15 Best Tony Leung Chiu-wai Movies

A Hong Kong-based actor made his fortune in the film industry globally. He is a renowned figure who has appeared in various films. He worked on Romance, comedy, and action movies. This actor is Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, “the small tiger.” He is one of the greatest actors from Asia of all time. The love of his fans has reciprocated his passion for his work. He has also won and was nominated for several international awards. Celebrating his career, this article will cover the 15 best Tony Leung Chiu-Wai movies till now.

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Best Tony Leung Chiu-wai movies

15 Best Tony Leung Chiu-wai Movies

  1. In the Mood for Love

    Director: Kar-Wai Wong

    Writers: Kar-Wai Wong

    Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Siu Ping-Lam

    Genres: Drama, Romance

    In the Mood for Love (2000) on IMDb

    When talking of Leung Chiu-Wai, you must take advantage of this one. In 1962, a journalist named Chow Mo-wan, played by Tony Leung Chiu, moves to an apartment in Hong Kong with his wife. Due to the busy schedule, his wife, lonely Chow, befriends a lady next door named Su.

    Working as a secretary at a shipping company, Su also yearns for love and happiness in her marriage, but her spouse keeps travelling too. The two lonely friends grow closer when they know their spouses are having an affair. Falling in the mood of love, they try to protect their dignity by not stooping low like their deceitful partners.

    This movie has everything a viewer can ask for. Without any physical intimacy, there is enough sparking romance. The music, cinematography and acting are beyond perfect. The movie plot progresses slowly, but it keeps you invested. The expressions convey everything without a word being said. Indeed it is an artwork of Leung Chiu and Wong Kar Wai.

  2. Flowers of Shanghai

    Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou

    Writers: Bangqing Han, Eileen Chang, T’ien-wen Chu

    Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis

    Genres: Drama

    Flowers of Shanghai (1998) on IMDb

    The most beautiful world could be more attractive. That is the case with the Shanghai brothel. By the turn of the nineteenth century, men visited the flower girls for leisure. The glamour and glory of brothels drown in the patriarchal privilege of “good” men. Love, jealousy, money, power and distrust play equal parts in the life of the flowers of Shanghai.

    If you love a classic movie, it will feed your soul. It takes you back to the 1800s when men had it all for fun. The cinematography, low lighting and plot are beautiful. The story unfolds with such grace that you never lose the connection.

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    The little elements like an emphasis on men depict the power men had in the patriarchal set-up, the sadness and rage, the short-lived glory days of a flower girl and much more add so much finesse. Tony Leung succeeded in delivering a strong and influential performance. The “negative” role he played had left a positive impact indeed.

  3. Infernal Affairs

    Director: Andrew LauAlan Mak

    Writers: Alan MakFelix Chong

    Stars: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong

    Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

    Infernal Affairs (2002) on IMDb

    It is a 2002 Hong Kong action thriller film. This movie follows an undercover Police superintendent Wong sends his best police cadet Chan wing-Yan( Leung Chiu-wai), as an undercover cop to spy on a triad. Meanwhile, triad leader Hon sends his undercover agent into the police department, hoping for confidential details. Unaware of the undercover agents in both agencies, a decade passes by. Getting used to the pretentious lives, the long-term moles are soon hit by the bomb of fate. The battle of life and death begins.

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    To begin with, the movie’s run time is too short, and interestingly it is the best part. Without being overdramatic, the grip of the characters is strong throughout the movie. The plot moves at a fast pace with spine-chilling action. Somewhat intense with a rollercoaster of emotions, the top-tier acting of Tony Leung adds life to the movie. The feel is so natural that characters are not being played but lived. Despite being R rated, there is no overwhelming bloodshed or nudity. If you are watching it after “the departed”, you will not be disappointed.

  4. Chungking Express

    Director: Kar-Wai Wong

    Writers: Kar-Wai Wong

    Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

    Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance

    Chungking Express (1994) on IMDb

    In this movie, two Hong Kong policemen get a taste of heartbreak and love. With two stories being told in sequence, the first runs around He Qiwu, cop 223. A cop who was given a not-so-pleasant April fools’ day gift by his girlfriend named May, got dumped. Buying a tin of pineapple expiring on May 1, he hopes to reconcile with his love by the date or his love expires too. Dealing with the heartbreak, he runs into a mysterious blonde drug dealer. 

    The second half takes us on a tour of the life of another heartbroken officer, cop 663(Tony Leung). His life soon takes a spin when Faye sneaks into his apartment, sliding into his life to light up his world. 

    It is one of those movies that instantly connects. The uncertainty of life is its real beauty, and the movie captures it perfectly. The acting, vivid colours, a fluctuating graph of emotions, and romance with a bit of comedy and heartbreak couldn’t get any better.

  5. 2046

    Director: Kar-Wai Wong

    Writers: Kar-Wai Wong

    Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong

    Genres: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

    2046 (2004) on IMDb

    A womanizer sci-fi writer, Chow mo wan has affairs with multiple women to forget his only true love. Forging the experiences into inspiration, the writer delivers a train journey where one can live his memories. A face of the future with a blend of the past, a place from where no one can return. This is a loose sequel to the movies “in the mood for love” and “days of being wild,” making a spot in the love trilogy of Wong Kar Wai.

    Science fiction and romantic drama are a deadly combination backed by strong emotions, lust, and love. The iconic duo of Wong Kar wai and tony Leung delivered yet another masterpiece. The only problem a casual viewer may face is the number of references, as it needs to be more standalone.

  6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

    Writers: Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

    Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) on IMDb

    After escaping the ten-ring organisation, martial artist Shang Chi lives peacefully away from his father, Xu Wenwu(Tony Leung). The peace is disrupted for a while when the immortal and super powerful ten-ring holder Xu’s organization attacks him.

    This movie has got Tony all the name and fame he deserves. For his incredible performance as a “villain” or “not such a villain maybe”, he successfully dodges the stereotypical image of fathers portrayed in Hollywood. Besides Leung’s performance, the fight scenes are perfectly timed and choreographed. The plot for the introduction of a new hero by Marvel steals the show.

  7. Cyclo

    Director: Anh Hung Tran

    Writers: Anh Hung Tran

    Stars: Le Van Loc, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Nu Yên-Khê Tran

    Genres: Crime, Drama

    Cyclo (1995) on IMDb

    Struggling, caught under a vicious circle of poverty, an eighteen-year-old young cyclo/ bicycle taxi driver ends up in a deadlock when his vehicle is stolen. Burdened by debt, hopelessly on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, he falls on the path of crime. Unaware of the crime boss(Tony Leung) being his sister’s pimp, the young boy takes up jobs from him.

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    Picking up another morally grey character, Tony Leung portrays his mastery. The power of this strong plot radiates the impact of helplessness and the wrong society on innocent people. Although the cinematic masterpiece is well carried throughout, the violence may be difficult to watch. The story is emotionally jolting the soul with the outstanding performance delivered by the cast.

  8. Hard Boiled

    Director: John Woo

    Writers: John Woo, Barry Wong, Gordon Chan

    Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Teresa Mo

    Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller

    Hard Boiled (1992) on IMDb

    In a shootout with gun smugglers, a cop loses his wife. He is on a mission to find those who killed his partner. Looking for revenge, he teams up with an undercover agent, Alan (Tony Leung), a gangster, to find the smugglers and shoot down their triad.

    John Woo and Tony Leung together gave the best thriller action movie. Even though it was released in 1992, it is still competent or far better than what movies offer today. Much to one’s surprise, it is not just a cop vs criminal movie but much more. The pace is perfect, and the film sails throughout without dropping the action at any point.

  9. Happy Together

    Director: Kar-Wai Wong

    Writers: Manuel Puig, Kar-Wai Wong

    Stars: Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Chang Chen

    Genres: Drama, Romance

    Happy Together (2018) on IMDb

    In this movie, Lai Yiu-Fai(Tony Leung) and his boyfriend, Ho Po-Wing, move to Argentina for a better future, escaping the uncertain future in Hong Kong. Their love is challenged by jealousy and toxicity, making them fall apart and reconcile time and over again. The couple who came to live together falls on different paths, all alone.

    Celebrating LGBTQ romance, this movie delivers grace and ease that warms the heart but is devastating too. Wong Kar wai has played the most significant part in driving Tony to his full potential. Talking of how beautifully the colors have been played with, monochrome and bold colors to express emotions, nothing less than art. The camera work is at par with the performance delivered by the leads. The music and society blend in so well with the tail that it seems like icing on the cake.

  10. A City of Sadness

    Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou

    Writers: T’ien-wen ChuNien-Jen Wu

    Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-Fen Hsin, Sung-Young Chen

    Genres: Drama, History

    A City of Sadness (1989) on IMDb

    After the end of 50 years of colonial rule of Japan in Taiwan, joy is in the air. But this joy is short-lived as the Chinese Kuomintang government makes the lives of the natives miserable. One such tale of misery is the life of the Lin family. Wen-Heung, the oldest brother and a bar owner, adapts to the post-war life but succumbs to local gangsters. Wen-sun disappears. The third Lin brother, Wen-Leung, is set up falsely, ending up in prison and later mental asylum. The youngest of all, Wen-Ching( Tony Leung), is a deaf person and photographer by profession who bravely resist the Kuomintang government’s suppression and torture.

    Some films hit the spot perfectly. Tony Leung is a talented artist, but this performance is excellent. Being deaf and mute, Leung grabs enough sympathy and delivers without uttering a word. The emotions radiate strongly. Since personal experiences and historical events drive the movie, the impact and output are more significant than purely fictional.

  11. The Eagle Shooting Heroes 1993

    Director: Jeffrey Lau

    Writers: Louis Cha, Jeffrey Lau

    Stars: Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung

    Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy

    The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993) on IMDb

    The Eagle Shooting Heroes is a Hong Kong comedy film parody of the wuxia genre, known for its martial arts and chivalrous tales.

