Hero (2004)

Hero is two-time Academy Award nominee Zhang Yimou's directorial attempt at exploring the concept of a Chinese hero. During the peak of their Warring States period, China was divided into seven kingdoms all fighting for supremacy. Most… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: August 27, 2004
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2004
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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: With death-defying action sequences and epic historic sweep, Hero offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for.

Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal

As they move through the martial-arts sequences, the performers leave the impression that the laws of gravity are subject to amendment. The rules of love and war -- all's fair -- are, Hero makes clear, immutable.

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Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader

The result is both thrilling and thoughtful, offering imaginative action sequences as it considers questions of loyalty and the individual's role in history.

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Leah Rozen
People Magazine

What makes Hero special is that it has so much more going for it than just the superb fight sequences. There are a satisfyingly complex plot, passionate romance, cool special effects and strong performances.

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Anthony Lane
New Yorker

The result is not so much a historical epic as a kind of highly determined ballet: dreamy with bloodless violence, relying less on shades of character than on magnificence of gesture.

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Scott Tobias
AV Club

As a technical achievement, Hero finds Zhang at the height of his powers, effortlessly expanding into complex genre filmmaking without losing his command. But in light of his earlier work, the film continues a sharp decline in urgency.

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Total Film

Sumptuous and breath-catching, Hero blends the elegance of fine visual art with the more familiar cinematic jollies of attractive people engaged in crunching punch-ups.

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David Edelstein

The austerity of Hero makes you realize how cluttered other action movies are.

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Time Out

Dishes up some of the most extravagant doodling in cinema.

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Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Zhang Yimou's Hero is a true martial arts epic -- a spectacle of movement, color and sound that will leave you awe-struck.

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More reviews for Hero

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Wildaly M
While I wasn't very much engaged in the story, what really got to me were the insane battle scenes, scenery and overall style of the film. Worth watching.
Jan Marc Macababayao
Inspired by the assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC, Hero is a visual, emotional, social, and political triumph that overwhelmingly marvels with… More
Reid Volk
I may not be a giant fan of wuxia, but I can appreciate an insanely detailed & stunningly beautiful film. Narratively speaking, it isn't the most… More
Christopher Heim
This movie is truly a feast for the eyes. The fights are expertly choreographed and brilliantly filmed. These, combined with vibrant colors, turn the… More
xGary Xx
A lone warrior enters the palace of his emperor and tells the tale of how he defeated the three most feared assassins in the land. The most obviously striking… More
Jennifer Xu
Not my cup of tea. Too "epic," too magic-steeped to make way for any kind of story or character development. I can't stand watching action… More