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9 underrated films to watch on Netflix Hong Kong

By Enoch Ngan 21 November 2022

Header image courtesy of Netflix

With over several thousand movies to choose from in Netflix’s massive online film library, it’s entirely possible that a handful of hidden gems may have escaped the radar of ardent cinephiles and general film lovers who frequently use the streaming giant’s services.

Below is our recommended list of underrated foreign and local films that are available right now on Netflix Hong Kong for your viewing pleasure. Among them are heart-breaking dramas that will open the floodgates, hilarious comedies that will induce belly laughter, and thrilling biographical stories that will push you to the edge of your seat.

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1

Accident (2009)

If you love highly intense thrillers like Infernal Affairs, don’t skip out on this exciting film starring Louis Koo. Accident takes the assassins-for-hire movie genre and elevates it into an arthouse flick. Each moment throughout this movie is packed with tension and paranoia, keeping audiences on their toes from beginning to end.

Four assassins choreograph a string of murders masked as accidents under the lead of The Brain, played by Louis Koo. Through meticulous planning with fellow experts Uncle, Fatty, and Woman, their crimes go undetected by the police. Instead, their murders are classified as “deaths by misadventure.” However, the movie begins to pick up the pace after The Brain suspects an insurance agent to be the cause of a failed “accident.” Although not as well-known as other Hong Kong films in this genre, this engrossing movie is a true nail-biter.

2

Love in a Fallen City (1984)

Originally a book published in 1943, Love in a Fallen City, written by Eileen Chang, was adapted by director Ann Hui in 1984, starring big-name Hong Kong celebrities Chow Yun-fat and Cora Miao. The movie follows two lovebirds, Liu-so and Liu-yuan, during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, highlighting their complicated relationship and struggles in a war-torn city. Grab a box of tissues to prepare for this heart-wrenching film.

3

Fight Back to School (1991)

Known for classic Hong Kong movies such as Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow stars in the 1991 film, Fight Back To School, directed by Gordon Chan. This highly entertaining viewing highlights the comedic timing and nonsensical humour Chow perfects.

Chow Sing-sing, a soon-to-be-disqualified SWAT team leader, is assigned to go undercover at a local high school to retrieve a stolen gun. However, his entire drive to become a police officer stems from a hatred of his time spent at school, making this ironic yet hilarious situation all the more amusing. Watch as his complicated relationships with his school’s guidance counsellor and incompetent police partner unfold in this comedic tale.

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4

Zero to Hero (2021)

As the name suggests, this film has a meaningful story with inspirational scenes worth quoting for life. Its uplifting, beautiful plot makes it all the more surprising when you find out that it is based on a true story. Although relatively new to the Hong Kong film scene, this movie is bound to go down as one of the greatest cinematic pieces based in this city.

Zero to Hero follows a handicapped athlete, So Wa Wei, who struggles through massive obstacles to achieve his goal of becoming a runner. However, through these trials and tribulations, So perseveres, truly emphasising how one’s determination can overcome challenges. This inspirational story’s magnificent ending will surely move you to tears.

5

The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)

Family is everything, and The Mitchells vs the Machines highlights the importance of the role that each family member plays. The movie explores the highly dysfunctional Mitchell family as they fight against evil robots during a road trip to their daughter’s college. As absurd as this plot sounds, the movie’s characters and interactions with one another are relatable, touching, and heartwarming. It’s a remarkable hidden gem with terrific voice acting, genuine characters, dynamic relationships, and a hilarious plotline.

6

Okja (2017)

Before Bong Joon-ho’s explosion onto the international film scene with the award-winning Parasite, there was Okja, among many others. His signature movie magic touch can be seen sprinkled throughout this film, with perspective-warping ideas that will leave you questioning the world long after your viewing has finished.

Okja provides social commentary that sympathises with the cruelty some animals have to endure in our modern society. It opens with a Western CEO sending 26 super piglets to be raised around the world in a competition to win the title of “Best Super Pig.” However, a thirteen-year-old country girl living in isolation, Mija, raises one of these pigs to become her closest friend. It’s heartbreaking when her pig, Okja, is sent off to be slaughtered as the “Best Super Pig” halfway across the world, but Mija will stop at nothing to get Okja back.

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7

Zodiac (2007)

Based on the true story of the infamous Golden State Killer, Zodiac is not an ordinary serial killer flick driven by gore and fear. Rather, it is a captivating film which follows the process that detectives underwent to unmask the killer. The movie begins like a documentary, outlining the details behind this eerie and mysterious case, then shifts into a thrilling investigation that keeps the audience second-guessing whether the detectives are on the right track. David Fincher is known for making American classics such as Fight Club and Se7en, but Zodiac is just as good—if not better—than some of his more acclaimed films.

8

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Despite primarily focusing on American politics, this movie elicits all kinds of emotions from its viewers through its liberating moments. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a dramatised account of the complex trial the protestors of the 1968 Democratic National Convention went through. It follows a group of anti-Vietnam War protestors who are accused of inciting riots over state lines. Perfectly placed occasions of anger and humour are spread throughout this movie, pulling together a truly thrilling yet enticing historical drama.

9

RRR (2022)

RRR is a blockbuster of pure entertainment and imagination with immaculate action sequences that will surely blow you away. The movie tells the story of two revolutionaries fighting for freedom against foreign rulers during a pre-independent India. It is one of those movies in which being “extra” is an upside rather than a downside, perfectly reaching the line of having extravagant storylines and effects without doing too much. The mixture of fantasy and realism is combined in a rare way that needs to be seen to be believed.

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Enoch Ngan

Writer

Enoch is an Asian-American born in California who studied in Hong Kong when he was younger. While in Hong Kong, he enjoys going on hikes with breathtaking scenery and catching up with old friends and family. If you ever see him around, he always has music playing in the background, whether that be exploring the city or simply relaxing at home.

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