When you think of martial arts movies, what is the first name that pops into your mind? For most people, it’s going to be the iconic Jackie Chan. Over the course of his legendary career, Jackie Chan has worn many hats – he’s been a martial artist, actor, director, producer and even singer. Known for his acrobatic fighting style and comic timing, Chan is also famous for performing all of his own stunts. In a career spanning more than five decades, the multi-talented actor has featured in over 150 films. So, why don’t we take a closer look at the best Jackie Chan movies?
Stanley Tong’s “RUMBLE IN THE BRONX” released on this day 27 years ago.
Starring Jackie Chan. pic.twitter.com/GrVM1E9Rrv
— AddToTheList (@AddToTheList_) February 26, 2023
As mentioned above, Chan has starred in 150 films, so selecting just 10 is like finding needles in a haystack. But, we’ve somehow managed to do the impossible. From epic action sequences in Wheels on Meals and Drunken Master to iconic Hollywood films like Rush Hour and its sequel, here are our favourite picks.
Looking at Jackie Chan’s top 10 movies
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(Hero image credits: Courtesy IMDb/Rush Hour)
(Feature image credits: Courtesy IMDb/Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow)
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Police Story is a Hong Kong action film that was also directed by Chan. Released in 1985, it became one of Chan’s most successful and influential films. The plot follows the story of Chan Ka-Kui, a police officer who is tasked with protecting a witness in a drug trafficking case. However, things go wrong when the witness is killed and Chan is framed for the murder. The film focuses on Chan’s efforts to clear his name and bring the real culprits to justice. Police Story was so successful after its release that it led to a franchise with several sequels including Police Story 2 and Police Story 3: Super Cop.
IMDb rating: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
(Image credits: Courtesy Police Story/IMDb)
Released in 1978 in Hong Kong, Drunken Master is a martial arts comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping. In the film, Jackie Chan plays Wong Fei-hung, a young man who is sent to train with his uncle, Beggar So (played by Yuen Siu-tien), after getting into trouble with the law. Beggar So teaches Wong the art of drunken boxing, a style of kung fu that involves using unorthodox movements and techniques to confuse and overpower opponents. Commercially successful in Hong Kong and considered to be one of Jackie Chan’s best action movies, the film helped establish Chan as a leading actor in martial arts films.
IMDb rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
(Image credits: Courtesy Drunken Master/IMDb)
Directed by Lau Kar-Leung, Drunken Master II is a martial arts film that came out in Hong Kong in 1994. Just like its prequel, this film too follows the story of Wong Fei-hung, a martial arts master who must use his drunken boxing style to defend his country from a gang that is smuggling valuable artefacts out of China. Set in the late Qing Dynasty, the film is widely applauded for being one of Chan’s best films and has become a classic in the genre of martial arts films.
Fun fact: This film was released in the United States in 2000 as The Legend of Drunken Master.
IMDb rating: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%
(Image credits: Courtesy The Legend Of Drunken Master/IMDb)
Directed by and starring Chan, Armour of God II: Operation Condor is a Hong Kong action-adventure film released in 1991. Also known as Operation Condor and Superfly, this movie features Chan playing a character named Jackie, a treasure hunter who is tasked with finding a cache of Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara Desert. Along the way, he is pursued by a group who are also after the treasure. The film was a box office hit in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, which helped establish the actor’s reputation as a leading action star. It also gained a cult following in the West.
IMDb rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
(Image credits: Courtesy Operation Condon/Amazon Prime Video)
Dragons Forever is a 1988 Hong Kong action-comedy film directed by Sammo Hung, who also stars in the film along with Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. The plot follows three friends, Jackie, a lawyer; Luke, who is a fish market worker, and Timothy, a private investigator, who team up to help Miss Yip, whose factory is polluting the environment. Later on, they discover that the factory is also producing illegal drugs, and in the process, get involved in a dangerous battle against a powerful drug lord. The film is known for its impressive action sequences, including a climactic action scene that is considered to be one of the best fight scenes in movie history.
IMDb rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%
(Image credits: Courtesy Dragons Forever/Amazon Prime Video)
Rush Hour is a 1998 buddy cop action-comedy film directed by Brett Ratner and starring Chan and Chris Tucker. The film follows LAPD Detective James Carter and Hong Kong Police Inspector Lee teaming up to rescue the daughter of the Chinese Consul who has been kidnapped by a criminal organization. Rush Hour is an iconic film and is famous for its viral comedic moments, especially the interactions between the two leads. One of Jackie Chan’s most popular comedy movies, it was a commercial success, grossing over USD 244 million worldwide. Two sequels were also released, Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3, with the franchise establishing Chan as a popular star in Hollywood.
IMDb rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes score: 61%
(Image credits: Courtesy Rush Hour/IMDb)
The Foreigner is a 2017 British-Chinese action thriller directed by Martin Campbell, based on the 1992 novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. In the film, Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh, a Vietnamese immigrant living in London. When his daughter is killed in a terrorist attack, Quan seeks revenge by trying to track down the bombers. He crosses paths with Liam Hennessy (played by Pierce Brosnan), a former IRA member and current government official in Northern Ireland. The film showcases Chan’s acting prowess and calibre as a performer who isn’t just limited to stunts and action sequences. It is considered to be one of Chan’s most memorable performances in a non-comedic role, helping him showcase his range as an actor.
IMDb rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes score: 66%
(Image credits: Courtesy The Foreigner/IMDb)
An action-comedy directed by Sammo Hung, Wheels on Meals sees the story of two best friends who run a fast food truck in Barcelona, Spain. As they get involved in the kidnapping plot of a beautiful heiress by a gang of criminals, the two friends team up with a private detective named Moby to help rescue the heiress. Apart from Chan, the film also stars Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung and Lola Forner.
IMDb rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes score: 81% (audience score)
(Image credits: Courtesy Wheels on Meals/IMDb)
Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow is an action-comedy film that first hit Hong Kong cinemas in 1978. The story focuses on Chien Fu, a young servant who is constantly bullied by his boss and c0-workers. One day, he meets an old beggar who teaches him the art of snake fist kung fu. The servant uses his newfound skills to take on the villainous Eagle Claw clan, led by Master Sheng. Since its release, the movie has now become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the most influential kung-fu films of all time.
IMDb rating: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes score 80%
(Image credits: Courtesy Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow/IMDb)
Rumble in the Bronx is a 1995 Hong Kong martial arts action-comedy film directed by Stanley Tong. The plot follows Keung, a Hong Kong cop who comes to New York City to attend his uncle’s wedding. He gets caught up in a conflict with a gang of thugs who are trying to take over his uncle’s supermarket. Eventually, Keung uses his martial arts skills to take on the gang and protect his family and friends.
IMDb rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%
(Image credits: Courtesy Rumble in the Bronx/IMDb)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Jackie Chan has starred in over 150 films. His highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes is Police Story.
Answer: Jackie Chan's first notable jobs in cinema was as a stunt double for Bruce Lee's 1972 film Fist of Fury.
Answer: Jackie Chan has starred in 150 films over a career spanning five decades.