30 Epic Chinese War Movies That Capture History’s Turbulence

If you like epic sagas that will keep you hooked and drama that will have you gasping every second, this is the perfect post for you all!

These Chinese movies about war are legendary in the best ways possible and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Some wars are fictional while some others were very much a part of Chinese history, but one amazing thing is that they’re all good in their own right. 

1. Red Cliff

In the year 208 AD in ancient China, two rival states, Shu and Wu, team up to fight against the powerful General Cao Cao from the Wei kingdom. 

Despite being greatly outnumbered, they achieve a small victory thanks to General Zhou Yu’s charisma, scholar Zhuge Liang’s brilliant strategy, and Emperor Sun Quan’s support. 

2. Hidden Blade 

During WWII, underground workers defy danger, gathering intel and defending their homeland after Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. 

This is set against the backdrop of the Wang Jingwei regime’s war declaration on Britain and the U.S. 

3. The Crossing 

The Crossing is a Chinese-Hong Kong historical romance war movie in two parts, and it follows people’s journey to escape Shanghai for Taiwan at the end of World War II.

4. Shanghai Fortress

In 2035, Earth fights off a devastating alien invasion and elite forces form a united army, creating a protective “bubble defense” around key energy cities. 

With New York, Tokyo, and others fallen, Shanghai is humanity’s last stand, and college student Jiang Yang joins Commander Lin’s squad to defend the city and safeguard a crucial secret weapon against the alien threat.

5. Dynasty Warriors 

Set in the late Eastern Han Dynasty, this drama, adapted from the Japanese video game series Dynasty Warriors by Omega Force and Koei, takes during a turbulent period. 

The ambitious Dong Zhuo holds sway over both the court and the common people and this sparks the rise of heroes from across the nation.

6. 1921

This film marks the 100th anniversary of the CCP’s founding and tells is more about the Chinese Revolution of 1921. 

It captures the early history of the Communist Party during a tumultuous time, and it shows the dedication and determination of visionary Chinese revolutionary leaders as they worked toward the upliftment of the Chinese people. 

7. Hua Mulan

Hua Mu Lan joins the army instead of her father while pretending to be a man, and despite her physical challenges, she earns General Li Rong’s respect. 

After seeing her friends die in battle, she’s determined to win the war, but when things get tough, Mu Lan comes up with a clever plan that leads her troops to victory. 

Together with Li Rong, they defeat the enemy from both sides and win the war.

8. Our Time Will Come

Set in the 1940s, the film follows the legendary Fang Gu, a pivotal figure during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. 

It also shows the determined fight for freedom and independence led by young members of the resistance groups.

9. The Battle At Lake Changjin

This is a moving tale of a volunteer company holding its ground and courageously defeating the enemy in an incredibly challenging environment. 

10. Mulan The Heroine

Mulan bravely fights in the Northern Wei Dynasty, first for her father and later against Rouran invaders.

Framed by Kunpeng, she battles to clear her name and protect the innocent, and with the princess’s help, Kunpeng is exposed and peace is restored. 

11. Hundred Regiments Offensive

In the autumn of 1940, Northern China is under Japanese control, while Southern China resists occupation.

The outcome could open a path to the Soviet Union for Japan’s war machine, so the Chinese Revolutionary Army pins its hopes on a daring move: the Hundred Regiments Offensive, a massive counter-attack.

12. Wolf Pack

Lao Diao’s security company is on an overseas mission when they discover terrorists planning to destroy gas pipelines to cause an energy crisis. 

Lao Diao assembles a team of 7 counter-terrorism experts, including Ke Tong and Monster, and they head to Kuli country to protect Chinese representative Qu Feng and thwart the enemy’s plot within 36 hours.

13. Fall Of Ming

In 1642, as the Ming Dynasty teeters, rebels besiege Kaifeng, and the emperor releases General Sun Chuanting to lead the defense.

An epidemic spreads, and Dr. Wu You Ke’s unconventional theory is their last hope, but when they arrive, they meet a dire military base with few soldiers, useless weapons, corruption, and devastating disease. 

With no options left, General Sun and Dr. Wu unite against impossible odds to save their people and I’m not kidding when I say that this war Chinese movie had me hooked. 

14. The Hidden Sword

The Hidden Sword is a Chinese War movie set in 1930s China that follows an officer who uses swords to lead Chinese soldiers against a Japanese attack on the Great Wall, but after he goes missing, there’s a struggle over who gets to continue his special martial arts skills.

15. Age Of The Legend

In the late Qing Dynasty, foreign countries kept attacking China, and the Qing government, which had been isolated for a long time, couldn’t defend itself. 

British and Japanese invaders worked together to try to take over Guangzhou City and so, some brave heroes got orders to stop them. 

16. Cold Steel

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (~1938), 19-year-old hunter Mu Lian Feng rescues an American pilot and they join a makeshift hospital run by Liu Yan. 

Lian Feng defends Liu Yan which leads to their arrest and he’s chosen for a mission to assassinate Japanese generals, but it goes awry and he’s chased by sharpshooters.

