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Reviews & Ratings for
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon More at IMDbPro »Wo hu cang long (original title)

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22 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

The best movie of the year? No! The most overrated movie of the year...Yes!!

Author: Edmond Dantes ( from California, USA
28 January 2001

This movie is extremely overrated. I can't understand how it could possibly have climbed so high in the IMDB movie ranks. The highly regarded action sequences were usually met with laughter and giggles by the audience thanks to the exaggerated and overdone flying and superhuman jumping. The story was certainly wasn't worthy of the praise bestowed upon it by the critics. The story lacked seemed pretty convenient that the fight scenes came along to salvage a dip in the storyline. The characters evolved very little through the movie. The emotional scenes didn't grab me..or the audience since it was evident that most people were laughing at the ridiculous nature of the fighting. I can't say anything more specific without giving away things. Basically, this is how I feel about CTHD: Action scenes B-, Story C-, Acting B, Music B+...Overall entertainment value B-/C+. I think I'd rather see a Jackie Chan movie than CTHD again. Now that's where you turn for great martial arts's REAL! CTHD really didn't live up to the hype. It certainly does NOT deserve to be in the Top #250 of IMDB's movie rankings, which should be filled with the likes of su ch movies as Godfather, It's a Wonderful Life, Citizen Kane, Braveheart, Gandhi, Schindler's List, etc...etc...How in the world did CTHD get up there?? Ridiculous!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Ziyi Zhang is the key to this film

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
27 April 2016

Few films can offer so much all at the same time.

Directon by Lee, possibly his best-known (and most appreciated) work.

Outstanding cinematography and wire-based Wu Shu scenes.

Great script -- full of intrigue, romance, compassion.

But the essence of this "man's" film is ironically the women in it. Michelle Yeoh has never been as cool and exotic and under-stated as she is here.

And Ziyi Zhang owns this film. Exhibiting an audacious personality that far outweighs her pixie-ish form, she is the focal point for the viewer. Loving and fighting and sobbing and plotting her way through the script, never letting the viewer get tired or lose interest.

This was a great film in 2000. It is an even greater film in 2016 after the wretched sequel which offers none of the magic or the charm or the polish of the original.

You may or may not find the ending a bit melodramatic. But you will never be bored.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: jjjppplll from United States
4 October 2015

The most beautiful film of all time. I just watched it again...for about my sixth or seventh time.

I found myself surprised to be in tears...often...and I'm not a "cry at movies" kind of person.

I suppose it was the unaccountable beauty of the story and characters.

By the final scene, I was a puddle...sobbing...deeply moved.

I don't know how much better art can get than this.

The acting...the cinematography...the music...the writing...the directing...

This, folks, is a any language...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Masterful Epic by One of the Great Directors

Author: joshuafagan-64214 from United States
12 September 2015

It seems like every day, there is another report about how China is passing the US in terms of pure box office numbers. This often concerns me. Not because I'm xenophobic or even because I am just patriotic and want my country to be the best in everything. But because the Chinese tastes in my opinion are a bit... underdeveloped. Say what you want about the tastes of the U.S., but at least we only spent a bit less than 250 million on the (shudder) 4th Transformers movie (or Trans4mers, if you prefer) instead of letting it become the highest grossing film in our country to that point, as did the Chinese.

Their tendency to devour trash, both exotic and local, is troubling. I am worried. ...And I would be a lot less worried if China offered up a film this good at least once every year.

You could argue that this is not entirely a Chinese film, but that would open up a whole other can of worms that I don't want to touch as of no. So instead, I will go into this film.

Calling from both the future and the past, using techniques both old and new, this film creates a mystical, almost knowingly surreal environment, then fills it with all sorts of action and story. I would put this film on the list of those that you don't watch as much as experience, which is always a good place to be.

Refreshingly, the protagonist and a majority of the main cast is female, a rarity in films from the West and (perhaps particularly) the East. That in itself is interesting, offering different dynamics and points of view than could be done with the traditional Enter the Dragon sort of martial arts film.

Going further, one could almost think that the 'different dynamics and points of view' thing is almost this film's M.O. In a lot of ways, it deconstructs and reconstructs a lot of martial arts tropes. There is never a doubt that this is through and through a wuxia film. But it does not stop and take pictures at each of the typical tropes. It weaves through them with style and grace to create something special, something that is the clear work of a true artist. It is as if someone took the pieces in a tiger puzzle and used them to create a dragon.

There are many lenses through which you can look at this film. Artistic. Historical. Poetic. Symbolic. Even philosophical. But no matter which you choose, you cannot deny that this film is a masterpiece. It does not content itself with the easy or the simple or the standard. It goes all out, as if seeing the horizon of greatness and blazing its own path through it.

Perhaps what I find most fascinating about this film is how it refuses to stay within the realms of reality. Many martial arts movie prefer to stay grounded even as their mains perform superhuman feats. Not this one. This one is entrenched more in the art and heart of a fable or legend than any corner of reality. Take the jumps for instance. Most movies, though their characters jump ridiculously long distances, at least make it look like they are actually jumping. But this film makes it clear that they are gliding through the airs of their world, unbounded by the forces of gravity. And the film is better for it.

