User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 295 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 295
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  1. Nov 1, 2010
    10
    Simply one of the best movies ever made in my mind. I admit you have to be bright to figure this one out, and as you read the reviews you see many people didn't. This is totally a love story.......with the best special affects ever and a good amount of action. This is about loving so much you place another human being ahead of yourself or the welfare of a country beyond yourself. BelieveSimply one of the best movies ever made in my mind. I admit you have to be bright to figure this one out, and as you read the reviews you see many people didn't. This is totally a love story.......with the best special affects ever and a good amount of action. This is about loving so much you place another human being ahead of yourself or the welfare of a country beyond yourself. Believe me the ones that didn't enjoy this are the ones that love the "Three Stooges" and talk through all the movies in the theater.
    Great movie!
    Expand
  2. Sep 20, 2014
    10
    The best martial arts film I have ever seen. The visuals are breathtaking and an experience I will never forget. No other film has impressed me like this with its costumes, visuals, characters, story and soundtrack. It is just a masterpiece. The characters are so perfect that I can’t imagine someone else or someone better suited for the roles. The story is fantastic and will surprise withThe best martial arts film I have ever seen. The visuals are breathtaking and an experience I will never forget. No other film has impressed me like this with its costumes, visuals, characters, story and soundtrack. It is just a masterpiece. The characters are so perfect that I can’t imagine someone else or someone better suited for the roles. The story is fantastic and will surprise with each new revelation. The fighting scenes are poetic and my reference for the genre (Remark: Not for realistic fighting just for stylish awesomeness and defying of gravity). Overall this is as close to perfection for me as possible. Expand
  3. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    I like this film. The picture of this film is good ,the action ,too. The story of this film is an outstanding one. It tells a story of one person and his country.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. KenB
    Aug 31, 2004
    1
    Don't see it. It's looks real pretty. But don't see it.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Jan 5, 2012
    7
    It loses something when you listen to it with english voice overs, The film is must better in its native language. I enjoyed it and I thought it was rather good. I enjoyed the plot and it was nice to see the film play out as it did. The cinematography was alright but I have seen a lot better, To be honest it was rather generic if you ask me. Still it was a solid film none the less andIt loses something when you listen to it with english voice overs, The film is must better in its native language. I enjoyed it and I thought it was rather good. I enjoyed the plot and it was nice to see the film play out as it did. The cinematography was alright but I have seen a lot better, To be honest it was rather generic if you ask me. Still it was a solid film none the less and worth the watch. Expand
  15. Feb 1, 2014
    8
    Simply put, Hero is absolutely beautiful.

    My only issue with the film is its relatively short length which I actually think is too long for the story they tried to tell, I found myself a little bored at the end.

    Otherwise everything else about it is perfect, captivating and quite frankly extraordinary.
  16. 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
  17. BitBurn
    Sep 10, 2004
    5
    I hate sub-titled films! But mostly ones that I really just wish I could understand the language of origin! Nonetheless, Hero doesn't suck. Don?t feel right either. Special Fx are pretty cool though.
  18. RyanM.
    Sep 10, 2004
    9
    It's not a great movie, but it's a really good movie. And folks, this really good movie has the single greatest cinematography I've ever seen in a film. Ever.
  19. JonD
    Jan 5, 2005
    10
    This movie was just beautiful. My only regret is that they kept killing the only hot guy. He died, what, five times? Six?
  20. JackT.
    Nov 6, 2004
    9
    Surreal and Scenic. A combination of documentary and symbolism in a fabled story. Language added to the realism but missed a little bit (can't wait for the DVD).
  21. JeremyW.
    Oct 30, 2004
    10
    This is one of the most amazing film ever. I can only describe it with one word - Perfect.
  22. WalterG.
    Aug 27, 2004
    10
    One of the smartest movies ever.
  23. ChadH
    Aug 28, 2004
    10
    Incredible. The symbolism in this movie is profound. Every scene brings with it a sense of pride, boldness, and underlying theme that ultimately converge. This movie is likened to such masterpieces as Shakespearean tragedies.
