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15 Epic Chinese Movies on Netflix to Learn Mandarin

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ?

Does Netflix have any Chinese movies? Absolutely they do! There are some really good Chinese movies on Netflix – and they’re great to help you learn the language too!

Below you’ll find a list of Chinese movies on Netflix. I also shared some tips for finding things to watch in Chinese

Whether you’re an international movie fanatic, love Chinese culture, or you’re trying to learn Chinese, there’s something for you here.

Chinese Movies and Chinese Cinema

The cinema of China (and Hong Kong and Taiwan) is huge. China has the world’s biggest box office, as well as the largest production complex and film studios. They’ve been increasingly investing more into their production, and it’s expected to be a $16+ billion dollar industry in the next few years.

So don’t underestimate Chinese cinema.

While the industry is strictly regulated by the Chinese government, it hasn’t stopped the movies from growing in popularity at home and abroad.

Ready to dive in? Let’s check out some of the best Chinese movies on Netflix – and make sure to stick around to the end to learn how to use movies to study Chinese!

New Chinese Movies on Netflix

Looking for something pretty new to Netflix? Here are some of the latest movies trending on Netflix recently:

1. The Yin Yang Master

Chinese: 侍神令, Shì shén lìng
Released: 2021
Director: Weiran Li
Genre: Fantasy, Action
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Based on the insanely popular mobile game, Onmyoji. It follows the Yinyang Master, Qing Ming, who is a half-human-half-demon who works for the Yinyang Bureau.

He becomes embroiled in a conspiracy, framed for murder, and hunted. Meanwhile, the demon king is trying to return to steal the supernatural artifacts Qing Ming was protecting at the Bureau.

So it’s left up to him to try to stop the Demon King and protect the bridge between the human and demon worlds.

The story is pretty wild but the visuals are stunning with lots of old-school martial arts action.

Interestingly, China also realized The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity at almost the same time. And while the movies have almost the same title and listed under the same collection on Netflix, they’re actually different.

The Yin Yang Master is based on the video game, while Dream of Eternity is based on the Japanese novel series (from which the game is based on… confusing, I know).

Nonetheless, if you like one, you’d probably like the other.

2. Wish Dragon

Chinese: 许愿神龙, Xǔyuàn shénlóng
Released: 2021
Director: Chris Appelhans
Genre: Animated adventure
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

A Netflix original animated film, Wish Dragon is super cute and a great watch if you have kiddos learning Chinese with you!

Din is a teen who wants to reconnect with his childhood best friend more than anything. And he’s given the chance when he stumbles upon a magical dragon who grants wishes! (Yep, a genie dragon straight from the teapot.)

You can watch the movie in Putonghua (“common speech” – the dialect of Beijing Mandarin) or Taiwanese Guoyu, with English subs. Jackie Chan voices the character Long in the Mandarin dub! But the English cast is also fire.

3. The Soul

Chinese: 缉魂, Jī Hún
Released: 2021
Director: Wei-Hao Cheng
Genre: Sci-fi, Crime
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Based on the novel Yihun Youshu by Jiang Bo. This futuristic Chinese-Taiwanese movie follows the brutal murder of the chairman of a famous corporation.

He was developing a new cancer treatment, and when the investigators begin to dig into his family, they uncover a dark secret.

Best Chinese Movies on Netflix

These movies are award-winners and highly popular Chinese movies you don’t want to miss!

4. The Wandering Earth

Chinese: 流浪地球, liúlàng dìqiú
Released: 2019
Director: Frant Gwo
Genre: Sci-fi, adventure
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10

In the far away future, scientists have redirected Earth’s orbit to prevent the planet’s destruction. But while the scientists succeeded in saving the planet, new unexpected dangers emerge. A group of young people fight to save humanity.

Inspired by the sci-fi book written by Liu Cixin, which is considered a sci-fi masterpiece, it’s one of China’s top-grossing films to date.

5. Ip Man

Chinese: 葉問, yè wèn
Released: 2008
Director: Wilson Yip
Genre: Biography, martial arts, action drama
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

You can’t talk about the best Chinese films on Netflix without talking about the legendary Ip Man!

Starring the amazing Donnie Yen, the movie is based on the real-life story of Wing Chun grandmaster, Ip Man. He was Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher, among many others.

The movie follows Ip during the Sino-Japanese war, where he’s forced to leave his home after it’s been occupied by the Japanese military.

While it’s a dramatization of the real Ip Man’s life, it’s still a fascinating story and has won tons of awards. There are 4 Ip Man movies in total, so you’ll have plenty to watch!

