6.3/10
14,109
115 user 231 critic

The Assassin (2015)

Ci ke Nie Yin Niang (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 27 August 2015 (China)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

A female assassin receives a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in eighth-century China.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Writers:

Cheng Ah (screenplay) (as Zhong Acheng), T'ien-wen Chu (screenwriter) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 35 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Three Times (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The ethereally beautiful Vicky recalls her romances with Hao Hao and Jack in the neon-lit clubs of Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Jack Kao, Chun-hao Tuan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the "flower houses" (upscale brothels) of Shanghai, various interweaving stories of love, loyalty, and deceit play out subtly.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-Fen Hsin, Sung Young Chen
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The semi-autobiographical film on director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's childhood and adolescence, when he was growing up in Taiwan, living through the deaths of his father, mother and grandmother.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chia-bao Chang, Neng Chang, Chih-Chen Chen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a young brother and sister whom spend a pivotal summer in the country with their grandparents.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chi-Kuang Wang, Shu-Chen Li, Hsiu-Ling Lin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story revolves around Yoko Inoue, a pregnant woman in search for a cafe that's frequented by a Taiwanese composer whose life she is researching.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Jieh-Wen King, Kuei-Ying Hsu, Annie Shizuka Inoh
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young couple leave their mining town home for Taipei where they struggle to eke out a living in an industrial wasteland.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-Fen Hsin, Lawrence Ko
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Puppeteer Li Tian-lu tells his life story, and through it, the story of Taiwan in the first half of the 20th century.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tien-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Kuei-Chung Cheng
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Annie Shizuka Inoh, Giong Lim, Jack Kao
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chun-Fang Chang, Shih Chang, Doze Niu
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Qi Shu ... Nie Yinniang
Chen Chang ... Tian Ji'an, governor of Weibo
Yun Zhou ... Lady Tian
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... The Mirror Polisher
Dahong Ni ... Provost Nie Feng
Mei Yong Mei Yong ... Yinniang' Mother
Zhen Yu Lei Zhen Yu Lei ... Tien Xing (Yinniang's Uncle)
Nikki Hsieh ... Huji,Tian Ji'an's concubine (as Hsieh Hsin-ying)
Ethan Juan ... Xia Jing, the aide-de-camp (as Juan Ching-Tian)
Fang-yi Sheu ... Princess Jiacheng / Princess-Nun Jiaxin
Jacques Picoux ... Lady Tian's Teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shao-Huai Chang ... Chiang Nu
Ti-Ying Hsueh
Fang Mei ... Yinniang' Grandmother
Chun Shih
Edit

Storyline

In 8th century China, 10-year-old general's daughter Nie Yinniang is handed over to a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was betrothed - a cousin who now leads the largest independent military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. Written by Ipsith

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | black magic | wuxia | nun | love | See All (42) »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Taiwan | China | Hong Kong | France

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

27 August 2015 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassin See more »

Filming Locations:

Wudang, Hubei Province, China See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,892, 16 October 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$613,556, 13 December 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hou Hsiao-hsien's first film in eight years. See more »

Quotes

Xia Jing: [subtitled version] The way of the sword is pitiless. Saintly virtues play no part in it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In Japan, the film has been released with an additional footage contains the scene involving the Mirror Polisher (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and the wife of the Mirror Polisher (Shiori Kutsuna). This version is only available on Japanese Blu-Ray from Shochiku Home Video but without English subs. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dragon Girls (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rohan / Duc de Rohan
Music by Pierrick Tanguy
Performed by Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
if you're only interested in fighting and killing, this might not be the film for you
31 July 2015 | by itsuki04See all my reviews

I'm surprised by the bad reviews on IMDb. I think the problem is that a film titled "The Assassin" happens to attract a certain type of audience--people who are only interested in martial arts flicks, or who walk in expecting an action-packed adrenaline ride. You might be disappointed in this film, but I don't think this movie was meant for you.

A previous review mentioned the "depressed, stilted tones" of the actors.

I don't know what you were expecting ... an assassin during the Tang Dynasty to burst out into song about her inner anguish and emotional turmoil? I watched an interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien, the director who won the prestigious Best Director award at Cannes for this very film. He used a tennis analogy to explain it perfectly, so I'm just going to paraphrase below:

"If you watch the tennis greats like Federer or Nadal battling it out, there's not much expression on their faces. The speed that they're going at, the power in each exchange, there's no room for emotions."

The director, Hou, actually instructed Shu Qi (The Assassin) to tone down her expressions. The crew filmed the fight sequences again, and again, and again, until the actors were all bruised up and the fight flowed naturally, by instinct. By this point, there was really no need for dialogue or excessive expressions.

If you're an assassin fighting for your life, kill or be killed, are you really going to be thinking "let me get my blue steel pout ready for the camera"?

If you can get over the need for overly dramatic expositions and go into a film knowing the main character only has approximately nine spoken lines, and if you can enjoy a film for how starkly beautiful it is.... this might be the film for you.


138 of 184 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 115 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed