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

Available Online

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.

David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

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

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…
Rita Kempley
Washington Post

The actors, many of them of European-Maori descent, are wonderful to look at. They also deliver authoritative yet sympathetic performances that get at the roots, or rootlessness, of their characters.

Full review…
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…
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…
Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Reserve judgment until this raw, uncompromising working-class saga is over, and you might find yourself unforgettably moved -- and grateful for the experience.

Full review…
Cole Smithey

Overrated and nauseating.

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