One of the best parts about Chinese New Year is catching up with family and friends. Homes feel renewed from Spring cleaning, with fresh flowers from the annual CNY flower market on full display, and the TV playing familiar Cantonese movies in the background during reunion dinners.
These classic Chinese New Year movies have been replayed hundreds of times on Hong Kong TV channels during the festive season each year. Oftentimes they’re heart-warming films on family, or more likely, comedy movies starring Stephen Chow, Hong Kong’s king of comedy himself.
As much as we love the tradition of watching Chinese New Year movies on TV channels, however, Netflix has introduced a secret code that allows viewers to unlock hundreds of iconic Chinese New Year movies—that means you’re now able to watch most of Stephen Chow’s films on Netflix—without getting left at the cliffhanger, courtesy of perfectly-timed ads and commercials.
Whether you’re looking for a laugh, a tear-jerking cry, or an action-thriller that’ll keep you at the corner of your seat, we list out the best Cantonese films to watch during Chinese New Year.
1. Zero to Hero
Released in 2021, Zero to Hero is based on a true story following So Wa-wai, Hong Kong's first gold-winning athlete at the Paralympic Games. This heartfelt tale unfolds the story of how So became a sprinter for Hong Kong's Paralympic Games from 1996 to 2012. A story about struggle, perseverance, and unwavering hope, watch this movie if you want a dose of inspiration to start you CNY right.