100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
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.
Full Review
90

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Seduces us with its leisurely pace and felicitous details into believing that something miraculous is afoot in a mundane rural community.
Full Review
88

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
A film of female empowerment that resonates deeply.
Full Review
88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
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.
Full Review
88

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
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.
Full Review
80

The Hollywood Reporter

By Sheri Linden
The film boasts a terrific newcomer in the lead role, exquisite widescreen photography and a powerful sense of place.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Like last year's Inuit sensation ''The Fast Runner,'' the Maori drama Whale Rider is based on a folk myth, and it's told with an elemental timelessness that feels like a swan dive into prehistory.
Full Review
75

New York Daily News

By Jami Bernard
Pai is resourceful and in harmony with the natural world in a way that will charm and enthrall young viewers.
Full Review
75

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
An inviting international audience-pleaser.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
By the end, a sense settles in that Whale Rider could have accomplished as much -- and been considerably more powerful -- as a 25- minute short.
Full Review
79 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.