From a subjective standpoint, I love that the movie is Eastern from surface to core. This is a fully fledged representation of the culture of a nation. If China had to pick one film to represent itself, I think it should be this one. (If you're wondering which one I would choose for America, it would be The Godfather.) Like Ang Lee's other masterpiece, The Life of Pi, this film immerses you in its culture, in its stylings, wearing them proudly.

This film is stunning; a must-watch. The soundtrack is ethereal and dynamic. The cinematography is unique and top class.The story is deep, carrying much gravitas. The acting is solid and assured. The tone is dark yet artistic and hopeful.

My favorite sequence in the film is a flashback sequence to the desert. I won't spoil what it's about narratively, but it is stylistically stunning. Tonally, it is presented the way a flashback should be presented but almost never ends. It seems like some sort of warped daydream; real yet almost unbelievable and captivating for it. Spiral steadily on and on it does. Fifteen minutes pass. Twenty. You keep waiting for it to be over. But it isn't yet. And for that you are glad. It comforts the highest reaches of your mind and senses. And it is this movie in a nutshell.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Red_Identity from United States
1 March 2013

It's taken me this long to finally watch this. Oh, I've known about it for like a decade, but only now that I am in love with Ang Lee did I finally seek it out. What a fantastic film. Lee is the master here, his directing giving us some of the finest fighting sequences I think I have ever seen. The story is solid, as is the writing, but it's Ang Lee's vision and beautiful markings behind the camera that give this that extra boost. It's a truly fantastic experience, mesmerizing and captivating. And because I haven't seen any of the other martial arts fantasies that have come out because of this, it's pretty original in the films I've seen.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the saddest love story

Author: erniep5 from United States
7 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the few movies that I've seen that successfully weaved action with a heartbreaking love story.

I first saw the movie when it first came out and the movie was heralded for the amazing martial arts which was phenomenal. But I believe that it was the love story between the main characters and how it unfolded so tragically in the end that made it such a success to audiences around the world.

Ang Lee and his team did a wonderful job in subjugating the viewers with adrenalin pumping action in the struggle between good and evil while at the same time slowly and quietly reminding the audience that the real battle was the struggle of the heart. The audience realizing the fact towards the end of the film when all the characters suffered a broken heart including the villain. Its such a tragic movie.

I highly recommend this movie for the action but most of all for the love story.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Raas Anjum ( from Pakistan
25 July 2012

According to the hype around Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, its creators have produced a miracle: a kung fu crossover hit, simultaneously a substantial foreign language drama for discerning art house audiences and the greatest martial arts movie of all time. Although Crouching Tiger falls short of such (probably unattainable) perfection, it is enormously fun, and manages to be one of the more interesting films of recent years. Whatever its flaws, it is also a rare example of fearless yet thoughtful experimentation by veteran filmmakers, in this case Ang Lee and James Schamus, who have previously collaborated on films in both Taiwan and the United States, including Eat Drink Man Woman and The Ice Storm.

Though nominally set in the Qing dynasty, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is loosely based in a Chinese martial arts movie tradition that pits outlaws against heroes in a timeless "long ago" analogous to the American cinematic Old West. The Wuxia, warrior figures who embody honor, loyalty, and an individual sense of justice, can be compared to the white-hat guys; Wuxia stories gave rise to what Ang Lee has called "a mythical, larger-than-life hero in the Chinese imagination," and an equally powerful myth of the Giang Hu world, an imagined "Wild West" underworld or outland, inhabited by the Wuxia and governed primarily by their noble ideals, with little regard for conventional mores.).

Basing the screenplay on a series of novels by early 20th century novelist Wang Du Lu, Lee and co-writer Schamus people the simplistic Giang Hu world with complex characters whose actions result from a murky grapple with the tension between their needs as human beings and the demands that the Giang Hu world, as lived or imagined, place upon them. As the film opens, Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat), the greatest swordsman in China and famed disciple of the Wudan martial arts system, has realized that the years spent fighting outlaws and striving for enlightenment have left him lonely and unhappy. He is on the verge of renouncing his life as a warrior to try to find happiness with his beloved friend and former comrade-in-arms Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). As the film opens, he commits to the custody of longtime friend Sir Te his legendary sword, the beautiful, invincible Green Destiny, and is on the point of proposing to Shu Lien, who clearly shares his feelings, that they make a life together.

His plans are interrupted by the reappearance of old foe Jade Fox (Cheng Pei Pei), who betrayed and murdered Mu Bai's master and stole the secret manual of Wudan's techniques. Resurfacing in Beijing, Jade Fox has become the governess of Yu Jen (Zhang Zi Yi), the daughter of a prominent government official. Slated for a loveless political marriage, Jen longs for any escape-into the remote deserts of her former home province; into an imagined world based on adventure tales, drawn from the real lives of warriors like Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien; into the arms of her secret love, a dashing barbarian bandit named Lo (Chang Chen).

