Whale Rider - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Whale Rider Reviews

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April 30, 2019
Filmmaker-writer Caro orchestrates scenes with a lyrical touch, infusing the film with doses of humor, and an effortless, mythic quality consistent with its source material, the eponymous cultural novel by Maori author Witi Ihimaera.
March 12, 2019
[Lisa] Gerrard's ethereal vocal style combined with electronic flourishes make for an unusual soundtrack, but one that meshes with the film's bracing mixture of mysticism and realism set against the strange and beautiful New Zealand landscape.
October 30, 2018
Whale Rider will endure as a modern masterwork because its themes are as universal as the story is localized.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 16, 2018
Castle-Hughes' performance is so amazing and she plays off of the veteran Maori actors so well it's hard to believe she was plucked from her classroom when a film crew came by looking for a non-actor....
Full Review | Original Score: A-
June 11, 2013
both an effective snapshot of the challenges which modernity brings to indigenous cultures, and a neat illustration of the power of myths to adapt.
December 29, 2010
Excellent to watch and discuss as a family.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 29, 2009
This is what a children's film should be like.
August 7, 2008
The movie's story is a sometimes clumsy but gradually involving coming-of-age story about courage, sexism, past customs vs. contemporary social values and a community and family at odds within themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 22, 2008
Newcomer Castle-Hughes' unaffected, confident turn makes it credible our heroine might retain her determination and self-worth despite serial setbacks.
June 3, 2008
The third act -- where all our predictions come true -- has a quiet dignity and, although it moves from A to B as expected, how it gets there is surprisingly mysterious.
November 1, 2007
The filmmaker knows how to seduce an audience without making it feel had. When a movie's this likable, it would take a very tough crowd not to be pleased.
Top Critic
January 26, 2006
Niki Caro roots her characters in a landscape equal parts mundane and boundless, incorporates tantalising sea photography and Lisa's Gerrard's ambient soundtrack, and lifts off into a sublime, Elysian ending.
June 3, 2005
"Whale Rider" is a mystical, gentle movie that goes beyond the boundaries of the usual coming-of-age film.
Full Review| Original Score: 3.5/4
March 5, 2005
I can honestly say that there is not a single plot point or character arc depicted here that I have not seen a thousand times before.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 29, 2005
...an uncommonly intelligent, well-crafted movie that -- despite the curious PG-13 rating -- parents shouldn't hesitate to see with their kids.
Read More | Original Score: B+
December 6, 2004
The climactic revelation, when it comes, is something so ambitious that I never would have dreamed it would work convincingly. But it does.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
October 7, 2004
I was captivated and had intermittent tears in my eyes throughout this touching tale, although I would have ended it differently.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
August 13, 2004
Encapsulates the grace and beauty of international cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
March 16, 2004
No se queda en la mera descripción antropológica; es ante todo una fascinante historia sobre el coraje, la auto confianza, los vínculos familiares, las tradiciones...
March 2, 2004
Stirring story of Maori culture
Full Review
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