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Memories to Choke on, Drinks to Wash Them Down
Photograph: Courtesy Golden Stone Workshop

The best Hong Kong movies to stream at home

We’ve found a solid range of old-school comedies, heart-tugging dramas, biographical works, and film anthologies

Catharina Cheung
Written by
Catharina Cheung

Ever since our status as the jewel of the Asian film industry was established from the early 1970s, Hong Kong hasn’t had a lack of talented directors and actors producing movies that have gone on to become modern classics around the world. Presented in no particular order, here is a selection of the best Hong Kong flicks to watch for when you need a little me-time at home.

RECOMMENDED: Check out these books with stories set in Hong Kong, or let these banging soundtracks bring back memories of your favourite K-dramas.

Add these to your watch list

1. Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down 夜香・鴛鴦・深水埗

This anthology of four stories – the first three fictional and the last a documentary – work together to show the nuances, contradictions, and complexities of being a modern Hongkonger. A domestic helper guides an old lady with dementia out into town; two brother rediscover toys and subsequently fragments of their childhood; a pair of teachers – one local and one foreign – go around trying out Hong Kong’s culinary delights; and a young woman works on her campaign to represent Sham Shui Po at the district council elections.

2. Still Human 淪落人

Oliver Chan made her directorial debut with Still Human in 2018. Anthony Wong stars as Leung Cheong-wing, a paralysed man who hires a new domestic helper Evelyn Santos, played by Crisel Consunji in her film debut. The two strangers, each struggling with the curve balls thrown at them by life, grow to understand each other and themselves. This movie won three awards at the 38th Hong Kong Film Awards, and is Hong Kong’s first film with a migrant worker as the lead character – a fantastic work that highlights representation for one of our city’s most overlooked groups of people.


3. 77 Heartbreaks 原諒他77次

This 2017 romance drama stars Charlene Choi as the long-suffering Eva, who has spent years being frustrated by her boyfriend Adam’s (Pahko Chau) irresponsible character. She forgives him countless times until she comes across a notebook titled 77 Heartbreaks, which the shopkeeper explains is the number of times someone can reasonably forgive another person.

4. Justice, My Foot! 審死官

A classic Stephen Chow comedy, the legendary comedian stars as Sung Sai-kit, an unscrupulous lawyer who makes his fortune by fighting cases for anyone who can pay well, no matter how unsavoury. Because of karmic retribution, none of his sons ever live past a year, so after his 13th son dies, Sung decides to quit the magistracy and open an inn instead, but gets thrown into a murder case where he might finally be able to redeem himself. Anita Mui turns in a hilarious performance as Sung’s wife. You may never be able to look at almond milk the same way after watching this film.


5. Love in a Puff 志明與春嬌

This romcom starring Shawn Yue and Miriam Yeung revolves around the relationship that blossoms between Jimmy and Cherie, two smokers who regularly meet at an outdoor smoking area following the ban of all indoor smoking in Hong Kong. Due to the depiction of a lot of swearing and smoking, this movie has been given a Category III rating, but it remains one of the most searingly authentic portrayals of the way Hongkongers interact, talk, and rib each other in the 2010s.

6. Zero to Hero 媽媽的神奇小子

The sports drama is a biographical film based on the true story of So Wa Wai, Hong Kong’s first athlete to take home a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. The film focuses on how he overcomes his physical and personal struggles on the road to becoming a Paralympian, helped by the support of his mother, portrayed exceedingly well by Sandra Ng.


7. Cold War 寒戰

When a police Emergency Unit van carrying equipment and five officers get taken for ransom, Deputy Commissioners M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka-fai) and Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) launch a rescue operation codenamed ‘Cold War’. As the stakes rise and his team – including his own son Joe Lee (Eddie Peng) – are embroiled deeper into danger, Lau has to grapple with both the terrorists and the suspicion that there are insiders within the force.

8. A Home With A View 家和萬事驚

This black comedy may well make you weep a little through your laughter at how astutely the plight of the typical Hong Kong nuclear family is depicted. Lo Wai-man (Francis Ng) has spent all the money he can on a 20-year mortgage in a noisy city block. His wife is anxious and high-strung; his teenage son and daughter are grappling with adolescent issues; and his almost senile father needs taking care of. The single thing that calms the Lo family down when things get bad is the small portion of the sea they can see from their living room. But when this view is suddenly blocked by a massive billboard put up by their mysterious neighbour (Louis Koo), things go south, and fast.


9. Trivisa 樹大招風

Named after the Sanskrit term for ‘three poisons’ – greed, anger, and delusion – that will cause suffering in Buddhist teachings, Trivisa is a crime thriller that follows three mobsters Kwai Ching-hung (Gordon Lam), Yip Kwok-foon (Richie Jen), and Cheuk Tze-kung (Jordan Chan). Word has it in the underworld that the three triad kings have plans to score a final hit together before Hong Kong’s handover in 1997. None of them even know of rumour at first, but hearing about it sets off a chain of events that does end up bringing them together. This fictionalised story is actually based on three notorious real-life Hong Kong triad members, Kwai Ping-hung, Yip Kai-foon, and Cheung Tze-keung.

10. Who’s the Woman, Who’s the Man 金枝玉葉 2

The sequel to 1994’s He’s a Woman, She’s a Man, this Leslie Cheung classic sees singer Lam Chi Wing (played by Anita Yuen) who hatches a plan to catch the attention of top songwriter Sam Koo Ga-wing (Cheung) – nothing works until she poses as a male singer. Things get complicated as Lam gains prominence as one of Cantopop’s biggest male stars, Koo starts to question his sexuality, and the gender-bending diva Fong Yim-mui (Anita Mui) suddenly returns to the scene after a decade-long hiatus, starting a love triangle.


11. The Midnight After 那夜凌晨,我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅Van

Fruit Chan’s 2014 horror comedy is based on the web novel Lost on a Red Minibus to Tai Po by a Hong Kong online writer known as Mr Pizza. 17 people board a minibus going from Mong Kok to Tai Po and as they enter the Lion Rock Tunnel, they notice a significant lack of traffic. When someone alights at the first stop, they immediately become ill. The group become convinced that they are the last people left in Hong Kong, and band together to find out what’s going on and, y’know, survive.

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