House of Flying Daggers

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 474 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 474

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User Reviews

  1. TonyL.
    Feb 6, 2005
    9
    The kungfu sequences are amongst the greatest even in hong kong standard. Using a love story to reflects Zhang's love-hate relationship with China is not new but still interesting. A little hard for non-chinese to get the message though. Lousy subtitle translation spoiled some of the hidden meanings, too.
  2. PaulF.
    Mar 4, 2005
    3
    It seems to me that the chinese movie people just bring out any old crap and for some reason everyone will love it. Why? I just don't see how a mediocre movie like this can get such a high score. Yeah, I agree that some of the fights are good, but they're nothing that hasn't been done before , and the story is absolute rubbish as well - definatley a movie to avoid.
  3. PatC.
    May 4, 2006
    8
    The film starts as a political confrontation between government and rebel interests, but no one is who they seem, and through many plot twists the story converts into a romantic confrontation between love and freedom interests. A Mata Hari kind of thing. But unlike a Hollywood romance, the characters all realize they are expendable, that no one cares whether they live or die. In the The film starts as a political confrontation between government and rebel interests, but no one is who they seem, and through many plot twists the story converts into a romantic confrontation between love and freedom interests. A Mata Hari kind of thing. But unlike a Hollywood romance, the characters all realize they are expendable, that no one cares whether they live or die. In the confines of this oriental mindset they find a way to make their obscurity empowering, which is interesting though perhaps not memorable. The martial arts action is precise but reeks of improbability. The most remarkable thing by far in this project is its attention to the art of the photoplay. Every scene is lush in color and light and finely crafted with the meticulousness of an impressionistic painting. As a feast of visual splendor for those with an eye for art, this is a wonderful movie. Expand
  4. JaneM.
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    A dazzling fairy tale, mesmerizing in its cinematic beauty (what color schemes) and the choreographed fight scenes. The allegorical tale of star-crossed lovers (all three) in the throes of passion and history. Truly superior to CTHD and Hero. The acting was superb. The music haunting especially with Kathleen Battle's exquisite soprano voice. The surreal quality makes this film a A dazzling fairy tale, mesmerizing in its cinematic beauty (what color schemes) and the choreographed fight scenes. The allegorical tale of star-crossed lovers (all three) in the throes of passion and history. Truly superior to CTHD and Hero. The acting was superb. The music haunting especially with Kathleen Battle's exquisite soprano voice. The surreal quality makes this film a fairy tale, not t be interpreted in the literal sense (it is not making sense) but working to satisfy our spiritual limbic drives for love and ultimately survival, so intertwined - emotions and passions do help us in our quest for life and immortality. Expand
  5. LucianS
    Jan 19, 2005
    8
    This is the most aesthetically amazing film I have ever seen. It is also one of the most pointless films I have ever seen. Yeah the story goes against Hollwood (happy ending) type but it feels like a sideplot to a bigger film. merely.
  6. SangHeeJ.
    Jan 20, 2005
    6
    A beautifully done film. Though a site for the eyes, the film seemed to sport a classic Western theme and love triangle, rather than the stunning martial arts and captivating plots that usually accompany the traditional Chinese martial arts film. the plot was easily discovered early on, and the film focused more on the relationships of the character rather than in-depth plots and stunning A beautifully done film. Though a site for the eyes, the film seemed to sport a classic Western theme and love triangle, rather than the stunning martial arts and captivating plots that usually accompany the traditional Chinese martial arts film. the plot was easily discovered early on, and the film focused more on the relationships of the character rather than in-depth plots and stunning martial arts. though it isn't what was expected, the film was still beautifully done. Expand
  7. TeddyG
    Jan 6, 2005
    3
    [***SPOILERS***] First of all, if you're reading this to decide whether or not to go, rent "Hero" instead. I must be completely alone but I thought this movie was AWFUL, and I love movies like this. It milks stupid cliches, the story falls apart after thirty minutes, it is extremely predictable and besides *SPOILER ALERT* WHAT THE F- happens to the titular "house of flying daggers?" [***SPOILERS***] First of all, if you're reading this to decide whether or not to go, rent "Hero" instead. I must be completely alone but I thought this movie was AWFUL, and I love movies like this. It milks stupid cliches, the story falls apart after thirty minutes, it is extremely predictable and besides *SPOILER ALERT* WHAT THE F- happens to the titular "house of flying daggers?" it's left totally unresolved, the villain lives and the two heroes die. the audience exploded in laughter after the heroine lives through a blizzard with a knife in her HEART to save her lover. and the digital effects for the blizzard were cheap and annoying and the backgrounds were extremely repetitive and boring. Not even the awesome arrow and bamboo fight scenes could make up for the garbled nonsense of this script. It's like a toddler's re-telling of the events of "crouching tiger." Expand
  8. harrym.
    Apr 10, 2005
    10
    The next best movie after Jet Lee and Jackie Chan's masterpieces. Bravo!
  9. salvMQ
    May 3, 2005
    10
    Very good film. Lot of moaners out there with warped opinions giving it 3s and 1s, don't listen to them
  10. sammy
    Jan 8, 2006
    10
    A beautiful film, one of the best martial arts films I've seen.
  11. groundfisher
    Apr 1, 2006
    5
    Incredibly over-rated. This is a silly movie. About two-thirds of the way through the film the plot is forgotten - and major aspects remain unexplained and unresolved - in favour of a love-story. Because it's merely a love story, the martial arts scenes lose all meaning and relevance - even the last scene. And the ending is nothing but preposterous. Sure, there are moments of visual Incredibly over-rated. This is a silly movie. About two-thirds of the way through the film the plot is forgotten - and major aspects remain unexplained and unresolved - in favour of a love-story. Because it's merely a love story, the martial arts scenes lose all meaning and relevance - even the last scene. And the ending is nothing but preposterous. Sure, there are moments of visual beauty, but so what. What's the point of tacking on a somewhat adolescent melodrama? It started well enough, but by the end my companion summed it up using only four letters. Expand
  12. burtonm
    Jan 12, 2005
    2
    Great cinematics & kung fu. Terrible story, ridiculous dialog, wooden acting. Just like Crouching Tiger. China should hire a writer before making any more movies.
  13. thin
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Best movie of 2004 (& 2005 so far), even surpasses Hero. Ravishingly beautiful, with an exceptional cast and unparalleled action, this is the kind of movie the cinema was invented for.
  14. ChuckK.
    Jan 16, 2005
    4
    While it had two absolutely beautiful scenes, the film was overly melodramatic and talky. Scenes that attempted to be visually stunning left me simply bored.
  15. Spenca
    Jan 18, 2005
    4
    I simply don't understand why critics love this movie. Are they still high off of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon??? THAT'S a great movie. This one is hackneyed and melodramatic, but visually exceptional. Go see it, I guess, because you'll wonder what you're missing.
  16. s
    Oct 22, 2005
    10
    Just remarkable... The action and romance were pefectly balanced and like all Chinese movies, it ended in tragedy and kept you thinking. Cool action, great storyline, a movie to rival Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  17. SteveK.
    Jan 26, 2005
    4
    Eh... it's okay. The love triangle is ridiculous. I'm still not sure what the point is. It feels like every other Chinese movie I've ever seen where everyone dies and no one is who they say they are. Chinese filmmakers need to figure out a better way to make a compelling movie instead of devising ridiculous plot twists and mandatorily killing an important character in the Eh... it's okay. The love triangle is ridiculous. I'm still not sure what the point is. It feels like every other Chinese movie I've ever seen where everyone dies and no one is who they say they are. Chinese filmmakers need to figure out a better way to make a compelling movie instead of devising ridiculous plot twists and mandatorily killing an important character in the end for manufactured emotional effect. It's pretty to look at, but not a great movie. Is anyone else getting sick of these ridiculously unrealistic kungfu movies where everyone can fly, knives are heat-seeking and can change course in mid-air, and kung-fu masters can change any ordinary object into a deadly weapon (shoes, cups, bamboo shoots, a shirt sleeve)? Expand
  18. SteveG.
    Jan 6, 2005
    8
    A beautifully composed, elegantly produced film that - sadly - falls short of being a classic. Those easily excitable people going to see what they think will be the usual kick and leap kung fu (with attendant grunts and loud slapping noises so the dimmer ones among them can get even more excited) will be disappointed that this is essentially a love story with interwoven deceptions and no A beautifully composed, elegantly produced film that - sadly - falls short of being a classic. Those easily excitable people going to see what they think will be the usual kick and leap kung fu (with attendant grunts and loud slapping noises so the dimmer ones among them can get even more excited) will be disappointed that this is essentially a love story with interwoven deceptions and no easy conclusion. But for all its grace and subleties, 'Flying Daggers' has flaws - not least the way the daggers are like homing missiles and everyone (arrow, spear or dagger) is gifted with astonishing accuracy over long distances, which strains credibility even in a fantasy film. There are a couple of holes in the plot which needed tidying up to make it a truly satisfying story and some things which simply hadn't been thought through. The dancing was wonderful but the music unmemorable, sadly. At least in Ziyi Zhang there is an actress of great talent. As for the controversial ending in the driving snow, I thought it worked well and made the point. Expand
  19. Ursula
    Jan 7, 2005
    9
    It may not have been as visually breathtaking as "Hero" and its characters may not all have been as charismatic as in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", but as a whole it was stunningly beautiful. Some may call scenes where you only see Jin sitting on his horse thinking of what to do boring - I loved the slow parts between the exciting fight scenes!
