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Top 25 Hong Kong Films of the Decade - Voting now open!

It’s nearly the end of the year, but more importantly, it’s the end of the “aughts”, so that means it’s time for a “Best of” list. Because everyone loves lists. Don’t they?

Anyway, to commemorate, celebrate, or perhaps complicate the end of this decade, would like to run a list of the Top 25 Hong Kong movies of the Decade. I — that is, the Kozo in Damn You, Kozo — will probably publish my own “Best of the Decade” Hong Kong movie list sometime towards the end of the year, but I’d like to see what the general Internet population - or, at least the 30-40 people who read this website - think.

That means this list will be decided upon by you.

Vicki Zhao
“Huh? Me? Why me?”

We’re running an open vote because everyone matters. Maybe not as much as Vicki Zhao, but they still matter. Anyone who drops by — cinema fan, amateur critic, film professional, fangirl, pop culture geek, drooling toddler or animated panda — is allowed a voice, as long as they take the time to write in. So here’s how it’ll work:

  • Readers of can vote for their favorite Hong Kong films of the decade. Officially, we’ll be picking the Top 25 Hong Kong Films, but if response is good, I might raise that number.
  • This vote is for your favorite films. I’m not asking you to discuss which films you felt were the most worthy of award consideration. You needn’t have seen every film that came out in the past decade. If you saw it and liked it, you can vote for it.
  • To vote, email us using the LoveHKFilm Email Form. In the subject, just write “TOP HONG KONG MOVIES”, and list 10 Hong Kong movies that you really liked. Don’t use the comment form on this blog so we can keep the vote blind.
  • You must list 10 Hong Kong movies released during the years 2000-2009. Make sure to number them from 1 through 10, because it will make a difference. Your No. 1 film will get 10 points, your No. 2 film 9 points, etc., with your No. 10 film only getting 1 point.
  • Voting will end on December 25th, 2009. I might let a few stragglers in, but once I’m done tabulating the votes, that’ll be it. Once all the votes are tallied I’ll count down the Top 25 in a series of posts, starting with No. 20 through 25 and then reveal five more a day until I get all the way down to No. 1.

Along the way, feel free to speculate what No. 1 will be. INFERNAL AFFAIRS? KUNG FU HUSTLE? MY WIFE IS 18? The mind boggles at the possibilities.

“What about EVERLASTING REGRET? Can that make the list?
I spoke in Mandarin. Well…I tried to, anyway.”

Now for the tougher part: which movies count in this vote. I figure that any film that qualified for the Hong Kong Film Awards or even the LoveHKFilm Awards will count in this poll. That means you can browse through the handy Awards Pages for ideas of movies that qualify.

If you’d like to vote for something that wasn’t up for awards, like NINE GIRLS AND A GHOST, go right ahead. Just make certain that A) It was released in Hong Kong during the years 2000-2009; B) it contains Hong Kong investment, e.g. it was co-funded by Edko, Chinastar, Media Asia, etc.; and C) it fulfills 2 of the following 3 criteria:

  1. The director is Hong Kong-based, or has a career largely associated with Hong Kong Cinema.
  2. A lead actor is Hong Kong-based, or has a career largely associated with Hong Kong Cinema.
  3. The film is largely in Cantonese or Mandarin.

There could be some iffy votes, and if so I’ll probably have to make a personal call. For example, THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC could be argued as qualifying due to the many Hong Kong stars, but I would probably disqualify it. On the other hand, THE BANQUET would make the cut, as Daniel Wu was the male lead, plus Yuen Woo-Ping handled the action. Little things like that help.

louis and stephy
“The rules for this thing are driving me insane!
Does POKER KING count or not?”

If you’re still not sure if your movie counts, you can just ask below in the comments if a film qualifies. You can also lobby for your favorites to give people some ideas, but I will squelch naysayers before they even open their mouths. This is a positive, not a negative vote, so no lobbying against anyone else’s suggestions. Civility is a virtue.

John Woo
“Hey! You in the back! You’re voting for RED CLIFF, right?”

Most of all, have fun! And if you know anyone who may have an opinion, please ask them to vote. More participants means a more representative Top 25 list, which means more people are happy and peace is achieved in the galaxy. We always enjoy achieving galactic peace.

64 Responses to “Top 25 Hong Kong Films of the Decade - Voting now open!”

  1. QQ Says:

    I know this makes me supremely lazy but is there is list of Hong Kong movies made from 2000 - 2009? I don’t want to miss out on listing an older film because I forgot the name or what year the movie came from.


  2. Leemoy Says:

    I bet Infernal Affairs will hit the fisrt place. However it wasn’t my first choice. rsrsrs

    Uh, I selected 5 films produced by Milkaway. That was difficult chose only five from ten, hope they will rule the Top25. hehehe

  3. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi QQ,

    If you’re looking for a full list of movies from those years, the best resource I can think of is at HK Cinemagic:

    Some of the movies listed there wouldn’t count (e.g., KILL BILL), but it’s the best way to get a near-complete listing.

  4. TheGoldenRock Says:

    Does Red Cliff count as one film or two films? Would be weird to just count one of them, but two would take up too many spots.

  5. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    I think RED CLIFF can probably count as one film since it really IS one film split into 2 from the get-go. I wouldn’t do the same for ELECTION 1 & 2 or, uh, TWINS EFFECT 1 & 2.

    If anyone out there already voted for both RED CLIFF 1 & 2 in their list of 10, feel free to send me a corrected one through the email form.

  6. valerie soe Says:

    Is it okay if all of my films star Francis Ng?

  7. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Valerie,

    We’re probably going to get some submissions loaded with Donnie Yen or Nicholas Tse, so feel free to frontload your vote with Francis. This is really for fun, so go right ahead. :)

  8. hkcm Says:

    If you want to see only HK movies in the year listing (in, you can choose the “HK option”, and all non asian movies will be absent. ;)

  9. M Says:

    Would “Lust, Caution” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” be eligible? Tony Leung and Chow Yun Fat are from HK and the film is in Mandarin, but Ang Lee isn’t associated with Hong Kong.

    I just hope the awesome “Men Suddenly in Black” makes the list!

  10. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi M,

    Both would count for purposes of this poll. CROUCHING TIGER was honored at the Hong Kong Film Awards back in 2001 and while LUST CAUTION was not deemed eligible for the HKFA, it does pass the less-stringent Love HK Film Awards rules.

    Basically, you can vote for them both. MEN SUDDENLY IN BLACK too.

  11. Kiddo Says:

    Maybe my brain isn’t functioning today, but is there supposed to be an available email form? Or can we just email our list straight to you?

  12. ChinoDevean Says:

    OK stupid question: where can I find this LoveHKFilm Email Form?? Searching high and low for it..

  13. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Whoops, my apologies. The link for the email form disappeared. It’s also the same as the CONTACT US link in the top navigation.

    If email forms bother you, you can always send it directly to me at webmaster[at]

  14. Neil Says:

    Ok, since I can lobby for a film, I guess I will lobby “In the Mood for Love”. “2046″ I’m not so sure…but “In the Mood for Love” is a period romance back in 2000 that has a way of underwhelming you in the first half and overwhelming you the second. We don’t know where this infatuation comes from amidst all that monotonous daily routines of Chow Mo-Wan(Tony Leung) and Su Li-Zhen(Maggie Cheung) but I guess love does seem to pop out of nowhere for the most part…

  15. M Says:

    Kozo, I know this would consume much more of your time, but too bad we couldn’t vote for awards like “Biggest Waste of Time of the Decade” or “Favourite Guilty Pleasure” because those would be quite fun.

  16. Andrew Says:

    So basically, you’re asking us to send in Johnnie To’s filmography after 1999? No problem then.

  17. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi M,

    This current vote is happening because I would really like to know what the reader consensus is on this subject, but it’s also a minor trial for future, similar votes. If it works out, I may run a “Best Performance of the Decade” vote or something like that. A “Worst Film” vote is also possible - and you’re not the first person to suggest it, either.

