User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 297
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  1. SaskiaS.
    Feb 27, 2006
    0
    Where can I begin... I cannot understand all the good critics this movie got. Even the cinematography that got the only bonuses with many who disliked this film didn't do it for me. It was just overkill. In a movie, I expect to be told an interesting, or better yet, compelling story. But Hero was just a catenation of way too artful imagery. It had no plot substance whatsoever and Where can I begin... I cannot understand all the good critics this movie got. Even the cinematography that got the only bonuses with many who disliked this film didn't do it for me. It was just overkill. In a movie, I expect to be told an interesting, or better yet, compelling story. But Hero was just a catenation of way too artful imagery. It had no plot substance whatsoever and lacked logic in a way that it was sometimes cringeworthy. Of course it didn't help that only ten minutes into the film I could easily foresee where the storyline was heading. So there were no surprises for me and I really like surprises in a movie. Expand
  2. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Occasionally spectacular. Often ridiculous and pretentious. Wooden acting. Bad dialogue. Unconvincing story. Completely unbelievable ending. With this movie, Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower, once respected director Zhang Yimou has stopped making films with any meaning or social significance and simply gone after the money.

    Shame.
  3. lynnw
    Nov 5, 2004
    2
    Totally overated. Watched it for like half an hour and i could not take it anymore. The movie is too slow-paced and does not truly brings out the emotions it wants to depict. It took nearly half an hour for the characters to kill themselves? If they wanted me to cry..i didn't and I am normally known as a cryer.
  4. LeticiaS
    Nov 7, 2004
    3
    Good effects: yes. Good martial arts: mmm, I guess so. Good movie: not at all. I found it extremely boring, too much fantasy... the characters flying like if they were birds... made me laugh. I couldn't take it seriously... It was the worse movie I have seen this year. I can't believe I get to see so many reviews saying that it is amazing. I think the only good thing on it is Good effects: yes. Good martial arts: mmm, I guess so. Good movie: not at all. I found it extremely boring, too much fantasy... the characters flying like if they were birds... made me laugh. I couldn't take it seriously... It was the worse movie I have seen this year. I can't believe I get to see so many reviews saying that it is amazing. I think the only good thing on it is Quentin Tarantino's name being there. Enough said I guess. Expand
  5. KenB
    Aug 31, 2004
    1
    Don't see it. It's looks real pretty. But don't see it.
  6. stevej.
    Jan 5, 2006
    0
    WOW who ever liked this movie is very very wrong about movies. this so called film caused me too waste 20 dollars......I left 30 minutes into the movie. by far one of the worst movies ive ever seen.
  7. JasonF.
    Mar 4, 2006
    1
    I really don't understand why so many critics are so awfully wrong about this movie, you'd think that at least some of them would see this as the blender it really is. The plot and characterization are pathetic and one-dimensional. Kitsch galore! But even if you tend to be forgiving about such things and are only watching this movie for the visuals, you'll be disappointed. I really don't understand why so many critics are so awfully wrong about this movie, you'd think that at least some of them would see this as the blender it really is. The plot and characterization are pathetic and one-dimensional. Kitsch galore! But even if you tend to be forgiving about such things and are only watching this movie for the visuals, you'll be disappointed. Asian movies usually have a knack for artful cinematography and tasty color schemes, this one however is just pretentious. It's like the kid in class that only gets attention because he screams the loudest. The much-heralded fight sequences are formulaic and boring. Wide angle shot with both fighters flying towards each other, blades connecting, repeat ten times until one opponent falls. This movie is an incredible bore. If you're into mystical martial arts movies, go watch "A chinese ghost story I - III". These movies are everything this one isn't. Expand
  8. IanB.
    Aug 27, 2007
    3
    Over the top martial arts madness. The fight scenes are fun but waiting in between each scene is like getting your teeth pulled at the dentist. Although the DVD special interview with high as a kite cocaine and X filled Quentin Tarantino stumbeling over every word and making the interviewer and Jet Li very nervous that he was going to either jump out of the window or eat a dog is funny Over the top martial arts madness. The fight scenes are fun but waiting in between each scene is like getting your teeth pulled at the dentist. Although the DVD special interview with high as a kite cocaine and X filled Quentin Tarantino stumbeling over every word and making the interviewer and Jet Li very nervous that he was going to either jump out of the window or eat a dog is funny and better than the movie itself. Collapse
  9. RamzeezeB.
    Jul 17, 2006
    0
    uninteresting and boring and one of the worst movies ever made. i was watching it on dvd and i kept checking when the atrocity would end. i would have died if i watched it in the theaters.
  10. Feb 5, 2012
    4
    Desperately disappointing. Could have been so much more but, despite amazing visuals, a vaguely interesting twist, and an intriguing justification for China's... unique style of governance this movie is a waste of time. Both the plot and fight scenes were far weaker than anticipated.
  11. CraigS.
    Oct 7, 2004
    2
    Its unusual for me to not like a martial arts film (hell, its unusual for me not to like a foreign film since they're usually ten times better than any crud produced by Hollywood(TM)), but Hero was a big fat style-over-substance turkey of a film. I can only describe it as a cinematographer's wet dream. The film LOOKS insanely beautiful, with lots of jaw-dropping shots and Its unusual for me to not like a martial arts film (hell, its unusual for me not to like a foreign film since they're usually ten times better than any crud produced by Hollywood(TM)), but Hero was a big fat style-over-substance turkey of a film. I can only describe it as a cinematographer's wet dream. The film LOOKS insanely beautiful, with lots of jaw-dropping shots and stunning visual effects (the fight amongst the falling leaves for example), but at its core Hero has nothing of interest. It did have some clever touches such as the use of colour to separate the different versions of the narrative, but it was inordinately slow paced and the plot was frankly a little thin. I can't imagine how this film has been so successful in the states, since I can't imagine the notoriously attention-deficient American audience sitting through it. Comparisons to the superb Crouching Tiger... are simply not justified. Expand
  12. DavidL
    Oct 22, 2004
    1
    Better than Crouching Tiger? ... Have all critics been paid to give good reviews or are they just asskissing? All style and absolutely NO substance at all. Possibly the most overated film of all time ...
  13. CraigS
    Dec 3, 2004
    4
    While pretty to watch (for the first hour) the story was flawed and contrived, and the entire caligraphy-swordsmanship connection...c'mon! My girlfriend really liked it, but I could barely see it through to the end. There are very few movies that constantly make me check my watch - this is one of them.
  14. NoelF.
    Dec 5, 2004
    0
    BORING, it trys to seduce you with flashy cinematography and the usual flying swordplay. Repetition, shallow plot and slomo drag this film to it's contrived conclusion. Perhaps it is politically correct to rate this film well.
  15. [Anonymous]
    Aug 31, 2004
    0
    Hero is the "artiste" Yimou's "interpretation" of the classic tale of an assasination attempt on the violent emperor Qin Shi Huang. If you get past the colorful dressings and computer-generated special effects, what you will find is a film that not only confuses history with fiction, but also superficical dabbling with true artistic endeavour. The film is filled with historical in Hero is the "artiste" Yimou's "interpretation" of the classic tale of an assasination attempt on the violent emperor Qin Shi Huang. If you get past the colorful dressings and computer-generated special effects, what you will find is a film that not only confuses history with fiction, but also superficical dabbling with true artistic endeavour. The film is filled with historical in accuracies and on of the most blatant one is the character of Qin Shi Huang. In the movie Qin Shi Huang is protrayed as an idealistic emperor who does not care about his own mortality but about the prosperity of his people. This all makes for great drama but unfortunately it is simply not backed up by historical evidence. The real Qin Shi Huang is a paranoid meglomaniac who desires not only eternal life ( he sent many of his ministers to go look for the the medicine of eternal life and told them not to come back on the threat of death unless they find it), but like Stalin, safety from his enemies ( thus he sent millions to their death in order to construct the ultimately useless Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors). The character of Qin Shi Huang is just one of many gross and very distracting historical inaccuracies in this film. Yet these inaccuracies are common in many films such as "In