Movies with Asian, Asian American, Desi, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Characters

Asian, Asian American, Desi, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander characters and actors are still underrepresented in Hollywood, but the films on this list are helping to lead the way toward better representation. These movies focus on authentic lived experiences, stories, and characters without relying on stereotypes. They portray and celebrate a wide range of people and cultures, from the Pacific Rim to the United States. From martial arts classics and fun romantic comedies to family-friendly anime, powerful documentaries, and intense action movies, these films cover a wide range of genres. You can also try our list of Books with Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander Characters.

Browse Movies with Asian, Asian American, Desi, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Characters

Lilo and Stitch Movie Poster Image
Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Mulan Movie Poster Image
Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Poster Image
Beautifully animated fantasy about friendship fit for all.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Ponyo Movie Poster Image
Miyazaki's stunning adventure is geared to younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Moana Movie Poster Image
Great characters, memorable music, some monsters/scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Up Movie Poster Image
Up
Pixar's stunning adventure is an upper for everyone.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Big Hero 6 Movie Poster Image
Awesome origin story is action-packed, deals with grief.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams Movie Poster Image
Compelling docu about Japan's biggest baseball tournament.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Raya and the Last Dragon Movie Poster Image
Charming, epic adventure mixes monsters, humor, heart.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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The Speed Cubers Movie Poster Image
Inspiring short docu about competition and friendship.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Spelling the Dream Movie Poster Image
Upbeat celebration of outstanding kids who spell to win.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior Movie Poster Image
Inventive movie that families can watch together.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Finding 'Ohana Movie Poster Image
Fun Hawaii adventure celebrates culture; peril, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China Movie Poster Image
Violin virtuoso's trip to China will open eyes and ears.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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From up on Poppy Hill Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, romantic coming-of-age tale about '60s teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Poster Image
Beautiful epic about storytelling hero can be dark, scary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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A Letter to Momo Movie Poster Image
Offbeat but lovely subtitled story deals with child's grief.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Linsanity Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful sports docu will inspire young basketball fans.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Okko's Inn Movie Poster Image
Anime ghost story set in Japan embraces grief.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Spirited Away Movie Poster Image
Magnificent movie with scary creatures and a strong heroine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Poster Image
Beautifully animated Japanese folktale for older kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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AlphaGo Movie Poster Image
Thought-provoking docu on relationship of AI to humans.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Case of Hana & Alice Movie Poster Image
Compelling, beautifully animated middle school mystery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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I Wish Movie Poster Image
Unique, leisurely subtitled film about parental separation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Koran by Heart Movie Poster Image
Moving, sensitive documentary challenges stereotypes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Napping Princess Movie Poster Image
Mind-bending fantasy anime adventure has some violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Ne Zha Movie Poster Image
Lots of fantasy violence in animation based on Chinese myth.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Shaolin Soccer Movie Poster Image
Nontraditional underdog sports team story has violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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The Tiger Hunter Movie Poster Image
Tame comedy's well-worn plot saved by likable characters.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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All My Life Movie Poster Image
Affirming outlook on love, loss in flirty romance; drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Farewell Movie Poster Image
Awkwafina shines in excellent dramedy about family, culture.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Isle of Dogs Movie Poster Image
Wondrous, bittersweet, funny, edgy animated canine story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Jiro Dreams of Sushi Movie Poster Image
Subtitled docu about sushi chef inspires and enlightens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Monkey King: Hero Is Back Movie Poster Image
Exciting animated tale has martial arts action, potty humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Mulan (2020) Movie Poster Image
Martial arts epic is more intense, violent than original.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Only Yesterday Movie Poster Image
Classic Studio Ghibli drama focuses on Japanese girlhood.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Movie Poster Image
Funny, poignant, thrilling MCU adventure; action violence.
In Theaters Now
(Release Year: 2021)
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Whale Rider Movie Poster Image
Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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The Wind Rises Movie Poster Image
Lovely, contemplative tale of famed aeronautical engineer.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Movie Poster Image
Magical, award-winning martial-arts fairy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Gandhi Movie Poster Image
Brilliant biopic engages, educates, and inspires.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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He Named Me Malala Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, deeply affecting docu explores teen icon's life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople Movie Poster Image
Quirky Kiwi dramedy promotes teamwork, friendship.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Manny Movie Poster Image
Boxing docu glorifies Pacquiao but skims the surface.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Meet the Patels Movie Poster Image
Indian culture explored in romcom/documentary blend.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Pacific Warriors Movie Poster Image
Docu about Pacific Islander rugby team has mild profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Princess Mononoke Movie Poster Image
Epic, compelling, and violent anime classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Always Be My Maybe Movie Poster Image
Upbeat romcom has some swearing, sex, drugs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Beijing Bicycle Movie Poster Image
Great tale of two boys' struggle over a bicycle.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Bend It Like Beckham Movie Poster Image
Superb tale of a girl's struggle for her dreams.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Blinded by the Light Movie Poster Image
Charming comedy celebrates family ties and The Boss.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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The Broken Hearts Gallery Movie Poster Image
Upbeat heroine anchors whimsical romcom; edgy sex jokes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Claudia Kishi Club Movie Poster Image
Docu for fans of Baby-Sitter's Club character; language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Columbus Movie Poster Image
Quiet, talky character drama has exceptional performances.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Crazy Rich Asians Movie Poster Image
Messages, role models stand out in culture-clash romcom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Driveways Movie Poster Image
Rewarding gem about friendship and life's changes; swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Go Back to China Movie Poster Image
Charming dramedy about woman who learns the value of work.
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(Release Year: 2020)
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The Half of It Movie Poster Image
