Fearless

Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
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  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. 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.)
  8. Li's performance is stronger here than it has been in previous films.
  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. 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.
  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: Derek Elley
    70
    Manages to pack a satisfying emotional punch.
  14. 70
    Fearless sustains the tradition of ethically inflected Chinese action movies.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  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.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. ElvitoP.
    Sep 22, 2006
    10
    Awesome. Teaches you a lot about life.
  2. Jan 26, 2015
    10
    Jet Li's Fearless is a true martial arts masterpiece. The story is awesome and the fighting scenes are some of the best I have ever seen.Jet Li's Fearless is a true martial arts masterpiece. The story is awesome and the fighting scenes are some of the best I have ever seen. There are also three versions of the movie on one blu ray disc. Theatrical version, Unrated version and the Director's Cut version. The definitive version of this movie is the Director's Cut because it adds 35 minutes of extra footage to the movie. And the extra footage makes an epic and amazing movie even better. This is my favourite Jet Li movie ever. Full Review »
  3. 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 »