Once Were Warriors
Once Were Warriors (1994)

This powerful drama was a major hit in its native New Zealand, outgrossing Jurassic Park in Kiwi cinemas. Jake and Beth Heke (Temurea Morrison and Rena Owen) are a couple of Maori descent who are living in a slum in Aukland. While it's… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

A gut-grabber from New Zealand ... that stays with you for days.

Full review…
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic

Yet familiar as the pattern is ... the film holds because of the acting and because it functions as travelogue.

Emanuel Levy

One of the most powerful, ultra-realistic dramas about domestic violence--As the battered wife, Rena Welson should have received a Best Actress nomination.

Full review…
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

As often happens when films are intent on getting a message across, Once Were Warriors can't stop itself from overdoing things.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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…
Cole Smithey

Overrated and nauseating.

James Berardinelli

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…
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

The film isn't, ultimately, quite able to reach the heights attained by its star...

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Packed with bloody raw emotion.

Full review…
More reviews for Once Were Warriors

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Pierluigi Puccini
A melodrama of sorts, but one so vigorous and full of rage and despair, that it will inevitably linger in you.
familiar stranger
I went for this one presuming it's a war movie. Little did I know that it was instead a social story of a family headed by a violent person. Anyway, as the… More
Directors Cat
EightThirty .
True to the core... There is something in this movie that ever body can relate to, from rape to suicide, from drugs to alcohol and gangs to gangsters from… More
Graham Willis
A powerful story of love, loss, violence and cultural awakenings. Not for the faint hearted, this film contains some of the most extreme scenes of domestic… More
Craig Sutcliffe
<u><b>Directed by:</u></b> Lee Tamahori. <u><b>Starring:</u></b> Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa… More