The Hunter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunter Reviews

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March 13, 2015
Very much a story about individualism and being one of a kind. This is a fairly mature effort that uses the last of a species and its inevitable decline to mirror that of Willem Defoe's character, the environment and his life.
March 1, 2015
Despite a powerful score, uniquely thrilling premise, and a commanding performance from Defoe, the Hunter is inconclusive and abrupt.
February 26, 2015
A slow-burning thriller with beautiful cinematography and moral story.
½ February 7, 2015
As a brooding thriller about the hunter, it works extremely well, but it's let down by a simultaneously simplistic and muddled plot that just doesn't convince.
January 27, 2015
Beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted. Only down part I didn't feel the sadness. That's sad
½ January 16, 2015
Strange Movie About A Man Hunting The Tasmanian Tiger....
January 15, 2015
I fell asleep, it just didn't flow enough
November 28, 2014
The Hunter is on of this beautifully shot, slow paced and beautiful atmospheric films. Shot in the amazing scenery of Tasmania, the film follows the story of Martin, a hunter/ scientist sent on the track of the last Tasmanian Tiger by his mysterious employer. The film quickly becomes thrilling and even though little action happen, you will be entertained and care a lot about the characters thanks to a strong screenplay and an undeniable talent of storyteller from the film maker. Great film, great cast, hypnotizing object of naturalistic cinema.
November 6, 2014
"A stranger in a strange land" has been a staple of storytelling throughout human history. While arriving alone to a location, a character can try as he can to remain who he was before his journey, but he will almost certainly be changed by those around him. The journey itself can change the character, and have them grow into someone different and new. Daniel Nettheim's 2011 film The Hunter is one such film which follows this trope.

The story is that of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a mercenary hired by a company to track down and kill the last Tasmanian tiger in existence, due to the creature's pharmaceutical capabilities. During his mission Martin is given lodging with a local woman (Frances O'Connor) and her children, who have been rocked by the disappearance of her husband one year prior. While the children are more than excited to have some company, the wife has since fallen into a neigh cationic state via stupor brought about by over-prescribed medication. Along with having to hunt the tiger and restoring the family's homestead, Martin must deal with Jack (Sam Neill), local guide who seems to have an ominous connection with the family, as well as local loggers who want outsiders to stop imposing on their livelihoods. All of this transpires around Martin, while he still ventures out into the wilderness in search of the legendary creature.

Dafoe is in his element as the slightly-distant mercenary, who at first is only concerned about his mission, but becomes a sort of replacement for the family's missing husband. He comes across as a man who gains a sense of humanity which was missing, but regains it throughout his journey. Concise, cold, and a man who tries to focus on his job, but gets sidetracked by the world around him. As always Sam Neill is fantastic in any of his roles, though mostly known for his work in Jurassic Park, he has a large filmography full of quality work. There are two child actors in the film who are actually very good, where as in some films a scene can be killed by a child actor who is placed in the film because one of his family is a producer on the film, or something. But the performances by young actors Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock are quite good, and fit well with the tone of the story.

The Hunter

When it comes to the visuals, the film relies heavily on the wild, and at times almost alien landscape of Tasmania. Where as in film, Australia is generally restricted to the red sands of the outback or the rainforest areas along the country's east-coast, The Hunter reveals Tasmania to viewers who might have the foreign land revealed to them for the first time. The variation in the landscape changes throughout the film, and works as a way to frame Martin's journey. The house he stays at is in a very grounded and peaceful forest area, but as he gets closer to finding the tiger nature becomes more hostile, starting with a temperate forest, to marshland, and eventually to a snow-covered mountain area.

The setup of the film is Martin's search for a creature which is supposedly extinct, but during most of the movie that plotline takes a backseat to his interaction with the locals, and the effect that he as an outsider has on the community. Where are before his arrival things weren't great, the townsfolk and loggers were content to live their lives, but the rumors of a living Tasmanian tiger have begun to spread and fears that conversationalists will put an end to the logging rise up. This of course leads to mob mentality which causes trouble for Martin, as well as anyone who isn't in favor of the logging industry. Though Martin has no real stake in the outcome of anything besides his job be has built up enough of a connection with his hosts that he does try and affect the situation, albeit not in a direct manor.

The Hunter is a superb film, visually, writing-wise, as well as fantastically acted with an amazing performance by Willem Dafoe being the highlight of the film. Martin's journey as a character is the cornerstone of the film, with the audience following him throughout his trials and tribulations in search of an animal thought to be long dead.
October 4, 2014
I liked this movie. The acting and the story are both amazing.
½ October 2, 2014
Willem Defoe gives one of his solid performances in this film. I think it needed more action and more suspense. The rest of the cast was decent, wish I could of like this movie better. So that it would of have a better rating but it lacks right in the middle of the movie so that's what kept me down all the way thru the end. So for this being being one solid not one of the best independent films that I have with solid performances, I give "The Hunter"a C-.
½ September 29, 2014
The Hunter should be one of the best drama suspense this year. With its silent tension in the wilderness jungles of Australia and William Dafoe's charisma, its just a perfect combination and epic. A must see.
½ September 1, 2014
Incredible story with incredible visuals. Much of the story is purposely underdeveloped and it works well with this movie, adding to the mystique of the beautiful shots. This one will affect you in surprising ways and it is dense especially in the beginning so don't expect a normal thriller. However, if you're expecting an abnormal thriller then this is your movie.
½ August 30, 2014
A film that slowly draws you in, and within its moral compass framework becomes not about human survival but about the nature of capitalism and what people do once again for money at the expense of nature.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2014
It sends a unique moral message that some mysteries should never be solved.
½ August 19, 2014
It is filmed well. But for a large portion of the film it feels like nothing is happening. I get what it's going for but sometimes it feels like it isn't even telling a story.
August 18, 2014
A thoughtful, brooding thriller with a perfectly fitting cast and beautiful cinematography. A solid film.
August 17, 2014
Nothing special. The trailer made it seem a lot more interesting than it was. Basically just watching the trailer is all the info and thrill you need. I am able to sit through slow films but this was just not nearly as interesting as the trailer lead me to believe. The only things you don't get to see are the very few, extremely short hunting scenes. Other than that, looking back on it, like I stated, I could have been better off just watching the intriguing trailer. The movie was drawn out with little meaningful scenes in between (ex: like the scenes when Dafoe is with the mother and daughter that he stays with; although the mother's son provides some usefulness to Dafoe). I really wanted to like this movie but it was simply boring and didn't stand out. There is so much more potential for a believable and interesting premise.
August 8, 2014
Picturehouse recommends
½ August 8, 2014
One of the best films i have seen in a while. I always like a film that exposes to to a world you have never seen before and an illegal job that i'm sure exists but has not been shown dozens of times on screen. Its an engaging story with a great performance by dafoe. the excellent pacing and great storytelling make you really invested the whole time. the unique setting and fleshed out world make a few predictable parts forgivable.
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