10 Best Wong Kar-wai Films, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes) (2023)

By Sid Natividad

Anyone who has seen at least one Wong Kar-wai movie knows he has a very unique style. These are his best films according to Rotten Tomatoes!

10 Best Wong Kar-wai Films, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes) (1)

Being an unparalleled rockstar film director of Hong Kong cinema, Wong Kar-wai has often been a curious case study for many film lovers. He's the Tarantino equivalent of Hong Kong cinema and his filmmaking has always received unanimous critical praise. Even Quentin Tarantino himself took to distributing some of Wong Kar-wai's films to the Western audience.

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Anyone who has seen at least one Wong Kar-wai movie will know what thefuss is all about. The nonlinear storytelling combined with thesomber colorsand subtle facial expressions is unlike anything in Hollywood. As a result, Wong Kar-wai films are a class of their own and these 10 finest films from that director prove that well enough.



10 Best Wong Kar-wai Films, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes) (2)

There aren't many Wong Kar-wai films that received the "rotten" critical score in Rotten Tomatoes. There are actually only two and this is one of them,My Blueberry Nights. Despite the low critical appeal, it's still a decent movie in the eyes of the masses.

My Blueberry Nightsis one woman's attempt to heal herself after a painful break-up with her longtime boyfriend. Along the way, she meets a cast of interesting characters while binging creamy desserts and confections at a cafe whose owner is a little too conveniently sympathetic to her. Probably becausehe knows he's in a romance movie and his chances are high.

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The Grandmasteris one of Wong Kar-wai's latest movies (2013) and its artistic recreation of Ip Man's peak as a martial arts master, Bruce Lee's famous teacher. That guy's had several films about him already but what setsThe Grandmasterapart isWong Kar-wai's artistic touch and how he adds more cinematic flair to Ip-Man's story.

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PlayingIp-Man is none other than Tony Leung Chiu-wai,Wong Kar-wai's favorite actor. As expected from an Ip Man film, most of the conflict is about a psuedo-gang war about which martial arts is more superior. In this case, Ip Man is being challenged by another martial arts master from another region.


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Ashes of Time Reduxis another action movie directed by Wong Kar-wai and yet again stars Tony Leung as one of the lead actors. This time around, the story is about several storylines of established heroes in Chinese literature, namely the wuxia novelThe Legend of the Condor Heroes.The film reimagines them in their younger selves and that's whereWong Kar-wai's magic happens.

Through his persistent sepia and warm color tones, seeingAshes of Time Reduxis almost like watching a painting process from start to finish. Each shot is magnificently composed and even the battle and action scenes have a certain beauty to them that sets them apart from other brutish action titles.

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Happy Togetheris an important milestone film inWong Kar-wai's portfolio as it's one of the few he has about LGBT relationships. In this case, it's between a male gay couple from Hong Kong who moves to Argentina. Tony Leung plays Lai and Leslie Cheung stars a Ho as they navigate their new home while trying to survive their toxic relationship.

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As with mostWong Kar-wai romance movies,Happy Together'sportrayal of a couple is often bittersweet. Lai and Ho's tumultuous relationship has often ended and rekindled many times until one of them has had enough and sought an escape from a third party.


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BeforeJohn Wickintroduced the concept of a hardened criminal leaving his organization for love, there wasAs Tears Go Byreleased back in 1988. It explores the forbidden love between a Hong Kong triad gang member and his distant relative where he decided to leave behind his dangerous life to pursue that relationship.

Of course, trouble and his past follow him into his new life and a brother in need eventually yanks in back into the uncertain and perilous lifestyle that could ruin his relationship. This wasWong Kar-wai's directorial debut and even it was already well-received by critics and audiences alike.

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2046 - 86%

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It's not often that a sci-fi backdrop is used as a stage for a forbidden romance but when it does happen,Wong Kar-wai shows how to do it properly.2046is as unique as romance movies go. It's about a modern-day writer fueling his unfinished sci-fi novel by jumping from bed to bed with different women.

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All of them are women he meets at the Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong where he also writes his novel. This film also serves as a supposed follow-up toWong Kar-wai's previous romance movies,Days of Being WildandIn the Mood for Loveboth of which involve an unconsummated affair.


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ThatWong Kar-wai film that Quentin Tarantino liked so much that he distributed it to the Western audience?Chunking Express. It's one ofWong Kar-wai's earliest films too and follows an unconventional storytelling method which, in 1994, was rare for a romance movie. It tells the tale of two cops, one is suffering from a recent heartbreak while the other cop gradually moves on to someone else.

For the fans, it's typically the second cops' tale that's more memorable as it stars a lonely Cop 663 (Tony Leung) and a snack bar employee named Faye who somehow manages to get a key to 663's apartment. Faye then decides to fix 663's life by infiltrating his apartment and cleaning up as well as injecting her own personal touches without the cop knowing anything. It's a wild ride with the best soundtrack and acting imaginable for its story.

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Speaking of wild rides,Days of Being Wildchronicles multiple love stories quite similar to that inChungking Express. Structurally, it's a two-part movie where the first romance tale is that of a broken-hearted young woman who manages to find solace in the arms of a more mature and caring man but their love never manifests.

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The second half of the film is the more dominant of the two as it features a man named York who was the one who broke the heart of the girl in the first story. York goes on to break more hearts as he jumps from relationship to relationship while refusing to commit until he eventually confronts his mommy issues.


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In the Mood for Loveis one ofWong Kar-wai's most studied films due to how tragic and lovely it is at the same time. It's a love story but it also isn't as two married individuals discover that their respective spouses are having an affair, possibly even with each other.

So, Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung), being aggrieved spouses, form an unlikely bond. They commit a soft affair which in all respects is nothing more than a platonic friendship as they meet in hotels only to discuss writing and eat food without any sexual or romantic activity. It's both painful and endearing to watch these two restain themselves even though the timing was ripe and iron was hot.


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Fallen Angelscurrently stands asWong Kar-wai's highest-rated non-certified fresh movie on Rotten Tomatoes and it's easy to see why. combines several genres including action, drama, and romance seamlessly as it follows the story of an assassin, his boss, a businessman, and two women.

Their paths all cross together since it seems that their love lives have suddenly started bleeding into their professional lives without their knowledge.Fallen Angelsweaves all their stories together in a feverish dream with a surreal soundtrack and odd camera angles, making it a complete Wong Kar-wai film package.

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