Best Mandarin Movies To Learn Chinese

Watching films is a great way to study and practice a new language. Mandarin is, of course, no exception. So here are 12 fabulous Movies for Learning Chinese.

Movies to Learn Chinese

Have you been looking for one of the best language techniques to help you become perfect in Mandarin?

Or maybe, as a Sinophile or a Chinophile, you wish to dive further into the captivating world of China. Mandarin films are your best answer. So, let’s explore 12 incredible movies to learn Chinese.

There are various language advantages. One such benefit is enjoying movies in the original tongue as initially created. Of all the language selections, why Mandarin?

Learning Chinese comes with many incentives, both in personal and professional life. It offers plenty of career possibilities.

No surprise, it is one of the most popular foreign languages to gain.

When discussing Chinese flicks, household names like Jackie Chan and Jet Li quickly come to mind.

However, there is a lot more in Chinese fantasy movies, epic dramas, animated cartoons, comedy shows, and more beyond such genres and names.

Chinese movies are excellent tools for people studying how to speak Mandarin. You always get to choose the film that intrigues you most.

Furthermore, you need not travel to mainland China to learn the Chinese language in an authentic, natural, and immersive mode.

Since Mandarin is one of the toughest languages to learn, you also need to explore practical Chinese courses, books, audio lessons, and other essential resources.

Why Watching Films Good For Learning Mandarin?

Apart from the action thrill and awe that Chinese movies evoke, it is an excellent way for foreign language learners to engage themselves in the art of mastering the Mandarin language.

You can immerse yourself in a pictorial view of Chinese society and culture.

Chinese movies for learning Mandarin

Chinese is not a straightforward language, so watching movies will help you decode the language pattern and figure of speech and master the vocabulary. You will also learn different dialects and slang associated with the language.

In addition, you can pursue some courses. For example, If you are interested in learning Mandarin Chinese in China, Keats School in China provides Chinese immersion programs in many cities in China.

Movies can help you get used to all those confusing accents, pronunciations, tones, and sounds, as well as commonly used conversational and colloquial phrases and exclamations.

Hearing Mandarin’s rhythm and flow will enhance your listening and speaking skills.

Whether you aim for the cultural nuances relating to the everyday speech of the language, you will find them in movies because films exhibit the raw culture of a language.

The origin of everyday metaphors, semantics, and words or the base root of idioms embedded in a language is an integral part of the history and culture of the people who speak it.

With Chinese cinema, you will discover and understand the best aspects of the Chinese people’s culture and traditional history.

Where to watch Mandarin Chinese Movies?

Many websites and online streaming have a substantial and great selection of movies, dramas, and video shows to get you started!

On-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube Premium, Baidu Video, and other online streaming allow you to see many Chinese cinemas.

Besides online services, there are several websites where you can view the legit repository of Chinese titles at your convenience and comfort.

Online platforms like Netflix produce many original and exclusive programs for their more widespread audience.

12 Must-Watch Mandarin Movies to Learn Chinese

China is the home of the most massive film production, film studios, and the fastest-growing film markets.

There are plenty of good Mandarin movies coming from China. However, it can be hard to find suitable films to watch.

So, below are twelve movies that will help Chinese learners to learn more about the language.

These movies are fabulous to watch to learn Mandarin and understand Chinese customs, culture, tradition, local slang, and enthralling history.

Best Movies to Learn Mandarin

1. The Blue Kite (Lan Feng Zheng) — 1993

Here is a movie whose story describes the fluctuating experiences of different families in China during the Cultural Revolution.

What makes this movie unique is the story’s narration from the perspective of a small boy (Tietou).

Tietou, the central character, has a charming personality that makes viewers attached to him. He goes through his childhood years having to cope with three separate fathers.

The Blue Kite (Lan Feng Zheng) movie has conversations between the child and family members.

Additionally, the communication between the adults is simple to grasp.

It is an outstanding film for people just learning to speak Chinese.

2. Lost in Thailand (Ren Zai Jiong Tu: Tai Jiong) — 2012

Xu and Bo, two rival scientists, traveled to Thailand to search for their boss, living at a Buddhist temple.

The intention was to be the first scientist to get a patent and market a new chemical additive.

On their way, Xu meets a pancake sales representative named Wang, who comes from Beijing and is set on achieving many dreams in Bangkok as a traveler with no experience in traveling.

Following some funny turn of events, both make the team and locate Xu’s boss in Thailand.

Films for Chinese learners

The movie’s plot is uncomplicated and makes the comedy even more appealing. It is fun, and following it is very easy.

It is a great introduction movie for a beginner learning Chinese who plans to appear for the Mandarin Proficiency exam.

3. The Wedding Banquet (Xi Yan) — (R) 1993

For romantic comedy lovers, The Wedding Banquet is a talkie that evokes strong characters and in-depth care.

The story focuses on Gao, a handsome-looking gay Taiwanese living in the Manhattan suburbs.

He married a Chinese woman from the mainland so she could get a green card.

Things started becoming complicated when his parents came to the US to help with the marriage preparations.

The movie was thrilling, as we saw Gao doing everything possible to ensure Simon, his American boyfriend, doesn’t know the truth.

Shot in New York, the language includes some English here and there. Notwithstanding, you will enjoy the Mandarin spoken.

4. Farewell My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji) — (R) 1993

Based on the novel written by Lillian Lee, this movie is coming from Hong Kong.

It reveals the suspense story of two of Beijing’s renowned male opera stars and the charming woman who came to separate them.

Films for Learning Chinese

The Farewell My Concubine is set in the middle of the 1800s. It is a historical drama film directed by Chen Kaige.

