Ever heard the statement, “Martial Arts is for self-defense”? These martial arts movies on Netflix might say otherwise. With thrilling action sequences, they will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Go through to discover some of the best thrilling and exciting best martial arts movies on Netflix.
1. Fistful of Vengeance (2022)
- Director: Roel Reiné
- Star Cast: Iko Uwais, Lewis Tan, Lawrence Kao, Juju Chan, and Pearl Thusi
Adding a blend of the supernatural, this is a real treat for martial arts fans. Following the successful run of the series, Wu Assassins, this film comes up as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. It is unclear why Netflix chose to end the series with a single installment.
In this film, our favorite Wu Assassin, Kai, travels to Bangkok with his friends Lu Xin and Tommy to find the killer of Tommy’s sister, Jenny.
The ancient talisman found on the body of Jenny led them to Thailand. This would have been a great storyline if Netflix had just invested a bit more in the plot.
In Thailand, biotech billionaire William Pan informs them that his twin sister, Ku An Qi’s underworld boss, was behind Jenny’s death.
He advises the Wu Assassin to kill her before she amasses too much Qi to take over the world. The film managed to squeeze in a nice twist.
However, it is not enough to rescue it from lousy storytelling. If you want to enjoy the martial arts and fighting scenes, then go right ahead and watch this film. If you need more, check out other martial arts movies on Netflix.
2. IP Man 4: The Finale (2019)
- Director: Wilson Yip
- Star Cast: Donnie Yen, Wu Yue, Vanness Wu, Scott Adkins, and Kent Cheng
Fans of Donnie Yen and Scott Adkins will love this spectacular performance from the duo. You can find this film as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. It is a thrilling film with beautifully choreographed fighting scenes. In addition, Donnie Yen is a great actor.
In December 2019, this film was the fourth and final installment in the IP Man series. The Ip Man series has always celebrated Kung Fu and martial arts in general, and Donnie Yen returns to take up the mantle of Ip Man one last time in this final installment.
Ip Man 4 brings an excellent story to a close. The plot is good, and the movie entertains plenty of thrilling fights. It mixes drama with action, producing a situation that stays so close to reality. You may be tempted to believe that it is a real-life scenario.
Ip Man 4 holds up with the most brutal and hard-pounding fighting scenes in the entire franchise. Take your time, and you will have an entertaining martial arts movie in your hands.
As always, expect hardcore action from Scott Adkins, and Donnie Yen brings in martial arts wisdom.
3. The Matrix (1999)
- Director: The Wachowskis
- Star Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie- Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano
This thrilling sci-fi action movie is available as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. In so many ways, this film revolutionized movie production. It depicts a dystopian future where humanity has unknowingly trapped itself in a simulated reality.
Intelligent machines use the Matrix to distract humans while harvesting energy from their bodies. Neo, an alias for Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, uncovers the truth and finds himself in rebellion with the machines. He tackles this with other humans who have been freed from the Matrix.
The success of this film led to the release of two thrilling sequels. Many might argue that this film is a sci-fi movie, and however, there are many martial arts scenes to make it a martial art movie.
You can watch as the protagonist leaps around in defiance of gravity. This martial art sci-fi film adds bold production design and dazzling special effects.
The effects are stunning when paired with slick editing and fantastic cinematography. This groundbreaking movie will be worth your time.
4. Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear (2013)
- Director: Isaac Florentine
- Star Cast: Scott Adkins, Kane Kosugi, Mika Hijii, and Shun Sugata
This is a slick revenge martial arts movie. Just when you are settling in and getting ready to have your best life yet, the enemy swoops in to cause chaos. This is what happened to Scott Adkins. He plays the role of American martial artist Casey Bowman.
This is a pure ninja flick that has entertaining fighting scenes. The film stays true to the ninja fighting styles. Casey Bowman heads down to Azuma dojo to inquire about the whereabouts of the muggers who killed his wife. You might want to watch the prequel, NINJA.
Shadow of A Tear follows up a surprisingly enjoyable prequel, Ninja. The chief character here is Casey, who has been banned from returning to the USA. It is a revenge storyline that will be familiar to martial arts fans.
Nevertheless, the simple plot leaves enough room for incredible martial arts action. There is plenty of hardcore martial arts action in this film.
The scenes are well choreographed to unleash the kind of mayhem we need in typical action movies. You will find that the accomplished actors have not disappointed on-screen. This film is straight-up entertaining and thrilling.
5. The Karate Kid (1984)
- Director: John G. Avildsen
- Star Cast: Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, Elisabeth Shue, William Zabka, and martin Koye
The film brings in the central theme of using Karate as sports and self-defense. It is one of the iconic 1980s movies currently streaming as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. It gained massive popularity, leading to a reboot in 2010 with Jackie Chan.
This film showed that martial arts and action were not exclusive to Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. It is fantastic to see William Zabka and his crew from Martin Koye’s Dojo. The martial arts skill is challenging to obtain and takes more discipline to maintain.
Ralph Macchio is a poor kid that moved to sunny southern California with his mom Randee Heller. They moved from Newark. The new environment leaves Ralph in shock as he sees himself short of the young guys with cars all over the city.
A stark contrast to Koye, Pat Morita takes Ralph under his care and prepares him for the big karate tournament. Ralph sees himself pitted against some of Koye’s students, and Koye does not believe that Karate is a sport and trains his students with killer instincts.
Karate Kid has plenty of life lessons and cool karate moves taught by Morita. It might be an old movie, but it still holds up to today’s martial arts movies. It will thrill you and leave you satisfied. You can also watch The Karate Kid 2, and you won’t be disappointed.
6. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)
- Director: Andrew Lau
- Star Cast: Donnie Yen, Shu Qui, Anthony Wong, and Huang Bo
This film acts as the sequel to the 1994 film Fist of Legend. The protagonist, Jet Li was replaced by Donnie Yen as Chen Zhen. The storyline sets this movie in China before the second Sino-Japanese war. Chen Zhen faked his death in the Fist of Legend to those who may not know.
In this new installment, Chen Zhen joins a group of Chinese men who render help to the allies in fighting the Germans in France during world war I. He returns to China and goes under Qi Tianyuan, who was a friend of his killed in action.
Yen dons the mask as a freedom fighter battling the imperial Japanese forces during the occupation of Shanghai in the 1920s. There are enough action sequences and ass-kicking to guarantee a thrilling martial arts experience.
Head to Netflix and find this film as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. The conspiracy-themed storyline adds to the thrill by reducing trust to the barest minimum.
There is enough viciousness in this film to arouse a fun-seeking audience. Despite being predictable, the final climactic battle is hugely entertaining and crowd-pleasing.
7. Jail Break (2017)
- Director: Jimmy Henderson
- Star Cast: Jean-Paul Ly, Dara Our, Tharoth Sam, Celine Tran, Savin Philip, and Dara Phang
This film is not here to make you think, and it is here to give you an entertaining flow of martial arts fighting. The Cambodian cops arrest Playboy, a mobster known to be the leader of a notorious butterfly gang. Savin Philip plays the role of the Playboy.
Three cops (Dara Our, Tharoth Sam, and Dara Phang) accompany Playboy with a French – Cambodian police officer to prison for an exchange deal. Here, the cops learn that Playboy is not the true boss of the notorious gang, and he promises to reveal vital information about his real boss.
The gang’s true crime boss, Madam Butterfly, receives news of Playboy’s offer to the police. She places a bounty on the head of her accomplice, which results in a prison riot with all the prisoners looking to cash out the bounty. All hell breaks loose in prison as many struggles to lay hold of Playboy.
The police officers face a murderous mob of inmates as they fight to stay alive and protect Playboy as their key witness.
Madame Butterfly heads over to the prison with her henchwomen to kill Playboy themselves, and that is a terrible move from someone about to be exposed.
Jailbreak brings in non-stop action with plenty of gory killing scenes. The excellent fights quickly overshadow the simple plot. It is currently streaming as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix, and it is a thrilling experience.
8. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
- Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
- Star Cast: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr., Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jason Scott Lee, and Eugenia Yuan
Crouching Tiger returns with an incredible sequel that attempts to live up to the hype of the first movie. Donnie Yen delivers yet another exciting performance that sends chills down the bones of martial arts fans. It is one of the thrilling martial arts movies on Netflix.
After eighteen years of solitude, renowned warrior Shu Lien comes out of retirement and travels to Peking.
Here, the legendary sword of her deceased love Li Mu Bai, the Green Destiny, is located. The journey is not hitch-free as several warriors from the West Lotus clan attack her carriage.
A masked horseman comes to the aid of Shu Lien, and together, they defeat the attackers and discover the identity of one to be a young man called Wei Fang. This film is an epic and thrilling ride filled with sword fights and incredible martial arts scenes.
One of the best scenes in this movie is the fighting on the frozen pond. It was an impressive production feat accomplished by the director.
The beautiful sceneries, perfect performance, and deeply-touching musical score make this film to be so amazing. The plot is well-developed and straightforward.
9. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
- Director: Stephen Chow
- Star Cast: Stephen Chow, Danny Chan, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qui, Eva Huang, and Leung Siu-lung
The name already gives this film away as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix. It is time to loosen things up with a touch of comedy. Kung Fu Hustle blends comedy with action to give viewers an excellent martial arts movie experience.
In 1940s Shanghai, petty crooks Sing and Bone attempted to join the notorious Axe Gang. The gang is led by the cold-blooded killer Brother Sum.
Sing, and his partner visit the slum known as Pigsty Alley to extortion the residents. They pretend to be members of the Axe Gang.
Sing throws a failed firecracker in a misleading show to signal the rest of the Axe Gang. Unfortunately, a real Axe Gang underboss stays next to the exploding firecracker and sing accuses the residents of throwing the firecracker.
In the ensuing battle, the boss is killed by an unseen assailant. A trio of Coolie, Tailor, and Donut deal with the Axe Gang reinforcements.
They later claim to be actual Kung Fu masters but get evicted by the landlady of the slums. Kung Fu Hustle is not a masterpiece, but it provides entertaining fighting sequences.
Currently streaming as one of the martial arts movies on Netflix, this film is a thrilling comedy experience backed with some good action scenes.
10. The Tuxedo (2002)
- Director: Kevin Donovan
- Star Cast: Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt
Technology meets martial arts in this exciting movie starring Jackie Chan. The Tuxedo is a suit capable of giving its wearer specific abilities, including martial arts, speed, dance, and different acrobatics. The film is a thrilling experience that throws in some comedy here and there.
A terrorist organization that disguises itself as a corporation named Banning Corporation is headed by the notorious and ruthless Dietrich Banning.
Its goal is to take control of the world’s supply of drinking water. Jimmy (Jackie Chan) is tasked with stopping this terrorist organization.
The Banning Corporation intends to poison major United States reservoirs by introducing genetically modified water strider insects.
The bacteria in this insect can cause severe dehydration. Instead of quenching your thirst, you will be thirsty for more.
Delilah, a genius scientist, itching for field experience, joins Jimmy believing him to be the dazzling Devlin.
Jimmy has to rely on the suit’s abilities to cover for his lack of training and personal skills. The rest of the movie is a fun martial arts ride in a black tuxedo.
11. The Night Comes for Us (2018)
- Director: Timo Tjahjanto
- Star Cast: Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Sunny Pang, and Zack Lee
From Indonesia comes this no-nonsense action thriller solely focused on the action and martial arts. As an elite enforcer for the South East Asian Triad, it is one of the Six Seas.
It is a gory scene of death when the Triad massacres a village because of stolen Triad drugs by a few villagers.
It turns on the rest of the Triad soldiers and kills them after discovering a young girl named Reina, the last survivor.
He hides her in his ex-girlfriend Shinta’s apartment in his childhood hometown of Jakarta. Shinta takes care of his wounds and calls up a former gang member Fatih.
Fatih brings Ito and Reina to his apartment and invites his cousin Winsu over with Bobby, the last member of the old gang.
He also prepares for Ito and Reina to obtain new passports. You don’t betray the gang and get away with it, and there are consequences.
There is plenty of violence and mayhem in this film, and its core action sequences place it among the martial arts movies on Netflix.
You can expect non-stop action with no dull moment from the beginning to the end. The sequences are well choreographed and executed with practical stunts.
12. Ninja (2009)
- Director: Isaac Florentine
- Star Cast: Scott Adkins, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Mika Hijii and Todd Jensen
This new ninja movie release is currently streaming as one of the martial movies on Netflix. It comes with all the fights and flaws you would expect from a typical ninja movie. This non-stop action movie has a decent plot to boost its entertaining value.
The film does not stick to the core of sword fighting, which is peculiar to ninjas. Guns, bows, and even hand-to-hand combat are infused in this film to give viewers a thrilling experience. The athletic charisma of Scott Adkins is seen throughout the movie, and it is a fun experience.
You can expect good fighting scenes and thrilling twisted action in this film. Here, the expelled martial arts student becomes a contract killer who returns to lay claims in his old Dojo.
It becomes a tale of revenge and patriotism as Casey battles to keep the ancient ninja suit from the hand of Masazuka.
Martial arts movies are great for entertainment and fun. Some are pure action and come filled with death scenes for hardcore fans. Nevertheless, others have the right mix of humor to dowse the tension.