  24. ChadS.
    Sep 14, 2004
    6
    "Hero" looks like a masterpiece. Cinematographer Christopher Doyle will get an Oscar nomination for his work here. The transformation of the yellow petals to red after an apparent death is mind-bogglingly beautiful, as are many of the other set pieces. But is the film too beautiful for any of the action scenes to be truly exciting? Perhaps, for a confrontation to be dramatic, you have to "Hero" looks like a masterpiece. Cinematographer Christopher Doyle will get an Oscar nomination for his work here. The transformation of the yellow petals to red after an apparent death is mind-bogglingly beautiful, as are many of the other set pieces. But is the film too beautiful for any of the action scenes to be truly exciting? Perhaps, for a confrontation to be dramatic, you have to believe the two principles are breaking a sweat. When Nameless (Jet Li) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) deflect the raining arrows, or when F.S. storms the emperor's compound with Broken Sword(Tony Leung), it looks preposterous, like the feat of a video game character. And since aesthetics takes precedence over the mortality of each combatant, we're watching something akin to modern dance. "Hero" reminded me of Vincent Ward's "What Dreams May Come", another film that was a visual wonder, but failed to engage the viewer with its story. Maybe the soundtrack needed a little John Williams bombast to get your blood circulating. Let's blame it on the violin. Expand
  25. DT
    Sep 18, 2004
    6
    The movie, although beautifully shot, was by far too slow. I had been waiting expectantly for a movie to come out that pitted Jet Li against Donnie Yen, and I must admit I was a bit disappointed. And what's with the ending? Do chinese/ Mandarin movies ever have a "happy ending". A good movie overall but in terms of action (and I mean realistic action) I expected alot more.
  26. BobP.
    Sep 1, 2004
    6
    Good movie, and started out wonderfully. Can't question the beauty and style of the movie, but its just too drawn out. It gets repetitive; I think they could have trimmed off nearly half an hour and still kept the story, art, and direction that make this film great.
  27. EstebanC.
    Jan 6, 2005
    7
    Quite weird and confusing plot, but the fantastic play of colors and nature make the movie worthy to watch, especially for people who like eastern filmmaking and asian fighting techniques.
  28. AmarT
    Jun 16, 2005
    10
    The movie simply blew me away. One of those movies where the ending is soo moving that you are held in a trance even an hour after you've walked out of the cinema.
  29. mshm.
    Jan 1, 2006
    10
    Legendary film.
  30. RandyS.
    Apr 2, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen. The storyline is more complex than most people may realize.
  31. SuperJew
    Dec 13, 2004
    9
    Great movie for the samuri fans. On of the greatest plots and some of the most fasinating fight scenes if you have any patience which i am sorry to say that this "new generation" doesn't (i fell i can say that being one of the new generation).
  32. 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 ...
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. DuncanJ.
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    This movie is beautiful.
  36. Justin
    Aug 21, 2004
    9
    Brilliant.
  37. PatrickB.
    Aug 22, 2004
    10
    This movie was made a while back, but wasn't release due to a fear it would be considered a Crouching Tiger rip off. However, it was released over seas so VHS versions are available in many alternative video stores. The movei is amazing. In many ways, it's better than CTHD. Breath-takingly beautiful, with more complex, thought provoking characters.
  38. Cojack
    Aug 23, 2004
    9
    I first saw this movie 3 years ago and I've never gotten bored of it. It is a modern kung-fu movie masterpiece, one that could not have been created in the west. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of the historic martial arts genre needs to see this if they haven't already. This film will roxerz your boxers.
  39. BenZ.
    Aug 27, 2004
    6
    Hero is not a bad movie, but it is not the masterpiece that some make it out to be. The cinematography was amazing, but the story was horribly fragmented. With that in mind, the first time I saw it, it put me to sleep (literaly). My opinion improved slightly after seeing the movie all the way through.
  40. [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
  41. Quiet
    Aug 30, 2004
    6
    This is a hard one to judge. The cinematography was fantastic. The use of color and texture, motion and pose, were fantastic. However, by the third time the story was told, I stopped caring which was the truth and which wasn't. This is a very well crafted movie, worthy of being seen.
  42. Clay
    Sep 15, 2004
    9
    Breathtaking art direction and cinematography. Not the typical kung fu movie and thats a good thing.
