14 Best Donnie Yen Movies to Watch Right Now

Best Donnie Yen Movies

One of the benefits of the best Donnie Yen movies is that he uses wires sparingly, merely for safety, instead of to enhance the action.

Due to this, the combat sequences in the movie are mostly accurate representations of what takes place on the set.

Donnie Yen has already been in 69 movies. He is now the most well-known action hero from Hong Kong, and his combat scenes continuously set the standard for the genre. 

Donnie is most known for playing strong cops in his movies. Fans like seeing movies where a man enforces the law against criminals.

Below are the best Donnie Yen movies that will please fans and might easily qualify as genre masterpieces.

1. Kung Fu Killer (2008)

  • Director: Philip Spink
  • Cast: David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Jimmy Taenaka, Kay Tong Lim, Yu-Beng Lim, Osric Chau, Christian Lee, and Yan Wu Yan
  • IMDb rating: 4.9/10

The martial arts teacher promises to assist the police in finding a ruthless murderer.

The serial killer concept and the wired kung fu fights are two guilty pleasures combined in this movie. 

The battle that begins in prison is the finest fight in the movie, and Donnie, who is 51 years old, shows he’s still in decent enough form to pull off all the necessary tactics.

Fight scenes occur in unusual places, such as a tattoo shop, a movie studio, and atop a huge human skeleton.

The climactic encounter saw Donnie and the bad guy fighting in the middle of a busy highway while narrowly avoiding enormous truckloads. 

Wide-angle lenses distort this movie, yet it nonetheless conveys the distinctive legacy of Hong Kong style. For this movie in 2015, Donnie won the Best Action Choreography award.

2. Sakra (2023)

  • Director: Ka-Wai Kam and Donnie Yen
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Richard Barcenas, Yuqi Chen, Eddie Cheung, Cyrus Rodas, Will De Renzy-Martin, Bradley Gareth, and Cya Liu
  • IMDb rating: 5.8/10

Yen, who directed, produced, and starred in Sakra, describes it as a “dream project.”

It is a popular book by Louis Cha, the undisputed master of Wuxia (Wuxia translates to “martial knight”), called Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. 

The movie Sakra is Kara Wai’s comeback to the Wuxia genre. Wai, a Kung Fu diva from the Shaw Brothers Studios Golden Age of Kung Fu movies, has been in nearly 200 motion pictures.

She grew up in an impoverished neighborhood of Hong Kong and worked as a street vendor. 

After taking Kung Fu lessons from Yen’s mother, Grandmaster Bow-Sim Mark, she was offered additional roles and made over 20 film appearances in her first three years of acting. 

Late in January, during the Lunar New Year movie frenzy, Sakra was distributed across Asia. This is one of the best Donnie Yen movies.

3. Flash Point (2007)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Louis Koo, Ray Lui, Collin Chou, Bingbing Fan, Kent Cheng, Kent Cheng, and Ben Lam
  • IMDb rating: 6.7/10

A fearless detective confronts a small but powerful crime organization.

Flying jump kicks, wild combo attacks, and the one versus-many situations are all hallmarks of the best Donnie Yen movies.

Even without considering the combat choreography, this movie seems unique.

Donnie has great respect for MMA fighters, and he and John Salvitti made every attempt to cinematically depict genuine combat without sacrificing their techniques. 

You can see recognizable UFC techniques, including defensive takedowns, arm bars, hooks, and ground combat, in this clip.

Due to the mind-blowing bouts, the crew advanced the choreography and attempted something new. 

The “last boss fight” between Donnie Yen and Collin Chou set an extremely high standard.

So, if you want to see Donnie’s true abilities, watch this movie. For this movie, Donnie Yen won the 2008 Best Action Choreography award.

4. Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)

  • Director: Hark Tsui
  • Cast: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok, David Chiang, Donnie Yen, Tielin Zhang, Xin Xin Xiong, and Paul Fonoroff,
  • IMDb rating: 7.3/10

The first movie in the Once Upon a Time in China series starred Jet Li as the famous folk hero Wong Fei Hung.

