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The Hunter (2012)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 85
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 26

The Hunter occasionally suffers from predictability, but Willem Dafoe gives a terrific performance as an obsessive hunter on the trail of a mysterious beast.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 9

The Hunter occasionally suffers from predictability, but Willem Dafoe gives a terrific performance as an obsessive hunter on the trail of a mysterious beast.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 15,132

My Rating

Movie Info

The Hunter is the story of Martin, a skilled and ruthless mercenary sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger's genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist. He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken-down farmhouse, where he stays with a family whose father has gone missing. Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family; however, as his attachment to the family

Jul 3, 2012


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All Critics (85) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (26)

Its mostly observant temper keeps us from being greatly moved, but it holds us with its acute, almost laboratory dissection of its people's beings.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie with more plot than it can comfortably handle.

May 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's all intended to be darkly metaphorical. In actuality, it's a mediocre film unfolding without plan, purpose or enthusiasm.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comments (4)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a rucksack of gadgets, Dafoe makes a believably cunning tracker, and when he finally confronts his prey, the mutual respect feeds a poignant parable.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not much happens in "The Hunter." And what little does happen, happens very slowly. And then is repeated.

April 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Comment (1)
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The character arc is strong on paper but not well-realized on film, and therein lies The Hunter's greatest failing.

April 13, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is an atmospheric and richly rewarding film that glides along at a pace akin to that of the small country local within which it's set.

October 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Onya Magazine

Slow-moving but graceful, this character study is engaging and insightful.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

The Hunter delivers a quiet and somewhat meandering story that wallows in self-importance and social agenda.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Part character piece, part family drama and part survivalist thriller, it's most successful when Dafoe is patiently stalking through the woodland, as his craggy presence and the moody cinematography are enough to hold our interest.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

Well-crafted and finely acted adventure story that held my interest throughout.

December 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This powerful drama is strongly anchored by Willem Dafoe's nuanced performance as a hard loner who is softened by a vulnerable family who finds a place in his heart.

November 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

By the time Dafoe tracks down the elusive CGI'd thylacine, my eyelids had washed over with a glaze of numbness. The big winner here, Tasmania's tourist board.

October 22, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN

"The Hunter" is mostly well-done, but where I would normally say "it never comes together," I actually have to say it comes together too late.

September 16, 2012 Full Review Source:

"The Hunter" is the most intriguing thriller to come along in the first half of 2012. Willem Dafoe continues to showcase why he's one of the best actors today and the cinematography for the film is absolutely breathtaking.

July 20, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

I've always thought of Dafoe as an overexposed but talented actor. In this kind of role, he excels. The story by author/filmmaker Julia Leigh is sound. And, the scenery and locations add so much to the experience. Take the trip.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

The Hunter is a very topical drama with ethics and human consciousness at its heart.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

The Hunter isn't a straightforward film, but it is a thought-provoking one.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

There's little to gird the loins or ply the grey matter.

July 11, 2012 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

It is dank and clammy, with ice in its heart, but it is also beautiful and painful, its emotional climaxes hitting home like precision bullets.

July 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comment (1)
Observer [UK]

A slow-burner about survival in general that may seem predictable in parts and meander in others, but the intensity with which the psychological developments suddenly manifest is its ultimate power.

July 7, 2012 Full Review Source:

A thoughtful, sinewy thriller that takes its time, but girds on a stellar, stoic performance from Willem Dafoe.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture | Comment (1)
What Culture

Entirely convincing as a loner on a mission, Dafoe makes this slow but beautifully shot film compelling throughout.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Dafoe is eminently watchable, and for the most part it's a distinctive, atmospheric movie that cherishes the persistence of mystery.

July 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

There's a gripping moral weight to the questions of survival and profiteering the story raises, and the worryingly inexact moment when our interest in endangered species tips over into thoughts of human gain.

July 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for The Hunter

An intriguing, though somewhat underdeveloped story of a mercenary hunter (Willem Dafoe) tasked with the mission of finding and killing the last remaining Tasmanian devil in the wilderness of Australia. He also becomes involved with the family he is staying with, whose father has gone missing. There are a lot of interesting elements here, and the ending in particular is powerful and moving, but ultimately this movie is a frustrating concoction of family drama mixed with man vs. nature. The scenes with Dafoe out in the wilderness are fantastic, while his moments with the family seem like a slight distraction from the main meat of the story. Dafoe, as always, is phenomenal and does a lot with his very thinly detailed character, and the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. In the end though, it just feels slightly underdone, which is a shame because there is a lot of great material here.
April 11, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Interesting dramatic thriller, The Hunter Starring Willem Dafoe on a search for the last Tasmanian tiger, a species that went extinct in 1936. This is a well acted film, one that boasts an engaging story, and effective direction to keep you involved. I love Dafoe's work, and he gives a terrific performance here. With that being said, The Hunter at times is a bit slow, but it does keep you involved because of its premise. I enjoyed the film for the sheer story alone, and I am familiar with the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine and a film based on trying to find the last one is interesting, even if its fiction, it's still a worthy and interesting idea for a film. If you enjoy Dafoe's films, you might enjoy this one as well. It may not be for everyone, but there are plenty of good elements here to make for a truly thriller adventure film that is sure to entertain anyone who enjoys these types of films. What makes this such a thrilling experience to watch is that director Daniel Nettheim uses dark atmosphere to tell this story, add to that the subtle dramatic elements and you have a well crafted picture that has some great performances provided by two accomplished actors. I enjoy films like these because it really jogs your imagination, and keeps you guessing right up until the end. The film is never boring, and everything presented on-screen works well because of a well written script and a truly interesting idea. Add to that a riveting, memorable performance by Dafoe, which is one of his finest in many years and you have a thriller that is gripping from the first frame right up to the climax.
March 29, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A morally powerful movie that sends a clear message, powerful performance from Dafoe and Neil.
However a Slow paced and CGI tiger fails to impress!
March 29, 2013
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack: He was as popular as a snake in a sleeping bag.
    – Submitted by Michael M (14 months ago)
    1. Martin: What you want you will never get. It is gone forever now.
    – Submitted by ernest e (21 months ago)
    1. Lucy Armstrong: It's probably better off extinct, if it's alive people will always want to find it, hunt it down.
    – Submitted by Eric R (22 months ago)
    1. Lucy: Jarrah thought that someone was following him.
    2. Martin: Who?
    – Submitted by Jacob R (22 months ago)
    1. Jack: He went missing last summer, search and rescue was out for two weeks. Not a trace.
    – Submitted by Jacob R (22 months ago)
    1. Sass: Are you looking for my dad?
    2. Martin: No.
    3. Sass: But if you see him, you'll tell him to come home?
    – Submitted by Jacob R (22 months ago)
View all quotes (10)

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Foreign Titles

  • Hunter, The (AU)
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