Whale Rider Synopsis
A Maori girl (Keisha Castle-Hughes) defies her grandfather (Rawiri Paratene).
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Critic Ratings

79
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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...
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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.
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88

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
A film of female empowerment that resonates deeply.
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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.
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75

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
An inviting international audience-pleaser.
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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...
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More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Momentary Drug Reference and Brief Language
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 11+ Excellent to watch and discuss as a family.
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