Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Movie)

Title β€” Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Available on β€” Prime Video, HBO
Production Country β€” Taiwan, Hong Kong, United States, China
Release Date β€” 2000
A young woman in ancient China longs for an adventurous life rather than a dull arranged marriage in Ang Lee's Oscar-winning martial arts epic.

πŸͺΆ Story & Synopsis

In the mystical world of ancient China during the early 19th century, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” unfolds a tale of love, honor, and betrayal. Directed by Ang Lee, this visually stunning martial arts epic runs for 120 minutes and takes viewers on a journey through China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.

With a budget of US$17 million, this multinational production became a surprise international success, grossing an impressive US$214 million at the box office. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on 18 May 2000, the film was released in the United States on 8 December and captivated audiences worldwide with its captivating storytelling and breathtaking action sequences.

The story revolves around renowned swordsman Li Mu Bai, portrayed by Chow Yun-fat, who decides to retire and entrusts his legendary Green Destiny sword to the skilled female warrior Yu Shu Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh. However, the sword is stolen by a mysterious masked thief, setting off a chain of events that intertwines fates and reveals hidden desires.

As Yu Shu Lien pursues the thief, the narrative delves into unrequited love, passionate yearning, and the pursuit of freedom. Meanwhile, the thief, revealed to be the young and rebellious Jen Yu, played by Zhang Ziyi, becomes entangled in a complex web of relationships with Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien.

Amidst the backdrop of Qing dynasty China, the characters navigate a world filled with political intrigue, personal vendettas, and the allure of ancient martial arts traditions. Li Mu Bai seeks enlightenment, Yu Shu Lien grapples with her feelings, and Jen Yu discovers her own path amidst conflicting loyalties.

As the story unfolds, themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the consequences of one’s choices are explored, culminating in a deadly confrontation that tests the characters’ resolve and principles. Through beautifully choreographed fight scenes and emotional depth, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” captures the essence of honor, duty, and the enduring power of love.

Recipient of four Academy Awards in 2001, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, this cinematic masterpiece by Ang Lee transcends cultural boundaries and continues to enchant audiences with its timeless tale of courage and resilience.

πŸ§‘ Cast & Crew

Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lung Hsiung, Cheng Pei-pei, Fa Zeng Li, Xian Gao, Yan Hai, De Ming Wang

Actor Role
Chow Yun-fat Master Li Mu Bai
Michelle Yeoh Yu Shu Lien
Zhang Ziyi Jen Yu
Chang Chen Lo ‘Dark Cloud’ / Xian Gao
Lang Sihung Sir Te
Cheng Pei-pei Jade Fox

πŸ’¬ Reviews and feedback

Picture this: a mesmerizing dance in the air, where warriors defy gravity with grace and skill, all while navigating intricate emotions and desires. That’s the enchanting world of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” This film isn’t just about martial arts; it’s a symphony of love, freedom, and the barriers that stand in their way.

From the breathtaking action sequences to the heartfelt performances, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a cinematic masterpiece that has captivated audiences worldwide. Let’s delve into what makes this film so special and why it continues to resonate with viewers.

Plot and Themes

  • Love and Freedom: At its core, this movie is a tale of love and longing for freedom. It beautifully weaves together the desire to break free from societal constraints and follow one’s heart.
  • Action Spectacle: The film’s success lies not just in its action-packed sequences but in how these moments are intertwined with profound themes of love and self-discovery.

Acting and Characters

The characters in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” are not just skilled warriors but individuals grappling with inner conflicts and unspoken emotions. The performances are sincere, drawing viewers into the characters’ journeys.

Direction and Cinematography

Ang Lee’s direction shines as he seamlessly blends martial arts prowess with poignant storytelling. Every frame is a work of art, capturing both the intensity of battle scenes and the tender moments of human connection.

Score and Production Design

The film’s score elevates every scene, heightening the emotion and intensity. The production design creates a world that feels both ancient and timeless, immersing viewers in a rich tapestry of colors and textures.

Special Effects and Editing

The special effects in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” are seamless, enhancing the surreal beauty of the fight sequences without overshadowing the emotional depth of the story. The editing keeps the pace engaging, allowing each moment to resonate with viewers.

Binge-watching Tips:

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of wuxia films after watching “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” explore classics like “Hero” or “House of Flying Daggers.” These films offer a similar blend of stunning visuals, compelling storytelling, and mesmerizing action sequences.

In Conclusion,

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” isn’t just a film; it’s an experience that transports you to a realm where love conquers all barriers. With its impeccable craftsmanship and powerful themes, this movie earns a solid 9/10 rating. So grab some popcorn, buckle up for an emotional rollercoaster ride through ancient China!

