International movies filmed in Malaysia

You may have probably seen familiar street signs or iconic Malaysia spots in some international movies, be it in Hollywood, Kollywood, Bollywood or Chollywood titles. Many internationally acclaimed movies have been shot in Malaysia, including some that have been even nominated for the Oscars. 


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#1 Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Constance Wu, Golding, Michelle Yeoh

This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family.

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, Kedah

Director: Jon M. Chu

Writing Credits: Peter Chiarelli (screenplay), Adele Lim (screenplay), Kevin Kwan (based on the novel "Crazy Rich Asians")

Box Office 

Budget:$30,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $26,510,140, 19 August 2018 

Gross USA: $174,532,921 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $238,538,736

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#2 Blackhat (2015) – Chris Hemsworth, Leehom Wang, Tang Wei

A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

Director: Michael Mann 

Writer: Morgan Davis Foehl

Box Office 

Budget:$70,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $3,901,815, 18 January 2015 

Gross USA: $8,005,980 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $19,652,057

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#3 The Sleeping Dictionary (2003) Jessica Alba, Brenda Blethyn

A young Englishman is sent to Malaysian Borneo in the 1930s to stay with a tribe as UK's colonial representative. A local woman (J.Alba) helps him understand local tradition and language. He falls in love with her etc. despite the taboo.

Locations include: Sarawak

Director & Writer: Guy Jenkin

Box Office 

Budget:$12,000,000 (estimated) 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $57,524

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#4 The Viral Factor (2012) Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse, Peng Lin

International Security Affairs agent Jon is on a dangerous mission to escort a criminal scientist to another country. En route, a member of his team, Sean, turns out to be a traitor and shoots Jon in the head while kidnapping the scientist. When Jon wakes up in the hospital, a doctor tells him that within weeks, the bullet in his brain will cause complete paralysis. 

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur

Director: Dante Lam

Writing Credits: Dante Lam and Wai Lun Ng (screenplay), Candy Leung (story) 

Box Office 

Opening Weekend USA: $63,235, 22 January 2012 

Gross USA: $220,496 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $5,712,014

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#5 Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (2015) Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner

Ethan and his team take on their most impossible mission yet when they have to eradicate an international rogue organization as highly skilled as they are and committed to destroying the IMF.

Locations include:  Kuala Lumpur (opening scene)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Writing Credits: Bruce Geller (based on the television series) Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce (story) Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)

Box Office

Budget:$150,000,000 (estimated) 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $682,716,636

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#6 Kabali (2016) Rajinikanth

Returning from prison, aged gangster Kabali confronts those who had destroyed his life. While doing so, he learns about what had happened to his family when he was gone.

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur

Director and Writer: Pa. Ranjith 

Box Office 

Opening Weekend USA: $2,157,621, 24 July 2016 

Gross USA: $3,903,095 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $4,388,789

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#7 Lust, Caution (2007) Tony Leung, Wang Wei, Wang Leehom

During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

Locations include: Melaka and Penang

Director: Ang Lee

Writing Credits - Eileen Chang (story), James Schamus (screenplay), Hui-Ling Wang (screenplay)

Box Office
Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $63,918, 30 September 2007
Gross USA: $4,604,982
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $67,091,915

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#8 Anna and the King (1999) Yun-Fat Chow, Jodie Foster, Bai Ling

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

Locations include: Batu Gajah & Ipoh, Perak and Langkawi, Kedah

Director: Andy Tennant

Writing Credits: Anna Leonowens (diaries), Steve Meerson (screenplay) & Peter Krikes (screenplay)

Box Office 

Budget: $92,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $5,223,416, 19 December 1999 

Gross USA: $39,263,420 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $113,996,937

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#9 After This Our Exile (2006) Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeung,

After his mother flees the family home, a son turns to thieving in order to support his father, an abusive sort who is addicted to gambling.

Locations include: Ipoh, Perak and Kuala Lumpur

Director: Patrick Tam 

Writers: Kai-Leong Tian (screenplay) (as Koi Leong Tian), Patrick Tam (screenplay)

Box Office 

Budget: HKD20,000,000 (estimated) 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $960,036

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#10 Beyond Rangoon (1995) Patricia Arquette, U Aung Ko, Frances McDo

Laura is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the murder of her husband and son, and goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she is left on her own for a few days, during which time she falls in with students fighting for democracy. 