    The story revolves around various martial artists’ misadventures and interconnected relationships. The characters include the naive and clumsy Ah Sing, the beautiful and skilled Ah Ching, the bumbling and kind Ah Tze, and the mysterious and enigmatic Blackwood.

    The characters find themselves entangled in a complex web of love, friendship, and betrayal as they encounter eccentric and comical situations. The plot involves a magical object, the Nine Yin Manual, coveted by various martial arts sects. The characters embark on a journey to find this powerful manual, and along the way, they face numerous challenges and meet quirky individuals.

    The film combines romance, comedy, and fantasy elements with exaggerated martial arts sequences and humorous dialogue. It’s known for its unique and imaginative take on the wuxia genre, blending action with humor in a way that distinguishes it from more traditional martial arts films. The narrative weaves together various storylines, creating a tapestry of interconnected events and characters that contribute to the film’s overall comedic and adventurous tone.

  12. The Lover 1992

    Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

    Writers: Marguerite Duras, Gérard Brach, Jean-Jacques Annaud

    Stars: Jane March, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Jeanne Moreau

    Genres: Biography, Drama, Romance

    The Lover (1992) on IMDb

    The Lover is a film adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. The story is set in 1929 French colonial Vietnam and revolves around the clandestine affair between a young French girl from a financially strained family, known as the Young Girl, and a wealthy Chinese lover known as the Chinaman.

    The Young Girl, who comes from a troubled and financially struggling French family, meets the Chinaman on a ferry. Despite the cultural and economic differences, they are drawn to each other. The Chinaman is wealthy but faces discrimination due to his ethnicity. The two embark on a secretive and passionate love affair.

    The film explores the complexities of their relationship, including the challenges posed by societal expectations, racial prejudices, and economic disparities. The Young Girl’s family is unaware of her affair, and she struggles with her emotions and desires. The Chinaman, too, faces the pressure of societal norms and the disapproval of his family.

    The narrative unfolds through flashbacks as an older, reflective version of the Young Girl recounts the story. The film is known for its sensuality, evocative atmosphere, exploration of desire, love, and societal expectations.

  13. Lust, Caution 2007

    Director: Ang Lee

    Writers: Eileen Chang, James Schamus, Hui-Ling Wang

    Stars: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Tang Wei, Joan Chen

    Genres: Drama, History, Romance, ThrillerWar

    Lust, Caution (2007) on IMDb

    The story follows Wong Chia Chi, a young Chinese woman studying drama at a university in Hong Kong. She becomes involved with a group of student activists who are determined to assassinate Mr. Yee, a high-ranking collaborator with the Japanese government.

    Wong Chia Chi assumes a false identity and becomes Mrs. Mak, a wealthy woman in the social circles that Mr. Yee frequents. She successfully infiltrates his inner circle and gains his trust. As Wong Chia Chi’s relationship with Mr. Yee becomes increasingly intimate, the line between her undercover role and her emotions becomes blurred.

    The film explores themes of betrayal, love, & sacrifice against the backdrop of wartime espionage. The tension rises as Wong Chia Chi struggles with her conflicting emotions, and the danger of the mission intensifies. The story unfolds non-linearly, shifting between different timelines and perspectives.

  14. See You Tomorrow

    Director: Jiajia Zhang

    Writers: Jiajia Zhangkl, Kar-Wai Wong

    Stars: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Eason Chan

    Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

    See You Tomorrow (2016) on IMDb

    See You Tomorrow is a 2016 Chinese romantic comedy film about several characters and their romantic entanglements in Shanghai. The central character is a bartender named Ma Li, who can see the future of his customers through their drinks. He uses this unique skill to help people navigate their relationships and make sense of their love lives.

    The stories include a troubled couple, a womanizing man, a nostalgic photographer, and a man who can communicate with the deceased. The characters’ lives intertwine as the narratives unfold, and their paths cross unexpectedly.

    The movie explores themes of love, destiny, and the unpredictable nature of relationships. The storytelling is non-linear, with elements of fantasy and surrealism adding a unique flavor to the romantic comedy genre. The film combines humor, drama, and fantasy elements to create a tapestry of interconnected love stories set against the backdrop of the vibrant city of Shanghai.

  15. Confession of Pain

    Directors: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak

    Writers: Felix Chong, Alan Mak

    Stars: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Shu Qi

    Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

    Confession of Pain (2006) on IMDb

    The story revolves around two police officers, Hei and Bong, investigating a series of murders. Hei is haunted by the death of his girlfriend, Susan, who was killed in a bombing incident. Bong, a close friend of Hei, is determined to help him find the truth.

    As the investigation progresses, Hei and Bong uncover a web of deception and betrayal that leads them to high-profile individuals with dark secrets. The intricate narrative involves flashbacks that gradually reveal the events leading up to Susan’s death and the character’s motivations.

    Without giving away too many spoilers, it explores themes of revenge, guilt, and the consequences of past actions. The film combines elements of crime, mystery, and drama with intense performances from the cast. The plot takes unexpected twists and turns, keeping the audience engaged as the characters grapple with their inner demons and the pursuit of justice.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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