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Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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New Zealand · 2016
Rated PG-13 · 1h 41m
Director Taika Waititi
Starring Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama

After the death of his aunt implicates his Uncle Hec, defiant city kid Ricky and grumpy find himself on the run in the wild New Zealand bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in order to survive and avoid detection.

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What are people saying?

Cyrus Berger Profile picture for Cyrus Berger

This movie is very funny but also very moving. I'm a big fan of Taika Waititi, and his sense of humor is all over this movie. Ricky is a very likable character and Julian Dennison is great. The way the relationship between him and Hec develops throughout the movie is wonderful. I was also really impressed by how the movie uses its adventure story to provide social commentary.

What are critics saying?


The Playlist by

By extension of the film's unending niceness, Waititi has made a movie mired in the middle-ground, a terrain marred by the absence of innovation.


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

[Waititi's] nimble adaptation here combines solid writing with an entire bag of filmmaking tricks that includes visual gags, unexpected cuts and quick montage sequences to score laughs from the get-go. He also cleverly exploits who these people are to get the audience in stitches.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

It infuses an outdoorsy survival tale and a coming-of-age story of friendship with Taika Waititi's penchant for distaff flakiness.


Variety by Dennis Harvey

For the most part, pic’s sheer good-naturedness pulls off a not particularly inspired crusty-old-coot-thawed-by-young-scamp concept, maintaining an agreeable tonal balance despite occasional wobbles between spoof, sentimentality and silliness.


New York Daily News by Edward Douglas

The best thing the director has going for this one is the talented young actor playing Ricky Baker, as he constantly tries to emulate his tough "gangsta" heroes like Tupac Shakur. (He even names his dog "Tupac.")


The Film Stage by Jordan Raup

Throughout his films, Waititi has always been skilled at melding comedy with trauma and crafting screenplays with crowdpleasing callbacks. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is another such example of amiable, kind-hearted storytelling.


The Guardian by Nigel M Smith

As the proceedings grow increasingly more far-fetched, the story starts to feel thinner, any semblance of reality increasingly abandoned. What keeps Hunt for the Wilderpeople afloat are the full-blooded characters that populate it.


Screen International by Tim Grierson

Warmly funny and deeply delightful, Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a tale of two misfits told with such generosity of spirit and consistent good humour that it’s a pleasant surprise to discover how sneakily touching it is as well.

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