the name of the father". "Saving Private Ryan" Or "Black Hawk Down" and they are not any less powerful because of them. The fundamental flaw of Hero is that it tries too hard to be artistic but end up being a naseating pile of failure. From the colorful visuals to the stunning choregraphy, everything tries to be very graceful and beautiful. But the prescence of those two qualities do not equate art, just the appearance of something artistic. It is not art because graceful and beautiful and exotic are done so many times that it is boring and art cannot be boring, for it in essence sensory stimulation. And if you take away the graceful and the beautiful in this film, what else can you find? What meaning or entertainment can you get from the shaky storyline? What conclusion is supposed to be drawn? This is obviously not Harold and Kumar go to White Castle so we have already thrown the possibility of entertainment out of the window, so ask yourself, what is left after you take away the beautiful costumes and the graceful choregraphy? Expand
  16. MattB
    Sep 6, 2004
    3
    Get the DVD. Sure, it looks great on the big screen. But the translation is messed up. Key points: There were SEVEN kingdoms of China, not six. Also, King Qin was the King of "All Under Heaven." The translation in this movie changes "All Under Heaven" to "Our land." A subtle difference with different literary undertones. It doesn't end there. Dialogue has been changed throughout to Get the DVD. Sure, it looks great on the big screen. But the translation is messed up. Key points: There were SEVEN kingdoms of China, not six. Also, King Qin was the King of "All Under Heaven." The translation in this movie changes "All Under Heaven" to "Our land." A subtle difference with different literary undertones. It doesn't end there. Dialogue has been changed throughout to give a vaguely anti-China feel to the film. The poetry of the dialogue has been simplified and sterilized for American consumption. It's insulting, not only to the creative talent behind this film, but also to Americans in the presumption that an American audience is unable or unwilling to enjoy and accept subtler and/or alternate world-views. Don't see it, or at least, don't pay for it. Expand
  17. VinceW
    Sep 7, 2004
    2
    The movie was great to look at, but the martial arts scenes were only OK. The story was LONG and boring by about halfway through it. Was I the only one who didn't know the whole dialog was in subtitles?
  18. susand
    Jan 10, 2005
    4
    This movie is beautifully shot, the visual effects are stunning, but the characters are so underdeveloped that one does not care what happens to them...........the movie is one huge fight scene. This is only the 2nd movie in 25 years of watching movies where I actually stopped watching after 1 hour.
  19. FamousDog
    Oct 14, 2004
    2
    Being "beautiful", as so many people have described this film, is simply not enough. Unlike other films with non-linear or reflexive narratives like Pulp Fiction or Memento, Hero derives the complexity of its plot by having Nameless lie about what happened, the emperor make up his own version of what happened and then showing what actually happened. By the time we reached the third Being "beautiful", as so many people have described this film, is simply not enough. Unlike other films with non-linear or reflexive narratives like Pulp Fiction or Memento, Hero derives the complexity of its plot by having Nameless lie about what happened, the emperor make up his own version of what happened and then showing what actually happened. By the time we reached the third version of the rather dull plot, i had given up any interest in what was going on. The fight scenes were interminably dull and rather than saving the viewer from absolute boredom, pushed them over the edge into new realms of not-caring. I spent the last hour looking at my watch. This is coming from somebody who has happily sat through Danish films! Expand
  20. Gigabit
    Dec 13, 2004
    0
    Its very hard to understand this movie. To much gold leaf's in the middle of the fight.
  21. BobC.
    Oct 2, 2004
    1
    Not worth seeing and a poor knock off of crouching tiger.
