Spanning genres and cultures, these Asian movies show what it means to be Asian and Asian American today.
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Stream these Asian movies tonight
Asian movies have been gaining popularity in the United States in recent years. From the success of romantic comedies like Always Be My Maybe to historic wins for Parasite and Minari at the Oscars, Asian- and Asian American–led films continue to tell nuanced and diverse stories on-screen. With ongoing anti-Asian racism in America, supporting Asian and Asian American creators—whether by reading Asian American books, buying from Asian-owned companies, or watching Asian movies—can be a great way to help the community.
With the rise of streaming services, Asian movies are easier than ever to access. From Netflix Korean dramas to indie thriller movies, there’s never been a better time to, in the words of Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, “overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles.” Below, we have rounded up 35 of the greatest Asian American and Asian movies ever made. Regardless of language and genre, these movies are critically acclaimed and widely beloved, with breakout performances and trailblazing filmmaking that elevated Asian and Asian American cinema. From the best movies of all time to modern teen classics, these films are perfect for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and beyond.
The Big Sick
Director: Michael Showalter
Based on the real-life love story between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the married couple who cowrote the script, The Big Sick follows an aspiring Pakistani American comedian—also named Kumail—as he pursues stand-up comedy and falls in love with Emily. Though the relationship is promising, Emily breaks up with Kumail after finding photos of the Pakistani women his parents are trying to set him up with. When Emily falls into a coma, Kumail rushes to her bedside and attempts to get a second chance, with help from Emily’s parents. The winning cast features Zoe Kazan as Emily, and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as her parents. Far from your average romantic comedy, The Big Sick won Nanjiani and Gordon a Best Screenplay nomination at the 2018 Academy Awards.