What are some entertaining movies to watch and learn Chinese

I am looking for some movies in which they speak mandarin chinese with subtitles. I just watched part one of Red Cliff and Warlords, but I’d like to see movies with more dialogue and less kung fu. Does anyone have a movie that they watched and had an “a-ha” moment in their quest to learn Chinese?

I am going to watch Kung Fu Hustle and Fearless next. I was thinking about re-watching Infernal Affairs, but I was told that is in Cantonese.

A lot depends on your what your levels like now. To tell the truth, I don’t think watching with English subtitles really helps your learning much. A better idea is to rewatch a movie you’re already familiar with, with the subtitles off (or with Chinese subtitles on if you have any reading ability).

HK movies in Cantonese always have Mandarin dubs for Taiwan releases btw, so don’t rule them out.

There’s loads of good Taiwanese and Chinese movies to choose from. Check out this thread for some ideas:


Personally I love watching Taiwanese films. Edward Yang and Hou Xiaoxian being two of my favourites. Sometimes they might have quite a bit of Hokkien/Taiwanese language too though. But these movies often have a lot more everyday Chinese in them than kung-fu epics and HK gangster movies. There’s a Taiwanese film called Cape No. 7 on at the cinemas which is proving highly popular. I think it’s already the highest grossing domestic film ever, by a long shot. A real boon to local film-making. I have yet to check it out.


crunchyroll.com has lots of movies & TV series if you have a decent internet connection. They haven’t done the best job noting which are Cantonese vs. Mandarin, and there are also tons of Japanese & Korean titles mixed in as well. Search “cmovie” or “cdrama”. Most are hard-subbed in English, but some are soft-subbed.

I enjoyed “The Banquet” which is like a Chinese version of Hamlet. Still a lot of action and maybe not all that useful in terms of dialogue, but it was interesting.

Many of the others are hit-or-miss … lotsa crap movies out there :slight_smile:

how about this movie Bùnéng shuō de mìmì 不能說的秘密
it’s a awesome movie. The main actor and director is jay zhou.(the famous entertainer)
it’s not action movie,so it has many dialogues.
I really like it!
you can rent DVD in Blockbuster store(百視達)
There are so many branch in taiwan. :thumbsup:

Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman has plenty of clearly spoken Mandarin. No kung fu though - it’s a drama, not an action/adventure movie.

You folks are so cultured. I watched Plan A and God of Gambling II and taped over the subtitles.

Skip all the Zhang Yi Mou Chinese-Gone-With-The-Wind crap.

Yi-Yi made me cry like a girl.

I’d love to find a Chinese-language version of The Incredible Kung Fu Mission (師兄師弟齊出馬). It was filmed in Taiwan, of all places.

Skip all the Zhang Yi Mou Chinese-Gone-With-The-Wind crap.[/quote]

I like that!

It had its moments, but I kept looking at the exit wondering when this tribute to boredom will end. The ending was decent.

To be fair, I’d probably enjoy the film more if I were to watch it again today. Many years have passed.

Excellent film! Nominated for an Oscar no less. Ang Lee’s early works are all good – Pushing Hands (1991), Wedding Banquet (1993), and of course, Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). All three movies star Lang Xiong (郎雄), an excellent actor with easy to understand Mandarin.

[quote=“Elegua”]You folks are so cultured. I watched Plan A and God of Gambling II and taped over the subtitles.

Skip all the Zhang Yi Mou Chinese-Gone-With-The-Wind crap.

Yi-Yi made me cry like a girl.[/quote]

Actually, Zhang Yimou’s The Road Home (我的父親母親) was the first Chinese movie I saw without English or Chinese subtitles that I could understand 95% of. Very simple Chinese (albeit with a northern China accent) and simple enough themes (pastoral tradition vs. ruthless modernity, how does economic growth affect social customs, etc.) to BS with your teacher/language exchange about.

The early Ang Lee movies would be good choices for working on your Mandarin. But I think your best bet would be to watch one of the Mandarin language TV series that run at 8pm every night. If you can catch one from the beginning, the first 20 installments or so should have some semblance of a credible plot --they usually run out of ideas after that. I suggest that you watch actively, by which I mean that you try to repeat what you hear people saying on the screen.

The wonderful new Cape No. 7 would also be a good choice despite having a fair amount of Taiwanese. Indeed, the mixture of languages is more realistic than Ang Lee’s world of Taipei mainlanders unsullied by Taiwanese people or language as they work out Lee’s gentle Confucian ethical dramas.

I really enjoyed the Andy Lau comedies. 老鼠爱上猫 is great. “Love on a Diet” and “Missing You” are also a lot of fun.