Once Were Warriors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Were Warriors Reviews

February 21, 2017
Once Were Warriors has more to say than the traditional TV-movie about spousal abuse. But some viewers will have to pay a price: This is a movie that requires strength and fortitude to sit through.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 21, 2017
Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, who plays Grace, had never acted before, and neither have a couple of the other key players. But under the careful direction of television veteran Lee Tamahori, they all do credible and forceful work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 21, 2017
A gritty, powerful first feature by Lee Tamahori.
February 21, 2017
The howling raging energy of the prize-winning New Zealand film Once Were Warriors rushes at you, hits you like a smack in the face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 7, 2011
The violence in Once Were Warriors (Fine Line, R), a tumultuous domestic drama from New Zealand, erupts with terrifying suddenness.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
July 22, 2008
The barren lives of members of an urban Maori family are rigorously exposed in this rugged and painful picture, based on Alan Duff's novel.
March 31, 2008
The urban Maori milieu, however, is something we haven't seen before, and the images stay with you.
January 26, 2006
A gritty human drama evoking the residual vibrancy of a threatened culture.
May 20, 2003
Left floundering in an inhospitable urban world, they have lost touch with their tribal past to become part of a rootless global subculture. The misery seen here would be familiar anywhere.
June 18, 2002
A gut-grabber from New Zealand ... that stays with you for days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
January 1, 2000
Yet familiar as the pattern is ... the film holds because of the acting and because it functions as travelogue.
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.
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
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
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.