The series consisted of six movies and a TV series directed by visionary Fant-Asia maverick Tsui Hark with Yuen Woo-Ping working as an action choreographer. 

Following their dispute in Part III, Tsui finished the movie, and Li created his spoof, Iron Rooster vs. Centipede.

For the remainder of the franchise, Vincent Zhao replaced the role of Wong Fei Hung.  

OUATIC balances Kung Fu cults like the Boxer Uprising with fantasy battle aspects and Hong Kong identity problems over growing westernization.

Commander Lan, portrayed by Yen, doesn’t show up until about halfway through the movie. 

However, the Yen against Li battle, a crazy game of long pole sparring, is regarded as one of the best of the period.

After around 30 takes, Li misjudged a move, and in real life, Yen needed six stitches over his eye. 

The subsequent blood shower, according to Yen, resembled something from Kill Bill. Undoubtedly, this is among the best Donnie Yen movies.

5. Ip Man (2008)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan, Ka-Tung Lam, Lynn Xiong, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Xing Yu, and Wong You-nam
  • IMDb rating: 8.0/10

This is a semi-biographical movie about Ip Man, a master of martial arts who popularized Wing Chun.

Donnie has had a long-standing interest in making this movie and has been practicing Wing Chun, particularly on wooden dummies, so he was able to do justice to the plot and the character. 

Additionally, they had the full backing of Yip Man’s family, so everything fell into place.

Ip Man, a great movie by Wilson Yip, has some of the most stunning action scenes and flawless choreography ever seen on screen. 

It also has a strong focus on the characters. Ip Man was already a legend in martial arts due to Sammo Hung’s magical touch.

The renowned Donnie Yen performance as Yip Man was added to the timeless kung fu movie history by camerawork, editing, and gorgeous musical composition. 

If you’re seeking one of the best Donnie Yen movies that are exciting, exhilarating, and fascinating, you should consider seeing this one now.

For this movie, Sammo Hung won the 2009 Best Action Choreography award.

6. Ip Man 2 (2010)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Xiaoming Huang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Lynn Xiong, Kent Cheng, Darren Shahlavi, Yu-Hang To, and Charles Mayer
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

In contrast to Rocky IV’s America vs. the Soviet Union theme, Ip Man 2 centers on a China versus England competition.

It seems significantly different from the previous Ip Man because of its final ring, and it could easily stand alone as a movie.

Ip and the local martial arts grandmasters engage in tabletop battles that need a lot of wirework but look fantastic.

If Donnie had battled 10 Japanese Karatekas in the first part, his rivals would have increased to 100 Chinese men in this installment. 

You’ll find it to be a pretty fun trip if you ignore the fact that the movie is propaganda against obnoxious foreigners and concentrate on the combat sequences.

Sammo Hung won the 2011 Best Action Choreography award again for this movie. This is one of the best Donnie yen movies to watch.

7. Ip Man 3 (2015)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Lynn Xiong, Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson, Patrick Tam, Karena Ng, Louis Cheung, and Kent Cheng
  • IMDb rating: 7.0/10

Master Ip is compelled to stand against a group of vicious criminals led by a dishonest real estate developer.

This is Donnie Yen’s most recent movie and the third in a trilogy. Once again, it seems like a different movie from the first two. 

Frank, who is undoubtedly a very strong opponent and could be the only one in the movie who could conceivably beat Ip Man in a fight, is the most remarkable. 

His fight with Ip Man turns out to be a strong clash of fighting philosophies, in which the speed and angles of Wing Chun fail to make an impression against the physical force of strong boxing blows.

Sammo Hung’s replacement as an action director, Yuen Wo-ping, impacted the fight scenes.

However, combined with a more tragic tone, it produced a solid action drama that didn’t attempt to imitate the fun of its predecessors.

8. Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins, Danny Kwok-Kwan Chan, Vanness Wu, Jim Liu, Kent Cheng, Yue Wu, and Ka-nin Ngo
  • IMDb rating: 7.0/10

This is one of the best Donnie Yen movies. Although other “Ip Man” movies have been produced after its 2019 release, such as the prequel “Ip Man: The Awakening,” “Ip Man 4: The Finale” marks the end of Yen’s time with the character. 

The setting of “The Finale” is significantly different from the other three “Ip Man” movies directed by Yen, with the title character moving to America from China after the death of his wife. 

As he struggles to start a new Wing Chun school in San Francisco, he encounters violent hostility from Americans, particularly from Barton Geddes, the movie’s major antagonist, who does English martial arts superstar Scott Adkins portray a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. 

Though Bruce Lee was only briefly introduced in “Ip Man 3,” the critically acclaimed movie “Ip Man: The Finale” is remarkable for being the first to depict Ip Man instructing Bruce Lee.

9. Raging Fire (2021)

  • Director: Benny Chan
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Lan Qin, Angus Yeung, Patrick Tam, Ben Lam, Deep Ng, and Kang Yu
  • IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Raging Fire” is the last action movie directed by Hong Kong’s Benny Chan, who has previously worked on many best donnie yen movies. 

Benny Chan was admitted to the hospital when “Raging Fire” was in post-production, and he passed away from cancer in 2020, just before the movie was released. 

“Raging Fire” received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, wrapping out Chan’s career on a high note. At the 2022 Hong Kong Film prizes, “Raging Fire” received eight nominations. 

This includes nods in the key categories of Best Action Choreography, Best Editing, Best Picture, and a nomination for Best Director for the late Benny Chan, who won the latter four prizes. 

10. Hero (2002)

  • Director: Yimou Zhang
  • Cast: Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang, Daoming Chen, Donnie Yen, Zhongyuan Liu, and Tianyong Zheng
  • IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Hero is the worldwide auteur Zhang Yimou’s creative masterwork.

Once again starring Jet Li, it also has Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, and Zhang Ziyi in a stellar ensemble. Unlike OUATIC2, Yen only shows up at the opening of the movie

However, ten years after OUATIC2, Yen, and Li face off again, creating one of the most beautiful combat sequences ever captured on camera under Zhang’s brilliant direction. 

Just to shoot the battle sequence, it took 21 days. Yen received six stitches from Li again, but they were placed across his other eyebrow this time.

Li missed with his sword towards the end of a lengthy sequence that included over 50 movements, cutting Yen. 

They considered it a fortunate accident. Chinese people believe that red represents money and fortunate envelopes.

Thus, Yen’s blood helped to bless the production process and set it up for success. 

The hero became the first Chinese movie to win the top position at the box office in the United States and stayed there for two weeks.

Once Yen’s sequence is through, you may relax and take in Zhang’s opulent vision for the movie. 

Hero is one of the best Donnie Yen movies ever created because of its color, tone, and cinematography.

11. Mismatched Couples (1985)

  • Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Woo-Ping Yuen, Wan-Si Wong, May Mei-Mei Lo, Mandy Chan, Kenny Perez, Dick Wei, and Anna Kamiyama
  • IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Yuen Woo-Ping directed several cheesy Kung Fu comedies before The Matrix.

Mismatched Couple is a silly mashup of hip-hop and kung fu. Even in Hong Kong, breakdancing was popular in the 1980s. 

Yuen plays an elderly guy who falls in love with Eddie’s older sister, while Yen plays Eddie, a Kung Fu Hip Hop dancer.

Witnessing young Yen in action is remarkable as he combines incredible Kung Fu skills with silly slapstick humor. 

The music is awful Moog-driven parodies of disco dance music, and Yen is dressed in eye-popping colorful outfits that Hong Kong would have thought B-boys would wear. The narrative of this movie is not what draws you in.  