17. The Opium War

This Chinese movie follows the Opium War between China and the British Empire during the Qing Dynasty’s decline, and it focuses on key figures, including Lin Ze Xu and British diplomat Charles Elliot.

18. The Knot

Chen Qiu Shui and Wang Bi Yun fell in love, and Qiu Shui left Taiwan after the 228 Massacre, but Bi Yun gave him a gold ring, promising to reunite. 

He served in the Korean War and met Wang Jin Di, and years later, Jin Di followed Qiu Shui to Tibet and died in an avalanche. 

Bi Yun, now in Los Angeles, adopted a daughter who retraces Qiu Shui’s steps in Tibet and then shares photos of his resting place online.

19. The Sacrifice

This movie highlights brave Chinese volunteers who fought in the Korean War – They repaired and preserved bridges amidst the conflict. 

It also shows the strong bonds formed among soldiers like Zhang Fei and Guan Lei in the antiaircraft squad, and the growing feelings between Liu Hao, an infantry squad leader, and operator Xin Qin.

20. Princess’s Romance

During the Spring and Autumn Period, there was turmoil in the Qi State, so Princess Jiang Li led her forces against General Qi Liang from the Ju State at the Qi Great Wall. 

The armies faced off, causing sorrow among the people, and Jiang Li, who was tired of war and the power struggle, took Qi Liang hostage to prevent further conflict. 

As they spent time together, Jiang Li found herself drawn to the honorable general even with the war underfoot, I know this is a rare one on this list (many of these movies don’t have any romance), but it’s really amazing. 

21. My War

The movie is about China’s involvement in the Korean War (1950-1953) which is regarded as one of the deadliest U.S. wars, with over 1 million total deaths, mostly Korean civilians.

They supported North Korea, while the U.S. supported South Korea and the war ended in 1953 with an armistice, dividing North and South Korea.

22. Brothers

This war Chinese movie tells the story of two brothers, Tiejin and Bingsheng, whose strong bond is torn apart during a 1936 civil war. 

They grew up as homeless boys in a dangerous city, but when Bingsheng goes to prison for defending his brother against a mobster, their relationship faces a severe test.

23. Sniper

The story tells of Zhang Da Gong, a skilled People’s Volunteer Army sniper, who fearlessly faces the well-equipped US military elite during the Korean War and achieves hard-earned victory through selfless dedication.

24. The Elephant: Graveyard

Chinese peacekeeper Ding Yin and his team were ambushed during a mission in a foreign country. 

Ding Yin, along with Li Dashi, Rena, Trafal, and Lijiao, got trapped in a challenging situation known as the “elephant mound” in a dense forest and now, they must make critical decisions to survive.

25. The War Of Loong

In 1884, after the Qing army’s loss in Vietnam, the French invaded Guangxi and a retired general named Feng Zi Cai rallied an army to defend Guangxi against the French invasion.

26. The Rescue

In July 1945, a Soviet expert named Gavril (Luo Fei) was kidnapped by the Japanese while traveling to China with crucial information. 

The Kuomintang sent a team led by Ma Longchuan to rescue him, but their mission failed. 

Meanwhile, Wang Wenyuan from the Eighth Route Army teamed up with the elite Black Fox commando unit, and after facing numerous challenges, they successfully rescued Luo Fei.

27. Ice Sniper

A team from the Northeast Anti-Japanese Allied Army, led by Captain Lao Gao and Commissar Li Qiu Tong, joined forces with local hunters and sharpshooters to battle the Japanese army. 

28. Drawing Sword: Fighting Ghost Cry

In early 1942, the Japanese army invaded northwest Shanxi, and Li Yun Long’s independent regiment, which was trying to resist them, attacked Ping’an County. 

Japanese forces tried to help, but the Chinese troops, under Li Zheng Hu’s command, blocked them. 

Li Zheng Hu’s cavalry fought bravely in challenging terrain and this helped Li Yun Long’s main force to capture Ping’an County. 

29. They Shall Not Pass

After the Hundred Regiment War, the Eighth Route Army unit had to move due to Japanese attacks. 

And, Deputy Commander Li Zhi Yuan, Battalion Commander Lu Tian Ze, and company Commander Huang Chang Jun, along with their soldiers, set up defenses at Majiapu and Liu Hai Jing’s courtyard to stop the Japanese army and protect the villagers during the transfer.

30. The Alternative Militia Ge Er Dan

During the Anti-Japanese War in Tawan Village, Ge Er Dan, a villager, joins the resistance against Japan to win the heart of Meng Xi Zi, the female village head. 

He accidentally becomes the captain of the Imperial Association Army and battles against the Japanese invaders. 


What’s your favorite Chinese war movie? Which one on this list will you give a chance? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, don’t forget that the related posts below have so many other movie recommendations you’ll love.

Happy watching!

Sora

I'm the girl for the job if you want amazing drama recommendations (no, really!), OST recs that will leave you deep in your feelings, and genuine drama talk that you can only get from a viewer with lots of biases. I'm always on the lookout for new dramas to watch, so don't hesitate to leave a comment with something you think I'll enjoy and I'll send a reply ASAP. Thanks for visiting!

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