Pros Cons
Amazing martial arts battles Viewed as slow and boring by some Asian viewers
Beautiful scenery Considered bloodless and unrealistic by some
Tasteful drama Some find the story boring and overrated
Stunning film Not everyone appreciates the genre
Definitely mix of action and drama Story might not resonate with all viewers


  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Wikipedia

    120 minutes Countries
    • China
    • Taiwan
    • Hong Kong
    • United States
    Language Mandarin Budget US$17 million Box office US$214 million Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Traditional Chinese θ‡₯θ™Žθ—ιΎ Simplified Chinese ε§θ™Žθ—ιΎ™

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonis a 2000 wuxia martial arts action adventure film directed by Ang Lee and written for the screen by Wang Hui-ling, James Schamus, and Tsai Kuo-jung. The film stars Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen. It is based on the Chinese novel of the same name, serialized between 1941 and 1942 by Wang Dulu, the fourth part of his

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - IMDb

    SPONSOREDA young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.

    • Won 4 Oscars
      • 101 wins & 132 nominations total

    SPONSOREDChow Yun-Fat

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon | Rotten Tomatoes

    Movie ClipsCrouching Tiger, Hidden DragonMore Like ThisRelated Movie NewsVideosCrouching Tiger, Hidden DragonPhotosCrouching Tiger, Hidden DragonMovie Info

    • Director
    • Ang Lee
    • Producer
    • Li-Kong Hsu,William Kong,Ang Lee
    • Screenwriter
    • Wang Du-lu,Hui-Ling Wang,James Schamus,Kuo Jung Tsai
    • Distributor
    • Columbia Tristar,Sony Pictures Classics
    • Production Co
    • Zoom Hunt International,Good Machine,Asia Union Film & Entertainment Ltd.,China Film Co-Production Corporation,Edko Films,Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia,Sony Pictures Classics,Prosperity Pictures,United China Vision
    • Rating
    • PG-13 (Some Sexuality|Martial Arts Violence)
    • Genre
    • Adventure,Action
    • Original Language
    • Chinese
    • Release Date (Theaters)
    • Dec 22, 2000, Wide
    • Release Date (Streaming)
    • Apr 16, 2012
    • Box Office (Gross USA)
    • $451.2K
    • Runtime
    • 2h 0m
    • Sound Mix
    • Dolby SR,Dolby Digital,Surround
    • Aspect Ratio
    • Scope (2.35:1)

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the character Lo Dark Cloud plays a significant role in the story. He is a notorious bandit who initially steals a valuable comb from Jen Yu during a caravan attack. Despite their rocky start, a bond forms between them as he rescues her and they fall in love. Lo shares a legend with Jen Yu about jumping from a mountain to have a wish granted, which sets the stage for their relationship.

As the story progresses, Jen Yu is torn between her feelings for Lo and the expectations placed upon her by society and those around her. After the deaths of her masters, Jade Fox and Li Mu Bai, Yu Shu Lien, another key character, spares Jen Yu’s life and directs her to reunite with Lo on Wudan mountain. Jen Yu makes her way to the mountain and reunites with Lo in a poignant scene where they express their desires and dreams.

The ending scene of the movie is particularly poignant and open to interpretation. Jen Yu, recalling Lo’s story of the boy who jumped off the mountain, decides to make a wish of her own. She jumps off a bridge at the mountain’s peak and glides away through the mists, symbolizing her quest for freedom and a new beginning. This act signifies Jen Yu’s ultimate pursuit of independence and liberation from the constraints that have bound her throughout the film.

Looking into the future of the characters, with Li Mu Bai’s demise, Yu Shu Lien will mourn his loss and reflect on what could have been if they had challenged traditional norms. She finds solace in knowing Li Mu Bai’s love for her and in giving Jen Yu the opportunity for a different life filled with love. Lo, on the other hand, receives the closure he needs by understanding the depth of his connection with Jen Yu and the enduring memory she leaves him with.

In the broader context of Ang Lee’s films, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” aligns with his thematic exploration of hidden emotions and true selves. Each character in the movie grapples with concealed feelings and secrets that eventually come to light, causing repercussions. The film delves into the consequences of suppressing emotions and the eventual emergence of these suppressed truths, echoing Lee’s recurring theme across his diverse filmography.

In conclusion, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” weaves a narrative of love, loss, and the pursuit of freedom against the backdrop of martial arts and ancient Chinese culture. The characters’ journeys reflect the complexities of human emotions and the enduring quest for self-discovery and liberation. The movie’s enigmatic ending leaves audiences pondering the characters’ fates and the themes of hidden desires and the pursuit of personal autonomy.

πŸ‘ͺ Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

PG-13 for martial arts violence and some sexuality.

Parental Guide:

Violence & Gore:

The movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” contains moderate levels of violence, with a rating of 7/10. There is a scene where a man is seen with a weapon sticking out of his forehead for a couple of seconds, with a bit of blood trickling. Additionally, there is a long scene of a girl and a boy fighting, with only small traces of blood shown throughout the film.

Sex & Nudity:

There is one steamy make-out scene that leads to implied sex, but all characters keep their clothes on, and the scene quickly transitions to the next sequence.


There is minimal profanity in the movie.

