2023 is really going to be one for the books, and best know I’m not exaggerating when I say these new movies & dramas have me dishing out my coins – whew!
In this article, I’ve listed 15 new Chinese historical movies that you should definitely give a try – they’re a fantastic blend of sweet, emotional, and fast-paced.
So, if you’ve been on the lookout for some new historical Chinese movies, get ready to be wowed.
Here are 15 awesome new Chinese historical movies to watch right now:
1. The Great Wall
During the time of the Renzong Emperor, a group of European mercenaries comes to China in search of gunpowder secrets.
They get attacked by a monster near the Great Wall, but two survivors named William Garin and Pero Tovar bring back the monster’s arm.
They are then captured by a group called the Nameless Order, whose mission is to fight alien monsters called Tao Tie.
As they plan to escape during the next monster attack, they discover a secret about magnets and capture a Tao Tie.
With battles, betrayals, and a mission to defeat the Tao Tie queen, they fight to save China and gain their freedom.
This must-see Chinese historical movie has complete English subtitles, and you should definitely give it a chance.
During the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, Li Yuan Ni faces an agonizing choice when her twins, Fang Deng and Da Feng, are trapped under debris.
She decides to save her son, unaware that her daughter Fang Deng is listening and mistakenly left for dead.
Years later, haunted by guilt, Yuan Ni refuses to leave her home while Fang Deng, now known as Wang Deng, carries resentment.
In 2008, during another earthquake, Fang Deng, now a volunteer, hears a similar story from another survivor, sparking a poignant connection.
3. The Flowers Of War
In 1937 China, amidst the Second Sino-Japanese War, a mortician named John arrives at a Nanjing Catholic church to prepare a priest for burial.
To his surprise, he becomes the sole adult among a group of convent girl students and nearby brothel prostitutes.
As the invading Japanese army brings horrors upon them, John reluctantly takes on the role of protector, leading him to understand the true essence of sacrifice and honor.
This is another fantastic new Chinese historical movie that blends historical accuracy and artistic interpretation, and I can tell you for a fact that it’s just as good as it sounds.
4. Snow Flower And The Secret Fan
In nineteenth-century China, two girls named Snow Flower and Lily become sworn sisters, connected by the ancient practice of laotong, and they communicate through a secret language written on a fan, as they face isolation and arranged marriages.
In present-day Shanghai, Sophia and Nina, descendants of Snow Flower and Lily, struggle with their own intense childhood friendship.
When a tragic event brings them back together, they must uncover the hidden story of their ancestral bond or risk losing each other forever.
This Chinese movie is based on a novel of the same name, and it’s really a fantastic achievement.
This movie is about the power of friendship and love that transcends distance, space, and time – don’t miss it!
5. Eternal Wave
In 1930, Shanghai shines as the “Paris of the East” with a thriving economy, but beneath the glitz, cruelty, and terror run rampant.
As the Imperial Japanese Army imposes control, Chinese troops valiantly fight back, from the Marco Polo Bridge incident to the Battle of Shanghai.
Media outlets, including private radio stations, are destroyed, and a Japanese agent proudly asserts that only approved stations will survive.
In this tumultuous setting, Li Xia courageously accepts the mission to rebuild a communication network for his fellow countrymen.
6. Matchless Mulan
Set during the Northern Wei Dynasty, the film depicts the invasion of the Rouran army, leading to a call for men to join the military.
Hua Mulan, taking her father’s place, befriends fellow soldiers but struggles with the idea of taking lives.
When tasked with rescuing Prince Yuan Hong, Mulan realizes she must fight to safeguard her loved ones.
7. The Eight Hundred
During the early days of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Imperial Japanese Army launched an invasion of Shanghai known as the Battle of Shanghai.
Despite holding their ground for over three months, the Chinese army eventually retreated to avoid being surrounded.
Lieutenant Colonel Xie Jinyuan and his under-equipped 524th Regiment bravely defended the Sihang Warehouse against the overwhelming 3rd Imperial Japanese Division.