  20. AramisG.
    Jan 9, 2005
    7
    This director has to get it right next time. If you are going to spend the money on lavish sets and costumes at least you could stay consistent with the Tang Dynasty. From the annoying ochestral Feux-Chinese music to the naive-love story this movie cuts corners where it could have shined.
  21. smit
    Jan 9, 2005
    10
    One of the best martial art movie ever!
  22. Chris
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    This movie is so beautiful, I found myself really wanting to love it. And, it really comes close to attaining sublime perfection. But, the overwrought melodrama at the end keeps this movie from being a hands-down '10'. It's frustrating to watch a movie come so close only to fall just short with a few ill-advised scenes. In spite of it's weaknesses, this movie is still This movie is so beautiful, I found myself really wanting to love it. And, it really comes close to attaining sublime perfection. But, the overwrought melodrama at the end keeps this movie from being a hands-down '10'. It's frustrating to watch a movie come so close only to fall just short with a few ill-advised scenes. In spite of it's weaknesses, this movie is still a must see in the theater because the sheer beauty of it will take your breath away. Expand
  23. JeffRobinson
    Feb 10, 2005
    10
    I loved this movie the twist the humor about julia robers i dont know why somone would not like this movie the stealing the cheating its great its a 100 movie in my book, 2 thumbs up. It had me thinking throught the whole thing i loved Oceans Twelve
  24. JordanA.
    Feb 6, 2005
    10
    A classic that might be Ziyi's best work at the end of her career. She is delicious and strong. Jin and Leo put in good performances in support of Mei. Yimou's got a slightly more dynamic story to work with than some of the previous archetypal stories like Ju Dou. This is more along the lines of 859AD American Graffitti meets a Chinese James Bond the way you would want it to be. A classic that might be Ziyi's best work at the end of her career. She is delicious and strong. Jin and Leo put in good performances in support of Mei. Yimou's got a slightly more dynamic story to work with than some of the previous archetypal stories like Ju Dou. This is more along the lines of 859AD American Graffitti meets a Chinese James Bond the way you would want it to be. With the Bond girl in the lead while Bond and the Anti-Hero nearly kill each other and lose the plot over her. Expand
  25. alic.
    Feb 8, 2005
    5
    A disappointment worse even than the disappointment of Hero. The love story is feeble and contrived, the finale visually underwhelming and the fighting lacks the grace and imagination of Crouching Tiger - still the benchmark for this genre.
  26. TuN.
    Mar 1, 2005
    9
    Beautiful movie, excellence story and great fight / dance scenes. I hope they come out with another sequence.
  27. WenZ.
    Mar 20, 2005
    1
    As a chinese, such a plot and characters can't interest many people here. In no mood of a chinese 'Kungfoo', or wuxia in Chinese, movie, just some beatiful pics. Really overrated.
  28. olegm.
    Apr 28, 2005
    2
    The worst martial arts/romance movie ever. over-pampering to "western" (as perceived by orientals) tastes. over-abuse of "hidden dragon"'s heroine's face. Too many (i mean TOO many) twists. good cinematography.. doesn't save the day.
  29. joebaeber
    Apr 30, 2005
    2
    I am tired of these so called critics giving high scores to junky movies like this one. This movie is boring, action shots -- seen it 100's of times-- O. K.?? A waste of time and money.
  30. edmundsonm.
    Apr 3, 2005
    3
    The plot was so bad it should win a razzy, in the death scence at the end the enitre audience were laughing it was so melodramtic. Pleasse let the Cohen brothers write his next scipt and let him stick to the cinematography (which was beautifull).
  31. TheElusivePossom
    May 17, 2005
    8
    Here's a film worthy of any hype it gets, emerging from the perversely under-rated oriental contribution to world cinema. The story was deep, ripe with eastern culture and full of pleasing twists, great fun to guess at with friends over a plate of Gang Bang Chicken. The art of the fight scene is once again mastered, and though it holds no bearing to the cinematic orgasm that was Here's a film worthy of any hype it gets, emerging from the perversely under-rated oriental contribution to world cinema. The story was deep, ripe with eastern culture and full of pleasing twists, great fun to guess at with friends over a plate of Gang Bang Chicken. The art of the fight scene is once again mastered, and though it holds no bearing to the cinematic orgasm that was "Hero", has a more accessible beauty of its own. Other points of merit are also a delicate underlying soundtrack, and a markedly harrowing ending (I won't spoil the final twist). A healthy combination with masterfully orchestrated fight scenes with Chinese themes and metaphor. Expand
  32. AChinese
    May 3, 2005
    0
    This is an embrassment to Chinese culture and strengthens the stereotype that martial art violence makes the ancient chinese world go round. They should really release some quality Chinese history films to set things straight.
  33. jarredb
    May 9, 2005
    8
    This movie, in my opinion was great, the cinemetography was phenominal, as well as the choreography. definately a movie to see.
  34. joseo.
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    Astonishing.
  35. Shell
    Jan 16, 2006
    4
    Story was weak, would have done better with filming a documentary on dagger throwing. 'Hero' is much better.
