Even though it was one of the first, Hero remains one of the best epic wire-fu films ever produced.
The good stuff
A true master of color, Yimou Zhang surprises with this near black and white martial arts drama. It's amazing what he accomplishes with almost no colors to work with, Shadow is a true feast for the eyes. The story is amusing, the action spectacular, but this is above all a visual marvel like only Zhang can make them.
Not quite as majestic as Zhang's Hero, but still an overwhelmingly beautiful martial arts drama with a few memorable scenes. The drum dance and the bamboo forest fight are amongst the best the genre has on offer. And apart from some sketchy CG near the end, it hasn't aged a bit.
The Flowers Of War borders on sentimentality and poses as a very epic endeavor. It's Zhang's magnificent direction that erases any major critiques, turning the film into a proper epic spectacle.