Hero

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 521 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 521

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. Oct 10, 2015
    8
    This is a thought-provoking and visually beautiful piece of art. The story is surprising and the choreography is great, I recommend this film to everyone.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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).
  10. JeremyW.
    Oct 30, 2004
    10
    This is one of the most amazing film ever. I can only describe it with one word - Perfect.
  11. WalterG.
    Aug 27, 2004
    10
    One of the smartest movies ever.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. mshm.
    Jan 1, 2006
    10
    Legendary film.
  16. RandyS.
    Apr 2, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen. The storyline is more complex than most people may realize.
  17. 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).
  18. DuncanJ.
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    This movie is beautiful.
  19. Justin
    Aug 21, 2004
    9
    Brilliant.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Clay
    Sep 15, 2004
    9
    Breathtaking art direction and cinematography. Not the typical kung fu movie and thats a good thing.
  23. Pat
    Feb 21, 2005
    8
    A visually compelling movie with enough thought of substance to be taken seriously.
  24. overfien
    Apr 5, 2005
    10
    This movie rocked my socks off.
  25. 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.
  26. 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 Expand
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. cyrusl.
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    Great movie. A bit long at times but ogod scenes.
  30. JW
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    I can't believe some idiots gave this show less than an 8. this show is absolutely beautiful.
  31. MikeK.
    Oct 21, 2004
    10
    10 for the Christopher Doyle cinematography alone...add in Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung and i'm sold.
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. MartinQ.
    Dec 4, 2004
    10
    This movie is EXCELLENT, I likef it. It's amazing.
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. JoyF.
    Sep 10, 2004
    8
    It was a simple story brought to life with form, color, and art; it was a visual treat!
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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
  48. 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!
  49. 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.
  50. JasonP
    Jan 17, 2005
    9
    One of the best-told and most visually arresting movies I've ever seen.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. Philter137
    May 17, 2005
    8
    Unusual, Beautiful, simple and long.
  55. [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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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
  58. MichaelL.
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    Awesome movie.
  59. BillN.
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    Crazy fight scenes, good movie!
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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!
  63. yinyan
    May 4, 2008
    10
    Amazing beautiful movie, with a well-constructed plot that fits together really well.
  64. 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
  65. RyanC.
    Jul 13, 2008
    10
    One of the most exquisitely filmed movies I've seen, and a great philosophy and message about warriors and their "ultimate ideal" is inside the movie, a multi-layered story that takes a thinking mind to realize everything.
  66. Desmondo2000
    Aug 17, 2008
    10
    This is my favorite Jet Li movie.
  67. JamesD.
    Nov 13, 2004
    10
    This was that best chinese action film EVER created... no one can say otherwise :) :) there is a new movie coming out called House of Flying Daggers that "Moon" plays in :-D
  68. JoeA.
    Nov 13, 2004
    9
    I liked this movie better than its predecessor. A gorgeous flic that makes it easy for you to lose yourself in the tale. The effects do not over-intrude.
  69. SimonH
    Nov 22, 2004
    10
    Stunning , simply stunning.A beautiful film that everyone should see.It cannot be summed up in words but must simply be felt.It will leave you silent in contemplation.Honour , pride , love..... you can try to write song and poetry for years to sum up feelings this film portaits in 2.5 hours.
  70. AavoV.
    Nov 22, 2004
    10
    Jet Li in the role he fits everytime he acts >:D
  71. JeremyC.
    Nov 25, 2004
    10
    An excellent movie. Intriguing, thought provoking, and beautiful. It achieved everything that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon missed. An enthralling story, excellent cinematography, and excellent actors. This is one of the highest quality movies that I have ever seen. True entertainment and depth from start to end.
  72. DanK
    Nov 4, 2004
    7
    Better then crouching tiger, but to much art . I was loooking foward to seeing a good beat up, which this is with style, but not enough substance.
  73. JedD.
    Oct 23, 2004
    9
    Superb. Great action and beautiful use of colours. Interesting story in a Rashoman style that shows the events from various perspectives.
  74. MikeG.
    Dec 4, 2004
    9
    Spectacular fable about war and honor that refuses to go for the easy or cliched ending. The storytelling style is unique, and the acting fits in well with the story.
  75. JavierA.
    Dec 8, 2004
    9
    In a fair world, Zhang Yimou would win this year's Best Director Oscar. With "Hero" he has redefined the art of film, placing an emphasis on color hitherto unseen in the annals of movie history. The images seem to exude tremendous emotional power; truly cinema at its best. "Hero" is innovating, entertaining, beautiful... the most glorious piece of art to come along in years.
  76. FootsoreSam
    Aug 26, 2004
    10
    I bought the DVD as soon as I saw the first advertisement. Miramax forced the site to cease sales 2 days later and the film was completely removed from the edaymovie.com site. I love this film, despite its somewhat disturbing imperialistic message. Incredibly beautiful film.
  77. DamianP.
    Aug 27, 2004
    7
    Saw this movie over a year ago and needed to watch it twice to really get to grips with it. Interesting to see how the Chinese think. Beautifully filmed in parts, but don't expect another Crouching Tiger...
  78. JM
    Aug 28, 2004
    10
    The word 'masterpiece' is used well to describe 'Hero'! Outstanding!!!!
