6.3/10
14,376
120 user 231 critic

The Assassin (2015)

Ci ke Nie Yin Niang (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 27 August 2015 (China)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

A female assassin receives a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in eighth-century China.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Writers:

Cheng Ah (screenplay) (as Zhong Acheng), T'ien-wen Chu (screenwriter) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 35 wins & 73 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Three Times (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The ethereally beautiful Vicky recalls her romances with Hao Hao and Jack in the neon-lit clubs of Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Jack Kao, Chun-hao Tuan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-Fen Hsin, Sung Young Chen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the "flower houses" (upscale brothels) of Shanghai, various interweaving stories of love, loyalty, and deceit play out subtly.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story revolves around Yoko Inoue, a pregnant woman in search for a cafe that's frequented by a Taiwanese composer whose life she is researching.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The semi-autobiographical film on director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's childhood and adolescence, when he was growing up in Taiwan, living through the deaths of his father, mother and grandmother.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chia-bao Chang, Neng Chang, Chih-Chen Chen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Jieh-Wen King, Kuei-Ying Hsu, Annie Shizuka Inoh
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Puppeteer Li Tian-lu tells his life story, and through it, the story of Taiwan in the first half of the 20th century.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tien-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Kuei-Chung Cheng
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Yi Zhang, Jing Dong Liang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Annie Shizuka Inoh, Giong Lim, Jack Kao
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young couple leave their mining town home for Taipei where they struggle to eke out a living in an industrial wasteland.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-Fen Hsin, Chi-Ying Kao
Coming Home (2014)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Huiwen Zhang
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Qi Shu ... Nie Yinniang
Chen Chang ... Tian Ji'an, governor of Weibo
Yun Zhou ... Lady Tian
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... The Mirror Polisher
Dahong Ni ... Provost Nie Feng
Mei Yong Mei Yong ... Yinniang' Mother
Zhen Yu Lei Zhen Yu Lei ... Tien Xing (Yinniang's Uncle)
Nikki Hsieh ... Huji,Tian Ji'an's concubine (as Hsieh Hsin-ying)
Ethan Juan ... Xia Jing, the aide-de-camp (as Juan Ching-Tian)
Fang-yi Sheu ... Princess Jiacheng / Princess-Nun Jiaxin
Jacques Picoux ... Lady Tian's Teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shao-Huai Chang ... Chiang Nu
Ti-Ying Hsueh
Fang Mei ... Yinniang' Grandmother
Chun Shih
Edit

Storyline

In 8th century China, 10-year-old general's daughter Nie Yinniang is handed over to a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was betrothed - a cousin who now leads the largest independent military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. Written by Ipsith

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | black magic | wuxia | nun | love | See All (42) »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Taiwan | China | Hong Kong | France

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

27 August 2015 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassin See more »

Filming Locations:

Wudang, Hubei Province, China See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,892, 18 October 2015

Gross USA:

$632,542

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,991,669
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Hou told the New York Times in an interview published on 10/07/2015 that he would break the fight scene into smaller parts as the actors weren't skilled fighters. He would also let the actors start fighting when they chose rather than directing them to fight. See more »

Quotes

Xia Jing: [subtitled version] The way of the sword is pitiless. Saintly virtues play no part in it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In Japan, the film has been released with an additional footage contains the scene involving the Mirror Polisher (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and the wife of the Mirror Polisher (Shiori Kutsuna). This version is only available on Japanese Blu-Ray from Shochiku Home Video but without English subs. See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rohan / Duc de Rohan
Music by Pierrick Tanguy
Performed by Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A different kind of Wuxia
19 October 2015 | by murtaza_mmaSee all my reviews

Probably the best way to watch "The Assassin" is to play it as 1.5 times the speed. On a serious note, the film takes Wuxia to an entirely different level. If Ozu had made Wuxia films then probably those films would have looked something like "The Assassin". Watching the film is like studying a life in slow motion. While the detailing is meticulous, the storytelling style can best be described as tedious. The action sequences, although beautifully choreographed, are minimalistic in style.

In her third collaboration with the master Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Shu Qi delivers a mesmerizing performance while playing a part that's tender and feral in equal parts. It's difficult to detest the ferocious killer she has become. It's difficult not to fall in love with the assassin who once was a princess. It's difficult not to be in awe of Hou Hsiao-Hsien after watching the film. It's difficult to wipe off the images from one's mind long after the end credits begin to roll. It's difficult to watch it just once.

For more on the world of cinema, please visit my film blog "A Potpourri of Vestiges".


19 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed