Top 10 Martial Arts Movies Released from 2000-2010

We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 fighting movies from 2000-2010. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.

10. Shaolin Soccer (2001) 91% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Despite constantly being treated like dirt, a young man believes his Shaolin kung fu is the answer to all the world’s problems. To prove himself, he teams up with other kung fu masters from his youth to form a soccer team poised to win $1 million and change the game forever.

Rating: PG
Director: Stephen Chow
Starring: Stephen Chow, Wei Zhao, Yat-Fei Wong

9. Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003) 85% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Beatrix Kiddo wakes up from a coma on a mission of vengeance against her would-be killers. One by one, she fights them to the death in some of the most beautiful fight scenes ever put on film. It’s bloody, brutal, and still fun to watch more than a decade after its release.

Rating: R
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox

8. Kung Fu Panda (2008) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Po dreams of becoming a kung fu master while idolizing the Furious Five. Soon, he’s given the opportunity to prove himself, which he mostly fumbles through. However, he’s the only hope of stopping Tai Lung from obtaining the fabled dragon scroll and becoming the greatest master in the world.

Rating: PG
Director: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman

7. The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) 64% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A South Boston teenager finds himself transported to ancient China by a golden staff. Soon he’s embroiled in a life-and-death feud with a drunken master by his side. Join the fight for immortality that spans generations.

Rating: PG-13
Director: Rob Minkoff
Starring: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Morgan Benoit

6. Kung Fu Hustle (2004) 90% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Two friends pretend to be part of the dreaded Deadly Axe Gang until the real gang shows up to restore their reputation. Little do they know that pretty much everyone in the building (including the landlady) is a kung fu master. Soon all hell breaks lose until Sing proves himself to be the true master.

Rating: R
Director: Stephen Chow
Starring: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen

5. District B13 (2006) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes

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The founder of parkour is fighting gangs in the B13 district of an alternate 2010 Paris when he’s arrested. Soon he’s out with an undercover cop searching for a bomb that can take out the entire district. Instead, they band against the tyrannical government that quarantined the district in the first place.

Rating: R
Director: Patrick Alessandrin
Starring: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Philippe Torreton

4. Chocolate (2008) 74% at Rotten Tomatoes

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The autistic daughter of a Yakuza boss grows up hiding in a Muay Thai kickboxing school, mimicking the moves of the students and movies by Bruce Lee and Tony Jaa. In an attempt to pay for her mom’s cancer treatments, she begins collecting money owed from the Thai gangster her mom’s been hiding from.

Rating: R
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Starring: JeeJa Yanin, Hiroshi Abe, Pongpat Wachirabunjong

3. Ip Man 2 (2010) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes

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After leaving Japanese-occupied Foshan for Hong Kong, Ip Man attempts to open a school for his martial arts. Unfortunately the local schools aren’t happy, and he finds himself fighting massive gangs. Soon a British boxer shows up, and he must beat him to prove his fighting style is legit.

Rating: R
Director: Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Xiaoming Huang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung

2. Hero (2002) 95% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Nameless, a Qin prefect in ancient China appears to the king of Qin with three weapons to prove he killed attempted assassins. In telling his story, it is debated back and forth whether he, himself, is an assassin. Inevitably, he’s killed and given a hero’s funeral as China is unified under its first emperor.

Rating: PG-13
Director: Yimou Zhang
Starring: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung

1. Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Easily the most beautiful martial arts film of the decade, Ong-Bak follows Ting, a Muy Thai practitioner, on his quest to retrieve the head of an ancient Buddha statue. The journey (as you can imagine from a martial arts film) is fraught with danger, and he soon finds himself fighting a deadly gang.

Rating: R
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Starring: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol



Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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