  79. PaulTR
    Aug 28, 2004
    10
    Simpler than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which this film is undoubtedly being compared with, Hero is nonetheless a visual masterpiece. It's no wonder that Quentin Tarantino vouches for it, as style is one of the film's most remarkable attributes. And yes, there's a story. But the subtlety and grace is what really stands out.
  80. RyanA
    Sep 11, 2004
    9
    I really enjoyed Hero the first time I saw it. Plot, Pacing, Direction, Cinematography, Score, all came together to make this film a real experience. I agree that the plot isn't mind-blowing, but it was adequate and its execution was well done nonetheless. Also, as an asian film fan, Hero has a cast that makes me giddy: from Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, I really enjoyed Hero the first time I saw it. Plot, Pacing, Direction, Cinematography, Score, all came together to make this film a real experience. I agree that the plot isn't mind-blowing, but it was adequate and its execution was well done nonetheless. Also, as an asian film fan, Hero has a cast that makes me giddy: from Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, and even Chen Dao Ming (the emperor). If anyone wants to get into asian cinema, these are several great faces to get familiar with. The only thing is that I would suggest you get rid of your preconceptions about this being a wall-to-wall action flick, as it is to a certain degree an art-house film, which means aesthetics rule. Sorry man, this aint no cradle 2 the grave [ehh...these new jet li films suck anyway, if you want action, check out drunken master II or fist of legend or ong bak:D ] Anyway, While I dislike Miramax for screwing up the distribution of many, many asian films, I do encourage you to see this movie, if only to support asian cinema. If you disliked this film because you had to read subtitles... I don't know what to say, but you're missing out on a whole lot. bye. Expand
  81. BrendanO.
    Sep 13, 2004
    10
    This movie was fabulous! The martial arts were indeed incredible. Every time there was a fighting scene, it was in the most beautiful environment imaginable. The film was just gorgeous!
  82. ChrisB.
    Sep 23, 2004
    10
    Amazing.
  83. SteveG.
    Sep 26, 2004
    8
    As a beautifully filmed and almost perfectly staged morality tale around the need for unity and the nature of majesty, Hero ought to have rated a little higher. Trouble is that while it's easy to be captivated at first by the glorious martial arts sequences they do get just a little boring. In one sense, they're also pointless as much of the flashback plot is the interweaving of As a beautifully filmed and almost perfectly staged morality tale around the need for unity and the nature of majesty, Hero ought to have rated a little higher. Trouble is that while it's easy to be captivated at first by the glorious martial arts sequences they do get just a little boring. In one sense, they're also pointless as much of the flashback plot is the interweaving of lies and stories. However, Hero has some beautiful shots and is worth seeing for Ziyi Zhang as well as Daoming Chen as the paranoid but perceptive king. A satisfying film in many ways, but you could easily question the closing argument of might is right, whatever the human cost... Collapse
  84. JasonT
    Sep 26, 2004
    10
    I cannot grasp how people would EVER give this movie less than an 8. Simply put, Hero is one of the best movies of the past 5 years. If you are a fan of predictable American epics, this may not be your cup of tea, but if you enjoy highly original and imaganative storytelling, go see this immediately. The cinematography alone is worth the price of admission.
  85. BrianD.
    Jan 16, 2005
    9
    Not Really Zhang yimou's Success But Worth Watching.
  86. SangHeeJ.
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    Wonderful acting, scenery, and special effects. My favorite martial arts movie. A wonderful plot combines with beautiful cinematography to make a dazzling film that has been acclaimed by people of all ages. Highly recommended to anyone who wishes to see a beautiful story with stunning artistry.
  87. MichelleS.
    Dec 17, 2006
    10
    I've never seen such beautiful movie in my life.
  88. JoseC.
    Nov 12, 2004
    10
    THE BEST FILM EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a beautiful film! It's a lot better than the lord of the rings. Full of amazing coreographies and fantastic directing. It's about differet tales with the same characters and only at the end, they tell us the real story de real story.
  89. miki
    Dec 13, 2004
    10
    I usually dont like samurai movies, but theis had a much deeper meaning than just senseless cutting of eachothers throats.
  90. MattL.
    Dec 15, 2004
    10
    Okay, people who vote less than 8 are complete idiots. Most people never even seen the entire film and rated it a 0 just because they thought it was "boring" and were too lazy to read the subtitles. The movie was very profound and few people understand it because most people are just ignorant these days. You have to understand culture and history. There WAS 6 kingdoms in China before, NOT Okay, people who vote less than 8 are complete idiots. Most people never even seen the entire film and rated it a 0 just because they thought it was "boring" and were too lazy to read the subtitles. The movie was very profound and few people understand it because most people are just ignorant these days. You have to understand culture and history. There WAS 6 kingdoms in China before, NOT 7, so keep your facts straight. The sword and calligraphy connection was also very interesting, because they both share the same philosophy. The film had great cinematography and art. The fighting was also spectacular. Expand
  91. Sep 10, 2016
    9
    A beautiful masterstroke from director Zhang Yimou, Hero is a beautifully constructed wuxia film that is infused with history, Chinese culture, honor, and themes of overcoming hate and the pain that can be caused from not conquering that hate. Through this film, Zhang Yimou not only creates a terrifically entertaining martial arts action film, but he also creates a film that is a movingA beautiful masterstroke from director Zhang Yimou, Hero is a beautifully constructed wuxia film that is infused with history, Chinese culture, honor, and themes of overcoming hate and the pain that can be caused from not conquering that hate. Through this film, Zhang Yimou not only creates a terrifically entertaining martial arts action film, but he also creates a film that is a moving and stirring look at the unification of China and the sacrifices that went into that monumental step.