  43. BonejesterA.
    Sep 30, 2004
    5
    Excellent visuals, but the story is disjointed and overdone. Does Jet Li have any emotions besides "bad@ss"?
  44. 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
  45. 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?
  46. 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.
  47. Pat
    Feb 21, 2005
    8
    A visually compelling movie with enough thought of substance to be taken seriously.
  48. overfien
    Apr 5, 2005
    10
    This movie rocked my socks off.
  49. Ruman
    May 5, 2005
    9
    Awesome movie.. Very pleasing on the eyes and the action scenes are also very well filmed. Plot movement is kinda slow but I loved it nevertheless.
  50. SarahA.
    Jan 19, 2006
    10
    Hero is something of a revolution in that it stands out from all previous martial art films, as it extends beyond a mere swordplay film to that of a work of art through masterful poetics, philosophy and the magnificent cinematography to create a near perfect balance between the intense martial art scenes and the elegiac narrative. The visual quality of the fight sequences could even Hero is something of a revolution in that it stands out from all previous martial art films, as it extends beyond a mere swordplay film to that of a work of art through masterful poetics, philosophy and the magnificent cinematography to create a near perfect balance between the intense martial art scenes and the elegiac narrative. The visual quality of the fight sequences could even surpass those in the matrix. But ultimately Zhang Yimou uses these effects as play on Collapse
  51. Eric
    Mar 17, 2006
    9
    Why are all the haters calling those who like this factually wrong? It's all based on opinions people, it's subjective. In my opinion Hero was masterfully crafted and touching. Yimou Zhang's directing was flawless, cin, flawless, acting solid, plot solid, really a great movie that made me give a damm about it's characters.
  52. ChristopherJ.
    Mar 20, 2007
    7
    A philosophically fascinating film with beautiful action sequences. It asks questions about sovereignty, justice, and love, and then it offers loose answers.
  53. cyrusl.
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    Great movie. A bit long at times but ogod scenes.
  54. 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
  55. JW
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    I can't believe some idiots gave this show less than an 8. this show is absolutely beautiful.
  56. MikeK.
    Oct 21, 2004
    10
    10 for the Christopher Doyle cinematography alone...add in Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung and i'm sold.
  57. JasonH.
    Dec 11, 2004
    10
    You will like this film if you liked such Akira Kurosawa classics as Rashomon and Ikiru, which cleverly use multiple points of view to weave together a compelling story. You will NOT like this film if you want to watch a popcorn flick. If you don't like this kind of entertainment, thats fine. Theres no ground to rate it low though. If I don't like watching a film about sports, You will like this film if you liked such Akira Kurosawa classics as Rashomon and Ikiru, which cleverly use multiple points of view to weave together a compelling story. You will NOT like this film if you want to watch a popcorn flick. If you don't like this kind of entertainment, thats fine. Theres no ground to rate it low though. If I don't like watching a film about sports, that doesn't mean its a bad film. Likewise, don't be turned off from Hero just because all the other reviewers who gave it a 5 didn't appreciate it for what it is: a special-effects vehicle which doesn't insult the intelligence of the viewer. Expand
  58. LoganS.
    Dec 1, 2004
    10
    It was an excellent movie. The martial arts were spectacular. Anyone who has actually participated in Kung Fu or Wushu knows that what the actors do in this movie takes skill, regardless of the fake flying. This is an epic poem that has a deeper meaning for those who wish to seek it.
  59. Gigabit
    Dec 13, 2004
    0
    Its very hard to understand this movie. To much gold leaf's in the middle of the fight.
  60. BillJ.
    Dec 18, 2004
    10
    Engrossing and interesting film. I really enjoyed the final 1/3 of the movie where everything comes together. The martial arts were superb. Don't forget to watch the commentary pieces on the DVD.
  61. BobC.
    Oct 2, 2004
    1
    Not worth seeing and a poor knock off of crouching tiger.
  62. MartinQ.
    Dec 4, 2004
    10
    This movie is EXCELLENT, I likef it. It's amazing.
