Jackie Chan is one of the all-time greats when it comes to action comedies, and although he is now entering his 70s, he continues to make films today. Jackie Chan is a legendary actor who has appeared in almost 150 different projects since 1962.
His incredible martial arts skills, combined with his sense of humor and ability to perform both in front of and behind the camera have made him an incredible asset to both the film industry in Hollywood and Hong Kong.
Best Movies Jackie Chan
- The Forbidden Kingdom
- Kung Fu Panda
- The Spy Next Door
- The Karate Kid
- Police Story: Lockdown
- The Foreigner
- Bleeding Steel
- The Lego Ninjago Movie
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
1. The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
The Forbidden Kingdom follows a young martial arts film fan who gets wrapped up in his own martial arts adventure.
The film appears to partially pay tribute to Chan’s early success in Drunken Master, as the movie focuses on the dealings of one of the Eight Immortals who created the Drunken Boxing martial arts featured in the earlier film.
Chan plays Lu Yan, creating a circular narrative for the mythology of the films and creating a loose connection. However, the film is also worthwhile in its own right, with Chan’s trademark martial arts playing a major part.
2. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Kung Fu Panda is one of the best franchises to come out of Dreamworks, and the series is set to release its fourth film in 2024. Joining a talented cast of voice actors, Chan plays Monkey, who is one of the kung fu masters in the Furious Five.
Chan’s comedy skills shone through in this role and, despite having a more minor role in the first entry, his presence is felt each time he appears. The character has a more prominent role in subsequent sequels, but the first film is one of the best in the series so far.
3. The Spy Next Door (2010)
One of Jackie Chan’s greatest strengths is his comedy, and that is played to great effect in The Spy Next Door. Chan plays an undercover spy, Bob Ho, who intends to retire after catching his rival, and settle down with his long-time girlfriend and her three children.
The Spy Next Door sees him juggling his work as a spy, with babysitting his partner’s kids when she is called away on an emergency. The film plays to Chan’s strengths, and he delivers another great performance, elevating a simple concept to become a fun family film.
4. The Karate Kid (2010)
2010’s The Karate Kid featured several changes from the original. Altering the martial art from karate to kung fu, and the setting is changed to China.
Chan plays the Mr. Miyagi-esque figure, Mr. Han, who trains young Dre to become a fighter capable of defending himself against bullies.
In comparison to the original, this movie didn’t get the best reviews, but because the film has been retooled as a new story in the same universe, it’s worth revisiting. Chan is excellent as the quiet and reserved mentor who compassionately seeks to train a young man getting bullied by his peers.
5. Shaolin (2011)
Shaolin is a powerful story of change and growth, about a warlord who loses everything and learns the error of his ways, and how he negatively impacted the lives of others through his actions. Chan plays a kindly cook who serves and lives in a Shaolin Temple.
Chan plays a minor role in this film, but his emotion, warmth, and kindness make his performance stand out in a film where his role could have easily been reduced. Chan makes the role his own and asserts his position as an invaluable part of the movie.
6. Police Story: Lockdown (2013)
Police Story is possibly the most famous franchise created by Chan, and the films all feature him in a leading role. Police Story: Lockdown is a reboot of the franchise with a darker tone, and Chan in a slightly altered role.
The film is not necessarily as good as its predecessors, but it builds on the franchise satisfyingly and tells a compelling story. Chan once again delivers a great performance with his skilled martial arts, and his acting prowess to make something that is a worthy contribution to the Police Story series.
7. The Foreigner (2017)
Of all Chan’s latest films, The Foreigner stands out as the best. The incredible story adapted from a novel by Stephen Leather and directed by Martin Campbell, the movie follows a former Vietnam War soldier who seeks revenge for the death of his daughter, The Foreigner gives Jackie Chan everything he needs to shine.
The film is emotional, full of action, mystery, and intrigue, and Chan plays the role to perfection with an incredibly compelling performance. Despite his age, Chan does an incredible job and proves why he is still one of the best action heroes in Hollywood.
8. Bleeding Steel (2017)
While Chan may be performing in fewer physically demanding roles, he continues to deliver incredible performances where needed. Bleeding Steel is a Chinese, science fiction and cyberpunk-style movie starring Jackie Chan as a special agent in Hong Kong.
The story is quirky and full of twists and turns, and Chan proves he can still pack a punch despite being old enough to retire. The role is demanding physically, but Chan also manages to deliver emotion and humor in all the right measures to make this film something special.
9. The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)
Considering Jackie Chan’s advanced age, several of his most recent roles have seen him appear in animated films, making use of his iconic voice, without the need for him to perform intensive physical routines.
The Lego Ninjago Movie did just this when it cast Chan as the wise old martial arts master, Master Wu.
The film also employed a narrative framing device with an old shopkeeper telling a young boy the legendary story of Ninjago, which is the second role that Chan appears in for the film. Both roles make great use of his iconic comedy skills.
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)
Jackie Chan appears in a far more involved capacity in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, where he plays the adoptive father of four mutant turtles, and martial arts master, Splinter.
The role puts all of Chan’s voice acting skills to the test, and he manages to deliver an incredible performance as the firm, but loving father figure, in addition to affirming his position as a commanding presence.
Chan proves that he can deliver top-notch performances, without relying on his physical performance and he creates a coherent and impressive character.