That time of year is here. If you’re Chinese, you will put aside everything just to spend time with family – not just immediate family but in-laws and second cousins twice, thrice removed. But what else is there to do together during Chinese New Year other than visiting friends and relatives, playing mahjong and stuffing our faces with food?

Catch a movie at a cinema, of course! The best thing about CNY movies is that they’re always entertaining, and the endings are always happy. Even if you shed tears, it will be happy tears. And afterwards, everyone – from grumpy Ah Gong to your fidgety nephew – can talk about the movie and share their favourite jokes over your umpteenth round of steamboat.

This festive season, there’s bound to be a CNY title that someone in the family will want to catch.

Kung Fu Yoga – DADS AND UNCLES

Dad was probably the one who brought you to watch your first movie when you were a kid. Was your first Chinese action flick a Jackie Chan movie? Time to return the favour. In Kung Fu Yoga, Jackie Chan plays the part of an Indiana Jones-type archaeology professor who lends a hand to a beautiful Indian damsel in distress. Their adrenaline-coursing adventure takes them from sub-zero temperatures in Iceland to the sweltering desert of Dubai, complete with crazy car chases involving the like of Lamborghinis, McLarens and limited edition Bugatti Veyrons, and exotic animals in places you’d least expect. Jackie Chan may be 62, but he can still single-handedly take on Bollywood thugs. Just like your dad. In his imagination, at least.

Take 2 – MUMS AND AUNTIES

Sometimes, all we need in life is a second chance, and who can better empathise with that than mummy dearest? Starring Singapore getai veteran Wang Lei (Long Long Time Ago 1 & 2), Ryan Lian (Ah Long from Long Long Time Ago 1 & 2), Maxi Lim (Ah Boys To Men), and Malaysian comedian Gadrick Chin, Take 2 is a comedy that depicts the lives of four ne’er-do-wells determined to turn over a new leaf. The four of them start a Japanese ramen stall together but soon find that it is not as easy as it seems.

The Fortune Handbook – GRANDPARENTS

You’ve heard the song; now it’s time to watch the movie. Singapore comedian Mark Lee hams it up as the God of Fortune and visits Su Fu (Christopher Lee), an unremarkable (but very handsome) man constantly obsessed with material wealth. Will he help Su Fu steal his brother-in-law’s (Li Nanxing) closely-guarded recipe for a well-loved Chinese pastry? Does he really hold the secret to striking lottery? Don’t be surprised if your grandparents start taking notes.

Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back – YOUNGSTERS


Stephen Chow headlines this fantasy-comedy not as the leading actor, but as the writer and producer. Joining creative forces with him is acclaimed director Tsui Hark, so it’s a film you can rightfully harbour some expectations of. Written as the sequel to Chow’s 2013 Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons, the audience rejoins the shenanigans of Tang Monk and his three disciples as they mosey along their never-ending journey to the west.

Live By Night – THE ANG MOH PAI

There’s at least one in every family. They don’t seem to understand you when you speak to them in any language other than English, so they might crave something a little… not so CNY-ish. Also, after all, not everyone celebrates CNY, right? Live By Night is an American crime drama written, directed, co-produced and starring Ben Affleck. He’s Joe Coughlin, a World War I veteran of Irish descent and prodigal son of a police captain, mad enough to steal a mob boss’s money and his moll. Set in the Prohibition Era, it’ll make you feel grateful for being able to drink all the booze you want this festive season.

These movies all open between Jan 26 to 28, but you might already want to start planning how you’re going to get your hands on the best tickets without too much fuss. For our guide on the best way to do it, click here. You’re welcome and happy Chinese New Year!