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The New York Times by
Philadelphia Inquirer by
The rhythms of Whale Rider are hypnotic as the ebb tide, haunting as the song of the humpback sea mammal, bracing as the ocean spray. It's a movie that rewards the patient viewer.
USA Today by
Caro gives the fablesque story -- based on a 1,000-year-old Maori legend -- both a contemporary and timeless quality, anchored by newcomer Castle-Hughes' powerful and haunting performance.
Miami Herald by
There is magic here, enough to make Whale Rider worthy of the audience-choice awards it has earned at film festivals worldwide.
Washington Post by
Evokes its spirituality with deft strokes and wonderful humor.
Dallas Observer by
Once in a while a film comes along that is as sound, smart, sweet and significant as can be, and Whale Rider is such a film.
The A.V. Club by
Though there's a formula at the film's core, Whale Rider still has the good taste to make that formula go down easy.
Entertainment Weekly by
An inviting international audience-pleaser.
Chicago Tribune by
One may gripe that the tale at times seems familiar, yet that familiarity is also part of the movie's power: Here's a story from halfway around the world that somehow connects with the hearts of viewers of almost any culture.
Chicago Sun-Times by
The genius of the movie is the way is sidesteps all of the obvious cliches of the underlying story and makes itself fresh, observant, tough and genuinely moving.
A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love.
Every dream has its price.
Finding your own voice can be magic.
Follow Your Heart, Follow The Fence
There is no such thing as the simple truth.
A new home. A new life. Seen through eyes that see everything
In a world of rituals, in a place of secrets, a man must choose between keeping the faith and exposing the truth.