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31 Asian Films to watch in 2016

easternKicks deliver our list of 31 Asian Films you really should watch in 2016, and what we’re looking forward to seeing!

For Christmas and New Year, and to end 2015, the easternKicks team has convened around our meeting table and put together a special list of our favourite East Asian films we’re looking forward to in 2016. In the spirit of December, we chose the top 31 films that our members came up with to symbolise each day of the Month with it’s own special 2016 release.

Our list isn’t just a stereotypical ‘Hong Kong releases of 2016’, Oh No! We’ve scoured the countries and have compiled releases from Malaysia, Singaporean romances, Thailand comedies, Indian action movies, Co-USA productions, Thai/Canadian Punch-em-ups, Japanese Summer treats and one or two (okay a few) Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong A-List releases. There are lots more films being released in 2016 that we couldn’t possibly list (and may not even know about!), and there were at least 42 more on our ’31 films of 2016 list’ that we couldn’t add, so don’t be afraid as there is a plethora of amazing cinematic releases lined up for the coming year that we unfortunately don’t have space to shout about! (Update 27/11: I probably should have included Skiptrace now it’s pushed back to 2016…)

Keep up with easternKicks through 2016, and hopefully we’ll review every single release on our list over the forthcoming year; alongside many more films, interviews, and all your favourite content in the West from your favourite film countries in the East.

The Monkey King 2


The Monkey King 2

Director: Cheang Pou-soi
Hong Kong
8th February 2016
“Based on the classic novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng-en, a sequel to the 2014 box office smash hit”

Feng Shen Bang 3D


Feng Shen Bang 3D

Director: Koan Hui
China/Hong Kong
October 2016
“Based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Feng Shen Yan Yi, telling the story of how King Zhou of Shang becomes a tyrant due to the wile of a concubine vixen spirit.”

The Great Wall


The Great Wall

Director: Zhang Yimou
November 23rd 2016 (USA release)
“A mystery centred around the construction of the Great Wall of China”



The Bombing

Director: Xiao Feng
USA/Mainland China
March 2016
“A Chinese action war-drama about the Japanese bombings on Chinese city Chongqing during World War 2, starring Bruce Willis and Nicholas Tse”

Journey to the West


Journey to the West

Director: Zhang Jinlai
USA/ Mainland China
Unconfirmed 2016 release

Operation Mekong


Operation Mekong

Director: Dante Lam
China/Hong Kong
Unconfirmed 2016 release
“The story of a merchant vessel operating in the Mekong River Delta that was attacked by bandits in 2011, a bloodbath that left 13 people dead, following which Chinese authorities mount an investigation to find out what went down”

Warrior's Gate


Warrior’s Gate

Director: Matthies Hoene
China/ France
Unconfirmed 2016 release
“A teenager is magically transported to China and learns to convert his video game skills into those of a Kung Fu warrior”



From Vegas to Macau 3

Director: Wong Jing
Hong Kong/China
8th February 2016
“Chow Yun Fat goes up against Jacky Cheung, who is seeking revenge on behalf of his new love interest Carina Lau, with Andy Lau returning as the original Knight of Gamblers”

A Chinese Odyssey Part 3


A Chinese Odyssey Part Three

Director: Jeff Lau
China/Hong Kong
Unconfirmed 2016 release
“The third chapter of the cult-classic fantasy saga: A Chinese Odyssey”

Death Note 2016


Death Note 2016

Director: Shinsuke Sato
Unconfirmed 2016 release
“In 2016, cyber terrorism run wild and the world has experienced mega growth as an information society. A fierce battle surrounds 6 death notes as only 6 death notes are allowed to exist in the human world”

Lord It's Interest


Lord, It’s Interest!

Director: Yoshihiro Kamaura
May 14th 2016
“Residents in a town have a hard time due to land tax and forced labour. 9 residents set up a plan to save the town, lending large amounts of money to a warrior and distributing the interest to residents”,_Risoku_de_Gozaru

Secret Agent


Secret Agent

Director: Kim Ji-woon
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“Following the activities of the Heroic Corps, an anti-Japanese independence organization that existed under the Japanese colonial period in South Korea, using violent means to achieve Korean independence”

Mohican Comes Home


Mohican Comes Home

Director: Shuichi Okita
April, 2016
“Eikichi (Ryuhei Matsuda) left his hometown in Hiroshima for Tokyo. After trying to find success with his failing band, he returns home to his father Osamu (Akira Emoto) with the news his girlfriend is pregnant.”



Mitsu No Ahare

Director: Gakuryu Ishii
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“Akago (Fumi Nikaido) is a red goldfish able to change into a girl. She possesses a pure and sensuous side, living with an old male writer (Ren Osugi) whom she calls Ojisama”

Nobunaga Concerto


Nobunaga Concerto

Director: Hiroaki Matsuyama
January 23rd 2016
“Saburo (Shun Oguri) is a high school student good in sports, who travels back in time and arrives in the Sengoku period of 1549, joining Nobunaga Oda in the attempt to unify the country of Japan”

The Tunnel


The Tunnel

Director: Kim Sung-hoon

South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“A tunnel collapses due to poor construction and a man (Ha Jung-woo) becomes trapped in the collapsed tunnel”

Key Of Life


Key of Life

Director: Lee Gye-Byeok
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“A fledgling character actor (Lee Joon) and a killer take the identity of each other by accident”



“18th Hong Sang-Soo Movie”

Director: Hong Sang-Soo
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date

All we know is that a fitting no.18 on our list is the scarcely mentioned upcoming 18th movie from Hong Sang-Soo, with Kim Ju-Hyeok cast in an unknown role. This film makes it onto our list with almost no information, as we expect amazing things from this director.

Sea Ice


Sea Ice

Director: Lee Soo-Youn
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“Seung-Hoon (Cho Jin-Woong) is a physician who opens a clinic in Gangnam, Seoul, but it goes bankrupt. He soon becomes involved in a series of murder cases at a hospital run by his friend”

Operation Chromite


Operation Chromite

Director: John H.Lee
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“General Douglas MacArthur (Liam Neeson) of the U.S Army and 8 South Korean troop members led by a South Korean Navy Lieutenant (Lee Jung-Jae) carry out the covert “X-Ray” operation to carry out the Incheon Landing Operation.”

The Handmaid


The Handmaid

Director: Park Chan-Wook
South Korea
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“An adaptation of Sarah Waters’ “Fingersmith” set in the 1930’s in South Korea and Japan, revolving around 4 people and a noble lady’s (Kim Min-Hee) fortune, her guardian and two swindlers”

Assassination Classroom Graduation


Assassination Classroom: Graduation

Director: Eiichiro Hasumi
Spring 2016
“The sequel continues with the students’ own conflicts, Koro Sensei’s identity and the fate of the world. The time limit for assassination is approaching”



Terra Formers

Director: Takashi Miike
April 29th 2016
“Due to depleting natural resources and overpopulation, humans look to Mars as their next habitat. 15 poor Japanese are sent to mars to take out mutant cockroaches”



The Whispering Star

Director: Sion Sono
2016 Japanese Release – (Already had a festival release)
“A feminine android delivers packages to the scattered humans in the galaxy. With years to spare, the android and us have time to contemplate what it is to be human”

godzilla resurgence


Godzilla: Resurgence

Director: Shinji Higuchi & Hideaki Anno
Summer 2016
“Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster”

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Legend

Director: Yuen Woo-ping
Hong Kong
February 8th 2016
“A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption”



Follow You

Director: Lin Yu-Hsien
20th August 2016

Railroad Tigers


Railroad Tigers

Director: Ding Sheng
6th October 2016
“Japan expands the occupation of it’s neigbouring countries to Southeast Asia in 1941. Railroad worker Ma Yuan (Jackie Chan) leads a team of freedom fighters to sabotage military transportation railroad”

Nessun Dorma


Nessun Dorma

Director: Herman Yau
Hong Kong
Unconfirmed 2016 release date
“Dealing with dark social issues similar to 2015’s Sara, nude scenes and rape scenes feature new actress Janice Man and star Andy Hui”




Director: Nitesh Tiwari
24th December 2016
“Aamir Khan is playing a wrestler from Haryana, a biopic film on the life of wrestling coach Mahavir Phogat”




Director: Tony D’Souza
13th May 2016
“A biopic movie about the former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin”

Ip Man 3

Could we really finish this list without including Ip Man 3? It’s so close to Christmas, it’s practically a 2016 film..

Have a great 2016 film year from easternKicks!!!!

Titles picked by Andrew Daley with help from the team.

About the author

Andrew Daley
News Editor for easternKicks, and a Video Producer for Cycling Weekly based in London, with a passion for East Asian cinema, photography, and the outdoors. Read reviews/articles »
Read all posts by Andrew Daley

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One thought on “31 Asian Films to watch in 2016

  1. Rosemarie G Cola says:

    Glad I found this site considering I love Asian film. History/costume Korean films are my favorite. Hopefully we will get updates as to when and where we can view them.

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