The movie is in Cantonese, the language of Hong Kong and other regions. So if you’re learning Mandarin, the language will be different, but it’s still worth a watch.

6. Classmates Minus

Chinese: 同學麥娜絲, Tóngxué mài nà sī
Released: 2021
Director: Hsin-Yao Huang
Genre: Drama, Deadpan comedy
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

This one’s quite different from the rest on the list so far. It’s a quirky award-winning dramedy about four friends from high school who’ve hit middle age and are struggling with life.

They have no home, money, or hope about improving their situation. But they keep trying for a better tomorrow.

This movie uses Min Nan, a dialect of Chinese mostly spoken in southeastern China and Taiwan.

Best Chinese Action Movies

There are a lot of options for Chinese action films on Netflix, but here are a few of the latest to hit the streaming site:

7. Double World

Chinese: 征途, Zhēngtú
Released: 2019
Director: Teddy Chan
Genre: Action, Fantasy
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Based on the video game, the movie’s set in the fictional world of Central Plains. The world is divided up into ten kingdoms, and war has broken out.

A warlord hosts a competition to find the best warriors in his kingdom. The story follows three warriors who team up for the competition to bring honor to their clan.

This film is in Mandarin Chinese.

8. Gatao: The Last Stray

Chinese: 角頭-浪流連, Jiǎo tóu-làng liúlián
Released: 2021
Director: Jui-Chih Chiang
Genre: Action, crime
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10

A party for a mob boss’ new baby, a new romance, and a full moon? What could possibly go wrong?

Gatao means “big cat” in Portuguese, but in Taiwan, it’s been adapted to mean the mob. An orphan who grew up with the mob, Qing, meets a freelance photographer named Chi when she’s late for her job at the mob boss’ party.

But conflict between two gangs causes Qing to struggle to maintain his mob life and love for Chi.

Since this is a Taiwanese movie, it’s spoken in Guoyu.

9. New Gods: Nezha Reborn

Chinese: 新神榜:哪吒重生, Xīn shén bǎng: Nézhā chóngshēng
Released: 2021
Director: Ji Zhao
Genre: Animated fantasy, action
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Do you like unique animation, steampunk/cyberpunk, and three-thousand-year-long grudges? Then this movie is for you.

The movie follows Li Yunxiang, a punk motorbike rider who discovers he’s the god Nezha reincarnated. He’s just learning how to manage his newfound powers when his old enemies show up and he has to take on those past grudges.

The movie’s set in the fictional city of Donghai, but it’s somewhat based on Shanghai in the 1920s.

As for the language on this one, you can watch it in standard Mandarin (Putonghau) or Cantonese.

Must-Watch Chinese Netflix Originals

Netflix has been rolling out tons of its own originals around the world, so it’s no surprise it has a great stash of Chinese movies.

I’d also recommend checking out some of their Chinese TV shows and dramas!

10. Next Gen

Chinese: 未来机器城, Wèilái jīqì chéng
Released: 2018
Director: Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander
Genre: Animated fantasy, action
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Mai Su is a rebellious teen who lives in a futuristic world full of sentient robots. She befriends 7723, a top-secret robot, and together they take on evildoers, robots, and bad guys.

The English cast is full of fantastic actors like John Krasinski, Jason Sudeikis, Michael Peña, David Cross, and Constance Wu.

That said, it’s available on Netflix in Mandarin Chinese as well.

11. The Falls

Chinese: 瀑布, pùbù
Released: 2021
Director: Mong-Hong Chung
Genre: Dark drama
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Set during the pandemic, a daughter and mother’s family dynamic dramatically changes.

The movie starts off with the daughter, Xiao Jing, possibly having caught covid and the tensions that arise from it. But it changes into a story of mental health and reversals in family roles.

You can watch this one in its original Guoyu (Taiwanese) language.

12. Zero to Hero

Chinese: 媽媽的神奇小子, Māmā de shénqí xiǎozi
Released: 2021
Director: Jimmy Wan
Genre: Sports, Biography, Feel-good
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Based on the true story of So Wa-wai, Hong Kong’s first Paralympian to win a gold medal. The movie follows his relationship with his mom and how they overcame their struggles to take home the gold.

This movie will leave you feeling inspired! It’s available in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Fall in Love with Chinese Romances

Last but not least, I can’t leave out the romances! If you’re looking for a fun Chinese rom-com or romantic fantasy, here are some suggestions:

13. Man in Love

Chinese: 當男人戀愛時, Dāng nánrén liàn’ài shí
Released: 2021
Director: Chen-Hao Yin
Genre: Romance, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

A gangster with a good heart falls in love with a woman who’s got tons of debt and an ailing father she cares for. He awkwardly tries to win her love in this quirky romantic drama.

