Whale Rider Reviews

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July 22, 2008
Newcomer Castle-Hughes' unaffected, confident turn makes it credible our heroine might retain her determination and self-worth despite serial setbacks.
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.
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.
July 3, 2003
The most effective and moving female empowerment movie in awhile.
June 27, 2003
[The story] is so simple that the audience gets ahead of it from the beginning.
June 27, 2003
The film is closer to a feminist tract. And, like all propaganda, it wants to do all of your thinking for you.
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 31, 2018
Whale Rider will endure as a modern masterwork because its themes are as universal as the story is localized.
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....
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