The Flowers of War (2011)© EDKO Film

9 Epic Chinese War Movies To Watch This Weekend

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Chinese war movies, set both in ancient China and modern times, have captured the fancy of history buffs around the world. And in fact, some of the highest-grossing and acclaimed Chinese movies have been from this genre.

These movies display epic storytelling and are packed with tales of heroism, betrayal and intrigue. Not to forget, the incredible costumes that are always the highlight of period films.

Like some of our favourite Chinese historical dramas, these war movies will allow you to escape into a different world and time.

Best Chinese War Movies To Watch Online

So, if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, then take a look at our comprehensive guide to Chinese war movies that you can stream online now…

Ancient War Epic Movies

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

This epic tale, filled with palace intrigue and betrayal, is set in the Imperial court in ancient China and is based on Thunderstorm, a Chinese play written by Cao Yu in the 1930s. It was, at the time of its release, the most expensive Chinese film to date. The movie was even nominated for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards that year.

Watch it here

An Empress And The Warrior (2008)

Set in a time when China was divided into different empires, this one follows the story of an empress who is forced to take over her father’s place after his death and save her kingdom. The ill-prepared royal has to survive assassination attempts and learn how to become worthy of ruling her kingdom.

Watch it here

Little Big Soldier (2010)

Written by Jackie Chan (the superstar also stars as one of the leads), this action comedy is a must-watch. Set during the warring states period in China, the story follows the unlikely friendship between a low-ranking soldier from a defeated kingdom and a young general from a noble family who is captured after a bloody battle.

Watch it here

Chinese Movies About The War With Japan

The Flowers of War (2011)

Christian Bale stars in this poignant tale of valour and war that is set during the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Based on Geling Yan’s 13 Flowers of Nanjing, the story follows an American mortician who helps some Chinese schoolgirls and a group of courtesans hide in a church to survive an attack by enemy Japanese forces. The movie was nominated at the 69th Golden Globe Awards.

Watch it here

City of Life and Death (2009)

Not an easy watch, this movie is set during the second Sino-Japanese War. It chronicles the Battle of Nanjing and the devastating massacre committed by the Japanese army against the people of the city. Along with widespread critical acclaim, the movie also saw major box office success.

Watch it here

Chinese Civil War Movies

Assembly (2007)

This award-winning film depicts a tale of the futility and horrors of war. Based on a true story in the midst of the Chinese Civil War, the movie follows a recently recovered former captain of the People’s Liberation Army as he attempts to look for his fellow soldiers and make sure they’re given their proper due.

Watch it here

To Live (1994)

Based on an eponymous novel, the movie traces the events in the country from the Chinese Civil War of the 40s to the Cultural Revolution of the 60s and 70s and the difficulties of the common Chinese people during this time period. It won the Grand Prix, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Best Actor Award (for Ge You) at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.

Watch it here

Modern War and Valour Chinese Movies

Operation Mekong (2016)

This action-packed war film has been inspired by a true event that took place in 2011. It follows a military operation aimed at dismantling a violent drug cartel after the bodies of some Chinese crew members are discovered aboard two abandoned ships sailing through the Mekong River.

Watch it here

Wolf Warrior (2015)

One of the highest-grossing films in China, this one follows a special forces soldier as he evades a group of mercenaries hired by a crime lord who is seeking vengeance for his brother’s death.

Watch it here