It’s the Chinese adaptation of the Korean movie by the same name from 2014, and it’s in Min Nan Chinese.

14. Shanghai Fortress

Chinese: 上海堡垒, Shànghǎi bǎolěi
Released: 2019
Director: Chen-Hao Yin
Genre: Romantic sci-fi
IMDb Rating: 4.3/10

Okay, yes, this movie does have a much lower IMDb score than the other movies on this list. BUT! Hear me out: It stars former K-Pop idol and Exo / Exo-M member Lu Han!

Adapted from the novel by Jiang Nan, Shanghai Fortress takes place in 2035 when aliens have taken over. They’ve been wiping out cities around the world to get energy, but a small group of humans are trying to launch a counterattack.

Enter Jiang Yang (Lu Han), who falls in love with Lin Lan, the heroic general trying to protect Shanghai. You can watch this one in Mandarin.

15. Love 020: The Movie

Chinese: 微微一笑很倾城, Wéiwéi yīxiào hěn qīngchéng
Released: 2021
Director: Tianyu Zhao
Genre: Fantasy, romance
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Another movie based on the novel by the same name, two college students play the same role-playing game online. When Xiao Nai sees Bei Wei Wei, he’s instantly in love – because of her mad gaming skills.

Now he’s determined to win her over by using his RPG skills to win her love both in and out of the game. The audio is in standard Mandarin.

How Do I Find Chinese Movies on Netflix?

“How can I find Chinese movies?” you ask?

Well, it’s actually quite easy now! Netflix has whole categories dedicated to Chinese movies and TV shows. A quick Google search will bring you to the main page for Chinese movies on Netflix, but you can also search “Chinese movies” and they’ll pop up!

Now if you’re wondering, “How can I watch Netflix in Mandarin?” Well, it’s simple.

This will depend on how you’re viewing Netflix. But on the TV, change your Language & Audio settings before you start watching. You can then select Mandarin, Cantonese, or whatever else, and turn on or off English subtitles.

On your laptop or phone, once you press play, you’d hit the button that looks like a text bubble and edit your language settings.

This means, too, that you can look for other movies and shows that have a Chinese language dub! For instance, some K-dramas, kid’s movies, and movies produced by Netflix have more language dubs, including Chinese.

Language Learning with Netflix allows you to browse Netflix’s entire catalog of titles in a language. Plus, their browser extension is super helpful for watching and learning Chinese.

A side note here too: If you also have Disney+, they have tons of Chinese dubbed movies and shows. I highly recommend it!

Is Netflix Banned in China?

You may be wondering why there’s all this Chinese content on Netflix when… Netflix is banned in China??

Well, not quite. It’s not that Netflix is banned, it’s that they opted not to stream there due to rigorous application and censorship laws, as well as a very saturated streaming market.

So if you’re in China, you can actually see the Netflix homepage – you just can’t sign up without a VPN.

So why does Netflix have so much Chinese content when it doesn’t have services in China? Because there are millions of people who speak Mandarin outside of China!

How to Learn Chinese by Watching Movies

So what’s the best way to learn with Chinese movies on Netflix?

Well, we wrote a whole article about it here with tons of tips and insights to make the most of your binge-watching.

But here are some key points:

  • Watch something you’d actually enjoy, and bonus points if the topic is something you’d talk about in real life.
  • Do some prep work before the movie. Look up the character names, location, and subject matter. Then look up words and grammar you think would probably be used a lot. For example, in Love 020, it’s about an RPG video game. So words related to gaming would be helpful to learn.
  • Watch the movie all the way through, then go back and rewatch it in smaller chunks, like short scenes. What can you pick up? Write down any words you don’t know but pick up through listening to look up after.
  • Add your newly learned words or grammar to a flashcard deck for review, and try to use them in a sentence or two.

If you’re an absolute beginner and can’t understand much at all – that’s okay! You can still benefit from hearing the language, the cadence, and watching the body language and cultural insights.

I know in my experience, just hearing the cadence and common phrases often helps me feel and sound 100x more confident in my target language than if I just study from a textbook.

It’s Okay to Binge-Watch Chinese Movies on Netflix!

It’s okay, I give you permission to tell Netflix you’re “still watching.” It’s for a good purpose and learning Chinese, right? 😉

If you’re ready to keep learning more about the Chinese language, here are some next steps:

author headshot

Caitlin Sacasas

Content Writer, Fluent in 3 Months

Caitlin is a copywriter, content strategist, and language learner. Besides languages, her passions are fitness, books, and Star Wars. Connect with her: Twitter | LinkedIn

Speaks: English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

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