Touching, smart teen story deals with sexuality; drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter Movie Poster Image
Surprising, mystical film about lonely woman on a mission.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Last Christmas Movie Poster Image
Musically inspired romcom has big heart; language, innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Layla Majnun Movie Poster Image
Romance about star-crossed lovers has some violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Minari Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful, inspiring drama promotes family understanding.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Miss Hokusai Movie Poster Image
Historical Japanese character study has mature content.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story Movie Poster Image
Intimate, honest biography addresses racism, alcoholism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Ride Your Wave Movie Poster Image
Beautiful anime is too sad for young or sensitive kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Searching Movie Poster Image
Digital mystery satisfies on technical, emotional levels.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Seven Samurai Movie Poster Image
Famous epic with stylish violence and subtitles.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1956)
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To All the Boys I've Loved Before Movie Poster Image
Book-based teen romcom has some language, racy talk.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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To Be Takei Movie Poster Image
In upbeat docu, equality for all is the final frontier.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Weathering with You Movie Poster Image
Charming, romantic, powerful anime fantasy has some edge.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Yellow Rose Movie Poster Image
Poignant, powerfully performed tribute to country music.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Blue Bayou Movie Poster Image
Powerful indictment of U.S. immigration system; language.
In Theaters Now
(Release Year: 2021)
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Boy Movie Poster Image
Boy
Coming-of-age comedy has language, underage drinking, pot.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Movie Poster Image
Charismatic stars in funny, exciting, violent F&F spin-off.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Movie Poster Image
Car crashes, drinking, guns. You can do better.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Hero Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous martial arts movie for older kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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House of Flying Daggers Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous, but also very violent.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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House of Hummingbird Movie Poster Image
South Korean teen drama mixes insight with rebellion.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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India's Daughter Movie Poster Image
Revealing, painful look at women's, girls' rights in India.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower Movie Poster Image
Docu about brave teen taking on oppressive government.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Late Night Movie Poster Image
Light tone, deep messages in female-centric comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Long Weekend Movie Poster Image
Winsome romcom models resilience; sex, language, drinking.
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(Release Year: 2021)
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Memoirs of a Geisha Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous, but slow-moving and not meant for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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The Namesake Movie Poster Image
Fabulous immigrant-family saga to see with teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl Movie Poster Image
Amusingly bizarre anime comedy has iffy themes, drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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The Pirates Movie Poster Image
Epic martial-arts tale is entertaining but violent.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Sold Movie Poster Image
Heartbreaking tale of child sex trafficking finds hope.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The World Before Her Movie Poster Image
Riveting docu explores rights of girls, women in India.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Big Sick Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful romantic dramedy has swearing, drinking, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Dark Horse Movie Poster Image
Soulful story about chess, mental illness, and redemption.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Grave of the Fireflies Movie Poster Image
WWII anime tragedy is the saddest cartoon EVER.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Hala Movie Poster Image
Poetic coming-of-age tale tackles religion, youth with care.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Hearts and Minds Movie Poster Image
Provocative Vietnam War docu with violence, racial slurs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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The Lovebirds Movie Poster Image
Crime romcom has laughs, diversity, swearing, and sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Okja Movie Poster Image
Extreme peril, swearing in violent eco-fable.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Psychokinesis Movie Poster Image
Quirky but violent Korean superhero movie has swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Rashomon Movie Poster Image
Intense Kurosawa masterpiece about a rape and killing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1951)
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Come as You Are Movie Poster Image
Touching, mature road comedy about people with disabilities.
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(Release Year: 2020)
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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers Movie Poster Image
Poignant, violent story of child during Khmer Rouge's reign.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Gook Movie Poster Image
Poignant, powerful black-and-white drama set amid '92 riots.
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(Release Year: 2017)
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The Joy Luck Club Movie Poster Image
Poignant tale of Chinese-American moms, daughters.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Kung Fu Hustle Movie Poster Image
Rowdy martial arts comedy. Older teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Letters from Iwo Jima Movie Poster Image
Eastwood offers a profound perspective on WWII.
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(Release Year: 2006)
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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Movie Poster Image
Slick, exciting, but very violent martial arts movie.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Minding the Gap Movie Poster Image
Skateboarders try to overcome childhood abuse; language.
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(Release Year: 2018)
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Mortal Kombat Movie Poster Image
Silly, gory but great-looking and fun martial arts fantasy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Parasite Movie Poster Image
Brilliant Korean social satire has dark comedy, violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Red Cliff Movie Poster Image
Masterful Chinese battle epic is violent but fine for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Saving Face Movie Poster Image
Chinese-American mom and daughter reconnect.
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(Release Year: 2005)
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Slumdog Millionaire Movie Poster Image
Epic romance-drama is brilliant but too mature for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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Battle Royale Movie Poster Image
Ultraviolent Japanese cult movie came before Hunger Games.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Better Luck Tomorrow Movie Poster Image
Stellar students turn to crime; violence, language, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Movie Poster Image
Extremely silly and vulgar comedy with some clever humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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The Host Movie Poster Image
South Korean creature feature is wild and witty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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The Raid: Redemption Movie Poster Image
Indonesian fight/chase movie is well made but ultra-violent.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Soul Movie Poster Image
Violent and moody crime thriller has murder, nudity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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