    With beautiful cinematography to soak up every inch of the screen, Hero shows an adept use of shot composition and construction to go along with the cinematography. Used in conjunction, the significant moving pieces of each shot and the capturing of those moves creates a truly gorgeous film that is breathtaking to view. From beginning to end, Zhang's film presents a unique and melodic look at its action. Personally, my favorite shot comes when our nameless warrior (Jet Li) enters the palace of the King of Qin (Chen Daoming). The long shots in this sequence are incredible and truly soak up the entirety of the beauty of the location.

    Additionally, Zhang's constant use of color in the film is incredible, namely in the battle between Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) and Moon (Zhang Ziyi). The changing color of the leaves is an incredible site and the significance unashamedly escapes me, but is a beautiful use of color all the same. When it comes to the battles, the Zhang's use of color emerges continuously and it is always incredible to view.

    Now, of course, the main focus of these types of films are the battle sequences. As the film progresses, each battle sequence takes on new meaning, but is always steeped in Chinese culture and the Chinese concept of honor. These ideals, along with the ideals of a warrior, blend perfectly into terrific choreography of each fight with good special effects throughout. For those unfamiliar with wuxia films, seeing people flying can be a bit much. However, Zhang keeps this supernatural element restrained with a deeply human story and deeply human battles. Though they have unusual abilities, their hearts and souls and apparent for all to see.

    (SPOILERS) Thematically, Hero's beauty is continued with a terrific take on the power of hatred. Driven to assassinate the King of Qin due to the King's killing of his family, the nameless warrior manages to overcome his hatred due to Broken Sword (Tony Leung). Moved by his words, "Our Land", the warrior is unable to kill the King because he now understands the motives behind his attempts to unify China. Though he is killed for this, the scene of their mutual understanding is beautiful and wonderfully scripted. However, the film continues on this theme as it shows Flying Snow kill Broken Sword due to his refusal to kill the King. Upon killing her love, she realizes just what her hate brought her: personal anguish. Zhang's execution of this theme is wonderful to watch and underscores the brilliance of Hero, which transcends borders and is a deeply human film, not just one aimed at Chinese audiences.

