Top 10 Chinese Movies in Second Half of 2012

In’s poll amongst netizens, the media and film critics, the list for the Top Ten Chinese Movies in the second half of 2012 was revealed. The list includes several blockbusters released towards the year-end, as well as some lesser known films which generated positive reviews.

Best Lost in Thailand  Best Cold War

1) Lost in Thailand <人再囧途之泰囧>

With a 30 million RMB production budget, a new director Xu Zheng (徐峥), and stars Wang Baoqiang (王宝强), and Huang Bo (黄渤), Lost in Thailand easily tops the list as the best movie in 2012. While the story line about competing business rivals may be cliché, somehow all the elements of the movie synchronized to bring genuine laughter amongst the audience.  The box office figures raking in over 1 billion RMB made it the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time.

2) Cold War <寒戰>

Seldom do films go where Cold War has – which is to precisely film and edit every minute and second to make it relevant throughout the crime thriller to keep the audience in suspense. When you pair two experienced filmmakers with carefully crafted screenwriting and the star-studded cast of Tony Leung (梁家輝), Aaron Kwok (郭富城) ) and Andy Lau (劉德華), it is a recipe for success.

Best Caught in the Web  Best The Silent War

3)  Caught in the Web  <搜索>

While many have criticized that Chen Kaige (陳凱歌) used up all his creativity to film Farewell My Concubine <霸王別姬>, there is no doubt that he has reinvented himself with Caught in the Web. The film is fresh in it that it introduces dynamic characters and good rhythm, which draws the audience from the start and makes them feel like a part of the movie. Chen has finally adopted a new approach to his topics and based the film on the social phenomena that the internet has created.  Gao Yuanyuan (高圓圓) stars as a victim of internet character assassination, after a journalist posts a viral video of her behaving disrespectfully on a bus. The film also resulted in the real-life romance of Gao Yuanyuan and Mark Zhao (趙又廷).

4) The Silent War <聽風者>

Not every director can take the topic of war and turn it into an artistically appealing movie, especially when the plot revolves around the blind secret agent (Tony Leung 梁朝偉) falling in love with another agent (Zhou Xun 周迅) during a time of war. Zhou Xun dies a quarter way through the movie while Tony Leung, who regained his vision once again turns blind! The director’s interpretation of the story line and his ability to demonstrate his vision is truly a masterpiece.

Best Beijing Blues Best Feng Shui

5) Beijing Blues <神探亨特張>

Beijing Blues features a cast of real-life bloggers who are not professional actors in the movie with a DV-type of cinematography to portray a real and genuine look at today’s society. Director Gao Qunshu’s  (高群書) use of real people to carry his story and his voice was widely accepted by  audiences. Beijing Blues received the Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing at the 2012 Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards.

6)  Feng Shui   <萬箭穿心>

Director Wang Jing (王競) delivers a vivid film about a family drama, how a mother’s (Yan Bingyan 顏丙燕) manipulative and possessive personality results in the death of a loved one. The narrative spans ten years and traces how the mother continues to suffer from the reverberations of her own doing. The film received multiple rave reviews in the press.

Best CZ12  Best McDull Pork of Music

7) CZ12  <十二生肖>

Jackie Chan’s (成龍) films always pack a punch, and CZ12 is no different. However, given that Jackie is getting older, while his fighting is not like before, he was able to make up for it with laughs and the special effects. The final skydiving scene is definitely not one to miss!

8) McDull: Pork of Music <麥兜噹噹伴我心>

While Hong Kong’s McDull: Pork of Music is only an animation film, it brings back many memories for the audiences. Although there is no hero or special legend, it is the simplistic and innocent story line that gives everyone a sense of nolstagia – something that many movies cannot do. Anthony Wong (黃秋生), Sandra Ng (吳君如), and Ronald Cheng (鄭中基) lend their voices in the Cantonese dubbing.

Best Back to 1942  Best Get Father in Law

9) Back to 1942  <一九四二>

Director Feng Xiaogang’s (馮小剛) Back to 1942 recreates one of the worst famines in China, complete with elaborate sets and first-class actors, including Adrian Brody, Tim Robbins, and Xu Fan (徐帆). Back to 1942 is highly ranked by fellow netizens, media and film critics. In such a superficial society like today, we still need a film like this to bring us back to our roots.

10)  Meet The In-Laws <搞定岳父大人>

Meet The In-Laws is inspired by Hollywood’s Meet the Parents. Hong Kong’s Benz Hui (許紹雄) stars as the meddling father-in-law who places himself and son-in-law (Lost in Thailand’s Xu Zheng 徐崢) in ridiculously awkward situations.  Lin Peng (林鹏) is the daughter caught in the middle. It is truly a feel-good leisure film that can be enjoyed by everyone.


This article is written by Natalie for

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  1. i truly miss films where it’s pure cantonese. 🙁 anyone else feel the same?

    am i not giving mainland films a chance?

    1. >am i not giving mainland films a chance?

      You’re not giving mainland films a chance.

    2. I dislike dubbing. I miss watching HK films where everyone speaks in their language without dubbing.

      1. A lot of HK films used to be dubbed, even though they’re all speaking canto…

      2. HK films in the ’90s had very little dubbing, or at least I didn’t notice it. Recent HK films dubbing is very noticeable.

    3. to get a bigger audience base, a lot of film now have mix artists from Korea, Taiwan, Mainland, Hong Kong, Japan etc.

      I remember in older Hong Kong films, overseas artist will speak English (orginal voice) and use less voice over. Or if they speak another language (japanese is common due to the Japan Wave) there will be no voice over but sub title is available. much more enjoyable.

      I miss film in pure cantonese too…

    4. I like pure Cantonese movie too. There are still some around. The high profile, high budget ones are mostly collaborations between several countries and mostly in Mandarin. But, you can still find smaller production in Cantonese.

      Cold War is in Cantonese with lots of HK actors. Have you seen it?

      1. haven’t watched it yet … but will as soon as it comes out on DVD 🙂 wish they had this movie in american theatres 🙁

    5. totally agree.
      not that I don’t like some from the mainland or elsewhere for that matter.
      and definitely no dubbing regardless.

  2. Athough I’m not Cantonese(in Malaysia one can speak several dialects and sometimes speak other than one’s own better)I much prefer the dialect to be Cantonese.

  3. Lost in Thailand started out great. But the plot (which is essential one man chasing two men) just dragged on for too long and the comedy effects wore out mid way.

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