chinese movies app

Mandarin Movie Marathon: 3 Entertaining Chinese Movie Apps

There’s nothing like a good Chinese movie on a rainy day.

Not only are they incredibly fun to watch, but you can actually learn Chinese through movies so you develop real-world skills through your favorite pastime.

But sometimes you want to watch movies when you’re not home. Sometimes you just don’t want to sit on the couch. Sometimes you need a more flexible option.

When you’re living an on-the-go lifestyle, Chinese movie apps might be the tool you need to enjoy your indulgence every day. With these three Chinese movie apps, you’ll have all you need to live in the lap of Chinese-learning luxury.


1. Youku

Website | iOS | Android


Youku is a popular Chinese streaming provider that offers TV series, documentaries and, of course, movies.

Some of my favorite movie options include “大破阵” — “Big Break” and “封神降魔2桃山气海” — “Fengshen Devil 2.”

While Youku has a lot to offer Chinese students, it’s best for intermediate-level learners and above because everything, including the app interface, is in Chinese.

The Youku app is free to download and some movies are available for free, though subscription options are necessary to unlock more material.

2. Viki

Website | iOS | Android


Viki is a popular service that gives users access to a wide range of Asian content, including TV shows and movies from China, Taiwan and other Asian countries (most notably Japan and Korea).

One of Viki’s most exciting features is the subtitling options. Viki offers subtitles in over 200 languages, giving you all the subtitling options you’ve been dreaming about.

And the Chinese movie options are nothing to sneeze at. Viki currently features nearly 70 Chinese films, including “我是证人” — “The Witness” and “宫锁沉香” — “The Palace.”

Viki offers some content for free, but a premium membership can remove ads and give you access to more material.

3. Netflix

Website | iOS | Android


Netflix is often seen as the be-all and end-all of streaming services for good reason: it has a lot to offer. And with its app, you can enjoy all its Chinese movies from the convenience of your favorite devices.

Some great Chinese movie options on Netflix include “A Beautiful Life” and “The Wandering Earth.”

All movies have English subtitles, which you can also turn off for a greater challenge. Some movies, particularly Netflix originals, even have Chinese subtitles, though most of these feature audio that isn’t originally in Chinese. Dubbing options can allow you to listen in Chinese, however, while following along with Chinese subtitles.

How to Get the Most Out of Chinese Movie Apps

Try several apps to see which you like best.

There are a number of different apps on the market. They vary in format, price and even offerings. On some apps, you may find new Chinese movies, while in other apps, you may find classics. Trying out several apps will help you find out which option best fits your unique needs and preferences.

Pay attention to subtitling options.

Different apps offer various subtitling options. However, even within an app, these options may vary, so pay careful attention. Depending on the app and movie, you may be able to use English subtitles, Chinese subtitles or remove the subtitles altogether.

For instance, Chinese movies on Netflix usually offer English subtitles with Chinese audio. However, with some of the Netflix original movies, you’ll have more options. A prime example is “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” which was originally in English but also offers Mandarin dubbing, along with subtitles in English, simplified Chinese and/or traditional Chinese.

Have a translator handy on your phone or device for quick lookups.

Inevitably, you’ll encounter some vocabulary you don’t know well as you watch your favorite movies. Even if you’re watching Chinese movies based on novels, you might encounter some words that just weren’t in your favorite novel.

Luckily, since you’ll be watching from a phone or device, you have an easy option to look up words. Simply keep a translator or dictionary handy on your phone. That way, you can look up any unfamiliar words or phrases right away.

Supplement your language learning with more videos.

If you’re a movie lover, then it sounds like watching movies, TV and videos could be your ideal way to study Mandarin in general. Watching shorter videos can enhance your comprehension so full-length movies don’t seem as daunting.

So, be sure to find more video resources so you can keep learning long after your Chinese movie marathon is over.

There are even language learning programs based on videos now, like FluentU. You can select anything that looks interesting from the FluentU video library and watch it while following along with expert-generated subtitles, then actively practice what you’ve seen in the video with the built-in tools.


Go ahead—it’s time to indulge your passion for Chinese learning.

Maybe you can even indulge in a little popcorn and soda while you’re at it.

Have a fun movie night with these Chinese movie apps!


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