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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 142,537 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 834 user | 283 critic | 39 from

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



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Title: Hero (2002)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 26 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 (120) »


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?


Originally released in 2002 in Asia, it would not be another two years until this film was released in the United States. Studio executives were concerned that the foreign-language film would not be successful at the box office with American audiences. When the film debuted in August 2004, it surprised many by opening at #1 with $18 million in receipts. It would go on to gross $53 million, becoming the 3rd highest grossing foreign film to date in the United States. See more »


At the beginning when Nameless first walks into the courtyard and the camera pans back and forth you can clearly see the line of soldiers is only a couple of people deep. It is possible to see daylight between their legs, however when shot is shown from above the fact the entire scene is filled with soldiers would have made this impossible. 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 »


Referenced in Zizek! (2005) 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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