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Hero (2002)
"Ying xiong" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, History  |  27 August 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 143,630 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 834 user | 283 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 31 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Broken Sword (as Tony Leung Chiu-Wai)
Flying Snow (as Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk)
Moon (as Zhang Ziyi)
Zhongyuan Liu ...
Old scholar
Tianyong Zheng ...
Yan Qin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Xia Bin ...
Qin Guard #4
Hua Cao ...
Qin Guard #2
Heizi ...
Qin Guard #1
Qin Emperor (voice)
Ma Wen Hua ...
Xu Kuang Hua ...


In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Written by Yocke

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | china | flying | sword | palace | See All (121) »


Kono kuni wa mada, hontô no hero wo shiranai [Japan] (This land doesn't know a real hero. Yet.) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jet Li's Hero  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$687,653 (Hong Kong) (27 December 2002)


$84,961 (USA) (18 September 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (TV) | (unapproved cut) (USA)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robin Shou was the original choice for the role of Sky but dropped out for unknown reasons. Jet Li then suggested to the director that Donnie Yen would make the perfect opponent for Jet's own character. See more »


When Moon gives Nameless the sword as he is in the horse-drawn cart, she initially approaches from the right, but later is seen to the left of the cart. See more »


[first lines]
Nameless: [voiceover] I was orphaned at a young age and was never given a name. People simply called me Nameless. With no family name to live up to, I devoted myself to the sword. I spent ten years perfecting unique skills as a swordsman. The King of Qin has summoned me to court, for what I have accomplished has astonished the kingdom.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

22 January 2003 | by (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – See all my reviews

While i enjoyed this movie very much, i believe Hero will get the kinds of reviews and responses that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (CTHD) did, and still does, ie. either you liked it very much, or you couldn't see what the fuss was all about. This dichotomy of opinions makes for interesting study because it seems to cut across cultural and intellectual differences. Everywhere the film is shown, there will a segment of the audience that will love and rave about it, and another segment that will be wondering if they had been watching the same movie. I can't explain why this is so, but i suspect it has a lot to do with a viewer's initial expectation of the movie, and then his perception and appreciation of the nuances in the telling of the storyline.

Hero is a film that is beautiful in many aspects. The direction and photography is artsy without being pretentious. Every shot is worthy of being a work of art in itself. The language spoken is traditional mandarin, but oh, so easy to the ear, even though i couldn't understand every word. (I don't think Tony's and Maggie's voices were dubbed, but i could be mistaken). The main characters were very well acted out, especially that of the role of the Qin Emperor. Zhang Ziyi's character was largely insignificant though, so i think she's been put in to add some star power to the production. The fighting scenes are unusual by most standards, employing an interesting combination of CGI and real action. Some of the powers that the characters possess appear too amazing to be true, but remember that some of the fights only took place in the fighters' imagination. The music, though quite similar to that in CTHD, is appropriate, and sticks hauntingly to the back of your mind long after the movie is over.

I went to the cinema having heard some of the hype leading to the movie, but with no real knowledge of the storyline, and not expecting a lot. I think that helped me enjoy the movie more, because the way the story unfolded actually set me thinking and anticipating in a manner that i could not have had i known more about the storyline. The message at the end of the movie is simple, but certainly open for debate. In fairness, i don't think the director attempted to provide an answer, as to whether the decision made by the Nameless One was the correct one or not, but rather to ask questions. I'd better not give out too much here, but it certainly set me thinking about things for a little while after the show had ended. These days, any movie that can get me pondering after the credits go down has got to be pretty good.

Overall an excellent movie. I'm sure some areas could be better, but i can't think of any right now. Highly recommended.

Score: 8.5/10

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