  36. Gnarles
    Feb 12, 2006
    7
    The first 90 minutes or so are simply great, but the climax eventually becomes almost unbearably silly - and the alarmingly fake CGI snowstorm doesn't help. Until that point, though, this is a beautiful and satisfyingly passionate movie, with some of the best fight scenes ever shot (especially the bamboo forest). Recommended, but don't be surprised if you find yourself laughing The first 90 minutes or so are simply great, but the climax eventually becomes almost unbearably silly - and the alarmingly fake CGI snowstorm doesn't help. Until that point, though, this is a beautiful and satisfyingly passionate movie, with some of the best fight scenes ever shot (especially the bamboo forest). Recommended, but don't be surprised if you find yourself laughing at the end. Expand
  37. Reikon
    Aug 12, 2006
    10
    Best of his genre.
  38. JaceA
    Nov 14, 2008
    10
    It has beautiful imagery and stunning scenes.
  39. EdS.
    Dec 2, 2004
    6
    I saw this movie in Hong Kong last July. Great set designs, especially during the dance sequence. But everyone in my (theater) row was roaring in laughter at the ridiculous ending.
  40. BobbyL.
    Dec 3, 2004
    10
    breathtaking
  41. HouseH.
    Dec 5, 2004
    10
    Nearly perfect.
  42. AnonymousMC
    Dec 6, 2004
    1
    Simple....the critics are crazy and freaking BLIND. Zhang yimou is obviously cashing in on the current Kungfu-movie-craze, and the critics are stupid enough to rave about it. Im a chinese..and i've seen ALOT of kungfu flicks..and this is the WORST i've ever seen. this is merely a pretentious piece of junk. Stupid plot (or lack of one), awful acting, boring and cliche fight scenesSimple....the critics are crazy and freaking BLIND. Zhang yimou is obviously cashing in on the current Kungfu-movie-craze, and the critics are stupid enough to rave about it. Im a chinese..and i've seen ALOT of kungfu flicks..and this is the WORST i've ever seen. this is merely a pretentious piece of junk. Stupid plot (or lack of one), awful acting, boring and cliche fight scenes and most importantly, downright BORING. And if u've been sharp, you'l realise that zhang ziyi gets screwed in EVERY SINGLE movie. She's always acting as a whore...she's way too overrated, and way too irritating. Please, she's far from beautiful (and so is the movie). Absolutely disgraceful to chinese gongfu flicks.... i wish i could spit on zhang yimou. Expand
  43. joe
    Dec 7, 2004
    5
    This is for people who like kung fu flicks that haven't really watched kung fu flicks. I guess the set design and costumes are great, some of the fights were fine and the focus on the love story is supposed to make it different. But outside of the actors, the love story is really two-dimensional and repetitive.
  44. TimW.
    Dec 7, 2004
    10
    Perhaps this film will obtain an award from Academy Award.
  45. Lee
    Jan 12, 2005
    4
    As a chinese, I actually felt embarrassed whilst watching the film. Non-existent plot, wafer-thin characters, ridiculous ending, utterly utterly boring were just some of its faults. Why do they still keep churning out these artistic pseudo-kungfu flicks?
  46. TonyL
    Jan 14, 2005
    4
    Pretty to look at, but not much else. I wonder what Bruce Lee would have thought of wire-work martial arts movies?
  47. AsaeliA.
    Jan 15, 2005
    4
    I give it an A for Cinemtograpy and an A for sucking.
  48. PhilA.
    Jan 16, 2005
    2
    Laughter was developing by the last third of this ridiculous movie. We were snickering our own subtitles, a la Woody Allen's "What's Up Tiger Lily".
  49. CornerH.
    Jan 20, 2005
    9
    Does anyone even realize that beyond the twisted love story and action sequences, that moreover there is actually a mystery? Who can answer the following questions?: 1. Who rescued Mei & Jin in the field? 2. Who was the man that Mei previously seduced? 3. Who is the House of Flying Daggers deceased leader's daughter? 4. Who is the true new leader of the House of Flying Daggers? Does anyone even realize that beyond the twisted love story and action sequences, that moreover there is actually a mystery? Who can answer the following questions?: 1. Who rescued Mei & Jin in the field? 2. Who was the man that Mei previously seduced? 3. Who is the House of Flying Daggers deceased leader's daughter? 4. Who is the true new leader of the House of Flying Daggers? Another movie with a similar type of mystery is: Chan Is Missing (1982) Directed by Wayne Wang The guys looking for Chan never find him, but the audience can if paying close attention. Neither of these films play below the level of intelligence of the audience, but 'Daggers' offers much more entertainment then 'Chan', so that the less observant can still enjoy the show. Expand
  50. DK
    Jan 22, 2005
    7
    Yes, it's good, but not as good as Hero or Crouching Tiger. And I know Yimou Zhang can do a better job with the love scenes than he did in this one.
  51. ElizabethD.
    Jan 25, 2005
    9
    Yes, it's not as good as Hero. But Zhang Yimou is one of the rare filmmakers of our time, in my opinion. He has such an eye for colour, and can create movies that dazzle and touch the heart.
  52. ZsoltG.
    Jan 31, 2005
    9
    It's a fantastic movie, which is very spectacular and poetic in the same time.
  53. theop.
    Oct 4, 2005
    9
    A really good martial arts film that doesn't revolve around martial arts. flying daggers is the best film of it's genre since Crouching tiger, hidden dragon (hero came close). Though it is really a soap opera like love story with fighting sequences, it has great acting.
  54. BryanJ
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    For those who only want to see Kungfu movie, please go rent any of Jackie Chan's movie. This movie has so much more to offer than a kungfu flick so please don't insult Zhang YiMou for his amazing style of story telling. While watching the movie, I found myself totally with the beauty of cinematography, the haunting music score, and the touching love story. When Jin dropped his For those who only want to see Kungfu movie, please go rent any of Jackie Chan's movie. This movie has so much more to offer than a kungfu flick so please don't insult Zhang YiMou for his amazing style of story telling. While watching the movie, I found myself totally with the beauty of cinematography, the haunting music score, and the touching love story. When Jin dropped his sword at the end for Mei, it marks one of the most touching moment in cinema history. Expand
  55. GlennK
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    A brillant movie, better than Hero.
  56. ChadS.
    Feb 14, 2005
    8
    Zhang Ziyi is thrown to the ground; not once, not twice, but three times for some torrid lovin' by her dueling suitors. The success of "House of Flying Daggers" hinges on Mei being a woman that's worth dying over. Ziyi is lovely here, and not insufferably so like she was in Yimou's "The Road Home" where the actress was more eye-candy than an engaging character. The action Zhang Ziyi is thrown to the ground; not once, not twice, but three times for some torrid lovin' by her dueling suitors. The success of "House of Flying Daggers" hinges on Mei being a woman that's worth dying over. Ziyi is lovely here, and not insufferably so like she was in Yimou's "The Road Home" where the actress was more eye-candy than an engaging character. The action is predictably exciting, as usual, always on the verge of being ridiculous, if not for the absolute conviction the players bring to the chopsocky choreography. Yimou goes for big emotions at the end and mostly scores. Expand
  57. GaryS.
    Feb 27, 2005
    9
    Enchanting and captivating. Certainly not an all action movie but the two hours playing time seem to just drift by effortlessly
  58. DJ
    Feb 27, 2005
    5
    A horribly overrated film. I cannot help but feel that Yimou has pandered to the tastes of Western audiences. The layers of depth and complexity have been compromised for affective visuals. HOFD's meandering plot does not allow any kind of salvation to be possible; some plot twists are just too fantastic.
  59. PonR.
    Feb 8, 2005
    6
    Honestly, I was disappointed. Maybe it's because I had nothing but the highest expectations for this film, along with my own preconceptions of what it would be about. I had, in my mind, an epic that would surpass Hero on so many levels that it would blow my mind. What I actually got was a quieter, less complete story taking place on a much smaller scale. After a number of quirky plot Honestly, I was disappointed. Maybe it's because I had nothing but the highest expectations for this film, along with my own preconceptions of what it would be about. I had, in my mind, an epic that would surpass Hero on so many levels that it would blow my mind. What I actually got was a quieter, less complete story taking place on a much smaller scale. After a number of quirky plot twists and turns leading up to an even quirkier finale, I felt let down. Which isn't to say it wasn't enjoyable. The action alone was worth the price of admission. Just do yourself a favor and don't expect anything more than the fact that, yes, there will be both houses and flying daggers. Expand
  60. RashidCarlosJamilMarcanoR.
    Mar 12, 2005
    10
    ¡INCREÃ
  61. JoeF
    Mar 17, 2005
    9
    What a great plot for a martial arts based film, not to mention good on the eyes.
  62. lfa
    Mar 3, 2005
    6
    Highly overrated film. Itâ??s just a quite silly love story, in "the oriental way", with the addition of some nice choreographies. Really flat characters, no depth, no plot... There isnâ??t much more here, it has not the poetry of "hidden dragon&crouching tiger", or even the visual measurement of Yimous´Hero... maybe itâ??s only because it tries to be a Highly overrated film. Itâ??s just a quite silly love story, in "the oriental way", with the addition of some nice choreographies. Really flat characters, no depth, no plot... There isnâ??t much more here, it has not the poetry of "hidden dragon&crouching tiger", or even the visual measurement of Yimous´Hero... maybe itâ??s only because it tries to be a modest picture, a smaller one, not as sumptuous as its precedents; the bad news are that it can also be the beginning of a "oriental-mannerism" in the action-love movies to open a profitable market; weâ??ll see, just a missed opportunity. Expand
  63. armandosmithee
    May 1, 2005
    9
    What dazzling eye candy! Great action and acting also. A thinking persons swordfight movie. The sound and music score also was awsome. A superior effort from the best Chinese director alive today.
  64. OatmealBlizzard
    May 17, 2005
    10
    A wonderful film. Beautifully filmed, exquisitely acted. An epic of love, passion, and heartbreak; full of gravity-defying ass-kicking action that builds to a gut-wrenchingly beautiful climax. Highly recommended. My second favorite movie of last year behing Eternal Sunshine.
  65. GarethTagg
    May 18, 2005
    1
    Amazing scenary & stunning costume design... ...lousy plot, poor acting, little or no continuity & a laughable ending (apparently, I walked out about 30 minutes before the end). For those of you who saw this movie & felt cheated here are some less flattering quotes from the critics:

    "a tedious...excuse for this director to indulge his fetish for digitalized blood and daggers
    Amazing scenary & stunning costume design... ...lousy plot, poor acting, little or no continuity & a laughable ending (apparently, I walked out about 30 minutes before the end). For those of you who saw this movie & felt cheated here are some less flattering quotes from the critics:

    "a tedious...excuse for this director to indulge his fetish for digitalized blood and daggers and...immaculately composed nature shots"
    -- Jay Antani, L.A. ALTERNATIVE PRESS

    "The worst kung fu movie since Sammo Hung's Heart of Dragon."
    -- Jeffrey M. Anderson, COMBUSTIBLE CELLULOID

    "An outsized and endlessly pretentious romantic action-melodrama, in which the director has clearly lost any sense of moderation or self-discipline."

    "Its 2 hour length seems like 3 and the feeling of being cheated by an unending set of directorial switches becomes as inescapable as those boomeranging daggers."
    -- Jules Brenner (FC), VARIAGATE.COM

    "While Hero leaves you pondering meanings for days, House of Flying Daggers doesn't leave you with anything more than, 'Swords are sharp. Ziyi Zhang is pretty. There sure is a lot of bamboo in China.' "
    -- Carlo Cavagna, Aboutfilm.com
    Expand
  66. HarveyC
    May 20, 2005
    5
    One thing to say. How long does it take to die? In that I mean the woman who wouldnt die after having a dagger thrown into her heart. Then given hypothermia (How does it go from sunny to about 12 inches of snow in the space of about 20 seconds?). When I went to see it at the cinema I thought o.k shes been killed now, now he will fight to avenge her death. But oh no... She's not One thing to say. How long does it take to die? In that I mean the woman who wouldnt die after having a dagger thrown into her heart. Then given hypothermia (How does it go from sunny to about 12 inches of snow in the space of about 20 seconds?). When I went to see it at the cinema I thought o.k shes been killed now, now he will fight to avenge her death. But oh no... She's not dead!!!! shes still alive. Ill tell you one thing me and my mates were laughing at the shoddy ending for days!!! Expand
  67. Day
    May 7, 2005
    10
    This movie was wonderful. This movie kicked crouching tiger hidden dragon, and hero's butt. Takeshi Kaneshiro is very cute. This is the best ive seen Zhang Ziyi act ever. Great movie. Keep it coming.
  68. StephenW.
    Jun 21, 2005
    9
    Over all good movie. Great picture and sound and fighting. Probably couldn't sit through it again though. Best first time around.
  69. TonyP.
    Jun 5, 2005
    9
    Very Enjoyable, and one of the most beautiful looking films I have ever seen. More of a love story than an action film, but you will not be disappointed
  70. [Anonymous]
    Jul 1, 2005
    8
    Like hero, but more straightforward and action packed. The art side of martial arts is still embraced. It's perfectly obvious Zhang Ziyi ain't blind, but it's fun to watch her pretend...and succeed in fighting off attackers!! The ending was a letdown, but I don't think that was intended...oh well, great movie, bad ending.
  71. DeniseG.
    Sep 30, 2007
    10
    a beautiful film with jaw dropping action & achingly tender love scenes. The scenery is stunning.
  72. KastusL
    Jul 26, 2008
    10
    Poetic in every scene, in every touche, in every voice. Unbelievably how Zhang can create this? Like picture of Rembrandt in movie.
  73. AndyT.
    Dec 12, 2004
    10
    One word: Phenomenon.
  74. Ryan
    Dec 20, 2004
    2
    Wow, is this movie overrated. I loved Crouching Tiger and was excited to see this, but it might be the most boring movie I have ever seen. Only the beautiful cinematography and a couple of well-choreographed scenes keep me from giving a zero. The plot is absolutely nonexistent, there is no character development, and the fighting is draped in computer-generated slow motion. Seriously, take Wow, is this movie overrated. I loved Crouching Tiger and was excited to see this, but it might be the most boring movie I have ever seen. Only the beautiful cinematography and a couple of well-choreographed scenes keep me from giving a zero. The plot is absolutely nonexistent, there is no character development, and the fighting is draped in computer-generated slow motion. Seriously, take a pass on this one. Expand
  75. DrewA.
    Dec 2, 2004
    7
    Tremendous action (and dance!) sequences, but the ending is just a bit toooo ridiculous. The pictures are pretty to look at.
  76. DanB.
    Dec 25, 2004
    4
    It was pretty.
  77. David
    Dec 27, 2004
    6
    Very pretty to look at, and the beginings of a meaningful allegory are put into place, but it kinda falls apart at the end.
  78. haris
    Dec 29, 2004
    9
    Absolutely amazing. The best foreign film i have seen since Battle Royale. Everyone should see this film. Definately in the top 10 films of the year.
  79. MarcD.
    Dec 4, 2004
    4
    Living in Asia allows me the opportunity to see most of these 'critically acclaimed' asian movies way ahead of the Western audiences. Its also gives me the chance to see more than my fair share of bullshit kung fu flicks. That said...just like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon...this is a complete waste of time. Everything has been done before. Its only a novelty on the other side Living in Asia allows me the opportunity to see most of these 'critically acclaimed' asian movies way ahead of the Western audiences. Its also gives me the chance to see more than my fair share of bullshit kung fu flicks. That said...just like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon...this is a complete waste of time. Everything has been done before. Its only a novelty on the other side of the world. Over here...its been done so many times...it needs to die. Expand
  80. VidM.
    Nov 10, 2005
    7
    Solid. Not worth seeing a second time though. In the same vein as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. A couple good fight scenes, nothing awesome enough to warrant any more detail than that. The love story is predictable and falls kinda flat.
  81. Bifidus
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    Just wonderful!
  82. JohnnyT.
    Jan 18, 2005
    0
    Absolutely hated this movie, went and burned down the theater I saw it in after. Would rather have watched a literal piece of crap instead of one on the screen.
  83. JadaG.
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    True Kung Fu fans who love the old Chinese movies with the story will love this film. If you like the Americanized kung fu flicks, you will like the fight scenes. Visually, beautiful.