Locations include: Kuala Kangsar & Ipoh, Perak and Georgetown, Penang

Director:John Boorman 

Writers: Alex Lasker, Bill Rubenstein

Box Office 

Budget: $23,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $2,007,527, 27 August 1995 

Gross USA: $5,750,110 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $5,750,110

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#11 Fair Game (2010) Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison

CIA operative Valerie Plame discovers her identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband wrote criticizing the Bush administration.

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur

Director: Doug Liman

Writing Credits: Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay), Joseph Wilson (book), Valerie Plame Wilson (book) (as Valerie Plame)

Box Office

Budget:$22,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $651,082, 7 November 2010 

Gross USA: $9,540,691 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $25,806,953

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#12 Entrapment (1999) Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones

An insurance agent is sent by her employer to track down and help capture an art thief.

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur

Director: Jon Amiel

Writing Credits: Ronald Bass and Michael Hertzberg (story), Ronald Bass and William Broyles Jr (screenplay)

Box Office 

Budget:$66,000,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $20,145,595, 2 May 1999 

Gross USA: $87,704,396 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $212,404,396

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#13 Indochine (1992) Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Pham

Eliane adopts Camille, whose Vietnamese parents were friends. In 1930, a French navy officer is interested in Eliane (owns 60km2 plantation) and later in Camille. There's an uprising in Vietnam against French colonial power.

Locations include: Ipoh, Perak and Georgetown, Penang

Director: Régis Wargnier

Writing Credits: Erik Orsenna, Louis Gardel, Catherine Cohen & Régis Wargnier (original scenario & adaptation and dialogue) 

Box Office 

Gross USA: $5,603,158 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $5,603,158

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#14 Police Story 3: Supercop (1992) Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh,

A Hong Kong detective teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar.

Locations include: Kuala Lumpur

Director: Stanley Tong

Writing Credits: Edward Tang (characters), Edward Tang, Fibe Ma and Lee Wai Yee (writter)

Box Office 

Budget:$900,000 (estimated) 

Opening Weekend USA: $5,503,176, 28 July 1996 

Gross USA: $16,270,600 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $16,270,600

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#15 Summer Holiday (2000) Richie Jen, Sammi Cheng, Ah-Niu

A Hong Kong woman gets fired and heads to a Malaysian island to sell her half of a beach to a resort developer. Her cousin's sold his half to a local man who doesn't want to sell. It starts with hate between them but slowly it changes.

Locations include: Pulau Redang and Terengganu,

Director: Jingle Ma 

Writer: Susan Chan

Box Office 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:  HK$21,336,647

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#16 Don (2006) and Don 2 (2011) Shah Rukh Khan

Don (2006)

Vijay is recruited by a police officer to masquerade as his lookalike Don, the leader of an international gang of smugglers. Things go wrong when the officer is killed and Vijay is left to fend for himself.

Locations include:  Pulau Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Writing Credits: Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar (based on an original screenplay), Farhan Akhtar (writtor) 

Box Office 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $19,640,129

Don 2 (2011)

Don turns himself in and escapes with Vardhaan from prison, following which he recruits a team to steal currency printing plates from a bank in Berlin.

Locations include:  Pulau Langkawi, Malacca Jail, Bukit Tinggi and Kuala Lumpur

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Writing Credits: Farhan Akhtar (dialogue) Farhan Akhtar and Ameet Mehta (story) Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan (characters) Ameet Mehta (screenplay) Rajshri Sudhakar (Dialogue Writer: Telugu)

Box Office 

Budget:$16,700,000 (estimated) 

Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $6,913,518

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#17 Skyfire (2019) Jason Isaacs, Hannah Quinlivan

Tianhuo Island is as beautiful as a paradise. It almost makes people forget that it is located in the "Ring of Fire" the world-famous Pacific Rim volcanic belt. The volcano erupted, and the fate of the people in the island was entangled.

Locations: Malaysia

Director: Simon West 

Writers: Wei Bu and Sidney King (screenplay)

Box Office: Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $24,319,973

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Written by Sheng Wang

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