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House of Flying Daggers | 2004 | PG-13 | - 5.7.1

Martial arts film taking place in China around 859 AD, close to the end of the weakened and corrupt Tang Dynasty: two police officers (Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) try to trick a blind dancer (Ziyi Zhang) who's suspected of having ties to a revolutionary faction known as the House of Flying Daggers, into leading them to the leaders of the group. Also with Anita Mui, Dandan Song and Feng Lu. Directed by Zhang Yimou. In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles. [1:59]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man and a woman kiss passionately, they lie back on the ground, and they begin removing each other's clothing; we see their bare backs as they kiss, he kisses her back, and they roll on the ground kissing. A man and a woman hug and kiss, he kisses her neck, they lie back on the ground, they kiss, and she stops him; he tries to force himself on her, tearing her clothing (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man caresses a woman tenderly, they lie on the ground, kiss passionately, he begins unfastening her clothing and she stops him. A woman hugs a man, begins kissing him and he stops her. A man kisses and holds a woman. A woman caresses a man, starting with his face, his legs, his hands, up his chest (she feels his heart beat) and they appear to get close to kissing (at one point her face is close to his crotch, as she caresses his leg). A woman bathes while a man watches her (her bare shoulders are visible). A woman asks if a man cares for her. A woman in a brothel dances for a man and he admires her. Women in a brothel wear low-cut dresses that reveal a small bit of cleavage, a man lies on the floor and two women fawn over him. A man says, "I love flirting with girls," a man talks about his ability to seduce women. A man drags his sword's tip along a woman's throat then cuts her robe off, she tries to cover herself and her dress falls off of one shoulder (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman's dress is torn and slips down revealing her bare shoulder.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A woman is struck in the chest with a thrown dagger, she falls off her horse and lands on the ground, and we see blood on her chest and dribbling from her mouth. A man with a sword attacks another man slashing him (we see a trickle of blood); they fight with swords exchanging slashes, and they are both stabbed in the shoulder (blood seeps from their wounds), they punch and hit each other repeatedly, one is slashed across the abdomen, and blood sprays and spurts with each blow and as they run each other through (blood sprays). A woman pulls a dagger out of her chest, blood gushes from the wound, and she gasps and falls to the ground. Two men fall from bamboo trees, with bamboo spears pointed toward a woman on the ground, she gets away, others come and they fight among the bamboo trees with the bamboo spears; soldiers surround the woman, they charge her, she fights them off, a man cuts many bamboo trees that fall on soldiers knocking them down, and many bamboo spears hit the ground around a man and a woman as they run -- they end up trapped in a bamboo cage, and all of the soldiers are hit by many thrown daggers. A man and a woman are surrounded by many soldiers with swords, they run and are chased and nearly stabbed, and several soldiers are hit in the back of the neck with thrown daggers (they fall to the ground). A man fights two soldiers with swords, a woman throws a dagger hitting one soldier in the throat, she throws another dagger slashing the other soldier across the throat, the woman fights four soldiers, and a man shoots them all with arrows. Four soldiers with spears attack a woman, she appears to be run through by all four, a man shoots all four men with arrows, and they fall to the ground. Soldiers on horseback with spears charge toward a woman, one lunges toward the woman with his spear pointed toward her throat, she diverts him, then two soldiers charge her from opposite directions and she kicks them, and then soldiers on horses charge her, and she knocks the horses down -- they tumble throwing their riders off; she mounts one horse while fighting the rider and they both fall to the ground. A man and a woman hug and kiss, he kisses her neck, they lie back on the ground, they kiss, she stops him, he tries to force himself on her tearing her clothing and a thrown dagger hits him in the back. A man attacks and fights several soldiers with many kicks, then kicks open a door. A woman is shackled and held with a large wooden stock around her neck and her captors show her a torture device, which they demonstrate (it shatters a bamboo pole). A man pokes a woman in the throat with a sword, then shoves her in a bath and holds her under water (we hear her struggling). A woman drags a blindfolded and bound man through woods, then pulls her sword threatening to kill him, and slashes at him, cutting only his ropes. A woman swings a sword by wrapping a scarf around it and the sword comes near a man's throat a few times. A man attacks a woman trying to tear her clothing off, other women try to pull him off her, and then police officers come and arrest both of them. A man drags his sword's tip along a woman's throat, then cuts her robe off, she tries to cover herself and her dress falls off of one shoulder. Two men are trapped in rope nets. A man and a woman run through woods on foot and on horseback trying to escape soldiers who are searching for them. A man tells a man that many soldiers have been sent to kill him.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild obscenity.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Government corruption, prostitution, brothels, secret organizations, beauty, revenge, love, betrayal, jealousy, death of a loved one, obsession, cunning.

MESSAGE - Jealousy and subterfuge may lead to catastrophe.

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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