Once Were Warriors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Were Warriors Reviews

Page 1 of 87
June 19, 2017
I cried so much when I saw this years ago. I recently watched it again and didn't think I would cry, but at some point there were tears streaming down my face. And there were scenes with local people singing and I think it was wonderful recognition of those actors and that culture. I'm not saying this exactly right, but the point is, I love the movie.
½ January 21, 2017
If one where to ever doubt film is just mindless entertainment or only Hollywood Actors can pull of great performances one needs to sit down & view this film.

The raw intensity of this film has hardly been matched the brutal depiction of Maori Life in South Auckland New Zealand.

The story of Jak the Musc & his family coping with the terror & destruction he causes when drunk. This is an important film but truly a sledgehammer to the senses. The is an essential film that needs to encourage people away from the life and or mentality , powerful stuff!!!
January 21, 2017
I saw this film when it came out in 1994, and I've always remembered its brutal hyper-realism. It starts out with a picture of idyllic New Zealand -- an extraordinarily beautiful scene of the lakes and mountains. But wait... It's just a bill board, which as the camera pans across, we see that it sits above a super highway with cars speeding past. Then a woman pushing a baby carriage comes into view. She lives in the projects right next to the highway. All the while an acid guitar version of "Little Wing" is playing. Wow...
December 3, 2016
Brutal domestic violence melodrama lacking depth
½ December 1, 2016
Very powerful and bitter story of domestic violence and consequences of it. What makes this movie outstanding is harsh realistic approach, practically unbiased toward the subject.
November 1, 2016
This is one of the most intense movies I have ever seen. The beauty of the actors is amazing. The culture of New Zealand is fascinating....The screenplay is like no other.....
September 21, 2016
The story of Grace was, to me, the main focal point of the film, and it was incredibly sad to witness the events that led to her downfall. What terrible family dynamics that stem from the extremely abusive Jake and the sickening Uncle Bully. But otherwise, not much else as far as filmmaking is concerned.
August 30, 2016
What an unexpectedly stark and brutal film. Despite the violence and domestic abuse, it's somehow amusing and mesmerising. Made on a tight budget, it proves that a great story well told wins every time.
July 25, 2016
The most powerful film I have ever seen.
June 27, 2016
A heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and difficult movie to watch. The acting is superb.
½ June 19, 2016
A brutal and harrowing tale about family, life and destructive habits. Jake (Morrison) seems like a decent guy with a nice family, until he starts drinking and you seem the horrible effects that alcoholism have on him as he takes out his rage on Beth (Owen). The impact this and later events has on Grace (Kerr-Bell), their eldest daughter, is the main plot and a deeply touching one at that. Solid acting across the board, as well as some nice New Zealand scenery thrown in to counteract the extreme violence. Not fun, but a well-told story.
½ June 10, 2016
Lee Tamahori's haka-esquely charged and harrowing family drama is engrossing. The portrayal of Maori culture in the contemporary society and the issues related to repressed ancestral identity are finely captured, in addition to the family issues of a regular disoriented family trying to make ends meet. Maori actors add to the authenticity and make the film a compelling experience.
May 8, 2016
A telling portrayal of the darkest parts of modern islander culture. On-point.
March 29, 2016
A film that's full of the subtle visual tricks film teachers love to point out (character X ruined the life of character Y, and so they stand in such a manner that their shadow hovers over them, etc.), none of which manage to save the utterly simplistic story propelled by one-note characters, one that relies on bludgeoning shock value over everything else. Even that fails to work, though, because it is just so damn predictable. The biggest shock is one that you'll expect 10 minutes in advance, and the ending is obvious starting from the middle of the movie.
March 23, 2016

Super depressing, super insightful, super well portrayed, movie about domestic violence
November 6, 2015
amazing movie , very moving !
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2015
A melodrama of sorts, but one so vigorous and full of rage and despair, that it will inevitably linger in you.
June 4, 2015
A graphic depiction of the life of a low social class, the Maori (New Zealand), akin to the Indians in the US or the Aboriginals in Australia. Portrayed is their struggle with a violent father, drugs, alcohol and abuse. It's an interesting movie, unfortunately with a storyline and dialogues that could've been a lot better.
April 9, 2015
Its a gotta see it movie
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