    Overall, Hero is a beautifully crafted film that really shows its beauty in its cinematography, color, choreography, and in its themes. This is a masterful film from director Zhang Yimou that showcases all of the best qualities of wuxia genre, while also balancing the more unnatural elements with a deeply human story that is relatable for all.
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  92. Jun 20, 2015
    10
    Hero is an amazing Chinese epic. Jet Li truly shines in this movie as titular "Hero". The story draws you in to the point where you actually care about these truly awesome characters. The action is filmed perfectly and is well done. Best martial arts movie I have seen. A+.
  93. Dec 8, 2015
    9
    A true work of art which can mesmerise anyone. Every frame of Hero is designed and presented so beautifully that one watching it forgets to blink the eye. Magnificent and giant artwork is enough to keep you with the movie and increase your interest in Chinese history. Lavish yet clean living style of the people and the costumes, not to mention the colours and the way the events areA true work of art which can mesmerise anyone. Every frame of Hero is designed and presented so beautifully that one watching it forgets to blink the eye. Magnificent and giant artwork is enough to keep you with the movie and increase your interest in Chinese history. Lavish yet clean living style of the people and the costumes, not to mention the colours and the way the events are narrated. However, movie is more about the complex love story between two assassins then another one with extreme speed. Essential Chinese arts of Qin, Wéiqí ,Caligraphy and Painting are amazingly blended with the themes while first 3 are expressive shown, Painting is rather subjective to the audience perception of colour work through out the movie. Characters are presented enigmatically, from passionate to the quite ones. Very strong movie with brave artwork and performances. Expand
  94. May 30, 2016
    9
    I was very impressed by HERO, the movie runs in a way like Rashomon (Kurosawa's famous masterpiece that came out in 1950) (although under a completely different concept) - almost entirely through flashbacks during narration. Because its a period film about a very much fantastic and romanticized time, the dreamy quality of the photography is brilliantly suited. The look of the film isI was very impressed by HERO, the movie runs in a way like Rashomon (Kurosawa's famous masterpiece that came out in 1950) (although under a completely different concept) - almost entirely through flashbacks during narration. Because its a period film about a very much fantastic and romanticized time, the dreamy quality of the photography is brilliantly suited. The look of the film is fabulous, although it sometimes indulges in video game beauty (the fight scene on the lake, the waterfall fight, and the calligraphy sequence that could be a shampoo commercial), just as Zhang the director indulges in melodrama, especially in the second half of the film, which is filled with slow-motion shots of people running and crying and saying goodbye. But the first half is so calmly powerful that I can overlook the overly stretched second half.
    However it seems to me that the most blatant fault of the film is the dialogue, the dialogues are so cheesy. Of course this is an epic film with a lot of stuff to take care off, and Zhang does something better than the others, but there is no excuse for the amateurish dialogue writing.
    All that being said, I still think it's one of the great movies that Zhang Yimou made, when he was still trying to make great movies - he used to use Chinese culture, instead of exploiting it. It's a little sad to see what he's doing now, whatever the reasons that he's making those craps for.
    A beautifully crafted film by Zhang Yimou with a great story and an all star cast. Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Zi Yi and Donnie Yen all performed portrayed their characters in a fine way with style and technique with outstanding stunts and martial arts. Exotic production designs by Tingxiao Huo & Zhenzhou Yi, colorful with dark looking costumes by Emi Wada, beautifully photographed by cinematographer Christopher Doyle, fast & smooth editing by Angie Lam and a relaxing musical score by Tan Dun.
    The metaphorical use of colors enhances the emotion of each "chapter" of the film while telling the audience exactly what the tone of each is as well.

    Possibly the greatest Kurosawa film not filmed by Kurosawa. Zhang Yimou's masterpiece combines beautiful martial arts action with ingenious Rashomon storytelling in this historical epic.
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Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Nov 4, 2015
    80
    Here is a film where every frame feels individually designed, with saturated colour and symmetry reflecting the texture and natural wonder of the environment.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Nov 4, 2015
    88
    Hero is elliptical, primal, radically disjointed, and female-empowering. Everything a wu xia should be…and then som
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Nov 4, 2015
    100
    It's a story about storytelling, with differing versions of events in which people die by the sword. Filled with Yimou's characteristic symbolism and zest for striking colors, it's a fictional account of the unification of China.