Hero 2002


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Users: (79,649 votes) 811 reviews | Critics: 273 reviews Metascore: 84/100 (based on 39 reviews from Metacritic.com)
A series of Rashomon-like flashback accounts shape the story of how one man defeated three assassins who sought to murder the most powerful warlord in pre-unified China.


Yimou Zhang


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ...
Tony Leung Chiu Wai ...
Maggie Cheung ...
Flying Snow (as Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk)
Ziyi Zhang ...
Moon (as Zhang Ziyi)
Daoming Chen Daoming Chen ...
Donnie Yen ...
Liu Zhong Yuan Liu Zhong Yuan ...
Tianyong Zheng Tianyong Zheng ...
Yan Qin Yan Qin ...
Chang Xiao Yang Chang Xiao Yang ...
Yakun Zhang Yakun Zhang ...
Ma Wen Hua Ma Wen Hua ...
Jin Ming Jin Ming ...
Xu Kuang Hua Xu Kuang Hua ...
Wang Shou Xin Wang Shou Xin ...


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 | Sword | Flying | Assassin  | See more »


Kono kuni wa mada, hontô no hero wo shiranai [Japan] (This land doesn't know a real hero. Yet.) See more »


Action | Adventure

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 »



Hong Kong | China



Release Date:

6 April 2005 (Egypt) See more »

Also Known As:

Héroe See more »

Filming Locations:

Dunhuang, Gansu, China See more »

Box Office


CNY 248,301,001 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€461,720 (Spain) (16 November 2003) (91 Screens)


$102,941,649 (Worldwide) (24 December 2003) (except USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed company contact information on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


99 min  | China: 107 min (extended version)  | China: 93 min  | Turkey: 89 min (TV version)

Sound Mix:

DTS  | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »


Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro

Did You Know?


The old blind man in the chess court plays an instrument know as a "Guqin" or just "Qin." See more »


Continuity: When Moon gives Nameless the sword as he is in the horse-drawn cart, she initially approaches from the right, but later is seen to the left of the cart. 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.
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Featured in "Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 28 August 2004" (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

15 November 2004 | by Chuck Anziulewicz (PolishBear@aol.com) (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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