Jackie Chan, born Kong-sang Chan, is a lovable action star from Hong Kong that gained international recognition for his fun, entertaining martial arts movies. He is also famous for performing all of his own stunts and combining slapstick humor with entertaining fight scenes.
When you watch a Jackie Chan movie, you know that you are in for a good time. While most people know Jackie Chan from his international successes, such as the Rush Hour franchise and even his animated children’s show, Jackie Chan Adventures, he has actually been in the business since he was a little boy.
Jackie Chan has over 127 acting credits to his name, dating back to 1962, when Jackie was just 8 years old.
#10 – Mr. Nice Guy (1997)
By the time Mr. Nice Guy was released, Jackie Chan was already becoming a familiar name in America, thanks to the success of Rumble in the Bronx. Mr. Nice Guy definitely belongs on any list of Jackie Chan’s best films.
Directed by Jackie Chan’s long-time friend Samo Hung, Mr. Nice Guy is a story about a Chinese chef that ends up getting involved with a reporter being chased by gang members. This is a classic example of the typical Jackie Chan movie formula. Jackie Chan plays a lovable character that accidentally ends up needing to help a lady out. Along the way he gets to kick butt and showcase his athletic skills.
#9 – Shanghai Knights (2003)
Shanghai Knights is a buddy movie pairing Jackie Chan with Owen Wilson. The plot line does not really matter, but Jackie Chan plays a man seeking revenge for the murder of his father. It is a period piece, set in the 1880’s, and features all of the typical fight scenes and crazy action sequences found in almost every Jackie Chan film.
Unfortunately, Shanghai Knights did not make the top of the box office. The film only raked in a little over $19 million in US theaters, on a budget of $50 million. For this reason, it is not considered a success, but remains one of Jackie Chan’s best films, as it showcases his comedic chops, as Jackie can hold his own against funnyman Owen Wilson.
#8 – Police Story 2 (1988)
In Police Story 2, Jackie Chan plays a supercop from Hong Kong that has to fight off two groups. He must contend with the bad guys from the first Police Story movie, while also fighting off a group of bombers. Again, this film features a combination of action and comedy.
During the outtakes that play during the credits, Jackie Chan sings the theme song. This film also features a cameo appearance from Jackie Chan’s real father – Charles Chan. Despite all of the action in this film, only four people die on screen.
#7 – Rush Hour (1998)
Rush Hour is the first American blockbuster film that Jackie Chan starred in. It also co-stars comedian Christ Tucker. The combination of Tucker and Chan proved to be a box office hit and they teamed again for Rush Hour 2. This is another buddy action film, where two unlikely heroes need to team up to fight crime.
Along with being the first major American film in Jackie Chan’s career, it was the first film to feature Jackie Chan speaking English dialogue without any dubbing.
#6 – Gorgeous (1999)
Despite being released after Rush Hour, Gorgeous is another Hong Kong action film starring Jackie Chan. In this story, a girl travels to Hong Kong and ends up meeting Jackie Chan’s character – who accidentally gets embroiled in a conflict involving gangsters. This is a very common trope in Jackie Chan films, but the formula works.
#5 – Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
Rumble in the Bronx helped Jackie Chan achieve recognition in the United States. He had already been a successful box office attraction in China and Hong Kong, but not a lot of people had heard of Jackie before the release of Rumble in the Bronx. This is considered Jackie Chan’s Hollywood breakthrough, despite the fact that it was still a foreign production.
#4 – Who Am I? (1998)
Whom Am I? has Jackie Chan playing a secret agent that loses his memory after an accident. Afterward, he is chased by various groups and has to slowly work out why everyone is after him. Who Am I? is another movie where Jackie Chan add director and writer to his credits on the film. The reason Who Am I? makes it to such a good spot on this list is that in addition to featuring the typical action scenes, it also features more mature storytelling and plot devices that are not always present in Jackie Chan movies.
#3 – Police Story (1985)
Police Story is one of Jackie Chan’s best movies of all time. In this film, which spawned a sequel, Jackie Chan plays a cop that has to clear his name after being framed for murder. Jackie Chan basically goes around fighting dirty cops until he gets to the bottom of the frame job.
Jackie Chan has stated that the film got its title because every time Jackie Chan made a movie, Chinese studios would rush to create movies featuring similar titles to cash in on the success. By giving Police Story such a basic name, he could avoid these imitation films.
#2 – The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
At number two on this list is The Legend of Drunken Master. This comes 16 years after the first Drunken Master movie. It was again a huge success for Chan and was released shortly before he become a mainstream attraction in the United States. The epic seven-minute fight scene at the end of the film took almost four months to film.
#1 – Drunken Master (1978)
Drunken Master is not only Jackie Chan’s finest film it is also a classic Kung Fu movie. Jackie Chan plays a boy that must learn how to use the Drunken Fist Kung Fu to prevent an assassination. This film was so successful that Jackie Chan went on to make several more Drunken Master movies. It has the perfect combination of comedy, action, and classic martial arts fight scenes.
The martial arts superstar that everyone loves, Jackie Chan continues to make new films and has taken on more challenging roles in the past few years. Even though they did not make it to this list, there are some films that are worth mentioning – including Little Big Soldier (2010), 1911 (2011), and The Forbidden Kingdom (2008). In Little Big Soldier and 1911, we got see Jackie play more dramatic parts and showcase another side of his acting talents.
Hopefully, we wave plenty more Jackie Chan movies over the years, but for now, you can enjoy these top 10 best Jackie Chan movies of all time as much as you want.