  63. GregT.
    Dec 6, 2004
    7
    This movie had great Chinese martial arts, very elaborate and indeed, epic sets and a convoluted Asian plot to go with it. However, there is something charming about our inscrutible Oriental brethren protrayed in these Asian Martial Arts films and that is that they always have some sort of moral conclusion in which the good guy, although dead, is really the hero, no questions asked. This This movie had great Chinese martial arts, very elaborate and indeed, epic sets and a convoluted Asian plot to go with it. However, there is something charming about our inscrutible Oriental brethren protrayed in these Asian Martial Arts films and that is that they always have some sort of moral conclusion in which the good guy, although dead, is really the hero, no questions asked. This is unlike our own culture in which only the "winner" is the hero. Worth seeing. Expand
  64. TheElusivePossom
    Oct 9, 2004
    10
    I gave this film a ten beacause it is easily the best example of its genre. Having said this, its genre is nigh-impossible to define: calling it a "martial arts" film is a greivous understatement. When choosing words to describe "Hero" though, I find myself selecting those in the "stunning" and "beautiful" mileux. There's no doubt about it: "Hero" is a fantastic film due to its I gave this film a ten beacause it is easily the best example of its genre. Having said this, its genre is nigh-impossible to define: calling it a "martial arts" film is a greivous understatement. When choosing words to describe "Hero" though, I find myself selecting those in the "stunning" and "beautiful" mileux. There's no doubt about it: "Hero" is a fantastic film due to its ludicrously well-realised cinematography, with each scene a literal work of art. Of course, this film has other characteristics worth merit: the empathy-invoking characters, and the fight scenes, which live up to the usual insane precision of choregraphy also seen in "The Matrix" and "Crouching Tiger". The plot is moving and artfully complex, without being overbearing, and the soundtrack is worth mention, produced by the beautifully mournful Chinese cello. However, I feel I must return to the cinematography, which is the film's ultimate weapon. "Hero" is less a film, more an experience of intense visual artform. Whoever called this a "Crouching Tiger knock-off" should be deeply ashamed. Expand
  65. JonathanS.
    Aug 21, 2004
    7
    This movie is done in the flavor of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "Rashomon", where several people give different their different versions of the same event. It is also fairly abstract, a lot of scenes take on a dream-like quality as the characters battle it out through their "will" or within themselves in a spiritual fashion. It is most definitely a beautiful movie, however it could This movie is done in the flavor of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "Rashomon", where several people give different their different versions of the same event. It is also fairly abstract, a lot of scenes take on a dream-like quality as the characters battle it out through their "will" or within themselves in a spiritual fashion. It is most definitely a beautiful movie, however it could have been a bit tighter. As it is, it feels likes a series of loosely connected fight scenes - albeit very beautiful fight scenes. Also the message that the movie portrays can also be a little hard to swallow: that sometimes, it takes a vicious, hard, dictator who rules with an iron-fist to bring peace to a wartorn, quagmire of a country. Sound familiar? Expand
  66. DaveC.
    Aug 29, 2004
    7
    Good story, great cinematography, action isn't quite as good as "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", but the movie is too slow, just like my reviews it feels like a giant run-on sentence.
  67. Dan.B.
    Aug 29, 2004
    6
    If they played at normal speed everything that was in slo-mo, this movie would be 14 minutes long.
  68. Shay
    Aug 31, 2004
    7
    Quiet hit the nail on the head. The story was little confusing after the first hour, but the cinematography and fight choreography made up for it.
  69. David
    Aug 31, 2004
    7
    The cinematography is beautiful as well as the musical score. The story has depth and is thoroughly enjoyable. I recommend seeing the imported DVD version over the recently released version in the theatres. The DVD subtitles are not extremely different from that of the recent translation; however, in a scene that is central to the storyline the DVD translation conveys a greater depth, The cinematography is beautiful as well as the musical score. The story has depth and is thoroughly enjoyable. I recommend seeing the imported DVD version over the recently released version in the theatres. The DVD subtitles are not extremely different from that of the recent translation; however, in a scene that is central to the storyline the DVD translation conveys a greater depth, which strengthens the impact of the movie?s philosophical point. Expand
