The Best Chinese Movies on Netflix
One of the best ways to learn any language is to watch films in that language. Not only does it provide visual context for culture and language, but you can also learn local slang and colloquialisms. Moreover, watching films in the language you are learning will train your ear to hear and listen to the spoken language at a regular conversational pace.
China has one of the largest film industries in the world and is regularly churning out new content. So, we have curated a list of the best Chinese films to watch that are currently available on Netflix.
Create Lessons with Chinese Netflix Movies
Before I get into the best Chinese movies on Netflix, let me show you how to make lessons with Netflix content on LingQ and a technique that many LingQers like to use to learn Chinese with Netflix.
Step 1: Create Your Lesson with the LingQ Browser Extension
You can download the LingQ browser extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Once you have it, add it to your toolbar and you can click on it to make a lesson out of any page you come across with Chinese content, not just Netflix shows. It will change your Chinese learning forever!
Step 2: LingQ Words and Phrases
Next work your way through the lesson, making LingQs with words and phrases you don’t know. This can take a while depending on how long the episode is and your Chinese level, but it’s so worth it.
Step 3: Watch the Movie with Chinese Subtitles
Of course, if your Chinese level is high enough that you don’t need the subtitles up, do without. Trust me, you will be amazed at how much you understand. Give it a try!
5 Awesome Chinese Movies on Netflix
The Wandering Earth
The Wandering Earth is China’s first sci-fi blockbuster, and the box office numbers shot the film up to being China’s third highest grossing film, globally earning $699 million USD.
Currently, it is also the third highest grossing non-English film. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by Liu Cixin. Set in the year 2061, it centers around a group of astronauts and rescue workers trying to guide the earth away from a quickly expanding sun that threatens to engulf Earth’s orbit.
This is Not What I Expected
Looking for a fun romcom that also gets your taste buds sizzling? This is Not What I Expected is a classic tale of rivalry turned love story.
Gu Sheng Nan is a sous chef at a hotel, and when Lu Jin comes in to acquire the hotel and turn it into something else, they immediately clash. However, Lu Jin immediately falls in love with Gu Sheng Nan’s cooking, without realizing who the genius is behind the food. Eventually, he connects the dots and begs her to cook for him and ultimately their love of fine cuisine brings them together.
I Am Not Madame Bovary
I Am Not Madame Bovary is a comedy-drama written by Liu Zhenyun and based on Liu’s novel I Did Not Kill My Husband.
When Li Xuelian and her husband divorce in order to circumvent Chinese law that prohibits married couples from owning more than one piece of property so that they can purchase a second property, her husband marries another woman and denies their original scheme. Now Li Xuelian is out for revenge, and simultaneously fights through bureaucracy to legitimately divorce her husband, while also hiring her friends to kill her ex-husband. However, her ex-husband accuses her of adultery and she is arrested and sent to re-education camps, ruining her crusade. In the end, Li Xuelian reveals the real reason she originally wanted to divorce her husband, and it wasn’t just to buy a second piece of property.
Who doesn’t love a Jackie Chan action comedy?
In Railroad Tigers, Jackie Chan’s character, Ma Yuan, a railroad worker, leads a group of freedom fighters to defy and resist Japanese occupation during WWII. With no real weapons, they use what they have to ambush and sabotage Japanese plans to continue using the railroad as a key military transportation route.
Don’t let the title fool you, this is not a sappy romcom about a breakup. This highly acclaimed comedy-drama made an Oscar run for Best International Feature Film, and hails from Taiwan.
In Dear Ex, a teenage boy, Chengxi, finds himself caught in the middle of a precarious situation when his mother discovers that her late husband named his gay lover as his benefactor, writing his own son out of the insurance policy. However, his father’s lover, Ah Jie, won’t receive anything without his mother’s signature. Yet, Chengxi forms an unlikely bond with Ah Jie, driving a deeper wedge between himself and his mother.
Enjoyed this post? Check out polyglot and LingQ cofounder Steve Kaufmann’s blog post to learn about the similarities and differences between learning Korean vs Japanese vs Chinese!