House of Flying Daggers

  • Review Date: April 14, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Gorgeous, but also very violent.
  • Review Date: April 14, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive role models

Strong female characters.

Violence

Constant peril and violence, some graphic, many characters killed.

Sex

Sexual references and situations, including brothel, partial nudity, attempted sexual assault.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, character gets drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is violent. The fight scenes are beautiful but deadly, with graphic injuries and many deaths. There are sexual references and situations including a scene in a brothel and attempted sexual assault. A strength of the movie is its portrayal of women and of Chinese men and women as strong, brave, and loyal.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, an officer about to arrest a beautiful blind dancer who works in a brothel tells her that if she can win the \"Echo Game\" he will let her go. She is surrounded by 100 drums. As the officer tosses stones at the drums, she must listen carefully to replicate the patterns of the sounds through her dance by tossing her long satin sleeves to strike the drums in the same precise rhythms. Her arm sweeps across so that the sleeve extends far enough to pull the officer's sword from its sheath. And then things really start to heat up. In the brothel, a drunken playboy tries to rip the clothes off of the blind dancer, Mei (Ziyi Zhang), but an officer arrives to arrest them both. Mei shows her prowess in the Echo Game, but she is arrested anyway when she attacks the officer. It seems she is an operative for the rebel House of Flying Daggers. She is about to be tortured when she is rescued by the drunken playboy, who tells her he is on her side. They escape together, followed by the soldiers. And like all movie journeys, the characters are on a spiritual quest as they travel. Love and loyalty will be tested and lessons will be learned.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Director Yimou Zhang (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern) is a master of ravishing, rapturous images drenched with glowing, jewel-like colors, unfurling like a rich tapestry. The fight scenes are dramatic, as much a part of telling the story and revealing the characters as the dialogue and the plot. And they are beautiful, like exquisite blood-soaked ballets.

The confrontations and battle scenes reveal the characters and move the story forward as they dazzle us with breathtaking images and stunning stuntwork. A shower of daggers, a bamboo-forest skirmish that looks like it was choreographed by Cirque du Soleil, and a final encounter in a snow-covered field are striking, moving, and dramatic all at the same time. But the most exquisite image of all is the face of Ziyi Zhang, a brilliant actress, a classically trained dancer, and a fearless combatant. The story may seem unfinished (there is one shot of an advancing army that leaves us wondering what happened next), but ultimately it is as spare and graceful as a calligraphic symbol.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difficult choices presented to Mei, Jin, and Leo. How did they decide on what was most important to them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 3, 2004
DVD release date:April 19, 2005
Cast:Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi
Director:Zhang Yimou
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of stylized martial arts violence, and some sexuality

This review of House of Flying Daggers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bymovieman09 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Really Good

This movie is really good. It was more violent than any other movies like this I've seen, and there are some heavy kissing scenes, but overall it is a great movie.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJohan April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 14 years old Written bystar April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide