Once Were Warriors Reviews

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Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
December 23, 2006
One of the most powerful, ultra-realistic dramas about domestic violence--As the battered wife, Rena Welson should have received a Best Actress nomination.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
November 14, 2005
Overrated and nauseating.
| Original Score: 2/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 3, 2004
Packed with bloody raw emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Jon Niccum
Lawrence Journal-World
October 25, 2002
Excellent performances in this New Zealand import
| Original Score: 4/5
Clint Morris
Moviehole
September 20, 2002
One of the year's best films. Totally unforgettable.
| Original Score: 4/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
August 30, 2002
Speaks volumes about the self-destructiveness of peoples who have turned their rage inward.
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
A gut-grabber from New Zealand ... that stays with you for days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2001
As often happens when films are intent on getting a message across, Once Were Warriors can't stop itself from overdoing things.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
David Armstrong
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
It is an impressive first feature for its director, Lee Tamahori, and a splendid dramatic vehicle for its stars, especially Rena Owen.
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com
January 1, 2000
It is a painful and very effective tale about the destructive power of abuse, rape, alcoholism, and violence in general that easily transcends its New Zealand origin.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
Heartbreaking, frustrating, an observation of domestic violence and a tribute to the wives who ultimately refuse to remain victims.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
The film's searing performances are matched by the lovely camerawork of cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Bruce Kirkland
Jam! Movies
January 1, 2000
Everything about this powerful, poignant film makes it a must-see experience, if you have the stomach for it.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
The actors, many of them of European-Maori descent, are wonderful to look at. They also deliver authoritative yet sympathetic performances that get at the roots, or rootlessness, of their characters.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Reserve judgment until this raw, uncompromising working-class saga is over, and you might find yourself unforgettably moved -- and grateful for the experience.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
It is powerful and chilling, and directed by Lee Tamahori with such narrative momentum that we are swept along in the enveloping tragedy of the family's life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
January 1, 2000
Yet familiar as the pattern is ... the film holds because of the acting and because it functions as travelogue.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Works, to some degree, on three levels: the visceral, the emotional, and the intellectual, and it is the amalgamation of these that makes this a memorable film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
April 7, 2005
| Original Score: 5/5
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