  84. EricC.
    Jan 24, 2005
    1
    Simply put this was a terrible film. Yes it was beautifully shot - landscapes were particularly stunning - but in every other aspect it was trite, self-important, underwhelming, clichéd, and predictable. Of the 3 or so plot twists, not one was at all surprising (particularly the big one), there were maybe 5 pages of dialogue in the whole film, most of the dialogue was groan Simply put this was a terrible film. Yes it was beautifully shot - landscapes were particularly stunning - but in every other aspect it was trite, self-important, underwhelming, clichéd, and predictable. Of the 3 or so plot twists, not one was at all surprising (particularly the big one), there were maybe 5 pages of dialogue in the whole film, most of the dialogue was groan worthy, the action was good but not great, and the acting was average at best. Frankly I am dumbfounded that after a series of excellent films Yimou Zhang managed to turn out a movie devoid of compelling content. Letâ??s hope his next outing is better. Expand
  85. MikeM.
    Jan 27, 2005
    2
    Close to walking out on this movie. It's bizarrely antiseptic and stagey with plot twists that are there for their own sake. Even the fight scenes didn't really get it done. I'm really confused as to why so many people praise this movie so much.
  86. J
    Feb 28, 2005
    9
    A great exploration of chinese views, coupled with a tragedy that could not be avoided. An excellent movie, good fight scenes backed up by a great script.
  87. MichaelH.
    Feb 28, 2005
    9
    Visual stunning, story is engaging, levels of deceipt and plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat.
  88. None
    Aug 29, 2005
    4
    It sucked. The beginning was alright, with beautiful sceanary/costume designs but the plot was simply unreal.
  89. Gaz
    Feb 28, 2006
    9
    Simply beautiful. A love story that breaks the stereotypical dimensions of the mainstream Western cinema, and in doing so, expresses that romance on a far greater and physical level. Far better than other easily predictable romances, it thereby deserves a higher mark.
  90. JB
    Aug 11, 2006
    9
    It's a good story with great acting, that actually does the reverse of what most stories do: it starts out on a grand scale (rebels vs. government) and then focuses inward on a smaller scale (character devotions vs. personal responsibility). Luckily for us, HoFD is one of very few films that does this well. I would rate this higher than Hero.
  91. PhillipR.
    Jul 29, 2008
    10
    I am not a film buff and don't normally have much time for watching films, but this one just grabbed me and kept me enthralled. The twists and turns of the story are mesmerizing and the beauty of Mei is captivating. The depiction of the Martial Art fighting leaves you in awe, even if a little unbelievable. The closing scenes of fighting and death leave you emotionally drained. Fantastic
  92. Kevin
    Dec 19, 2004
    10
    I love it when Chinese "critics" rating this movie. They would say that they have seen all the kung fu flicks becasue they are from asian and that everything has already been done. I do agree that it has many similarities.. and they might not have the true "kung fighting" compare to the old-school flicks. For me, I like to rate one movie at a time. I dont go into a movie categorizing it I love it when Chinese "critics" rating this movie. They would say that they have seen all the kung fu flicks becasue they are from asian and that everything has already been done. I do agree that it has many similarities.. and they might not have the true "kung fighting" compare to the old-school flicks. For me, I like to rate one movie at a time. I dont go into a movie categorizing it to the "asian market" before even watching it. Just cuz the Western market hasn't been exposed to it as much as those 'critics' have, but I feel like they can still learn to appreciate the artistic and emotional perception that were created through these files. So... for future reference, please dont use your "I-am-from-asia-so-I-know-more" type of crap cuz that's just plain bull. Expand
  93. AmanG.
    Dec 28, 2004
    4
    This movie was really overrated by critics. Watching it, the plot was extremely disjointed and the movie's story did not flow well at all. It jumps around alot while creating really superficial relationships between its characters. This is a seriously mediocre movie. Visually, it has its moments, as expected. The fight scene in the bamboo forest is pretty spectacular, though I wish This movie was really overrated by critics. Watching it, the plot was extremely disjointed and the movie's story did not flow well at all. It jumps around alot while creating really superficial relationships between its characters. This is a seriously mediocre movie. Visually, it has its moments, as expected. The fight scene in the bamboo forest is pretty spectacular, though I wish it had been a little longer, and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. That said, much of the movie feels extremely contrived, such as the final fight scene in which seasons are changing as the two do battle. I would recommend 'Hero' over this any day of the week - it's an absolutely beautiful movie that doesn't overreach and still resonates. Expand
  94. Aug 31, 2010
    3
    Another pretentious movie made by Zhang. Since Hero, he completed lost everything. The only good thing about this movie is Takeshi Kaneshiro - the ultimate eye candy. He was the only thing that kept me on my seat. The plot does not make sense, especially in the eyes of Mandarin speaking audiences. Pure Nonsense! Plus cringe-worthy dialogues and the flying daggers ... what an embarrassment,Another pretentious movie made by Zhang. Since Hero, he completed lost everything. The only good thing about this movie is Takeshi Kaneshiro - the ultimate eye candy. He was the only thing that kept me on my seat. The plot does not make sense, especially in the eyes of Mandarin speaking audiences. Pure Nonsense! Plus cringe-worthy dialogues and the flying daggers ... what an embarrassment, even we (who are so used to unreal martial art sequences) found it too much to bear. Expand
  95. Aug 12, 2012
    8
    The final fight scene appeared a bit poorly cut-together and took the sheen off an otherwise excellent film. The visuals were truly astounding, and the "echo game" scene must be one of the most amazing pieces of choreography ever filmed.
  96. Sep 12, 2014
    7
    It's been a while since I last watched an Asian movie, so that could be affecting my judgment: still film felt a bit weird, and I don't know why.

