In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, I’ve made a list of the best Asian movies you can watch for free online. With the recent release and success of “Crazy Rich Asians” and Parasite”, Asian representation in movies is at an all-time high. The criteria used to make this list include:

  • The movie must be free to watch legally.
  • Movies produced in Asian countries
  • American movies are accepted if the majority of the cast members are of Asian descent.
  • Although major streaming websites (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave, etc.) have free trials and have a good number of Asian movies, they’re not counted.

There will be glaring omissions including the 2 movies already mentioned, simply because they’re not free or because I haven’t watched them.

Get your digital library card here, if you don’t already have one. You will need it to access Kanopy and Hoopla.

Note: To be honest I’m biased towards genre movies (sci-Fi, horror, action), whether or not it stands the test of time, and repetitive viewing.

 


#5 Ringu

Japanese | Horror | English Subtitles | Watch It On Kanopy | 97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Ringu combines supernatural elements with anxieties about modern technology in a truly frightening and unnerving way.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Ringu (1998) 1h 36min | Horror, Mystery | 31 January 1998 (Japan) Summary: A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.
Countries: JapanLanguages: Japanese


#4 Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Japanese | Animated, Sci-Fi | English Dubbed | Watch It On Tubi.tv | 96% on Rotten Tomatoes

Ghost in the Shell (1995) 1h 23min | Animation, Action, Crime | 29 March 1996 (USA) Summary: A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.
Countries: Japan, UKLanguages: Japanese

 


#3 Train to Busan

Korean | Horror | English Subtitiles | Watch It On TubiTV | 94% on Rotten Tomatoes

Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Train to Busan (2016) 1h 58min | Action, Horror, Thriller | 20 July 2016 (South Korea) Summary: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
Countries: South KoreaLanguages: Korean, Hawaiian

 


#2 Battle Royale

Japanese | Sci-Fi, Action | English Subtitles  | Watch It On Hoopla | 87% on Rotten Tomatoes

Before Hunger Games there was Battle Royale. I prefer the latter.  “Battle Royale is a controversial and violent parable of adolescence, heightening teenage melodrama with life-or-death stakes.” -Rotten Tomatoes

Battle Royale (2000) 1h 54min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | 16 December 2000 (Japan) Summary: In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
Countries: JapanLanguages: Japanese

 


#1 Seven Samurai

Japanese | Drama, Action | English Subtitles | Watch It On Kanopy | 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Arguably Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece, The Seven Samurai is an epic adventure classic with an engrossing story, memorable characters, and stunning action sequences that make it one of the most influential films ever made.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Seven Samurai (1954) 3h 27min | Action, Adventure, Drama | 19 November 1956 (USA) Summary: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Countries: JapanLanguages: Japanese


Click Here for Part 1 of Top 15 Asian Movies Online for Free

Click Here for Part 2 of Top 15 Asian Movies Online for Free


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