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The High Lunar Chinese language New Yr Motion pictures That You Ought to Add to Your Binge Checklist for 2024

The High Lunar Chinese language New Yr Motion pictures That You Ought to Add to Your Binge Checklist for 2024

What’s a celebration without a good movie? Here are some of the best Lunar Chinese New Year movies to add to your watchlist ahead of the upcoming holidays.

It’s no secret that festive periods often serve as a bedrock of inspiration for many creative pursuits, whether it be tales of old from times bygone, celebratory songs and jingles, hour-long television specials, or feature-length films that look to impart a sense of togetherness and cheer that is apropos to the season.

As one of the largest cultural festivals to be celebrated globally, the Lunar Chinese New Year is no exception to this rule. Celebrated across Asia where Chinese diaspora communities are found, the festival adheres to the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar and is meant to denote the first day of the new year, as well as the beginning of the spring season. In some instances, it is also referred to as the Spring Festival for that reason.

With a history that dates back to the Han Dynasty in Ancient China, it’s safe to say that the cultural legacy that the Lunar Chinese New Year festival has on communities who celebrate it is nothing short of immense. That is especially evidenced by the many films that debuted during this period, typically centred around themes of family unity, togetherness, and of course, obligatory merrymaking predicated by humour.

If you’re lining up your Lunar Chinese New Year watchlist, then you’ve come to exactly the right place as we’ve selected a handful of classic silver screen titles that are sure to delight your family and friends as you gather around for some well-deserved quality time.

Feature and hero image credits: IMDb

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur

The best Chinese New Year movies to binge on in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Which is the best Chinese New Year movie to watch in 2024?
– The best Chinese New Year movies to watch in 2024 can vary from classics such as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World to modern hits like Money No Enough.

2. Which is the best Chinese New Year movie according to IMDB?
– According to IMDb, the best Chinese New Year movie based on its ratings is Everything Everywhere All At Once.


All’s Well, Ends Well

All’s Well, Ends Well

A perennial classic that features some of Hong Kong’s most recognisable faces from the 1990s, All’s Well, Ends Well can often be found on the television sets of most households come the Lunar Chinese New Year celebrations. Directed by Clifton Ko and starring everyone from Leslie Cheung, Stephen Chow, Raymond Wong, Maggie Cheung, Sandra Ng, to Teresa Mo, this comedy revolves around three brothers and their attempts at romantic conquests. Naturally, hilarity ensues when their plans are foiled by their own vices. The film’s banal yet easily amusing formula has resulted in an incredibly successful string of seven sequels.

Starring: Leslie Cheung, Stephen Chow, Raymond Wong, Maggie Cheung, Sandra Ng, Teresa Mo

Directed by: Clifton Ko

All for the Winner

The Lunar Chinese New Year often beckons punters to the fore, with playing cards and mahjong tiles often featuring frequently in many at-home celebrations. After all, the festivities tend to revolve around the key tenets of luck, fortune, and abundance, which are also reflected in games of chance. Given the fact, slapstick comedy films such as 1990’s All for the Winner, also typically feature gambling as a core theme. Directed by Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen, this frequent favourite stars Stephen Chow as a young man bequeathed with the power of not only seeing through objects, but changing his playing cards at will, making him a formidable opponent on the casino circuit.

Starring: Stephen Chow, Ng Man-tat, Sharla Cheung, Sandra Ng, Paul Chun

Directed by: Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen

The Private Eyes

While it may be almost half-a-century-old at this point, The Private Eyes by Michael Hui goes on to attest to the fact that well-written comedy is truly eternal. With punchlines that hit with resounding acclaim each and every try, it’s no wonder why this was at one point, Hong Kong’s highest grossing film. It stars the Hui brothers (Michael, Ricky, and Samuel), who each play a part in the intrigues of operating a private investigation firm, as they band together to solve the predicaments faced by their clients. The movie proved so popular, its titular track sung by Samuel Hui even went on to become a Cantopop classic.

Starring: Michael Hui, Ricky Hui, Samuel Hui

Directed by: Michael Hui

King of Comedy

Hong Kong actor and filmmaker Stephen Chow has garnered global acclaim for his considerable body of cinematic work, spanning three decades of belly-aching laughs that have delighted legions of fans both young and old alike. A great example of his work can be found in the 1999 comedy blockbuster, King of Comedy. Typecast as one of the more emotive and introspective takes on his mou lei tau (冇厘头, otherwise known as nonsensical humour) films, the flick stars Chow as an aspiring actor trying to make it big in the entertainment industry.

Starring: Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung, Ng Man-Tat, Johnson Lee

Directed by: Stephen Chow, Lee Lik-chi

Money No Enough

But let it also be known that Southeast Asia is not hurting for filmmaking talents either, as proven by Singaporean cinematic luminary, Jack Neo. Bearing an oeuvre of comedy titles to his name in the same manner as Stephen Chow does, the 63-year-old actor and comedian turned director is intimately acquainted with the region’s appetite for simple, no-frills, colloquial humour and narratives that shed light on the lives of common laypeople. Money No Enough is one such prime example, starring Neo himself, alongside Mark Lee and Henry Thia as struggling Singaporeans burdened with financial ails, hoping to find any means of scraping by.

Starring: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Patricia Mok, John Cheng

Directed by: Jack Neo

Kung Fu Hustle

Any Chinese New Year film list would be out of sorts without dedicating a recommendation to what has arguably surmounted to become Stephen Chow’s magnum opus, 2004’s Kung Fu Hustle. Directed by Chow, who also happens to play the film’s protagonist, this action comedy film has cemented its reputation as one of the most iconoclastic movies of its time, combining traditional elements of wuxia cinema with humour and special digital effects. It was also especially noteworthy for casting many formerly retired actors from Hong Kong action cinema, including Danny Chan, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah, and Bruce Liang, among others.