However, if you want to watch Yen’s morning routine or how he plays tennis while riding a bicycle, this is guaranteed to make you grin. This is undoubtedly one of the best Donnie yen movies.

12. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)

  • Director: Andrew Lau
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Alex Ahlstrom, Shu Qi, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Bo Huang, Ryu Kohata, Siyan Huo, and Zhou Yang
  • IMDb rating: 6.2/10

A fictional character named Chen Zhen initially appeared in Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (1972).

A remake of the movie, Fist of Legend (1994), was made under the direction of Yuen Woo-Ping and starred Jet Li as Chen Zhen. 

Bruce Lee is incomparable to anybody. Fist of Legend is one of Li’s better movies, however. Chen Zhen’s demise was fabricated in Li’s version.

This allowed Yen to play Chen Zhen in Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen. 

Chen transforms into a vigilante superhero to battle those bothersome alien demons.

He dresses like Kato, the character portrayed by Lee in the 1966–1967 Batman TV series spinoff The Green Hornet, completed with a chauffeur’s cap, mask, and all-black outfit. 

Yen co-stars in the historical drama The Assassin, set in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation, with Shu Qi and Anthony Wong, both experienced Hong Kong actors.

Yen does many Parkour moves to liven up the action since she always incorporates new trends. 

The inspiration is obvious, but this is wirework-driven, which ultimately disregards the purpose of Parkour.

However, this is one of the best Donnie Yen movies as it offers a novel viewpoint on a revered classic.

13. Wing Chun (1994)

  • Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
  • Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, King-Tan Yuen, Catherine Yan Hung, Waise Lee, Norman Chu, Chui Ah-Fai, and Pei-Pei Cheng
  • IMDb rating: 7.0/10

Michelle Yeoh, who just won an Oscar, first appeared in Wing Chun.

According to legend, Yim Wing-Chun, a woman, invented Wing Chun Kung Fu in the late 18th century.

It was the fashion Ip Man and his well-known student Bruce Lee advocated. 

Yuen Woo-Ping’s latest physics-defying movie stars Yen as Leung Pok-To, Wing-Chun’s fiancée.

The Couple has been apart for ten years, and when Leung returns, Wing-Chun is mistaken for a man because of how she dresses. 

Worse yet, Leung thinks Charmy (Catherine Hung), whom he believes to be his fiancée, is a competing suitor for Wing-Chun. 

A vindictive enemy, Flying Chimpanzee, is after Wing-Chun for allegedly burning his brother, Flying Monkey (Chui Ah-Fai), in the genitals. It’s actual fire once again. 

It’s intriguing to see Yen play the main character as a subordinate. He meekly eats tofu from his cupped hands, hoping Charmy, a tofu seller, would be impressed by his boyish charm.

He keeps Yeoh in the spotlight, sincerely performing as a supporting actor.

14. SPL: Sha Po Lang (2005)

  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Jing Wu, Kai-Chi Liu, Danny Summer, Ken Chang, and Austin Wai
  • IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Sha Po Lang is a difficult-to-translate astrological word, so when it was sold outside of Chinese-speaking countries, it was abbreviated to SPL and then Kill Zone.

Despite the cumbersome term, SPL was a turning point for Yen as an action director. 

He introduced MMA grappling with a sanguinary no-holds-barred dosage of ultraviolence thanks to his hard-hitting combat choreography.

Inspector Chan, portrayed by famous Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, will be replaced by Yen’s Inspector Ma. 

However, Chan is driven by a desire for vengeance and plans to overthrow underworld boss Wong Po, portrayed by Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan’s older Kung Fu brother. 

The brutal combat between Yen and Hung completely changes how violence is portrayed in Hong Kong movies.

Wu, another Beijing Wushu Team graduate, has become one of China’s top movie stars, playing the major roles in Wolf Warrior and The Wandering Earth. 

Wu and Yen engage in a quick-moving alley brawl that is so intense that it practically requires slow motion to comprehend its intricacy completely.

This is undoubtedly one of the best Donnie Yen movies.

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