It narrates the story of the political instability that ravaged China in that era and its effect on families, groups, and individuals.

You can say Farewell. My Concubine is a film that put the Chinese language on the international scene.

The acting is magnificent, and the visuals are vibrant and spectacular in a historical setting.

5. Blind Shaft (Mang Jing) — 2003

Blind Shaft tells a fascinating story of dedicated miners who set out to make quick money.

To realize their dream, the miners murder a fellow miner and claim the death as an accident.

They pretended to be the deceased family members, took the settlement from the insurance policy, and ran off to another town.

Relishing the gain from their simple money scheme, the miners replicated their barbaric act again, this time targeting a teenage, naïve boy.

Unfortunately, their plan ran into problems for them as one of them developed a friendly relationship with the little boy.

This is a must-watch Chinese movie if you love stories on social problems, greed, rising wealth, and human emotions.

6. Monster Hunt (Zhuo Yao Ji) — 2015

If you love animation, Monster Hunt is among the best out there in the Chinese movie industry.

Chinese cinemas

Monster Hunt is a movie portrayed in a fictional ancient China when humans and monsters lived together.

After some time, humans drove the behemoths out. Then, a destructive civil war broke out in the monster’s kingdom, and power was taken by an evil minister.

The film features Wuba, a baby newly born with half-monster and half-human characteristics, who delivers the last and only hope to re-establish the friendship between monsters and humans.

The humor in the movie and the great martial arts keep you entertained all the time.

The vocabulary and syntax are simple to understand and suit the comprehensive skills of beginner Chinese students.

7. Let The Bullet Fly (Rang Zi dan Fei) — 2010

It is a comedy movie packed with lots of action.

The story tells about a group of thieves who lay in an ambush on a train. They did all this to fight against another group of thieves.

While the movie provides a high level of entertaining comedy, the spoken Mandarin dialect is hard to grasp for beginners.

Only advanced language learners can understand it better. Thus, this flick will be beneficial if you plan to appear for Level V or VI of the Chinese language exam, i.e., the HSK test.

8. You Are the Apple of My Eyes — 2011

Here is one Chinese romantic comedy (Na Xie Nian, Wo Men Yi Qi Zhui de nu hai) at its best, although it comes from Taiwan.

The movie is about two high school students (Ko Ching-Teng and Shen Chia-Yi) and their supportive classmates. They went through a long life journey and eventually parted ways.

Best Chinese Movies

They customize the movie to suit beginners’ and young adults’ language education.

It gives you a clue about school and university life in Taiwan and beyond.

9. The Great Magician (Dai moh Seut si) — 2011

This motion picture tells the emotional and love story of a magician trying to rescue his lover from a general grasp.

This movie’s fire signs and tricks make it an exceptional watch for the action-minded language learner.

The central character produces doves and gems around the women, making him the cynosure of all the women at every party he attends.

Some scenes are incredible, with the Chinese language at a fast pace.

The vocabulary and sentence formation in Dai moh seut sie are more advanced, and it’s a helpful option for lower intermediates and advanced language enthusiasts.

Don’t miss the opportunities to hone your Chinese learning skills while enjoying the thrill it brings from this drama.

10. Secret (Bu Neng Shuo de. Mi Mi) — 2007

Jay Chou is the central protagonist in this time-transcending cinema, delivering a great punch and feel for the average Chinese language learner.

Secret tells a haunting and powerful love story of a young and vibrant piano student who overwhelmingly falls into an uncontrollable love with a charming and mysterious girl.

Thanks to the simple dialect of Mandarin spoken in the film, the vocabulary is easy to grasp.

If you are a fan of classical music, you will like the engaging soundtrack in the background.

It is funny, romantic, entertaining, and playful.

11. Suzhou River (Su Zhou he) — 2000

The film is a tragic and touching love story set in contemporary Shanghai.

Suzhou River is a compelling tale of love and obsession that talks about identity, neediness, and desire.

The river Suzhou that flows through a rapidly expanding Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, detritus, chaos, and poverty and a meeting place for memories, mysteries, and secrets.

It has won several awards and nominations at various international film festivals and events. Though well-received overseas, Suzhou River was initially not screened in China.

If you’re looking for “real cinema” to help you improve your Mandarin, this movie is on your favorite list.

12. To Live (Huo Zhe) — 1994

Huo Zhe is one of the best Chinese movies ever produced.

It is a Chinese drama film directed by Zhang Yimou in 1994, starring Ge You and Gong Li.

Best Mandarin Movies

The movie to live takes us on a trip to China that will last us from the ’40’40srough the ’70s.

Throughout the film, you will witness life through the eyes of Fugui and Jiazhen, a husband and wife with two children and Fugui’s mother.

The slow-paced dialogues are ideal for elementary-level learners.

Also, watching the movie again with or without subtitles will help you understand how phrases and accents you can use and eventually sink into your brain.

Final Thought on Learning Chinese with Films

So here we have it. Of course, it was not meant to be an exhaustive list of every Chinese movie.

Instead, this can be a starting point for some fabulous Mandarin Movies to learn Chinese, giving a glimpse of Chinese cinema.

Watching Chinese movies is a great way to learn the language, and the options listed above can be your best Mandarin learning tools.

If you want more suggestions and additional information, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

Happy Watching! 玩得开心 (Have Fun).

2 thoughts on “Best Mandarin Movies To Learn Chinese”

    1. Vikash Gupta

      It isn’t easy to find the Romanization version of the Chinese characters. You can try some sites where you can download it. If you’re watching on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or any other online stream channels, they have the option to change the subtitles to original, i.e., Chinese. And I believe reading the Chinese characters is a better learning approach. The pinyin isn’t right from a learner’s perspective.

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