    Essentially this was a story of love, betrayal, and making choices. Choosing your path, even if it won't lead to lasting happiness. To be a carefree wind - or a playful, teasing wind. To stop for someone, or to go on. This movie had
    It's been a while since I last watched an Asian movie, so that could be affecting my judgment: still film felt a bit weird, and I don't know why.

    Essentially this was a story of love, betrayal, and making choices. Choosing your path, even if it won't lead to lasting happiness. To be a carefree wind - or a playful, teasing wind. To stop for someone, or to go on.

    This movie had fighting scenes just as expected, but while beautiful and artistic, they felt a bit hollow, and were at times hard to keep up with.

    Altogether the story was easy to follow, the characters intriguing and deep. Seeing Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhang Ziyi together in a same movie was awesome, and Andy Lau wasn't bad either.

    The heavy stuff started only near the end, with the fateful, slightly drawn-out battle of two men who once were friends, but falling for the same woman (among other things) drives them against each other.

    A good story, beautiful clothes, colors and design, but somehow this left me wanting for more. Maybe I will watch this another time again and be more at ease with it.
    Expand
  97. Mar 18, 2012
    8
    I really liked it but the only problems I had with the film is that it failed to show what happend to the rebel group (House of the Flying Daggers) and the action scenes could have been better. Still a solid film though, Definently worth the watch.
  98. Jul 9, 2014
    10
    House Of Flying Daggers is a gorgeous action movie with sumptuous cinematography and sublime
    action sequences. The movie is one of the best martial arts movies made recently. If you don't like the
    story, there is always the brilliant action to entertain you.
  99. May 3, 2016
    9
    Makes China look like a magnificent place to visit and also makes China look like a memory for everyone who's been there or lives there no matter what, in any coincidence, were you forced to be there for any reason.
  100. May 30, 2016
    3
    This is such a silly movie, about halfway through the film the plot is forgotten and substituted for a melodramatic love triangle that no one cares about, major aspects remain unexplained and unresolved, all in favor of a love story.

    ''House of Flying Daggers'' is merely a love story, the martial arts scenes lose all meaning and relevance, even the 'epic' finale. THe ending is nothing
    This is such a silly movie, about halfway through the film the plot is forgotten and substituted for a melodramatic love triangle that no one cares about, major aspects remain unexplained and unresolved, all in favor of a love story.

    ''House of Flying Daggers'' is merely a love story, the martial arts scenes lose all meaning and relevance, even the 'epic' finale. THe ending is nothing but preposterous. Sure, there are moments of visual and emotional beauty, but all is lost when the interesting plot, that is setup in the first half, gets thrown out of the window in favor of a love story...

    ''House of Flying Daggers'' feauture some amazing scenary, stunning costume design and lavish cinematography -- But also a lousy plot, poor acting (except maybe the finale), little continuity and a laughable ending. It's 2 hour run time almost feels like 3 and the feeling of being cheated by an unedning set of directorial switches becomes as inescapable as tose boomeranging daggers.

    While ''Hero'' (a different film by the same director, which truly IS a masterpiece) leaves you pondering meanings for days, ''House of Flying Daggers'' doesnt leave you with anything more than, ''Swords are sharp, Ziyi Zhang is pretty. There sure is a lot of bamboo in China.''
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Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    100
    Quite simply, House of Flying Daggers is a film that sets several new standards for production and entertainment values. It is a wild riot of color, music, passion, action, mystery, pure old-fashioned thrills and even dancing.
  2. A glorious new addition to martial-arts cinema.
  3. 88
    Forget "Hero" -- that cult hit was just Zhang Yimou's warm-up for this martial-arts fireball that throws in a lyrical love story, head-spinning fights and dazzling surprises.