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Hero | 2004 | PG-13 | - 4.6.0

Jet Li stars as a mysterious warrior who presents himself to the King of Qin (one of the seven warring factions of ancient China) as the man who managed to kill three assassins who repeatedly tried to kill the king. The film unspools as a series of flashbacks, with Li's character as the narrator. Also with Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Donnie Yen and Maggie Cheung. Directed by Zhang Yimou. In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles. [1:36]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman combs a man's hair, he pulls her to the floor, tears off her clothes (we hear tearing and see her bare shoulders) and then begins thrusting (we hear moaning and see movement under a red sheet; the act is consensual). A man and a woman lie in bed together sleeping (they're clothed). A man removes a man's clothes (we see his bare back and buttocks briefly) in order to search him for weapons. We hear that two assassins were lovers (one man and one woman).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A sword is forced through a character's dead body and into another character's chest (we hear a crunch) and they both lie dead. A crowd of soldiers surrounds a man and a woman who fight with swords, and one is stabbed (we hear a crunch and see a flinch, but no blood). A woman stabs a man in the stomach. A man and a woman fight with swords, one lunges at the other, and one is stabbed in the chest (we hear a crunch and a groan and see the sword sticking out of the wound) and one grieves over the body. A man and a woman fight with swords, and one character is stabbed in the stomach (we hear a crunch and see a flinch). Two men fight, one man charges the other with his sword drawn, they imagine how their fight might play out, one is nearly hit, one hangs by his feet from rafters above and they continue to fight with swords and kicks; one is stabbed. A man falls over dead (we do not see the lethal blow). Two women fight, they lunge toward each other with swords, they leap across tree tops slashing back and forth, one lunges toward the other and is stabbed (we hear a crunch, see her wince and see the sword sticking out of her abdomen); she staggers back, her sword hits a tree (we see a trickle of blood on her sword), she falls dead and the leaves falling from trees turn blood-red. Two men fight, and one is apparently killed (it is not clear). Many arrows are shot at a man, and he is presumably hit by many although we only see his outline on the wall where he stood; we then see a body covered with a red sheet. A man and a woman fight many troops, the man charges toward another man, they fight with swords, and one is nicked on the neck (we see a drop of blood). A man with a sword lunges toward a man, we hear a crunch, the man gasps and we think he has been stabbed but he has not. A woman and a man fight with swords, the man smacks the woman with the side of his sword several times and she is thrown back. Two men fight, one with a sword and one with a spear, and one is hit in the head with the sword and knocked down. A man throws his sword toward a man, and it pierces a table in front of the man. A man is surrounded by many troops carrying spears and swords. A man and a woman fend off many arrows that are coming at them very fast. One man with a spear fights two men with swords, and then he fights four men with swords. An enormous army of troops march toward the gates of a city, the archers prepare to fire, they loose their arrows, the arrows break through the walls and roofs of buildings, and some people are hit and others run in fear and scream. An enormous army swarms up the steps of a castle, and archers prepare to fire on a man inside. A man flings many arrows into the air, and then stabs one through its center as it comes down. We hear that a man has killed three assassins. A woman throws tea in a woman's face.


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LANGUAGE 0 - None.


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Greed, power, bravery, assassination, war, the Great Wall of China, legends, revenge, jealousy, hatred, tyranny, love, devotion, suicide.

MESSAGE - Sometimes the brave thing to do is to drop your sword for the greater good.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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