User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 298 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 298
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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.
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.