience with him to tell one story for each defeated enemy. Each of the stories is filmed in its own color, which has a symbolic meaning.

City of life and death

  • IMDB: 7.7
  • Kinopoisk: 7.7

The black pages of the history of any country are always reflected in art, books are written on their basis and full-length films are shot. Therefore, more than one Chinese director turned to the topic of the Nanjing massacre. Lu Chuan, who filmed the historical City of Life and Death, did not stand aside either.

The film’s genres include action, but don’t expect pathos and high-profile gunfights, and the best comparison would be Schindler’s List with the same senseless violence and black-and-white art. The detached manner of narration and fragments of scenes, gradually folding into a single canvas, leave the impression of a deep, complex movie.

Farewell my concubine

  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Movie search: 7.6

The list of the best Chinese films available in Russian continues with director Chen Kaige’s epic film Farewell My Concubine. The action of the picture will immediately cover 50 years of Chinese history, from civil wars to the Cultural Revolution.

Through all the storms, cataclysms and upheavals, the friendship of actors will pass, playing the same opera over and over again. If you are not scared by the long running time and the measured pace of the story (the film is a good 3 hours long), then you can get a lot of pleasure from watching “Farewell, My Concubine” and feel how interesting the world of art can be.

Earthquake

  • IMDB: 7.5
  • Movie Search: 7.9

“Earthquake” is the best Chinese disaster movie, at least in terms of international box office receipts – in the US alone, the film has grossed over $100 million. The film is based on a real historical event – the Tangshan earthquake, which claimed several thousand lives in a matter of seconds.

A woman named Li Yuanni was unlucky, in those terrible moments she lost her husband and faced a choice – to save her son or daughter. The viewer will observe the consequences of this cruel choice, living the catastrophe along with the heroes of the film. Don’t let the Hollywood slogans confuse you, Earthquake is a touching, sad and very realistic picture.

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Live

  • IMDB: 8.3
  • Movie Search: 7.9

As you can see from the rating, Zhang Yimou is a very versatile director who is not afraid to bring up sensitive topics. In the drama “To Live”, the master unflatteringly portrayed the leadership of the Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution, which closed his path to the cinema for many years.

But at the Cannes Film Festival, the film was appreciated, it received 3 awards from the jury at once. “To Live” is the story of one Chinese family through decades, giving a storm of emotions and impressions. Bright and naturalistic details of China’s past, people’s lives and their thinking are immersive and do not let go until the end.

Fearless

  • IMDB: 7.6
  • Kinopoisk: 8.1

Movies about martial arts with Jet Li are the key to a well-spent evening. The dramatic action movie Fearless combines everything that the genre is famous for in the right proportions: the path of becoming a hero, sparkling choreography, a simple but at the same time catchy message.

Wushu master Ho, blinded by the pursuit of power and glory, loses the most important thing – his family. He learns to live again, giving up martial arts, as it seems to him, forever. But the master has to turn to his art again when Europeans seize power in China. Ho will have to win the tournament to put the outlanders in their place and restore their people’s self-respect.

Chungking Express

  • IMDB: 8.0
  • Movie search: 7.8

Perhaps it is difficult to come up with a better recommendation for the film than Quentin Tarantino, crying with happiness while watching. Tarantino isn’t the only one touched by director Wong Kar-wai’s work – In the Mood for Love or My Blueberry Nights has captured the hearts of audiences around the world.

However, true connoisseurs do not prefer new paintings at all, the pearl of Kar-wai’s work is Chungking Express. These are two stories about love and loneliness in the middle of a huge metropolis, full of atmosphere, details and genuine human feelings.

Ip Man

  • IMDB: 8.0
  • Kinopoisk: 8.2

We continue to analyze Chinese films that are worth watching. And among the most spectacular pictures about martial arts, of course, is Ip Man. Ip Man is the legendary founder of the Wing Chun style and the mentor of Bruce Lee himself. However, this movie is far from a documentary chronicle of the master’s life.

This is a dynamic action movie, in which the events that actually happened are woven into a thin thread. The plot revolves around a man forced against his will to use martial arts to fight back against the Japanese invaders. In total, four parts of Ipa have been released, but we recommend the first one, it is the most interesting.

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House of Flying Daggers

  • IMDB: 7.5
  • Movie search: 7.8

“House of Flying Daggers” is a great example of how you can make a chic movie by all standards with a modest budget of $ 12 million. The warriors of the House of Flying Daggers are renowned for taking down enemies in the blink of an eye, robbing the rich and helping the poor.

The authorities do not like the activities of the daggers, so they send two imperial agents to spy on the dancer Mei, who is connected to the House. But one of the agents falls in love with May and fools colleagues, which leads to an even more complicated turn of events. An ageless wuxia classic with handsome actors and superbly choreographed fights.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

  • IMDB: 7.9
  • Kinopoisk: 7.4

About the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” even those who are poorly familiar with oriental cinema have heard. This is a recognized masterpiece in the wuxia genre, filmed with the participation of two famous Li: director – Eng and actor – Jet.

The sacred sword is stolen from the possession of Yu Shulen, who received it from the legendary Master Li. An embittered Lee embarks on a journey full of exciting and unexpected events that at times make him jump in surprise. And the metaphysical nonsense that accompanies Eastern films only adds charm to what is happening. No new good Chinese film can compare with time-tested classics that you can’t put down.

Mood for Love

  • IMDB: 8.0
  • Movie Search: 7.9

In the Mood for Love is another film by Wong Kar-wai, a director who, in his inimitable style, has made what is arguably the perfect romantic film. Even a brief description of the plot immediately arouses interest: a man and a woman settle in the neighborhood and discover that they have one problem for two – distant spouses and a feeling of loneliness.

This brings the characters closer and soon their friendship begins to grow into something more. Scenario finds, unusual camera work and a delightful musical sequence create a lingering atmosphere into which, like in a whirlpool, you plunge headlong. Highly rated Chinese films should be like this!

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