  22. ScottT.
    Sep 10, 2004
    1
    I strongly disliked this movie. In fact, I think it sucked. The plot was borring and seemed just made up in order to get more fight scenes into the movie. This would have been ok, except the fights scenes sucked. I think it would have been much better if the fight scenes were more realistic if the scenes did not include flying, walking on water, and synchronized dancing. This gets a 1, I strongly disliked this movie. In fact, I think it sucked. The plot was borring and seemed just made up in order to get more fight scenes into the movie. This would have been ok, except the fights scenes sucked. I think it would have been much better if the fight scenes were more realistic if the scenes did not include flying, walking on water, and synchronized dancing. This gets a 1, but only for the first 30 seconds of the first fight scene, and that awesome guy that played the guitar thing. Expand
  23. terrence
    Sep 14, 2004
    2
    I found the movie extremely slow and the wire work was too obvious - ct/hd was much better.
  24. PatrickM.
    Sep 3, 2004
    4
    This movie is very pretty and has a few clever bits. However, it is slow and trite. There is an apparent perception amongst some Chinese film makers (and American critics) that the cheesiest cliches of Hong Kong martial arts cinema (spinning through the air, running on water, etc.) are somehow "artistic". They're not, they were cheesy when they were first done fifty years ago and This movie is very pretty and has a few clever bits. However, it is slow and trite. There is an apparent perception amongst some Chinese film makers (and American critics) that the cheesiest cliches of Hong Kong martial arts cinema (spinning through the air, running on water, etc.) are somehow "artistic". They're not, they were cheesy when they were first done fifty years ago and they are cheesy now. Expand
  25. MichaelK.
    May 13, 2005
    0
    This movies is horrible. I have never seen a movie with a worst story. The fight scenes were complete trash. I never thought there would be a Jet Li movie I wouldn't like, but this is it. This was the worst movie I had ever seen, then I saw House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou's other movie. This is the worst director ever. I can't believe he got Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and This movies is horrible. I have never seen a movie with a worst story. The fight scenes were complete trash. I never thought there would be a Jet Li movie I wouldn't like, but this is it. This was the worst movie I had ever seen, then I saw House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou's other movie. This is the worst director ever. I can't believe he got Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Ziyi Zhang to be in these movies. Expand
  26. Shin
    May 13, 2005
    1
    Completely overrated. The general coreography and cinematography in the previews and trailers give off the impression that it will be a good movie, but the repetition of the fight scenes get tedious very quickly. What is even worse eveything else. The plot is bland and dry. I could care less what was going to happen next. However, part of the fault in the crippled plot are the characters. Completely overrated. The general coreography and cinematography in the previews and trailers give off the impression that it will be a good movie, but the repetition of the fight scenes get tedious very quickly. What is even worse eveything else. The plot is bland and dry. I could care less what was going to happen next. However, part of the fault in the crippled plot are the characters. Each one of them appears very one dimensional, with predictable actions and no room for growth. With no contribution to overall development, they just seemed to bring each other down. Perhaps I am being too rough, but the high ratings seem a little ignorant to the glaring flaws of this movie. And the fact that some critics consider this better than Crouching Tiger is almost unforgivable. That's all for now. Expand
  27. FerociaS.
    Dec 7, 2004
    2
    We have already seen all of these special effects in Charlies Angels, they just prettied up the background. I hate reading subtitles and had to turn the movie off, I was quite bored by the story.
  28. BurbakB.
    Sep 16, 2004
    1
    This movie is only fit for critics...ordinary people should not have to sit through it...moral of the story is ... listen to ordinary people. A movie without a coherent story...poor acting...overdramatization...and too much trick photography...save your money.
  29. felix
    May 27, 2005
    2
    Tedious and boring - what are the critics talking about - after a while the fight scenes put me to sleep - some value in scope and artwork.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 70
    Brilliant in flashes, thinned out as a whole, the film seems ideal for the DVD revolution, where the greatest hits can be compiled at the touch of a remote.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    Hero is the masterpiece. It employs unparalleled visual splendor to show why men must make war to secure the peace and how warriors may find their true destiny as lovers.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Appelo
    90
    Hero is an epic, evocative of another epoch and of landscapes beyond time. It's overwhelming. And yet I miss the animating anger of Zhang's early masterworks, in which penniless young lovers were oppressed by impotent old men.