Hero - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hero Reviews

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Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
March 18, 2014
As they move through the martial-arts sequences, the performers leave the impression that the laws of gravity are subject to amendment. The rules of love and war -- all's fair -- are, Hero makes clear, immutable.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
August 5, 2013
The result is not so much a historical epic as a kind of highly determined ballet: dreamy with bloodless violence, relying less on shades of character than on magnificence of gesture.
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August 5, 2013
The austerity of Hero makes you realize how cluttered other action movies are.
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Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
August 5, 2013
The result is both thrilling and thoughtful, offering imaginative action sequences as it considers questions of loyalty and the individual's role in history.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 5, 2013
As a technical achievement, Hero finds Zhang at the height of his powers, effortlessly expanding into complex genre filmmaking without losing his command. But in light of his earlier work, the film continues a sharp decline in urgency.
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
Dishes up some of the most extravagant doodling in cinema.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
September 9, 2004
I wouldn't have missed this spectacle for the world, and neither should you -- despite an admitted quirk in my political sensibility in these contentious times that keeps me from admiring the film wholeheartedly.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 30, 2004
This is a fantastic film.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 29, 2004
So deliriously chockablock with high-flying, color-coordinated fight scenes that non-aficionados may find it all a bit bewildering -- a gorgeous abstraction. It sure is gorgeous, though, and it has a dream cast.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
August 28, 2004
It's not too much to say that Hero is one of the most ravishing spectacles the movies have given us.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
August 27, 2004
If martial arts movies have always seemed like musicals with full body contact, Zhang Yimou's Hero is the closest the form has yet come to a full-blown Vincente Minnelli MGM extravaganza.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 27, 2004
The writers seem more interested in their Rashomon-style tale than they are in the people telling it. Still, eye candy this ravishing shouldn't be sniffed at.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
August 27, 2004
Bursting with luscious color and stunning visual effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 27, 2004
Ravishes the eye without quite touching the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 27, 2004
Though Yimou never achieves the romance of Ang Lee's dabble in martial arts, he reaches new heights of spectacle with the combat.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
August 27, 2004
Full of passionate performances, sizzling swordplay, bold and dazzling hues, and breathtaking landscapes.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
August 27, 2004
If you found Crouching Tiger a stunning bore, you probably won't fall under Hero's spell. But the rest of us, well, we'll be more than happy to savor every moment of its strange, ravishing beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 27, 2004
A stunning epic of China that serves up both a visual feast and fascinating narrative.
| Original Score: A-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 27, 2004
Hero is not a long movie, yet it is persuasively epic.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 27, 2004
An exemplary feat of filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 27, 2004
A picture of astonishing beauty.
| Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 27, 2004
Hero is a real kick -- to the head and the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 27, 2004
As brilliant and ephemeral as a fireworks display.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
August 27, 2004
More than 90 minutes of gushy joy, of old-time movie pleasures.
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
August 27, 2004
So self-consciously beautiful that it's distracting, but it elevates the material nevertheless.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 27, 2004
Demonstrates how the martial arts genre transcends action and violence and moves into poetry, ballet and philosophy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
August 26, 2004
A knockout.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 26, 2004
You can feel the movie's sensibility and its powerful emotions in every aching image, which leaves you so caught up in these ancient times, you're loath to return to present- day normalcy.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
August 26, 2004
A movie just good enough to keep nurturing rooting interest as you watch it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
August 26, 2004
Hero is without question the year's most beautiful film.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 26, 2004
From beginning to end, Hero is a painting in motion, its fight scenes a ballet with blades.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
August 26, 2004
Zhang and Jet Li are a match made in kung-fu heaven in Hero.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 26, 2004
Roll over, Chairman Mao, and tell the comrades the news: in Hero, the history of the empire now comes wrapped in kaleidoscopic kung fu cool.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 26, 2004
Led by director Zhang Yimou and dazzling cinematographer Christopher Doyle, the unseen Hero production team has made what just might be the most artistically sophisticated, most formally beautiful martial arts film the genre has seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
August 26, 2004
It's easy to become bewitched by sheer movie grandeur.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
August 26, 2004
Filled with unforgettable scenes.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 26, 2004
An action movie for the ages.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 26, 2004
A film of images, not emotions.
| Original Score: B+
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 26, 2004
Hero reminds us all why filmmaking is called an art.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
August 24, 2004
The action is wittily aestheticized, with swordplay variously compared to music, calligraphy, and theater.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 23, 2004
This is an amazingly stylish and vivid motion picture, where images move the story forward more forcefully than the traditional methods of exposition, dialogue, and character development. If there's a drawback, it's that the plot is trite.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tim Appelo
L.A. Weekly
August 19, 2004
An epic, evocative of another epoch and of landscapes beyond time.
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Derek Elley
Variety
January 8, 2003
A dazzlingly lensed, highly stylized meditation on heroism and the point at which individualism conflicts with the common good.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Andrew Sun
Hollywood Reporter
January 8, 2003
It's every bit as dazzling and spectacular as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 20, 2002
Zhang Yimou may have dipped his cinematic pen in mere genre, but in doing so, he has inscribed a masterpiece.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5