These days, it’s hard to know who’s doing the kicking: a team of CGI experts or a well-paid Hollywood A-lister. But the best martial-arts movies—both old-school and current—have a lean, sinewy appeal that simply can’t be faked. No proper history of action movies can do without multiple mentions of Asia’s mighty fight contributions. As pliable as the stretchiest animated movies and worthy of a shelf of Academy Awards, the stars of the movies below will burn into your brain and become your new personal heroes.
The 10 best martial-arts movies of all time
We'll assume you know about Bruce Lee: Some of the best martial-arts movies came both before and after his heyday