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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 143,638 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) »


One man's strength will unite an empire 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?


The old blind man in the chess court plays an instrument know as a "Guqin" or just "Qin." See more »


At the beginning of the movie, subtitles state that China was divided into seven warring states. At the end, the subtitles then state that "the King of Qin" unified China, without specifying which one. Historically, the king that was the one to unite all of the Chinese states was Ying Zheng (later changed name to Shi Huang Di) who inherited the throne from his deceased father at age 13 (as opposed to the age of the king in the movie). At the time, Ying Zheng began to rule China, the seven states were already reduced to two larger states (Qin and Chu) which was later dominated by Qin when Ying Zheng was 22 years old. It is therefore impossible for the same king shown in the movie to be the king that united all the Chinese states, although the end-note is semantically correct. 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 »


Edited into Ying xiong: Cause - The Birth of Hero (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Some of the most astonishing cinematography I've ever seen.
15 November 2004 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

Some reviewers have suggested that the storyline of this movie is a bit plodding and portentous, and I'd be willing to allow that. But even if this film had absolutely no plot to speak of, I would have considered the money I plunked down yesterday to see "Hero" to be money well-spent, because I have been witness to some of the most achingly beautiful film-making I've ever seen. As in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the characters here fly through the air and dance across water, but "Crouching Tiger" surely could have benefited from the sublime camera eye of "Hero." One scene of swordplay in particular that takes place in a grove of trees amongst swirling yellow leaves almost stopped my heart in my chest: It was that gorgeous. And yes, there is a plot also, one that involves various assassins with names like Sky, and Broken Sword, and Flying Snow. I have to admit that the tales and counter-tales told were a bit confusing at first, but by the time the film is over, all the pieces have fallen into place, and this chapter of ancient Chinese history has assumed a truly mythical quality. At a time when movie theaters show a lot of utter dreck, we ought to be supporting movies like this.

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