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
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Once Were Warriors isn't an easy watch, but the raw power of its story -- and the performances of an excellent cast -- reward viewers who rise to the challenge.

Jami Bernard
New York Daily News

Once Were Warriors has more to say than the traditional TV-movie about spousal abuse. But some viewers will have to pay a price: This is a movie that requires strength and fortitude to sit through.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

The howling raging energy of the prize-winning New Zealand film Once Were Warriors rushes at you, hits you like a smack in the face.

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Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Once Were Warriors is a savage and dismaying tale of a venerable culture in decay and a film difficult to recommend.

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John Hartl
Seattle Times

Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, who plays Grace, had never acted before, and neither have a couple of the other key players. But under the careful direction of television veteran Lee Tamahori, they all do credible and forceful work.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

The violence in Once Were Warriors (Fine Line, R), a tumultuous domestic drama from New Zealand, erupts with terrifying suddenness.

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Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun

It's a fine, fierce and nearly unforgettable movie.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

A gritty, powerful first feature by Lee Tamahori.

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David Stratton

The barren lives of members of an urban Maori family are rigorously exposed in this rugged and painful picture, based on Alan Duff's novel.

TV Guide

There's little new here, but uniformly powerful performances (especially Owen's) give the tale unexpected power and depth.

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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