Her secret restlessness makes her vulnerable to manipulation by Jade Fox, but what makes her dangerous is her other secret: she is a martial arts prodigy of enormous potential. Half-trained by Jade Fox using the stolen Wudan manual, Jen has much of the technique but none of the Taoist philosophy; but even in this state she is a match for our heroes. Fascinated by the Giang Hu world (and her taste of it in her interlude with Lo), inspired by meeting Shu Lien, tempted by the now-idle Green Destiny, and poisoned by the influence of Jade Fox, Jen is a loose cannon, a menace to all those around her.

Li Mu Bai, the embodiment of the Wuxia ideal, naturally wants revenge upon Jade Fox for her crimes against his master and his school; more than this, though, he wishes to take Jen as disciple to be Wudan's first female student - largely because without Wudan discipline she will surely become a villain far worse than her mistress. Shu Lien also comes to feel a sisterly affection for the young prodigy. Setting aside their personal needs, Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien take on Jade Fox in a struggle over the girl's fate, as the chaos swirling around her threatens to ensnare them all.

True to its title, which names the animal pair most commonly representative of the contradictory and complementary principles of yin and yang in Taoist and Buddhist symbolism, the movie concentrates on the interaction of opposing forces. The consequences of impetuously pursuing one's desires contrast with the loss and regret that are the reverse of restraint and duty. The naive certainty of youth is weighed against the ambiguities of maturity. Jen's coming of age is juxtaposed against the mid-life conflict within Li Mu Bai. All of the main characters much decide when to fight to control their lives and when to acquiesce before forces that cannot be altered.

The actors are well cast, and director Ang Lee coaxes great performances from most of them. As Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien, Chow and Yeoh smolder with their characters' repressed passions. The actors incorporate the spirit of swordplay in their performances and alternate between slow, taut exchanges and lightning flashes of intense emotion. They likewise maintain character through their fighting sequences, in which Yeoh's Shu Lien moves with confident virtuosity, and Chow's Li Mu Bai, the accomplished master, needs to use only the sparest, most efficient techniques. These megastar veterans of Hong Kong and Hollywood fearlessly play up their maturity, imbuing their performances with an exquisite sense of loss; the curious result is that they have never seemed sexier.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Jewel of a film!

Author: Kathy Palmer from United States
2 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Crouching Tiger" is an excellent film, with a story line that is quite complicated partly because it involves the lives of many characters and until the end of the movie you keep asking yourself if you understood everything or missed something from the plot. I won't describe it here partly because it would spoil the fun of future viewers and partly because it would take too much time and space. In my opinion the great quality of this movie are its characters. If you watch it closely you'll notice that although it deals a lot in a fantastic environment the characters are very realistic. There are no "good guys" and "bad guys". Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is in a particular position because of his/her past and experience. i believe that all the actors do their best and the result is more than satisfying.

The other strong point of this movie is the relationships between the characters. Love, hate, friendship, abandonment and rejection continually change places and mark the lives of all the heroes. It could be a love story but as it often happens in real life true love is most of the times hidden and silent. This movie also treats death as a form of catharsis and redemption, the way most great tragedies do.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the fight scenes. I thought so. I won't say anything about them because i believe that people should see this movie for the movie and not for the fx.

Someone said that if this was a Hollywood movie everyone would be ranting against it. I would like to add that if this was a Hollywood movie : firstly it would have won the Oscar and secondly it wouldn't have captured the true eastern philosophy. It would turn out to be another martial-arts-great-sfx-but-no-meaning movie and i think that "Wo hu zang long" is a lot more that that. And personally i like when movies like this never win in the Oscars because quality and emotions can never be measured with prizes. Just see the movie and learn to respect your emotions.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very majestic movie

Author: Maniac-9 from St. Louis, MO
31 January 2012

Excellent movie that mixes martial arts and fantasy. The movie is lead by Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi. The sword fight between Yeoh and Zhang's characters is an amazing fight scene, definitely one of the best in a martial arts film involving only female actors. It was one of the first movies produced in Asia to be both a box office hit and a critical success at the same time. With the great visuals and cinematography it's one of the most beautiful movies on film IMO. The action doesn't lack in it's own regard either with the stunt team from The Matrix movies involved with this film. The movie was shot in Mandarin but even with having to read subtitles the movie is still very easy to follow.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just please don't laugh

Author: kosmasp
6 April 2007

Or if you think that people flying while they fight are funny, don't watch this movie with people who take this seriously. It was really hard to concentrate on the movie, while I was in a cinema watching it, because many people just started laughing every time they saw people jumping around (on houses or over them). It seems strange that most of them would accept the same style in a western movie which came out 1999 (I will not name the movie, so I won't spoiler it for you, though I'm pretty sure, most of you will know which movie I mean), but couldn't bare to see it in HK movie, just because this one was based in reality?

But enough about that, there is more to be said about the movie here too. About the fine acting, about the story that evolves through the fighting ... which means, the fight scenes are not just some stunt action scenes, they do tell you a lot about the story. That is because they are choreographed to keep building up the story or concluding it. There is one moment, where the movie takes a deep breath (in other words it feels like it does full stop), but other than that, the flow is extra ordinarily good!

If you like a little fantasy with your martial arts mixed with a strong story and a good cast, then you don't have to look further!

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