Rated 5.0

This intriguing, intoxicating martial-arts epic about the unification of China during the third century B.C. is a visual masterpiece. The country is divided into several warring kingdoms. The ruler of the province of Qin (Chen Daoming) wants to become emperor over all of the land and end the bloodshed. Three assassins have been dispatched to kill him, and an assassin referred to as Nameless (Jet Li) likewise has been dispatched to kill the three assassins (two of whom are lovers). The film is separated into sections dominated by a distinct color (red, blue, white and green) as a philosophical tale of political turmoil, love and loyalty is disrupted by moments of exhilarating, operatic swordplay and wirework acrobatics. Directed by Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern). M.H.