(2002)

Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Chicago Tribune
Swooningly beautiful, furious and thrilling, Zhang Yimou's Hero is an action movie for the ages.
100
A walloping entertainment, brimming with the magic-realist action that made Ang Lee's somewhat similar "Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" a hit.
100
Premiere
Hero is one of the most beautiful and involving films of the year.
100
Hero is a movie that lives up to all the nobility of its title, a gift to movie audiences who cherish the opportunity to be transported to a heretofore unimagined world and absorbed totally into what happens there.
100
Hero is the masterpiece. It employs unparalleled visual splendor to show why men must make war to secure the peace and how warriors may find their true destiny as lovers.
90
L.A. Weekly
Hero is an epic, evocative of another epoch and of landscapes beyond time. It's overwhelming. And yet I miss the animating anger of Zhang's early masterworks, in which penniless young lovers were oppressed by impotent old men.
88
Philadelphia Inquirer
Its stars - especially the photogenic Leung and Cheung, fresh from Wong Kar Wai's jazzy romance In the Mood for Love - are wonderfully charismatic. And wonderfully athletic.
88
Miami Herald
If you found "Crouching Tiger" a stunning bore, you probably won't fall under Hero's spell. But the rest of us, well, we'll be more than happy to savor every moment of its strange, ravishing beauty.
83
Entertainment Weekly
I wish 'Hero's emotional heat rose more intensely -- more recklessly. There's something grand but distant and almost fetishistic about the operatic solemnity with which Zhang approaches the Rashomonic story of assassins attempting to kill a king.
80
Variety
A dazzlingly lensed, highly stylized meditation on heroism.
80
Film Threat
Hero is not a CTHD clone; it's a wonderful movie in its own right, staking its own territory as a dreamlike meditation on motivation and love.
75
The film never musters the intimate feel the gifted director brought to such early films as "Raise the Red Dragon" and "Ju Dou." You cheer his accomplishment in Hero without ever feeling close to it.
75
Not as profound as it is pretty, Hero nevertheless gives us something to ponder beyond Zhang's feat in mounting such a magnificent production.
75
New York Daily News
As gorgeous and contemplative as it is, Hero is a genre picture and needs to deliver the action goods. To that end, there are plenty of clever, lovingly choreographed sequences.
75
ReelViews
If there's a drawback, it's that the plot is trite. Hero is an exemplary example of visual poetry. The narrative is clearly of secondary concern.
70
Wall Street Journal
Rich in motion -- the very clothes of the characters seem under a choreographer's direction -- as well as imagery.
70
The A.V. Club
Brilliant in flashes, thinned out as a whole, the film seems ideal for the DVD revolution, where the greatest hits can be compiled at the touch of a remote.
70
Village Voice
Zhang Yimou's impeccably crafted, all-star martial arts extravaganza, is the essence of shallow gravitas.
63
A movie just good enough to keep nurturing rooting interest as you watch it.

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