The Assassin (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Assassin (2015)



Critic Consensus: The Assassin's thrilling visuals mark a fresh highlight for director Hsiao-hsien Hou, even if its glacial pace may keep some viewers at arm's length.

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Movie Info

A female assassin is ordered to take out a nobleman she was previously engaged to. Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien.

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Qi Shu
as Nie Yinniang
Chen Chang
as Tian Ji'an
Shao-Huai Chang
as Huji (as Hsieh Hsin-Ying)
Sheu Fang-Yi
as Princess Jiacheng
Satoshi Tsumabuki
as The Mirror Polisher
Zhen Yu Lei
as Tien Xing (Yinniang's Uncle)
Zhen Yu Lei
as Tien Xing (Yinniang's Uncle)
Fang Mei
as Yinniang' Grandmother
Ni Dahong
as Nie Feng
Jacques Picoux
as Lady Tian's Teacher
Mei Yong
as Yinniang' Mother
Yun Zhou
as Lady Tian
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News & Interviews for The Assassin

Critic Reviews for The Assassin

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (23)

"The Assassin" is gorgeous to look at, but not all that compelling to watch.

January 15, 2016 | Rating: C | Full Review…

It's so lovely, from the brocade draped interiors to the mist moving over a landscape in the half light, like a series of confounding paintings placed end to end.

November 10, 2015

The visuals relegate the acting to secondary importance. They overwhelm the story. And they make "The Assassin" unforgettable.

November 5, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Part of the problem is Hou's style works at odds with the material.

November 2, 2015 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

The Assassin is like some stereotypical beauty - gorgeous, but frustratingly incapable of prolonged conversation.

October 30, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's so elliptical in its approach that there's no love for anyone, or anything, outside of beauty. It can be admired - greatly, even - but it can't be felt.

October 29, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Assassin


A stunning film with gorgeous visuals and a splendid sound design, but also way too measured and cryptic in its narrative, edited in a way that makes it feel like a frustrating puzzle that lacks important information and doesn't justify any effort to try to understand it.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Yes the plot is mostly indecipherable but at a certain point you stop caring as I don't believe your supposed to be all that invested in the story. What matters are the visual and auditory elements . . . the gorgeous cinematography, the panoramic backgrounds, and the way the sounds of nature seem to hijack every scene.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

Although the cinematography is lush and the locations grandiose, THE ASSASSIN establishes a steady pace that prefers stillness over action as well as a storytelling method that executes through staccato bursts amidst a domineering and overarching insistence on patience. Both the performances and fight scenes are muted yet beautiful to observe, but the film ultimately results in well-crafted parts that make up a frustrating whole in which the end feeling is empty rather than profound and a whimper rather than a bang. Simply, it is visually stimulating but emotionally flat.

Sheldon Chau
Sheldon Chau

Super Reviewer

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