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House of Flying Daggers (2004)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 167
Fresh: 147 | Rotten: 20

The visual splendor of the movie makes up for the weak story.


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 2

The visual splendor of the movie makes up for the weak story.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 216,919

My Rating

Movie Info

Chinese director Zhang Yimou fuses a martial arts action-drama with a tragic romance in this elegant period piece. In the year 859 A.D., as the Tang dynasty is beset by rebellion, Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) are a pair of lawmen who have been given the task of ferreting out the leaders of a revolutionary faction known as the Flying Daggers. Working on a tip that members of the group are working out of a brothel called the Peony Pavilion, Jin arrives there in disguise and is

Mar 29, 2005


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The latest from from the director of "House of Flying Daggers" and "Hero" is on...


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All Critics (177) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (147) | Rotten (20) | DVD (33)

A dazzler -- and almost as exciting as its title promises.

January 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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One of the most visually astonishing martial-arts fantasies ever made.

January 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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About as viscerally and visually exciting as film can get, and yet it is also fully, ripely romantic in a way that few modern films would dare.

January 14, 2005
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As stunning as it is, it also serves notice that House of Flying Daggers will have none of the complexities of Hero.

January 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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Zhang proves that Hero was no accident with House of Flying Daggers, another Chinese period piece resplendent with a dazzling palette and soaring, ambitious fight sequences.

January 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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An intoxicating cocktail of splendid visuals, spectacular action, state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery and some old-fashioned swashbuckling worthy of Hollywood's Golden Age.

January 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though occasionally overwrought, peerless sequences, such as the sublime flight through a bamboo forest, ensure House Of Flying Daggers is a work of real beauty.

November 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

Gorgeous, but also very violent.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The studied, artistic affectations may prevent this Mandarin-language art house effort from being as kinetically potent as the films it emulates, but it more than compensates by offering up deeply felt emotions played out on a grand scale more than adequa

July 4, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter | Comment (1)

A gorgeous film in all respects, both accessible and artistically satisfying. Excellent.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Moments of astonishing greatness followed by yawn-inducing romance.

January 10, 2006 Full Review Source:

See it in a theater on the biggest screen you can find

September 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Though it is by no means explicitly political, the film expresses a tragic exasperation with the tendency of politics to subsume the rights and lives of individuals.

June 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Wonderfully conveys how the act of loving another can be a game, a sacrifice, a ruse, a weapon, a betrayal, and, most of all, a political act.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

[Zhang] adopts a stylized but more naturalistic look for the visually sumptuous wuxia spectacle House of Flying Daggers.

April 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Assim que a história parece prestes a se entregar a um clímax emocionante, o roteiro decide mergulhar no pior dos melodramas.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

I'd rather sit through a slide show of scenes from this movie than revisit 99% of the fare churned out by Hollywood

February 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Made me long for the days when director Zhang Yimou made intimate movies with emotional depth.

February 7, 2005 | Comment (1)

A soapy love story that gallops across a snowy Autumn Hallmark card.

February 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

Les fans du genre ne peuvent qu'être ravis, les sceptiques le seront encore davantage. Un drame épique d'arts martiaux réussi n'en demeure pas moins.

January 26, 2005

It's a gorgeous celebration of movement for movement's sake, color for color's sake, and athleticism for athleticism's sake.

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Zhang Yimou's follow-up to Hero oddly feels more like a warm up.

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Visually splendid, but anyone demanding more from a film than endless battles against overwhelming odds, fought by fellows who scamper through tree tops, is in for a letdown.

January 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Another stunning martial arts masterpiece from Yimou Zhang.

January 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

If you loved "Hero" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," then you'll also enjoy the gorgeous "House of Flying Daggers."

January 18, 2005 Full Review
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

Scenes of such beauty they stun the senses

January 17, 2005 Full Review

Audience Reviews for House of Flying Daggers

really pretty crappy, I thought
October 24, 2007

Super Reviewer

A provincial guardsman goes undercover and breaks a blind swordswoman out of prison to discover the location of a secret society of rebellious assassins. Zhang Yimou's follow up to Hero is a similarly stunning combination of artistic visuals and beautifully choreographed martial arts, but this time he throws an epic story of unrequited love into the mix. The story's format is another favourite of Chinese cinema, that of the undercover cop with divided loyalties, but blended with mythical fantasy and star crossed lovers it plays out almost like The Departed crossed with Romeo And Juliet. This makes for a more complex character dynamic than that of Hero and therefore a more engaging story, although it does suffer similarly to the previous film in that it can feel like the plot is just a series of excuses for yet another visually glorious set piece. For that reason Zhang is probably once again guilty of style over substance, but what style it is. Addendum: I cannot recommend the Blu Ray release as the picture quality is little better than the DVD, which is a real shame considering the sheer visual beauty of the film.
August 22, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

April 23, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

House Of Flying Daggers is an exquisite and pleasant barrage of colors, music, martial arts, history, and culture underlined by romance and mystery. Creative fight choreography. Splendid photography. Artful cinematography.
September 10, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

    1. Leo: I have sacrificed three years for you. How could you love him after just three days?
    – Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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