7.9/10
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Hero (2002)

Ying xiong (original title)
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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.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Feng Li (screenplay), Yimou Zhang (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,029 ( 86)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 42 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ... Nameless
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Broken Sword (as Tony Leung Chiu-Wai)
Maggie Cheung ... Flying Snow (as Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk)
Ziyi Zhang ... Moon (as Zhang Ziyi)
Daoming Chen ... King (as Chen Dao Ming)
Donnie Yen ... Sky
Zhongyuan Liu Zhongyuan Liu ... Scholar (as Liu Zhong Yuan)
Tianyong Zheng Tianyong Zheng ... Old Servant (as Zheng Tian Yong)
Yan Qin ... Prime Minister
Chang Xiao Yang Chang Xiao Yang ... General
Yakun Zhang Yakun Zhang ... Commander (as Zhang Ya Kun)
Ma Wen Hua Ma Wen Hua ... Head Eunuch
Jin Ming Jin Ming ... Eunuch
Xu Kuang Hua Xu Kuang Hua ... Pianist
Shou Xin Wang Shou Xin Wang ... Musician
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

27 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quentin Tarantino Presents Hero See more »

Filming Locations:

Dunhuang, Gansu, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,004,319, 29 August 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$53,710,019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,394,432
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Director's Cut) | (Theatrical Version)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

(at around 25 mins) When Nameless goes outside to help Flying Snow to fend off arrows, he shuts the door. Then later we still can see the door open. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut was 107:15 minutes, compared to the theatrical version at 96:23 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons Movie (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Haunting beauty and provocative message
2 January 2005 | by rserranoSee all my reviews

Hero is noteworthy on at least two counts.

First, there are scenes of haunting beauty("Duel in the yellow forest" and "Turquoise autumn" to site a couple) that, like the best of impressionist paintings, are so affecting that you will forever see the world in a slightly different way having once beheld them.

Secondly, the overall message of the film is a provocative one. The claim is that a degree of human casualties and suffering may be the optimal path to a better world, especially when the alternative is equally brutal chaos. This is not a popular theme. It has become much more fashionable to be anti-war in all cases. And understandably so, since variations of this logic have often been used in the past to justify atrocities. But the film provides a crisp litmus test for avoiding delusion: action must be taken with a heart void of malice and an unwavering commitment to the broadest possible ultimate outcome of good for all. Can anyone live up to this standard? Several characters in the movie do, each in their own way. If the standard could be met, would the world be a better place? These are questions worth reflecting on that have not been dealt with, to this depth, in any film I'm aware of.


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