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The 10 Greatest Fight Movies of All Time

5. The Street Fighter (1974)

With his intimidating, wolfish demeanor and practicality-over-flash style, Sonny Chiba was never going to be the mainstream star that Bruce Lee was. But his films were undeniably badass, and The Street Fighter was his finest moment. Chiba plays Terry Tsurugi, a stone-cold mercenary who decides to protect a wealthy heiress from the Yakuza after they give him a lowball offer for her kidnapping. IMDB says that The Street Fighter was the first film to get an X-rating for violence; though the flick may seem a bit tame by today’s standards, the testicle-ripping scene still makes us cringe to this day.

Best ass-kicking: Tsurugi beats down an entire karate school, though he has a little trouble with their rotund master. [Original clip pulled; you can watch the entire movie here.]

Classic quote: “Tell that bitch who sent you how sorry I am I can no longer be her friend.” (Terry Tsurugi)

4. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Quentin Tarantino regurgitated everything he loved about kung fu movies and the female-revenge exploitation sub-genre into this, the most frenetic and visually stunning film of his career. Brutalized and left for dead on her wedding day, the Bride (Uma Thurman) emerges from a coma four years later, intent on destroying her former associates/would-be killers in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, as well as her boss and former lover, Bill. Along the way, she picks up the blade-of-all-blades in Japan, thanks to retired swordsmith Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba in a brilliant cameo), and by the end, two names on the Bride’s death list are satisfyingly crossed out.

Best ass-kicking: The Bride slashes through the entire “Crazy 88″ bodyguard crew, turning the House of Blue Leaves into a gore-soaked killing floor; directly followed by the climactic snow-garden showdown with O-Ren Ishii.

Classic quote: “Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now.” (The Bride)

3. Bloodsport (1988)

It’s everything that UFC 1 aspired to be. The Kumite, an ultra-secret underground fighting tournament in Hong Kong, draws the best in all disciplines from all over the world. Among them is Frank Dux, an American Army soldier and martial artist with an inexplicable European accent (?!). Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds is there too. Things get serious when Chong Li — with his enormous pecs and complete lack of ethics — takes a little too much pleasure in hurting people. He must be stopped. But by who? Could it be the clean-cut guy who’s banging the hot eighties blond chick? We won’t spoil it for you.

Best Ass-Kicking: You never think you’re going to need that blindfolded training. That is, until Chong Li blinds you — Mr. Fuji style — in your final match and you’re forced to win without aid of your vision. Thanks, Tanaka.

Classic Quote: “Aren’t you a little young for full-contact?” “Aren’t you a little old for videogames?” (Ray Jackson and Frank Dux)

2. Fight Club (1999)

It’s almost dismissive to refer to this as a fighting movie. It’s more a film about angst and modern masculinity with fighting as a vehicle for enlightenment. Or some bullshit like that. Beyond being extremely well-written and well-acted, not to mention being directed by the gritty, detail-obsessive David Fincher, it captured the zeitgeist of the corporate American consumer culture and threw in some bloody beatings for good measure. Not only did the opening of this movie prompt one CagePotato writer to dump a girlfriend who insisted it was “stupid”, it also still has the ability to immediately transfix 18-34 year-old males when it comes on HBO late at night.

Best Ass-Kicking: Edward Norton destroys something beautiful, and that something is poor Jared Leto.

Classic Quote: “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.” (Narrator)

1. Enter the Dragon (1973)

Perhaps the most perfect martial arts movie ever made. Bruce Lee infiltrates the secret island lair of an evil mastermind by way of entering his martial arts tournament. Not only does this film have all the prerequisite elements — faceless crowds of henchmen, evil dude with deadly hand attachments, philosophical digressions — it also features a cast that’s a who’s who of martial arts movies, including Black Belt Jones himself, Jim Kelly, as well as Bolo Yeung and Jackie Chan (uncredited). If the plot seems cliché, that’s probably because it’s been copied so much since then. Because it works.

Best Ass-Kicking: The penultimate fight scene, during which Bruce Lee takes on every martial arts extra in existence during the 1970’s.

Classic Quote: “Don’t think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” (Lee)

Here’s the part where you tell us how we left out, like, the sickest fight movie ever. Throw in your $0.02 in the comments section.

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CheckHisPee- June 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm
Almost forgot, 'Kill Bill' out 'Fearless' in. Would push for 'They Live' but it's not really a "fight movie", does have one of the best fight scenes though and maybe THE best quote to wit "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum." CLASSIC
CheckHisPee- June 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm
Fight Club out, Rocky in, 'nuff said.
woww- October 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm
Undisputed 3 redemption should be on this list..
k-onda- July 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm
Seriously half-assed this list.
I'm not gonna go into it - but why do you hate Seagall so much?
Drunken Master's my number one, and I can't see putting Fight Club on here.
DangadaDang- July 21, 2011 at 11:17 am
Oh yeah, and I would personally put Game of Death and Kung Fu Hustle on this bitch.
pussynotafighta- July 21, 2011 at 11:08 am
IRON MONKEy would be on my list , also REDBELT
DangadaDang- July 21, 2011 at 11:01 am
I must say I am incredibly impressed that I counted at least two nods for "Hard Times". Nice job comment section.
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- July 21, 2011 at 8:44 am
Over the Top??
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- July 21, 2011 at 8:42 am
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- July 21, 2011 at 8:41 am
Dante- July 21, 2011 at 8:13 am
Shootfighter 1
paketresor- February 16, 2011 at 2:52 am
keep up the nice work on the site. I kinda like it! :) Could use some more frequent updates, but i'm sure you got more or better things to do , hehe. :)
bali reseguide- February 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm
i have visited this blog a few times now and i have to tell you that i find it quite good actually. keep the nice work up! ;)
Resa- February 12, 2011 at 9:04 am
really appreciated the article that you published actually. it really is not that easy to discover great text to read (you know.. READ! and not just browsing through it like some uniterested and flesh eating zombie before moving on), so cheers man for not wasting my time on the god forsaken internet. :)
Wes- April 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm
where the fuck is fist of fury man come on kill bill? that BS fist of fury is bruce lees greatest film the fight sequences are the greatest ever conceived by man.
Westaboy- April 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm
WOW you should put Streetfighter with Van Dam too (1994) and i prepose the animation as well
Exzactly- March 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Wow and no one put American Ninja up there? What kind of list is this. No Last Dragon? Shame on you people. Where is the Perfect Weapon on this list. This is a sad day for cage potato.
Anonymous- February 27, 2009 at 11:22 am
what about kungfu panda
it just rocks man
the panda kicks ass
mitch- February 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm
also rogue assasin is awesome
mitch- February 25, 2009 at 3:34 pm
jet li's fearless????
this movie is awesome
get some jet in there
Never Back Down- February 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm
OMFG Never Back Down it`s N1 i heve see the movie alot of times and it`s a n1 movie Get it on the list.
roger- February 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm
Charles Bronson in "Hard Times" is my favorite. When he was younger he was really something and this movie depicts him as a very active fighter in the underground street fighting for money racket in the deep south during the hungry 30s. Awesome movie.
Anonymous- February 21, 2009 at 9:15 am
are yu kidding, maybe they will make the top 10 worst movies made
FIGHTER IN THE WIND- February 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm
everyone on this thread needs to watch FIGHTER IN THE WIND!!!
Fighter- January 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm
Wait, wheres the Bourne Trilogy, it's gotta be at least in the top 5.