Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Much of the film's virtue lies in its straight-ahead narrative and uncomplicated morality. That and the undeniable charisma and virtuosity of its star.
  2. 90
    There's something grand and enveloping about Fearless.
  3. Li plays haughty, brilliant wushu master Huo Yuanjia, whose recklessness leads to tragedy after he becomes a champion at the end of the 19th century.
  4. Though it somehow manages to be a movie about inner peace with crazy, incredibly staged fight scenes every 10 minutes, it is, first and foremost, a movie about inner peace.
  5. 78
    Billed as Li's final martial arts epic (would that Jackie Chan be so thoughtful), Fearless is fittingly peripatetic, finding the Hong Kong superstar ricocheting across the screen.
  6. One of those corny, lusciously mounted, almost predictably thrill-packed action movies you can't help but like.
  7. Li's performance is stronger here than it has been in previous films.
  8. With the exception of one sequence, this PG-13 movie is so youth-friendly that I thought I might take my 10-year-old. But that sequence, upsetting for those of any age, makes the movie better suited for mature 12-year-olds and older.
  9. 75
    The final scenes pack a surprising melodramatic punch.
  10. Reviewed by: Leighton Klein
    75
    Call it "Jet Li's Wushu Retirement Party."
  11. Reviewed by: Monica A. Reyhani
    75
    Despite some amusing jabs at America's influence on traditional China, this film leaves even this American viewer feeling oddly patriotic (or maybe just wishing she lived in China.)
  12. Reviewed by: Megan Lehmann
    70
    Witty choreography juices the pedestrian plot of Fearless, an earnest and technically accomplished biopic in which action star Jet Li flexes his limited dramatic muscles to portray kung fu master Huo Yuanjia.
  13. Reviewed by: Felix Vasquez, Jr.
    70
    The theme behind Fearless is utterly simplistic, but universal: violence begets violence. It's a never ending cycle that becomes more and more vicious, until someone decides to stop it. It's a worthy final installment.
  14. 70
    Fearless sustains the tradition of ethically inflected Chinese action movies.
  15. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    Manages to pack a satisfying emotional punch.
  16. 70
    Contrary to some reports, this is not Jet Li's last action movie--he already has another in postproduction--but it represents his farewell to wushu, the martial-arts tradition that made him an international star.
  17. As the very traditional hero, Li keeps us riveted through the fisticuffs, and he also carries off the film's heavier dramatic moments well enough -- though, as always, his lack of a strong personality prevents the movie from ever genuinely catching fire.
  18. 67
    It's as subtle as a spinning kick, but some films aren't built for subtlety.
  19. 63
    A lavish biopic that gives Li one of his juiciest roles but is relatively light on the action his fans have come to expect.
  20. It's handsome, well-populated and offers beautiful scenery and settings. But "House of Flying Daggers" it ain't; maybe "House of Fallen Arches"?
  21. 50
    The truth is, Jet Li has gotten soft in his old age. While fans of the "Once Upon a Time in China" star will be pleased to learn that at least half of Fearless is action, what they may not realize is just how mushy everything else is.
  22. The movie is an enjoyable but flawed attempt at an epic story, with too much of the best action concentrated in the beginning.
  23. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    50
    This is an action movie, and people don't come to be preached to; the "Terminator" flicks also favored world peace but didn't pause the action for nearly an hour to rub it in.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. ElvitoP.
    Sep 22, 2006
    10
    Awesome. Teaches you a lot about life.
  2. Aug 22, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Jet Li's Fearless: 6 out of 10: This movie is a true near miss. For most of its running time it is action packed with handsome photography and gritty realistic fight scenes. To bad a too predictable by half story and Jet Li's performance hold it back from greatness.

    What the move does right however it does very well indeed. The fight scenes are extremely well choreographed and differ in tone and skill from each other. Except for the final fight they are all very satisfying. They range from an acrophobic set piece early on above a busy city square to a humorous match between Li and a boxer that reminds one of Rocky's fight against Hulk Hogan in Rocky 3.

    There is no obvious wire work or CGI involved this is the real deal. Had the movie stuck with it's strengths it would have been much better off.

    Unfortunately halfway through the film Jet Li's character (A loosely interpreted version of a real historical Chinese patriot) decides to forgo fighting for a life in an idyllic rice patty. Like the picture perfect Japanese village in the Last Samurai the rice patty is an idolized place with supermodel blind girls and hobbits. (Okay I made the hobbits part up but try to watch the scenes and not think of Middle Earth.) Jet Li's acting in the transformation scenes is wanting and his costars (especially best friend Dong Yong) steal every scene they are in. It is hard to get emotionally connected with the character (Who goes from brash youth to wise old man after a couple of rice plantings with little transformation and no gray area or shadings of personality. Both characterizations are extremely broad and simply seem two different people.) This leads to a surprisingly sterile finale. I simply couldn't care about the character or his cause. Though the story is more fleshed out than say in Hero the character is simply to broad to identify with as an individual. That said I did love the fight scenes.
    Full Review »
  3. JoaoS.
    Jun 17, 2008
    9
    Just loved it. Very good action scenes and story.