  70. LisaW.
    Sep 10, 2004
    8
    The visuals were breathtaking. Particularly the shots of the volleys of arrows, and the fight between Snow and Moon. The use of color and the perfectly planned out camera work are what you will walk away with. This is probably one of the best movies I've ever seen visually thinking. The plot was entertaining, and it made me think a little bit, but it was nothing spectacular. Still, I The visuals were breathtaking. Particularly the shots of the volleys of arrows, and the fight between Snow and Moon. The use of color and the perfectly planned out camera work are what you will walk away with. This is probably one of the best movies I've ever seen visually thinking. The plot was entertaining, and it made me think a little bit, but it was nothing spectacular. Still, I highly recommend this movie, and I will probably be getting the DVD when it comes out, just so I can experience the breathtaking color and action whenever I wish. Incredible. Expand
  71. JoyF.
    Sep 10, 2004
    8
    It was a simple story brought to life with form, color, and art; it was a visual treat!
  72. 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
  73. LonnieA.
    Sep 1, 2004
    10
    As a long fan of Zhang Yimou, I was excited to see his foray into kung-gu movies. He skillfully executed the genre and raised the bar. The scenes played out like visual poetry and his storytelling structure was both masterful and moving. I liked this better than Crouching Tiger. The first fight scene was so exhilirating but zenlike.
  74. terrence
    Sep 14, 2004
    2
    I found the movie extremely slow and the wire work was too obvious - ct/hd was much better.
  75. KyleA.
    Sep 14, 2004
    8
    Visually stimulating film with a good (not great) storyline. This is a film you can actually appreciate with no dialogue because each scene is such a work of art.
  76. ScottG
    Sep 19, 2004
    5
    Beautiful but nonsensical (and a little s-l-o-w). In the end, when the final "aha" twist is revealed that reshapes all we've seen before, it left me wondering why Nameless went through all that he did. Still, I like seeing 20 minutes dedicated to the color RED (and it was nice to see that YELLOW and BLUE got equal time)!
  77. Dave
    Sep 22, 2004
    8
    This movie is all style and no substance, however, it is one of only a few movies I've seen where no substance is needed. 90 minutes of some of the most beautiful imgery you'll ever see.
  78. weepstah
    Sep 23, 2004
    7
    I enjoyed Hero, but found that it lacked the substance of other great movies from Asia. It seemed to be trying too hard to be like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, to the extent that the soundtrack sounded as if it was lifted directly from that movie. That was very distracting and a big minus. From a visual standpoint, it was an impressive movie, however the stunts felt a bit forced. I I enjoyed Hero, but found that it lacked the substance of other great movies from Asia. It seemed to be trying too hard to be like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, to the extent that the soundtrack sounded as if it was lifted directly from that movie. That was very distracting and a big minus. From a visual standpoint, it was an impressive movie, however the stunts felt a bit forced. I enjoyed the movie but certainly was not blown away by it. Personally, I think the critics here are overreacting to this film. It is good but not great, and certainly not anywhere close the level of CT/HD or RAN, or even Sanjuro/Yojimbo for that matter. Expand
  79. 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
  80. StevenA.
    Sep 6, 2004
    9
    This movie was incredible, possibly the best martial arts film I've ever seen (Excluding Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, of course!). It had an awesome story, beautiful cinematography, and super cool fight scenes. It's about two hours long, but it went by really fast. It's that good!
  81. QBeing
    Sep 8, 2004
    5
    Mildly Entertaining, The fight scenes were not so much fights as they were long and drawn out dances. At no point was I ever on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. On the up side it does make you think, on the down the subtitle at tiems move so quickly you can not read them fast enough to keep up.
  82. VidM.
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    As a person who has watched way too many martial arts films, I can tell you with authority (respect mah authoritah) that this movie absolutely rocks. This is the only nouveau martial arts film I've seen that really nails the blend of computer effects with live action. Beautiful, thoughtful film.
  83. JasonP
    Jan 17, 2005
    9
    One of the best-told and most visually arresting movies I've ever seen.
  84. RickK
    Jan 30, 2005
    7
    Very poignant story of the fundamental issues individuals face when caught up with larger issues. What people die for and kill for....is a classic opening line.
  85. PeterJ.
    Feb 11, 2005
    9
    Visually stunning. After the movie ended I could not help but to annoy my wife and kids with pathetic attempts at martial arts moves. I am even going to hold onto it for a few more days and watch it again. This is one of the best movies of 2004.
  86. armandos.
