6.3/10
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The Assassin (2015)

Cìkè Niè Yinniáng (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 27 August 2015 (China)
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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 30 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Qi Shu ... Nie Yinniang
Chen Chang ... Tian Ji'an, governor of Weibo
Yun Zhou 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
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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 (41) »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Assassin is Taiwan's official entry to the 2015 foreign-language Oscar race. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rohan / Duc de Rohan
Music by Pierrick Tanguy
Performed by Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Confusing and Boring Art-house Wuxia
4 July 2016 | by manisimmatiSee all my reviews

"The Assassin" wants to be a crossover of Chinese wuxia flicks and art-house cinema. Unfortunately, it shows neither great fights, nor deep emotions. The story of the movie is fairly standard: A female assassin is assigned to kill her former lover. That way she is supposed to prove that she is cold-hearted enough for her duties. Fair enough, this might be interesting. But the director Hsiao-Hsien Hou feels the need to cloud "The Assassin" with subplots that are unnecessary at best and bloody confusing at worst. Half the time I was wondering: "Who is this? Where are they going? Why? Whyyy?"

Now to be confusing is one thing. Some of my favourite films are downright incomprehensible. But you've got to give your audience a reason to stick around, to solve the cinematic puzzle. But Hou gives us nothing. The characters are flat and the emotions are hollow. The fights are meaningless as well, because you can't identify with the characters. Sure, some of the landscapes look fantastic; and there's a pretty cool scene involving veils in front of the camera. Other than that, this movie left me gravely disappointed. Trust me, you'll be better off watching Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for the tenth time.


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