Kon Tiki


Kon Tiki

Critics Consensus

A well-crafted retelling of an epic true story, Kon Tiki is a throwback to old-school adventure filmmaking that's exciting and entertaining in spite of its by-the-book plotting.



Total Count: 78


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,137
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Movie Info

Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101 day-long journey across 8,000 kilometers, all while the world was watching. KON-TIKI tells about the origin of Heyerdahl's idea and the events surrounding the group's voyage.(c) Weinstein


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Critic Reviews for Kon Tiki

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (15)

  • The wacky, amateurish derring-do of the six-man crew, led by the lanky, floppy haired Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen as the ethnographer Heyerdahl, is astounding.

    Dec 19, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Enjoyable but not as exciting as it should be.

    Dec 19, 2014 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's intrinsically rousing stuff, although the journey is a little low on drama apart from the odd shark attack and a bit of bickering between Heyerdahl and his virtually indistinguishable crew of blond men with beards.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Kon-Tiki is a widescreen man-against-nature epic, beautifully shot and boasting seamless, stunning visual effects.

    May 17, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "Kon-Tiki" is awesome in the true sense of the word: You sit in awe of the bravery, audacity, stupidity and natural power on display. Ah, to imagine and dream. And to go forth.

    May 17, 2013 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • How much is fiction and how much is deliberate confusion?

    May 16, 2013 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Kon Tiki

  • Mar 27, 2016
    Beautifully filmed adventure movie about Heyerdahl and his crew crossing the pacific on a raft after WW2. While the enterprise itself goes relatively smoothly there is a wonderfully terrifying shark attack in the middle of the film that's worth the movie already. Especially the camera work and direction are excellent, the script could have used some refining here or there. Heyerdahl is portrayed as oddly arrogant protagonist. Still, a nice film. No wonder the directors are now moving on to Pirates of the Caribbean. Great choice.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2016
    After the eponymous expedition of Thor Heyerdahl over the Pacific to prove the then theory that the first to populate Polynesia were from South America, Kon-Tiki (2012, Norway) is a grand historical production of mesmerizing thrilling beauty and dangers of the ocean. With perfect blue cinematography and stylized dramatization, Kon-Tiki satisfies the human curiosity for knowledge and adventure. Ambitious 10!
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 01, 2015
    Great (and true) adventure, mixed with some beautiful photography.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2015
    In "Kon-Tiki," Thor Heyerdahl(Pal Sverre Hagen), an ethnographer, is vacationing with his wife Liv(Agnes Kittelsen) in the South Pacific when he has a brainstorm. Basically, it concerns the fact that the Polynesians must have emigrated from South America, not the other way around which is the currently held wisdom in 1947. The challenge as far as Heyerdahl is concerned is proving it. Which involves building a boat identical to the ones the Polynesians would have traveled in at the time of their voyage. That's easier said than done, as he when he tries to raise funds in New York City at the National Geographic where they are tempted to refer him to Bellevue Hospital. Luckily, he meets Herman Watzinger(Anders Baasmo Christiansen), an engineer, who shows him the error of his ways. With a judicious use of CGI, "Kon-Tiki" is a great looking dramatization of the famed ocean voyage. The problem lies in the movie's length. It's not that the movie is too long; rather for once it is not long enough.(The running time on the DVD I watched was one hour, thirty-eight minutes, 20 minutes shorter than the theatrical running time.) So, while the movie focuses on the bigger, more suspenseful moments(nothing against sharks, by the way), it otherwise feels rushed. Instead, the pace should have been leisurely, allowing the story to take its time to unfold in detailing this epic voyage which does not really feel epic here.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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