  18. Lord Garth, Formerly of izar Says:

    Sent it! That was fun. Wesley’s Mysterious File was not in it.
    But I’d wager there were 2-4 films that made my list which no one else on the site will have had

    1-6 were a piece of cake but damn if 7-10 were not a bit*h!!
    Especially with respect to does an all HK cast and filmakers but with a (let’s say) Singapore or Thailand location still constitute an HK film?? If not i have a deserved runner up to fill the slot

  19. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Lord Garth,

    Movies with Singapore or Hong Kong locations do qualify, as long as they fulfill the other requirements listed in the post. One of your suggested titles actually was not produced locally, nor did it ever get released in Hong Kong cinemas (really odd, if you think about who the lead actor is), but them’s the breaks.

    Your other titles are fine, though. Thanks for voting!

  20. Lord Garth, Formerly of izar Says:

    Thanks Kozo

    I think I know which one of the two you mean and it’s not Bullet and Brain.

    How’s about the Ten worst list next week ? I know I’ve bought some real turkey’s over the past few years from Yesasia and Hkflix often based on the lead and or production team, not always with Chapman To and or a cameo by Eric Tsang though I can think of a couple

  21. Chris Wolter Says:

    Would Ashes of Time Redux apply?

  22. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Two responses here:

    Lord Garth, a “10 Worst” list is doable, but I may table that until early next year as I can only really handle one vote at a time. And actually, I would like to do perhaps a “Best Performances of the Decade” type deal before doing a “10 Worst”. Oddly, I’m rather enjoying looking at the positive responses.

    @Chris Wolter, ASHES OF TIME REDUX would be fine to include on your vote. A few people have already!

    And for anyone who previously voted: if you decide to change your vote as a result of these discussions, please go ahead and send in a corrected list.

  23. joe Says:

    this list had me thinking about how much has changed in the last 10 years in the HK film industry. it was going fairly strong at the beginning of the decade. look at the state of it now.

  24. Kyra Says:

    can I vote for Curse of the Golden Flower? does it count as HK film?

  25. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Kyra,

    Yes, you can vote for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. It may be a Zhang Yimou film, but Chow Yun-Fat is Hong Kong, and most important of all, it was co-produced by Edko Pictures, which is Hong Kong based. It was nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards, too.

  26. Samson Says:

    This is so much fun! I have already submitted my list twice, with the second being an amended version after reading this discussion. But now after reading more of the comments, I am thinking of changing my list again! To avoid upseting Kozo, I may actually wait till Christmas Eve to hand in my final list!!

  27. Lord Garth, Formerly Of Izar Says:

    Oh Good Lord I own a copy of the Irresistable Piggies

  28. chw Says:

    A depressing thought: I just realized that don’t think I’ve actually seen enough good Hong Kong movies in the last decade to actually put on a “10 Best” list (then again, I don’t get around to watching that many HK films, period).


  29. Calvin McMillin Says:

    Getting in the spirit of things, I’m compiling my own top ten list,too, so it should be fun comparing with Kozo, Kevin (if he’s doing one, too), and the always appreciated readers.

  30. Viktor Says:

    Does The Dark Knight count? ;-)

  31. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hey Viktor,

    Haha, sorry, THE DARK KNIGHT doesn’t count. Neither does W, which actually had some funding from EEG.

  32. Samson Says:

    Dear Kozo,
    You mean The Dark Knight does not count?! But everyone’s favourite actor Edison Chen is in it..

  33. Xiaohouzi Says:

    When I think about it, I realize that most of my favourite movies are from mainland. So Crazy Stone and Crazy Racer count because Andy Lau is part of the production, but I don’t know for Nanjing!Nanjing!, Lost In Beijing or The Equation Of Love And Death, ONE LAST DANCE or Bangkok Dangerous for example?

  34. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Xiaohouzi, about those movies, it depends on if they fulfill the criteria listed above. EQUATION OF LOVE AND DEATH could count, but that’s only if we consider Zhou Xun to be a Hong Kong or Hong Kong-based actress. Some may argue otherwise. I’m cool with its inclusion.

    The other films:

    CRAZY RACER and CRAZY STONE have some Hong Kong money, but neither a Hong Kong actor or director. Andy Lau only had something to do with CRAZY STONE, but even then he was an offscreen producer.

    CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH has Hong Kong money (Media Asia), but not a Hong Kong actor or director.

    LOST IN BEIJING, ONE LAST DANCE, and BANGKOK DANGEROUS are all non-HK money, which would make them ineligible.

  35. TheGoldenRock Says:

    I compiled one as well, but man, it was really hard to cut down my initial list of about 30. Some are unorthodox choices, and some really traditional ones. Looking forward to seeing the results.

  36. QQ Says:

    After you are done tallying and results are posted , would it be possible to see a list of all nominated (and qualifying) movies?

  37. Leemoy Says:

    One Last Dance ineligible? Damn it, I have to resend my list. I need to find some time and watch 2046, Written By, ICAC and Accident. Or just choose Flash Point. LOL

  38. Chris Wolter Says:

    So that my list doesn’t need to be revised…..Zhang Ziyi and Yu Rong Guang are enough to qualify Korea’s MUSA THE WARRIOR, right?

  39. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    A few answers here:

    @QQ, a list of all the nominated movies is doable. It’s nearly 100 by now, I think.

    @Chris Wolter, according to IMDB, MUSA THE WARRIOR is a China/Korea co-production, so it technically would not count for this vote.

  40. Kyra Says:

    Dear Webmaster, I hope you will display the result not only the title, but also with how many points it gains and how many people vote for each title.

  41. Chris Wolter Says:

    Not that I can’t find a replacement for MUSA, but it does fulfill qualification #2 and for #3, Mandarin is spoken by Zhang Ziyi in the movie, but perhaps since it is not LARGELY spoken, I cannot use it? Thanks

  42. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    @Kyra, I’ll probably list the movie titles, number of points and also First Place Votes, so people can see the range.

    @Chris, MUSA does somewhat fulfill 2 of the 3 criteria listed there. The problem is the very first two requirements listed above. It did get theatrical release in Hong Kong, but since it was a China/Korea co-production, it essentially does not have Hong Kong money, so that’s why MUSA wouldn’t qualify.

    The whole conundrum of “What is a Hong Kong film?” has gotten a lot worse in recent years, and I don’t think there is really a good answer, as they arguably don’t really make movies for Hong Kong at all anymore. So for this vote, I’m just using the same criteria I use for the LoveHKFilm Awards, which is a lot less strict than the Hong Kong Film Awards. Sorry to disappoint on this one, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

  43. Chris Wolter Says:

    No problem, wasn’t trying to debate it as much as just make sure! I think I can still come up with 10! Thanks

  44. valerie soe Says:

    Too bad about One Last Dance. I might not be able to have an all-Francis list after all–but it will be close.

  45. AlHaru Says:

    Though it’s been made official by Kozo, I still don’t think Ashes of Time Redux has anything to do with this. Film production closely picked up (and tried to cash in (from) the wuxia fever in the early 90’s. The cast, of whom had either left the entertainment scene or passed away, was assembled long before their stardom and salaries rose to the level that such an assembly wouldn’t be accomplished in the 2000’s. WKW’s scissors might have made it a 2008 film, but circumstances had not. My opinion should not defer your interest in the voting of this movie.

    Give me CPR if a Wong Jing movie ends up somewhere on the Top25 list.

  46. Wongsaurus Says:

    Hi Kozo -

    Being as I’m one of the 30-40 readers, I guess I should submit my Top Choices soon. However I won’t agonize over my list any more than my weekly grocery list. After all,this is just a people’s choice awards for fun.

  47. ed Says:

    valerie soe, how hard is it to have an all-francis list? looking at his page on lovehkfilm, he has done 30+ films since 2000.
    this would be my all-francis list (not that I would recommend a list just based on your fave actor/actress…)

    1. infernal affairs II
    2. a war named desire
    3. juliet in love
    4. exiled
    5. crazy n’ the city
    6. turning point
    7. wo hu
    8. on the edge
    9. clean my name, mr coroner
    10. 2000 AD

  48. valerie soe Says:


    your all-francis list is strikingly similar to my top ten, mas o menos. i managed to make it seven out of ten for francis, with my top five starring him. i did include a few other films that didn’t have fn in them, though (can’t forget lau ching-wan!), just to show that i’m not biased ; ) although i liked turning point & wo hu a lot i just couldn’t pull the trigger on including them in my top ten. and i do regret having to leave off one last dance but them’s the rules.


