The 8 Best Michelle Yeoh Movies


Before Michelle Yeoh was everywhere all at onceand even before she was crazy richshe was kicking major ass in Hong Kong action films. Fans of martial arts movies and kung-fu flicks may be more familiar with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, but Yeoh was right there with the best of them—kicking, shooting guns, and driving motorcycles onto moving trains. The actress not only did her own stunts, but she did so while wearing the coolest '80s and '90s outfits you've ever seen. We're talking bright yellow tops and all-white suits.

Of course, it wasn't just the looks that rocketed Yeoh to stardom. She broke barriers for women in the Hong Kong action movie industry by starring in and leading her own films—which is a big deal! And it still is, reader. So, as we count down the days until we (hopefully) crown Michelle Yeoh as Best Actress at the 95th Annual Academy Awards, let's rewind back to the eight best performances of her career so far.

Yes, Madam! (1985)

The role that started it all. Michelle Yeoh plays a senior police inspector who gets involved in criminal hijinks surrounding a very important piece of microfilm. An important note: Yeoh fights brilliantly in every shot, and everyone in the cast must respond "Yes, Madam!" when she gives them commands. Powerful stuff. Yes, Madam! is also largely credited for kicking off a subgenre in action films titled "Girls with Guns," which eventually led to highly influential projects such as Ghost in the Shell, Tomb Raider, and The Matrix.



Royal Warriors (1986)

Another critical note for you: in Royal Warriors, Michelle Yeoh drives a tank at one point and, later on, fights a guy in an airplane. Royal Warriors also features a young, 26-year-old Hiroyuki Sanada, who aids her as one of the top cops from Japan.


Magnificent Warriors (1987)

Magnificent Warriors sees Yeoh as an Indiana Jones-type figure—brandishing a whip and wearing a brown leather jacket. Here, she employs gatling guns and shows off amazing martial arts choreography to drive the Japanese from building a poisonous gas factory in China during World War II occupation.


Police Story 3: Super Cop (1992)

Supercop not only sees the aforementioned stunt where Yeoh rides a motorcycle onto a moving train, but the film also features a super entertaining team-up with Jackie Chan. The two stars kick an insane amount of ass and get bonus points for being totally platonic heroes. Major respect!


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Directed by Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon not only made $213 million on just a $17 million budget, but it also won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. In the film, Yeoh plays a warrior from 19th-century Qing dynasty China, who engages in some of the best fights in martial arts film history.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

After her big Hollywood debut in the 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Michelle Yeoh didn't work in Hollywood again for roughly two years due to an increase in stereotypical roles. Though she would appear in a Crouching Tiger sequel and other action flicks, her next, most prestigious role came years later in 2018's Crazy Rich Asians. The film is a groundbreaking romantic comedy directed by Jon M. Chu and the first big-budget Hollywood film to feature a majority Chinese cast since 1993's The Joy Luck Club.

watch now


Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

Never forgetting her background in Hong Kong action, Michelle Yeoh joined the cast of the Ip Man franchise's spinoff film, Master Z. She brandished swords and went toe-to-toe with modern martial arts film actors like Max Zhang and Tony Jaa. A bonus? Dave Bautista is the villain in this one.


Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Here we are! The big movie on everyone's mind—and the talk of the town here, there, and everywhere, all at once. It's easy to see why this indie film is near the top this year, because it has everything: great action, comedy, a heartbreakingly relatable mother-daughter dynamic, and even Ratatouille jokes. It's a movie seemingly made for the moment. Everything Everywhere All at Once is up for a leading eleven Oscars this weekend, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and more.


FromEsquire US

View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at
View Other Articles From Josh
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us