The Best Martial Arts Movies of 2007

Edison Chen in Dog Bite Dog

Dog Bite Dog [] [Netflix] [IMDB]
After a Cambodian child slave turned assassin completes his assignment, he in turn becomes the target of a vengeful Hong Kong cop. There are no heroic figures in Dog Bite Dog, and no glorification of violence. This stunningly brutal film illustrates an unfortunate truth: the fight isn’t over until everyone is satisfied, and nobody is content with a loss.

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade [] [Netflix] [IMDB]
When Shakespeare penned Romeo and Juliet, he crudely omitted ninjas. Director Ten Shimoyama rectifies the poet’s error with this story of the superhuman Koga and Iga ninja clans. Defying the Shogun’s orders to duel until mutual extinction, two lovestruck ninjas struggle to avoid a tragic fate.

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade
Ninja clans demonstrate their skills for Hattori Hanzo and Yagyu Munenori

Flash Point (a.k.a. City Without Mercy) [] [Netflix] [IMDB]
Good cop Donnie Yen battles bad criminal Collin Chou. The plot is forgettable, but the martial arts choreography is superb, combining elements of boxing, kung fu and jujutsu. Along with last year’s Kill Zone, Flash Point sets a new standard for cinematic action sequences.

Donnie Yen in Flash Point
Donnie Yen in Flash Point

I need your help to complete this top 5 list. What other great martial arts films were released to theatres and/or DVD this year?


  1. Fatal Contact (“Hak Kuen” in Canto) is pretty good in terms of fight choreography and flash. Decent story, a bit melodramatic, but altogether worth watching.

    City of Violence is another good flic, fun action sequences and hilariously good comedy. Intriguing story as well.

    The Art of Fighting is another Korean film, much more down to earth and hard hitting than City of Violence. One of my favorite movies of ALL TIME.

    That’s all I can pull from the top of my head.

  2. As it turns out, Dog Bite Dog was one of my favorite movies for ’07. I agree that this is a great show.

  3. Would I be chased out of this blog if I tell you that I no not one of these movies? Dog Bite Dog sounds like a great film but I’m not sure if I can take violence in its most real form. But my boyfriend would love it. He’s also practicing the arts and likes the more violent films. Maybe I’ll just opt for Shinobi: Heart Under Blade.

  4. Jen, I cast thee out!

    Seriously though, not many people outside of Asia have heard of these movies, yet.

  5. And somehow, I forgot to mention Balls of Fury, a brilliant spoof of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. Although there wasn’t much fighting, it definitely belongs on this list.

  6. just watched Dog eat dog on this pages recommendation.

    was a great film but there wasn’t any real martial arts in it..
    a few animalistic brawls (with animal sound effects as well) but the rest was knife and gun fights.

    martial arts is a trained code of skills isn’t it?

    good film tho

  7. RedBelt is a movie worth watching, great BJJ and an even better story line

  8. im a great fan of action/martial arts films..i recommend to you these list of my favorite films..but its not all of year 2007
    1. ong bak
    2. fist of legend
    3. district 13
    4. the city of violence
    5. the defender
    7. invicible target
    8. contour
    9.born to fight
    10. belly of the beast

  9. 1.Fist of Fury(Bruce Lee)
    2.Flash Point (Donnie Yen)
    3.Fist of legend (Jet Li)
    4.Ong Bak(Tony Ja)
    5.Meals On wheels(Jacky Chan Samo Hun Yeun Baio)
    6.Undisputed 2(Michael Jai White Scott Adkins)
    7.Bloodsport(Van damme)
    8.The way of the dragon(Bruce Lee)
    9.Lonewolf McQuade(Chuck Norris)
    10.S.P.L(Donnie Yen Samo Hung Jacky Wu)

  10. Breathing Fire – (Jerry Trimble and Bolo)
    Best of the Best – (TKD action)
    The Street Fighter – (Sonny Chiba)
    Bloodsport – (The best of Van Damage)
    Fists of Fury – (Really violent Lee movie)
    The Chinese Connection – (Lee versus the Japanese)
    Way of the Dragon – (Lee versus Chuck Norris)
    Forced Vengeance – (Norris’ best)
    Karate Kid – (Sweep the leg Johnny!)

  11. im suprised jet li’s Unleashed isnt up here, there is a portion where li is fighting in a bathroom stall, such an enclosed space and both fighters have such a mastery of their bodies inside it. i personally think its some of li’s best work.

  12. Unleashed was released on DVD in 2005, but I agree that it was very good.

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