Starring: Stephen Chow, Danny Chan, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah, Bruce Liang, Xing Yu

Directed by: Stephen Chow

Shaolin Soccer

A third Stephen Chow title that would make for perfect viewing come the Chinese New Year festivities has to be Shaolin Soccer. Combing two otherwise mutually exclusive realms, this wholesome but predictably hilarious blockbuster stars yet another ensemble cast of Hong Kong acting legends to tell the tale of a former Shaolin monk banding together with his five brothers to bring their take on athleticism, Shaolin Soccer, to the world. Precise punchlines and comedic timing combined with Matrix-esque CGI make for an enjoyable watch.

Starring: Stephen Chow, Ng Man-Tat, Wong Yat-fei, Mok Mei-lam, Tin Kai-man, Danny Chan

Directed by: Stephen Chow


Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei

Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei

Turning our lens back onto the works of Jack Neo once more, Wondeful! Liang Xi Mei makes for a splendid Chinese New Year watch. This 2018 production sees a cross-dressing Jack Neo playing the titular Liang Xi Mei ala Mrs Doubtfire style, as she attempts to navigate the trials and tribulations of balancing her affection for her two adult sons, while also tending to her grandchildren. However, a fortuitous intervention by the Goddess of Fortune upends the family’s delicate balance, and tests their bonds between one another.

Starring: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Benjamin Joshiah Tan, Wang Lei, Jaspers Lai

Directed by: Jack Neo


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Traditional Chinese wuxia films have always occupied a special place in the hearts of many Asian cinephiles, but it is thanks to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that truly helped propel the genre into the global consciousness. This was chiefly thanks to an ensemble cast of Asia’s finest, including Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chow Yun-fat, just to name a few. Bolstered by some of the most beautiful fight scenes to grace the silver screen, choreographed by martial arts legend Yuen Woo-ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became the first foreign-language film to break the $100 million mark in the United States.

Starring: Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lang Sihung

Directed by: Ang Lee

Enter The Dragon

Taking it back to 1973 and the heyday of martial arts films in Hollywood, there has never been a more opportune time than right now to revisit Bruce Lee’s defining classic, Enter The Dragon. Widely regarded as being the greatest martial arts film to have ever been released in film history, the American-Hong Kong co-production was directed by Robert Clouse and stars Bruce Lee, Shih Kien, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, as well as Hong Kong veterans Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Wah in uncredited roles. Enter The Dragon‘s tale of spy intrigue, combined with martial arts and cues from the emerging Blaxploitation genre, has since cemented its classic status.

Starring: Bruce Lee, Shih Kien, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Wah

Directed by: Robert Clouse

On the topic of martial arts films, My Lucky Stars from 1985 is also worth a watch for those who consider themselves fans of Hong Kong cinema. While it doesn’t offer anything new to the typical action comedy genre that the city-state’s entertainment industry has long been known for, the movie banks heavily on familiarity and an all-star cast for lasting appeal. In it, an undercover police officer played by Jackie Chan enlists the help of his childhood friends, the ‘Five Lucky Stars’, to help take down a Japanese yakuza operation.

Starring: Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Sibelle hu, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Stanley Fung

Directed by: Sammo Hung


It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

Well wishes of greater wealth and prosperity are often never far from hand during the Lunar Chinese New Year period. After all, one can never have too much money now, can they? It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World looks to answer that age-old predicament, with the late Lydia Sum Tin-ha and Bill Tung playing a financially strained married couple who suddenly catch a lucky break when they strike it rich at the lotto. But as they would later discover, newfound wealth brings about problems of its own, too.

Starring: Bill Tung, Lydia Sum, Eric Tsang, Charine Chan, David Chiang

Directed by: Clifton Ko

Crazy Rich Asians

For English-speaking audiences, Asian cinema has more than just a few suitable Lunar Chinese New Year titles to be recommended for your delectation. The easiest and most obvious of them all would have to be Crazy Rich Asians, the breakout romantic comedy directed by Jon Chu that has been hailed as one of the most significant films for Asian representation in Western cinema. Set in Singapore, the ensemble cast consists of not one, but two Malaysian talents (Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding), as well as other Asian stars including Constance Wu, Gemma Chan, as well as Awkwafina, among others. While you will likely come to expect its Cinderella-esque story to unfold in a rather predictable fashion, landmark performances by the cast make this a worthy watch.

Starring: Henry Golding, Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina

Directed by: Jon Chu

The Joy Luck Club

Another firm favourite among English-speaking Asian audiences in film is the 1993 classic, The Joy Luck Club, adapted from the novel by Amy Tan. Debuting at a time when Asian representation in mainstream North American cinema was in its infancy, the movie’s themes of motherhood, familial bonds, and filial piety as expressed through a distinctively Chinese lens were considered to be a major narrative breakthrough at a time when women of colour were typically far removed from the mainstream feminist discourse. Directed by Wayne Wang, the film stars Kieu Chinh, Ming-na Wen, Rosalind Chao, Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu, and France Nuyen.

Starring: Kieu Chinh, Ming-na Wen, Rosalind Chao, Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu, France Nuyen

Directed by: Wayne Wang


Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once

This may not be a typical Lunar Chinese New Year flick, but Michelle Yeoh’s Academy-Award-winning performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once is deserving of a watch all the same come the festive period. In this absurdist action comedy directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Yeoh plays a frazzled middle-aged woman who inadvertently discovers the existence of the multiverse. Chaos ensues, interspersed with themes of existentialism, nihilism, in addition to Asian identity, and we’ll save the rest for your binge fest.

Suffice to say, there’s a reason why this is the most-awarded movie in history.

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, Harry Shum Jr, James Hong

Directed by: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Source: Prestige Online

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