Whale Rider
Whale Rider (2003)

On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: October 28, 2003
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
90%
Flixster
User Score
88%



Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An empowering and uplifting movie, with a wonderful performance by Castle-Hughes.

Dennis Harvey
Variety

Newcomer Castle-Hughes' unaffected, confident turn makes it credible our heroine might retain her determination and self-worth despite serial setbacks.

Full review…
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle

The most effective and moving female empowerment movie in awhile.

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Anton Bitel
Daily Info

both an effective snapshot of the challenges which modernity brings to indigenous cultures, and a neat illustration of the power of myths to adapt.

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David Ansen
Newsweek

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.

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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

[The story] is so simple that the audience gets ahead of it from the beginning.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Excellent to watch and discuss as a family.

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Time Out

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.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

The film is closer to a feminist tract. And, like all propaganda, it wants to do all of your thinking for you.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

This is what a children's film should be like.

Full review…
More reviews for Whale Rider

Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Apeneck Fletcher
A poetic look into a different culture that really isn't too different, simply remembering that it was at one time and wanting to hold that memory. A… More
erika bruhns
good plot. I like the fact that they put a really whale in this film.
Jim Hunter
A young girl might fulfill a prophecy in an indigenous New Zealand community. Though the film brims with authenticity, it is almost too authentic. There are… More
Anthony Lawrie
A really touching film, Keisha Castle-Hughes should have won the Oscar in what was one of the greatest performances ever! The speech scene is just awesome… More
Robert C
It is not very often that I'm impressed with a child actor. I'm usually just greatful when they don't totally annoy me and/or cheapen the film.… More
Lady D'arbanville
Heard good things about this film and every word of it was true. Great storyline which gives the viewer some kind of insight into the culture and tradition of… More

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