    Mar 10, 2005
    8
    Artistically, this movie is brilliant. The colors, the movement of the fighters and the music all meshed into an organic wholeness. The only weakness involved the characters-they were more mythic than real -the director may have done this on purpose. It keeps you from being very emotionally involved - appeals more to the intellect.
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. Philter137
    May 17, 2005
    8
    Unusual, Beautiful, simple and long.
  90. [Anonymous]
    Jul 1, 2005
    8
    More artsy than action. THe art part of martial arts is emphasized. Fight scenes could compete or even surpass those in the matrix. Colors are used to create eye-popping cinematography. It's good, but not as exciting as I thought. A retrospective of thought rather than an action packed martial arts saga.
  91. Sam
    Apr 3, 2006
    10
    Forget the fools that hated this movie. It's a gorgeous, stunning feast for the eyes that I will call one of the greatest masterpiece's that I have ever seen.
  92. AmurabiM.
    Jun 20, 2006
    10
    I don´t know how to begin. If someone tries to compare the Yimou Zhang´s masterpiece with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (that Ang Lee´s ok movie), let me say that they´re wrong. You can´t compare them because "Hero" is more narrative. Yes, the issue of the assassination of a king provides a shakespearean tone, but also there are in the storyline plenty of I don´t know how to begin. If someone tries to compare the Yimou Zhang´s masterpiece with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (that Ang Lee´s ok movie), let me say that they´re wrong. You can´t compare them because "Hero" is more narrative. Yes, the issue of the assassination of a king provides a shakespearean tone, but also there are in the storyline plenty of interpretations. The plot deals with the dissemination of a myth (that´s the reason why that one sequence is filmed in several ways, all with different perspectives and storylines). There are so many lines in the script that ends together in that precious ending. The whole message is about a deep meditation of heroism, nationalism, peace, justice and the art of government. Although, it can read it too as a story of dignity, eternal love, honor and loyalty. But the story is the most important thing in "Hero". The storyline has so many issues that you can feel overwhelmed by the interpretation of the movie. Yimou Zhang has been created his masterpiece. This film is so gorgeous (as the beautiful females stars of the movie, the enigmatic and exquisite Maggie Cheung and the innocent and beautiful Ziyi Zhang), so surprising and so stylized that at the end, you feel like you are watching a painting (a WORK OF ART from a woderful classic painter). "Hero" is more than its stars, its cast, its extraordinary cinematography and haunting score; it´s a poem, a painting, a sculpture, an epic opera, a validation of movies as the seventh art. Expand
  93. JB
    Aug 11, 2006
    6
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon this is not. The overall message is simple enough: that the lens of history does not always capture the full heroics of both sides of a conflict. Nevertheless, the process of telling this story has been made overly complex. The action scenes are generally strong but the narrative can be tedious and melodramatic in a way that passes the limits of that which Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon this is not. The overall message is simple enough: that the lens of history does not always capture the full heroics of both sides of a conflict. Nevertheless, the process of telling this story has been made overly complex. The action scenes are generally strong but the narrative can be tedious and melodramatic in a way that passes the limits of that which is acceptable. I wasn't impressed. Expand
  94. MichaelL.
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    Awesome movie.
  95. BillN.
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    Crazy fight scenes, good movie!
  96. RodneyM.
    Feb 17, 2007
    10
    A visual and emotional masterpiece. A was a bit skeptical at seeing a foreign film, with subtitles. It conveys perfect action sequences, while still demonstrating emotion. Anyone who doesn't like this movie either has no taste, or is dyslexic.
  97. Jake
    May 11, 2008
    9
    On my of favourite matrial arts pictures. It combines a great story, which is told an cool way (After 20 Minutes the film seems done. I laught very hard in cinema) with very good fighting sequencenes.
  98. Ryan
    May 23, 2008
    10
    Amazingly beautiful "Wuxia" genre film. One of my favorite movies of all time! House of Flying Daggers is a tie!
  99. yinyan
    May 4, 2008
    10
    Amazing beautiful movie, with a well-constructed plot that fits together really well.
  100. BinA.
    Jun 29, 2008
    8
    A visual feast where the cumbersome narrative diminishes a compelling story with a rather basic exploration of ethics and morality
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.