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Hero (2002)

Ying xiong (original title)
1:51 | Trailer

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



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2,648 ( 520)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 34 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 will challenge 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?


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 »


In the scene where everyone is in white (the white calligraphy brush demonstration scene) there are positioning errors. Snow is on the right, Broken Sword is on the left. While Nameless faces them talking, he looks in the opposite directions. 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 »


Featured in Running Man: Chao neng li dian feng zhi zhan (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best martial arts film ever made
24 February 2004 | by (Leeds) – See all my reviews

Rarely have I been so astounded by such a magnificent, awe-inspiring film. If you have not yet placed your eyes on this masterpiece of Chinese cinema then I cannot recommend this film highly enough. 'Hero' is by far the best Chinese film I have ever seen, and already a firm favourite of all time.

The imagery is unparallelled, simply draw-droppingly near perfect scenes, with bold and vibrant use of colour, symbolism and scenery. The fluent flow of the storyline, the delicate direction of the sword slicing action, the Chinese cultural concepts and the emotionally charged scenes between characters combine to produce a simply remarkable achievement.

This film has a few elements from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but is far, far superior in every way. The sleek direction from Yimou Zhang is so perfectly done, just imagine two martial arts experts ensuing in battle against each other, defying the laws of physics as we know it, and yet following them in 360 degrees in slow motion as one deflects a droplet of rain from one sword to the other, at the same time spinning and leaping over water... simply beautiful. The attack sequences are also superbly set, with hundreds of thousands of the King's warriors in formation, simultaneously firing enough arrows into the city which literally cover the sky, in addition to the viewer being able to watch the journey of a single arrowhead aimed during this event. The build up to the attack along with the unnerving tune of a Chinese stringed instrument help you, as the audience, to become firmly engrossed in your seat.

The individual martial arts is also second to none, for myself particularly to see the distant shots of the whole battle sequence showing the true skills involved with fighting, such as footwork, perfect timing,aggression, counter attacks and defence. Jet Li shows he is truly the grand daddy of martial arts. I cannot stress enough how much you need this film in your life.

The colourful imagery imposed by the director will take your breath away with luscious, vivid, bright, wind-blown,draped backgrounds as the setting for the important progression of the story. Even the story itself is brought to the audience in such a way which ensures your undivided attention, as there are twists in the tales and hidden plots which do not develop until the end of the film.Even short individual scenes are memorable due to their sheer awesome display of skill and speed.

This film even holds a political message which is relevant to all times, especially in today's American-lead world dominance. This film has absolutely everything - including an extremely sexy young Ziyi Zhang who simply is the biggest hype to come out of china since SARS.

This film was released in 2002, but this is certainly one of my all time favourites and will probably be the best film I see all year. I have never been more enthusiastic to pursue films in this genre in my life. For more action type enthusiasts who like more gore and violence check out 'Ong Bak', but for people who appreciate a fuller, visionary piece of martial arts filming, this will leave you speechless.

226 of 310 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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