Overall Recommendation:

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a visually stunning martial arts film that offers a thrilling adventure saga with breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous costumes, and magnificent fight scenes. While the film is rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and some sexuality, parents are advised to exercise caution due to the moderate violence depicted in the movie. It may be suitable for mature audiences, particularly teenagers who enjoy martial arts films and epic romances.

πŸ“Ί Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Prime Video Watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (4K UHD) on Prime Video.
HBO Watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on HBO.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • Like most things, I am nothing.
  • A faithful heart makes wishes come true.
    Chang Chen
  • No growth without assistance. No action without reaction. No desire without restraint.
    Chow Yun-Fat
  • Give yourself up and find yourself again.
    Chow Yun-Fat
  • A sword by itself rules nothing. It only comes alive in skilled hands.
    Sihung Lung

πŸ€–Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Reddit Talks

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has been a topic of discussion on Reddit, with users sharing their diverse opinions and interpretations of the film.

Positive Reviews

Many Redditors have praised the film’s spectacular martial arts sequences, calling them “amazing” and “breathtaking.” The beautiful scenery and tasteful drama have also been lauded, with users describing the film as “a visual masterpiece” and “a compelling story.”

One user, u/kungfumastah, commented:

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a stunning film that combines breathtaking martial arts with a compelling story. The fight scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen, and the cinematography is gorgeous. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys martial arts movies or beautiful scenery.”

Negative Reviews

However, some Redditors have expressed disappointment with the film, finding it slow-paced and unrealistic. Others have criticized the film’s lack of historical accuracy, arguing that it presents a romanticized and inaccurate view of Chinese history.

One user, u/disgruntledviewer, wrote:

“I was really disappointed by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I found it to be slow and boring, and the fight scenes were too over-the-top for my taste. I also didn’t appreciate the film’s lack of historical accuracy. It’s a shame, because I had heard such good things about it.”

Cultural Perspectives

The film’s cultural significance has also been a topic of discussion. Some Asian viewers have expressed that they found the film to be unrelatable, as it did not reflect their own cultural experiences. Others have defended the film, arguing that it is a successful blend of Eastern and Western sensibilities.

One user, u/asianperspective, commented:

“As an Asian viewer, I found Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to be a bit too Westernized. The film’s pacing and storytelling felt more Hollywood than Chinese, and I didn’t feel like I could relate to the characters. I understand that the film was made for a Western audience, but I wish it had been more authentic to Chinese culture.”

Themes and Symbolism

Beyond its technical merits and cultural significance, Redditors have also discussed the film’s deeper themes and symbolism. Many have interpreted the film as an exploration of love, freedom, and the conflict between tradition and modernity.

One user, u/filmcritic, wrote:

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a beautifully crafted film that explores complex themes such as love, freedom, and the conflict between tradition and modernity. The film’s characters are well-developed and relatable, and the story is both exciting and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good story.”

Overall, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has generated a wide range of reactions on Reddit. While some users have praised the film’s stunning visuals and compelling story, others have found it to be slow-paced and unrealistic. The film’s cultural significance and deeper themes have also been the subject of much discussion.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon so popular?

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s popularity is largely attributed to its remarkable achievement as an action spectacle, featuring amazing martial arts battles and beautiful scenery.

What is the main message of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon primarily conveys a message of love and the desire for freedom from societal constraints that hinder personal growth and relationships.

Is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a good film?

Critically acclaimed, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is considered a masterpiece that showcases a seamless blend of martial arts battles, scenic beauty, and compelling drama, elevating director Ang Lee’s stature in Hollywood.

What is the story behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?

In 18th-century Qing dynasty China, the film follows the story of Li Mu Bai, a Wudang swordsman, and Yu Shu Lien, head of a private security company, who navigate love and personal sacrifices amidst intricate martial arts conflicts.

What was so great about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon stands out for its impressive mix of martial arts sequences, stunning visuals, and poignant drama, setting a new standard in the genre and earning international acclaim.

What does the Crouching Tiger symbolize?

‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ symbolizes hidden talent or danger that requires a keen eye to uncover, reflecting the deep thematic layers of the film.

πŸ”€ Recommended Movie and TV Show

Here is a list of similar movies to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” based on the provided context:

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny: A 2016 wuxia film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, serving as a sequel to the original movie.
  2. Hero (2002): A visually stunning martial arts film with a mix of action and drama.
  3. House of Flying Daggers (2004): Another visually captivating martial arts movie with a blend of romance and action.
  4. Mortal Kombat: A fantasy action film that combines martial arts with supernatural elements.
  5. Kung Fu Hustle: A comedic martial arts film that pays homage to classic kung fu movies.
  6. Fearless (2006): A biographical martial arts film based on the life of Chinese martial artist Huo Yuanjia.
  7. Ip Man: A series of martial arts films based on the life of the Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man.
  8. The Last Samurai (2003): A historical action drama film with themes of honor and redemption.

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