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Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2002)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 94
Fresh: 85 | Rotten: 9

Compelling human drama and stunning cinematography make The Fast Runner an absorbing experience.

96

Average Rating: 8.5/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 1

Compelling human drama and stunning cinematography make The Fast Runner an absorbing experience.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 5,371

My Rating

Movie Info

Atanarjuat the Fast Runner is the first feature film in the Inuktitut language, spoken by the Inuit tribes of northern Canada. The film, based on an ancient Inuit legend, is set at the dawn of the millennium. It's an epic tale of love, betrayal, and revenge, set in motion by an evil force brought to the village of Igloolik by a mysterious shaman. Conceived by the late Paul Apak Angilirq, who co-wrote the screenplay, the film was shot on widescreen digital video by Norman Cohn (one of the few

Feb 11, 2003

$2.6M

Lot 47 Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (105) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (9) | DVD (11)

From its mystical-mythical opening to the stunning finale, this is storytelling at its most primal and filmmaking at its most original.

October 3, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Compelling as it is exotic, Fast Runner has a plot that rivals Shakespeare for intrigue, treachery and murder.

August 9, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Often, the film feels more like a state of mind, combining the factual hardness of a documentary with the startling beauty of a surreal, fantastic dream.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A beautiful, timeless and universal tale of heated passions -- jealousy, betrayal, forgiveness and murder.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It may be the most satisfying experience you'll have at the movies this year.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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The kind of primal storytelling that George Lucas can only dream of.

July 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A trailblazer for its culture and certainly makes for a fascinating, if rather long, watch.

September 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

...takes you to a place you've never been and tells a story as profound and ambitious as a Shakespeare play.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

...barely has enough material to fill a 52-minute CBC special, let alone a three-hour cinematic "event."

November 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A film so crisp with detail that, like other great films, it whisks us away to a locale like nothing else we've ever seen to tell a story that's not quite like anything else we've ever heard.

June 26, 2003 Full Review

An amazing achievement but it has a few problems.

February 17, 2003 Full Review

Damn hard to see where this is going to get its audience.

February 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

At three hours and with very little story or character development, there is plenty of room for editing, and a much shorter cut surely would have resulted in a smoother, more focused narrative without sacrificing any of the cultural intrigue.

January 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

This is quite possibly the best Canadian film of all time.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat

The messy emotions raging throughout this three-hour effort are instantly recognizable, allowing the film to paradoxically feel familiar and foreign at the same time.

November 20, 2002
Creative Loafing

Don't be put off by the 172-minute running time. It's worth it.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

...squeezes in enough passion, jealousy, family feuding and murder to fuel a daytime drama for several weeks.

October 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

The pace of the film is often glacial.

October 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The 167 minutes go by at reasonable speed after an irrelevant prelude.

October 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

The mammoth, 172-minute movie has its share of slow passages. It picks up speed, however, as it advances toward a payoff that has much to say about the ultimate besting of evil.

October 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Though some will probably have problems with the film's pacing ... the story holds your interest throughout.

September 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The story is told with such richness and attention to nomadic traditions that it wields the scope of a Kurosawa samurai picture.

August 23, 2002 Full Review

The Fast Runner, an epic story coming from northern Canada, provides the perfect antidote to this summer of blockbusters.

August 22, 2002 Full Review
Des Moines Register

Murder, jealousy and infidelity are all part of this tale that proves the elements of a good yarn are the same no matter where you go.

August 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's a masterpiece.

August 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Audience Reviews for Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Unlike Margaret Atwood, I wouldn't call it the greatest Canadian film ever made but it is so unique in terms of its depictions of not only the lives of the Innuit..but a study of their ancient cultural belief system. A truly remarkable film.
August 12, 2007
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

An interesting film!
December 27, 2007
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Atarnajuat - Die Legende vom schnellen Läufer (DE)
  • Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner (UK)
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