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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
"Wo hu cang long" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  12 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 207,435 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 1,637 user | 283 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.



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Won 4 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 124 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Master Li Mu Bai (as Chow Yun Fat)
Jen Yu (Mandarin version) / Jiao Long (English dubbed version) (as Zhang Ziyi)
Sihung Lung ...
Jade Fox (as Cheng Pei-Pei)
Fa Zeng Li ...
Xian Gao ...
Yan Hai ...
De Ming Wang ...
Li Li ...
May (as Li Li)
Su Ying Huang ...
Jin Ting Zhang ...
Rui Yang ...
Kai Li ...


Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a timeless story that takes place in QING China when miracles were credible and spirits and gods were present in man's world. It is not unbelievable that zen warriors float through the air, skim the water and battle in trees and on rooftops. Pain, revenge and duty are the stuff that bind us in this world and are the main plot line of the movie, but in the afterlife love and faith linger on. Written by bastetg4

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$663,205 (USA) (8 December 2000)


$128,067,808 (USA) (27 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Crouching tiger hidden dragon" is a quote from Chinese mythology. It refers to hiding your strength from others; advice which is followed too well by the characters in the film. See more »


When the movie is spoken in English and Lo is talking about the legend on the wish mountain. He says that the man jumped to save his children. The English subtitles say it is the man's parents he was jumping to save. See more »


[first lines]
Man: Master Li is here! Master Li is here!
See more »


Caravan Bells on the Silk Road
Traditional Xinjiang Folk Song
Arranged by Ning Yong
Performed by Bo Liu
Published by China Record Corporation, Shanghai, 1994
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Beware of cheap imitations
22 December 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Crouching Tiger is Ang Lee's take on the Wu Xia tradition of film making. Wu Xia, for those not familiar with the style, evolved out of popular Chinese fiction. It contains formulaic elements such as honourable warriors, powerful swordswomen, powerful swords, and often magic and mythical beasts. Possibly, it has a parallel with sword and sorcery pulp literature – and even Western romances.

Although he grew up in Taiwan, not Hong Kong or China, Ang Lee has said he has always wanted to make a Wu Xia film. When he did, he brought sophistication and strong production values which, while not uncommon in mainstream Chinese cinema, was less common in the martial arts or Wu Xia traditions.

Make no mistake; Crouching Tiger is a beautiful, beautiful movie. The colours are rich, the light dances and the movements are balletic. But unlike lesser imitations, such as Hero, it is much more than that just stylish production and mesmerising action.

Most films (Western or Eastern) have a rigid plot against which characters move. At worst the characters become ciphers; they advance the story by making choices regardless of whether these choices are in keeping with their character. Crouching Tiger, like the best of cinema, has dynamic characters whose internal struggles advance the plot. The dog wags the tail, not the other way around.

At the heart of Crouching Tiger is the relationship between Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Mu Bai is looking for a way out of the Gang Ho (Warrior) lifestyle – he joins a monastery, as a route to enlightenment and peace, but cannot cast aside his unrequited love for Shu Lien (another warrior). On the brink of declaring their love for one another, Mu Bai's Green Destiny Sword is stolen, and his arch enemy returns. He must temporarily put aside his feelings to recover the sword and bring his master's killer to justice… Seeming to take a fair chunk from his previously directorial role, Sense and Sensibility, Ang Lee weaves a story which tragically juxtaposes the loving and giving but repressed relationship of Mu Bai and Shu Lien, with the fiery, wilful and destructive passions of Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi) and Lo (Chang Chen). The result, for me, was breathtaking.

Some critics have suggested that the characterisation is quite slight. I think this just demonstrates the high standard to which they were prepared to judge this film. Ang Lee perfectly marries action/adventure with drama. The results may not please purists from either camp, but for the rest of the audience it is pure magic.

In many ways, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is pure Wu Xia. But it has also re-invented the genre and given it artistic credibility. The greatest joy of the film is watching great Hong Kong stars like Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh being given characters with depth – and watching them fill the screen with their performances. The film also benefits from great performances from Zhang Ziyi and a very under-rated Chang Chen.

Quite simply, Crouching Tiger has everything. It is beautiful, breathtaking and deeply moving. 9½ /10

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