  49. Voting for Top 25 Hong Kong Films of the Decade at LoveHKFilm « Populasian Says:

    […] just submitted my Top 10 list of HK films for the years 2000-2009 over at Here is my […]

  50. anotherlonelyday Says:

    wow ed i do like the more off beat choices like crazy n’ the city and the (haha i like francis ng and it is actually a decent film but what the) clean my name mr coroner choice.

    i can’t be bothered to go through an extensive list because i’ll be editing it for ages..

    anyways here are some less obvious picks that are i thought were very good each in their own right.

    it got a bit messy towards the end but at times it was simply enchanting. i absolutely loved this the first time i saw it and it guess it was the really well executed ‘postmodern’ approach that surprised me for a hk film.

    and the same can be said of this film. pang’s raw (co-directed) debut and arguably his most fun and creative.

    i suppose my choices are based on the quirkyness and overal filmmaking qualities that i identify with. on that note, i think the defining film for me personally this decade is derek yee’s stunning one nite in mongkok.

  51. Tristan Says:

    Does ‘The Sun Also Rises’ qualify?

  52. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Tristan, based on the criteria, I would say that yes, SUN ALSO RISES does qualify. It has Hong Kong money (Emperor Motion Picture Group) and got a Hong Kong release. The director is a mainland actor, but it has 2 Hong Kong stars (Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan), and is in Mandarin. Survey says yes.

    We also counted it at the LoveHKFilm Awards, though the Hong Kong Film Awards ruled it as a mainland film due to numerous tricky formulas (like maybe percentage of film crew that’s Hong Kong-based). We have no access to that information, so we basically just created some rules and crossed our fingers in hopes that it would all work out. Kind of like the World Trade Organization.

  53. ed Says:

    anotherlonelyday, that wasn’t my actual top 10 list, I was saying if I were to do a top 10 francis list like valerie, that would be it. I only have 2 francis films in my actual top 10 (which 2 won’t be that hard to figure out…) I have more andy lau and lam suet films in my top 10 than francis… also I liked ‘lost in time’ more than ‘one nite in mongkok’, I guess I’m a sap…

  54. 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather Says:

    […] of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men so, with apologies to Kozo, I’m going to interrupt the voting for Best Of The Decade and wish everyone a Happy […]

  55. anotherlonelyday Says:

    oh yes ed i did miss the most important part of your list where it said ‘all-francis ng’..

    hm it was late.

    anyways where’s the mission and bullets over summer?!

  56. valerie soe Says:

    iirc, the mission & bullets over summer were both released in 1999. otherwise they’d be on my list since they’re both awesome and they both star francis ng

  57. valerie soe Says:

    ps: lost in time also rocks

  58. Chris Wolter Says:

    Given that I obviously can’t read, and only submitted a top ten, can I be a straggler and get the remainder in on the 26th? Merry Christmas? Chris

  59. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Chris, you’re only supposed to submit a Top 10. A points system and weighted votes does all the rest, so that we come up with a list of 25-50. Voting is over now too, so I have to start counting.

  60. Chris Wolter Says:

    AAAHHH!!! Thanks!

  61. Bill Nguyen Says:

    Kozo. should we do another list for favorite actors and actresses too? totally agree with you over the comments

  62. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Bill, for actors, I think a “Best Hong Kong Film Performances of the Decade” list would be good, because it really ties the actors and actresses into specific movies, instead of just asking people to list their favorites. The only question would be if actors and actresses should be separated, or if they should be put on the same playing field.

  63. Romita Says:

    Is it too late to vote? If not, my favorite Hong Kong film is “SPL”. Thanks!

  64. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Romita, sorry it’s too late to vote for this “Best of Decade” list, but we should be voting on other lists sometime in 2010.

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