Miramax Films | Release Date: August 27, 2004
9.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 430 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
397
Mixed:
15
Negative:
18
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7
FilmJunkie2020Apr 8, 2017
This is a movie for the fans, whose beauty mirrors the culture and legends from which it draws inspiration. For all its great qualities, however, its lacking plot may come across as tiresome to the novice viewer.
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10
DemonDan13Dec 28, 2016
One of the most beautiful and cinematically flooring movies you will ever see. The director and fight choreographer produced perfection, and I feel this is Jet Li's best movie.
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9
SpangleSep 10, 2016
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 thatA 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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9
CalibMcBoltsMay 30, 2016
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 aI 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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6
Compi24Mar 31, 2016
Jet Li, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, and Maggie Cheung team up in Zhang Yimou's fancifully endearing tribute to the mythical kennels hidden within Chinese history. "Hero's" narrative might be hard to follow at times, but its beautifullyJet Li, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, and Maggie Cheung team up in Zhang Yimou's fancifully endearing tribute to the mythical kennels hidden within Chinese history. "Hero's" narrative might be hard to follow at times, but its beautifully choreographed fight scenes sure aren't. Yimou's brilliant use of color and stylized photography guides the audience towards an easier shot at sitting back and enjoying this ride for what it is - pure entertainment. Expand
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9
Xan_RyilDec 8, 2015
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 yourA 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
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8
FilmQueenOct 10, 2015
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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
NShep53Jun 20, 2015
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. BestHero 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+. Expand
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6
LokathorFeb 14, 2015
Hero has a solid story, with a very good format of how it unfolds. However, many of the later fights simply last too long and get in the way of a better flow in the plot.
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10
Kai82Sep 20, 2014
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 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
MunthelionFeb 1, 2014
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
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.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
LolcanoFeb 5, 2012
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 andDesperately 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. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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7
spadenxJan 5, 2012
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. TheIt 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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10
mayong0807Nov 27, 2011
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.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
cameron326Mar 11, 2011
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 YimouOccasionally 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.
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
dalawmanNov 1, 2010
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 goodSimply 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!
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5 of 6 users found this helpful51
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10
Desmondo2000Aug 17, 2008
This is my favorite Jet Li movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RyanC.Jul 13, 2008
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BinA.Jun 29, 2008
A visual feast where the cumbersome narrative diminishes a compelling story with a rather basic exploration of ethics and morality
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10
cyrusl.Jun 19, 2008
Great movie. A bit long at times but ogod scenes.
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10
RyanMay 23, 2008
Amazingly beautiful "Wuxia" genre film. One of my favorite movies of all time! House of Flying Daggers is a tie!
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9
JakeMay 11, 2008
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.
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10
yinyanMay 4, 2008
Amazing beautiful movie, with a well-constructed plot that fits together really well.
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3
IanB.Aug 27, 2007
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 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
ChristopherJ.Mar 20, 2007
A philosophically fascinating film with beautiful action sequences. It asks questions about sovereignty, justice, and love, and then it offers loose answers.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RodneyM.Feb 17, 2007
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MichelleS.Dec 17, 2006
I've never seen such beautiful movie in my life.
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10
BillN.Sep 29, 2006
Crazy fight scenes, good movie!
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10
MichaelL.Sep 29, 2006
Awesome movie.
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6
JBAug 11, 2006
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
RamzeezeB.Jul 17, 2006
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
AmurabiM.Jun 20, 2006
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
SamApr 3, 2006
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RandyS.Apr 2, 2006
One of the best movies I've seen. The storyline is more complex than most people may realize.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EricMar 17, 2006
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, 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
JasonF.Mar 4, 2006
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. 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful
0
SaskiaS.Feb 27, 2006
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 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
1 of 3 users found this helpful
10
SarahA.Jan 19, 2006
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
stevej.Jan 5, 2006
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
mshm.Jan 1, 2006
Legendary film.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
VidM.Nov 10, 2005
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful