Not many of us will get to experience a real-life fight, so what better way to live the dream without the hurt by watching other people fight on a screen instead?
To satisfy your lust for the physicality and exhilaration that comes with hand to hand combat, we’ve gathered a list of the Hollywood top 10 best fighting movies of all time.
Top 10 Best Fighting Movies of All Time
Action star Jean Claude Van Damme has this film to thank for making him famous. It is one of the best fighting movies ever made.
Although Bloodsport (1998) doesn’t have the most well-thought-out plot or have the best acting, as with other action movies, it’s still a very entertaining watch whether you’re a fan of these types of films or not.
The film is based on the true story of fighting legend Frank Dux, an American soldier who found himself caught up in Hong Kong underground fighting ring. He eventually rises to qualify for the championship match beating even the most merciless killers.
The Karate Kid (1984)
You 80s and 90s kids out there have probably watched this film more times than you can count.
One of the most beloved movies by people across all ages, The Karate Kid (1984) is one of those underdog wins type of sports/action movies. But what sets the film apart from other movies with similar plots is its many memorable lines and interesting characters. We’re pretty sure you’ve wished to have a mentor like Miyagi to motivate you through whatever sport or activity you enjoy doing.
In Raze (2013), we are treated to the story of a group of women who are forced to partake in a sick social experiment which involves them fighting each other to survive.
The film takes the phrase ‘girl power’ to a whole new level with out of this world fight scenes and violence that are surely not for the faint of heart.
Raze (2013) takes inspiration from films like The Hunger Games and Battle Royale although it’s very low-budget (its the main cast is composed of mostly unknown actresses).
Mortal Kombat (1995)
If you’ve played the game, then you’d definitely enjoy this film version of it.
Mortal Kombat (1995) is the ultimate fighting film complete with martial arts showdown, bad acting, and attention-grabbing costumes.
The film takes most of its plot from the game’s premise of a martial arts tournament where characters advance by beating out other characters off the game. It also takes some inspiration from Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon especially its plot element of a group of characters arriving at a location with their own hidden agenda.
Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)
When a poor Thai town’s precious Buddha statue is stolen, the town’s best fighter, Ting, steps up to return it to his community so that Buddha can bless them with vitality. His search leads him to the country’s capital, Bangkok, where the statue is being kept by the leader of a dangerous drug dealer.
The film proved to be popular with audiences and spawned two more sequels–Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (2008) and Ong Bak 3 (2010).
Ip Man (2008)
Some action movie fans say that Ip Man (2008) is Ong Bak but with a better plot and acting.
Ip Man (2008) is a biographical and fighting movie telling the story of the titular Ip Man, a martial arts grandmaster who is considered a national hero in China for his role in the Sino-Japanese War. He is also known as Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher.
Once you get past the film’s overt nationalistic message, Ip Man (2008) reveals itself to be a superb drama and fighting movie with plenty of excellently choreographed fighting sequences.
Although Warrior (2011) is technically a sports drama, it has a couple of great fight scenes which qualifies it to enter our Hollywood best fighting movies list.
The film stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton who play two brothers trying their luck by entering an MMA tournament to win a large cash prize. That being said, you can expect a lot of realistic MMA fighting scenes from this film from both of the leads. See as Hardy easily rises through the ranks with his Ronda Rousey-like fighting style.
The Raid (2011)
Another Southeast Asian film makes it onto our list of best fighting films of all time.
Here we have the Indonesian fighting movie The Raid (2011) which tells the story of a rookie member of a special ops team take on the challenge of leading his unit to defeat a crime lord called Tama.
Some critics compare the film with the likes of Die Hard and Hard Boiled with its straightforward storytelling and consistent action-driven pacing.
Fight Club (1999)
Based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (1996) is a psychological fighting film, as the name implies, featuring an all-star cast of the 90’s most loved actors.
In the film, Edward Norton plays a man suffering from a mental illness called dissociative personality disorder which led him to create an alter ego [SPOILER ALERT] in the character of Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt.
Aside from being one of the best films of the 90’s, the film is famous for its mind-boggling plot twist.
Enter The Dragon (1973)
Of course, we can’t forget about the legendary martial artist turned actor Bruce Lee’s best film, Enter the Dragon (1973).
While Lee may not be the best of actors, his film is credited for elevating the art of hand to hand combat fighting scenes to a whole new level. Besides, Lee’s impressive showmanship alone is enough to carry the film filling every fight scene with his intriguing presence.
A little trivia before we end. Did you know that a young Jackie Chan appears in the film in a cameo role? A foreshadowing of his future in cinema and martial arts? Definitely.
Did your favorite films make it to our top 10 list of the best fighting movies? What other films would you have added here? Don’t hesitate to tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.