This courageous last stand, ordered by Chiang Kai-shek, aimed to boost morale among the Chinese people and garner support from Western powers, who witnessed the battle from the nearby International Settlement in Shanghai.
This new Chinese movie is yet another historical piece that focuses on the Sino-Japanese war, but I’ll tell you that it isn’t repetitive in the least.
The storytelling breathes life into this memorable historical event, and you might shed a tear.
8. Our Time Will Come
This 2023 war film is set in the 1940s and revolves around Fang Gu, a legendary woman who plays a crucial role during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.
It focuses on the fight for freedom and independence led by young members of the resistance groups.
The story is narrated by an elderly taxi driver, sharing his memories from growing up under Japanese occupation during an interview for a documentary.
The Zhao family, once powerful, is massacred by their enemy Tu An Gu, leaving only one baby alive.
Cheng Ying, the doctor who saved the baby, hides him while Tu An Gu threatens to kill all infants unless the Zhao baby is surrendered.
To protect his own family, Cheng Ying sacrifices his own child, who is mistaken as the Zhao heir and killed.
Determined for revenge, Cheng Ying enrolls the Zhao orphan into Tu An Gu’s household, planning to use him as a weapon of vengeance in the future.
10. God Of War
In 16th century China, General Yu Dayou leads an Imperial Ming army to attack a fortress held by Japanese pirates (wokou).
The initial assault fails, revealing that the pirates include Japanese ronin, disgruntled Han Chinese, and samurai led by Commander Kumasawa.
General Qi Jiguang takes command and recruits villagers to form a new army. They launch a successful surprise attack, forcing the pirates to retreat, but General Qi faces accusations of collusion with the enemy.
Despite their defeat, the pirates manage to escape. The attention to historical accuracy in this historical Chinese movie was awe-inspiring, and I think you’ll enjoy this if you’re a right history buff.
This film is based on the life of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius.
Set in a time of war and chaos, the King of Lu seeks the assistance of Confucius to regain his power. Confucius, with his wisdom and charm, brings stability and peace to the state of Lu.
However, powerful political figures become threatened by him and force him into exile.
Despite this, Confucius remains committed to his ideals of peace and harmony as he travels from state to state.
12. The Taking Of Tiger Mountain
After World War II, the People’s Liberation Army, led by Captain 203, must reclaim areas taken over by bandits who looted Japanese arsenals. The soldiers face food and ammunition shortages until reinforcements arrive.
The villagers request their help against warlord Hawk, and Captain 203 sends Yang Zirong as a spy to infiltrate the bandits’ fortress on Tiger Mountain.
Zirong passes tests, protects a kidnapped woman, and helps the soldiers defeat the bandits. In the present day, a descendant pays tribute to Zirong and the soldiers, symbolizing their heroic actions.
The Taking of Tiger Mountain is another Chinese historical movie to watch that completely blew me away.
I’ve taken a stand against spoilers, so without giving much away, please watch this!
13. Little Big Soldier
In ancient China, an old soldier from Liang kidnaps a young enemy general and embarks on a journey to claim a reward.
The old soldier dreams of retiring and becoming a farmer.
Along the way, they face challenges like pursuers, abductors, and swindlers.
14. Tai Chi Zero
Yang travels to Chen Village to learn Tai Chi, and when a man threatens to build a railroad through the village, Yang becomes the villagers’ best hope for survival despite their ban on teaching outsiders.
You’ll enjoy this new Chinese drama if you’re in the mood to watch resilient characters who work hard, train hard, and learn hard – I know I did.
15. Red Cliff
In A.D. 208 China, rival states Shu and Wu team up to fight against their common enemy, General Cao Cao of the Wei kingdom, who has a much larger army.
Led by General Zhou Yu and aided by strategist Zhuge Liang and Emperor Sun Quan, they achieve a small victory against Cao Cao.
Although Cao Cao underestimates the significance of their win, it only fuels his anger.
And, that’s a wrap!
Thanks for sticking around until this point. I can personally vouch for every movie on this list – they’re all so, so, so good.
If you want some more recommendations, check out the related posts below, and I’m sure you’ll find something.