Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2000 Martial Arts

Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee took a break from making Western period dramas to fashion this wild and woolly martial arts spectacular featuring special effects and action sequences courtesy of the choreographer of The Matrix (1999), Yuen Woo Ping. In the early 19th century, martial arts master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) is about to retire and enter a life of meditation, though he quietly longs to avenge the death of his master, who was killed by Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei). He gives his sword, a fabled 400-year-old weapon known as Green Destiny, to his friend, fellow martial arts wizard and secret love Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), so that she may deliver it to Sir Te (Sihung Lung). Upon arrival in Peking, Yu happens upon Jen (Zhang Ziyi), a vivacious, willful politician's daughter. That night, a mysterious masked thief swipes Green Destiny, with Yu in hot pursuit -- resulting in the first of several martial arts action set pieces during the film. Li arrives in Beijing and eventually discovers that Jen is not only the masked thief but is also in cahoots with the evil Jade. In spite of this, Li sees great talent in Jen as a fighter and offers to school her in the finer points of martial arts and selflessness, an offer that Jen promptly rebukes. This film was first screened to much acclaim at the 2000 Cannes, Toronto, and New York film festivals and became a favorite when Academy Awards nominations were announced in 2001: Tiger snagged ten nods and later secured four wins for Best Cinematography, Score, Art Direction, and Foreign Language Film. more..

Director: Ang Lee

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lung Sihung


  • Transcends its origins and becomes one of a kind. It's glorious, unashamed escapism and surprisingly touching at the same time.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    19 January 2013

  • Soaring and romantic, wild and serene, feminist and gutsy, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the best movies of the year.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    19 January 2013

  • Ang Lee, a world-class director working at the top of his elegant form, has done something thrilling. For all the leaping action, it's the film's spirit that soars.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    19 January 2013

  • The class act of action movies.

    Bob Graham - The San Francisco Chronicle

    19 January 2013

  • This is a great movie, but it needs a sales job because it's in Mandarin.

    Mike Clark - USA Today

    19 January 2013


  • Top Box Office Films

    ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards (2002)

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration

    Academy Awards (2001)

  • Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (2001)

  • Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm)

    Amanda Awards, Norway (2001)

  • Best Edited Feature Film - Dramatic

    American Cinema Editors (2001)