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The Hunter (2012)


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 3,100



Movie Info

Recently released from prison, Ali (writer-director Rafi Pitts) attempts to make the most of his return to Tehran, amidst much talk of the upcoming elections and promises of change. Forced to work nights, he still tries to spend as much time as he can with his wife and their young daughter, escaping the stress of urban life through hunting trips to the secluded forest north of the city. But one day, Ali's family goes missing-and after a long and fruitless experience with the police, Ali's own … More

Drama , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Rafi Pitts
In Theaters:
Feb 28, 2011
Independent Pictures - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for The Hunter

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (5)

This is a parable about modern Iran, and like many recent Iranian films it leaves its meaning to the viewer.

Full Review… | March 16, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Cinematographer Mohammad Davudi's nighttime shots of jammed Tehran highways help convey the society's dehumanization.

Full Review… | February 7, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

Filmed during the months leading up to the 2009 presidential election in Iran, The Hunter still seethes with fury -- and anticipates the blood that would spill after the vote.

Full Review… | February 7, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

The clammy chill that pervades "The Hunter," the fourth feature film by the Iranian director Rafi Pitts, seeps under your skin as you wait for its grim, taciturn protagonist to detonate.

Full Review… | February 7, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

By the time you realize how stealthy the film's critique has been, you've already fallen right into its trap.

Full Review… | February 7, 2012
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Pitts turns images of everyday urban sights - plaza steps, concrete apartment houses - into reflections of Ali's sense of emptiness and entrapment.

Full Review… | January 5, 2012
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Atmospheric, but underwhelming, underwritten and emotionally hollow.

Full Review… | January 3, 2012
NYC Movie Guru

Writer-director Rafi Pitts manages an atmosphere of choked, ambiguous dread that recalls nothing less than Godard's Alphaville.

Full Review… | January 1, 2012
Slant Magazine

Moody and rather depressing, it's also haunting and utterly involving right to the bitter end.

Full Review… | November 3, 2010
Shadows on the Wall

Pitts is a solemn, silent presence and his director's eye ensures a succession of expertly composed images that each tell a story.

Full Review… | November 1, 2010
Daily Express

It doesn't offer even a basic driving narrative that might at least have engaged our attention.

Full Review… | November 1, 2010

The biggest problem with the film is not its snail's saunter, but rather the minimalist way Pitts approaches the scripting.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
Eye for Film

A film with a split personality, it initially intrigues before eventually infuriating.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
Daily Mirror [UK]

The story dulls into a cat-and-mouse pursuit narrative, with Pitts's own inexpressive performance one weakness among many.

Full Review… | October 28, 2010
Financial Times

Seemingly destined to go largely under-appreciated, this is a work of precision and complexity.

October 28, 2010
Little White Lies

Pitts ably conveys the bleakness of daily life and the accompanying mistrust of authority.

Full Review… | October 28, 2010
Radio Times

Pitts is at pains not to make an overtly political drama but his decision to keep the action spare and bleak means it becomes irritatingly obscure and, well, dull.

Full Review… | October 28, 2010
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for The Hunter

After reading a review from my friend TheGodfather I quickly went looking for The Hunter and it's certainly worth checking out.

The Hunter is about a young watchman named Ali Alavi who treasures every moment he spend with his family, until one night it's all taken away from him. The plot in general doesn't much dialogue being exchange, but it little dialogue helps draw you into the movie. It atmosphere felt authentic and real while every character felt like a real human being. I find the character Ali Alavi real fascinating, his desire for revenge, his view on life, and the fact he's a loner contribute to the development of Ali Alavi. I enjoyed the writing very much, it's unconventional and unlike most of the movies I see. One scene I enjoyed allot was the chase scene in the fog which was beautifully filmed and had no music playing. In every other movie music would be added to such a scene, but not in The Hunter as it feels real and there is thrills watching a scene like that. The Hunter plot might have little dialogue, but it's huge on it plot.

Rafi Pitts did an excellent job as a director. He knows how to captures certain scenes and convey emotion in it. He knows how to move the story in interesting directions and how to tell one. As an actor, he does everything as it should be done. Rafi Pitts created an interesting piece of cinema that'll be hard to imitate from it grim atmosphere in the forest to the cinematography of it amazing setting. The man is clearly talented and I hope he makes more films in the future.

The Hunter has an incredible atmosphere, fascinating protagonist, and a experience that not many films can offer. If in the mood for something original and gripping, you can't go wrong with The Hunter.

Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer


After Ali(Rafi Pitts, who also directed and wrote) is released from prison, he finds the only job he can get is as a night watchman, giving him little time alone with his wife Sara(Mitra Hajjar) and daughter Saba(Saba Yaghoobi). He perseveres nonetheless and treasures every moment they have together. In the meantime, he still finds time for a little hunting in the countryside. On the return from one such outing, he finds them missing. And then the phone call that changes everything...

"The Hunter" is a fine example of economic and terse filmmaking, making good use of its jump cuts to express the passage of time in a nonstop urban society(that apparently does not involve stoplights) that lies in contrast to the peaceful countryside. That's not the only contrast in a country that tries to be so uniform on the surface like Iran(you try and find someone in a country where half the country is supposed to dress alike) where tensions lie just below the surface, just waiting to erupt.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


The Hunter (Persian: Shekarchi‎) is drama directed by and starring Rafi Pitts. It is a movie which was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. Before I write about the movie, few words about Rafi Pitts: he was born 1967 in Iran, and spent his childhood in Tehran, where he lived in a basement flat underneath a post-production studio. During the war between Iran and Iraq, in 1981, he fled the country and moved to Britain. There he graduated in 1991 Film and Photography and since then makes movies... mostly not Iranian though... this one is officially listed as a German/Iranian production.

The story of Ali, who was recently released from prison, and now works during the night trying to spend most time possible with his beautiful wife and young daughter, was very engaging and well developed. We find out that Ali likes to retreat to his favourite pastime of hunting in the secluded forest north of town. One day his wife and daughter went missing... Ali finds out that his wife Sara is accidentally killed in a police shoot-out with demonstrators... and he decides to make things "right".

This feature film was recommended to me by couple of RT friends and I finally managed to get a copy of it. It is well developed movie, screenplay doesn't have too many words but says a lot, and acting was superb! Especially when towards the end the three men are surrounded by trees, lost in a maze, a desolate landscape, where the boundaries between the hunter and the hunted are difficult to perceive.

But my problem is to understand: what was the point of all of the events in this movie!?

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

Slow paced, economical but gripping thriller with assured photography (busy highways, foggy mountain roads, eerie forests) and sound design. Everything just works.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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