Once Were Warriors

Out Now On-Demand

The hard-hitting New Zealand classic about a violent and troubled family in South Auckland, based on Alan Duff's novel. Directed by Lee Tamahori and featuring a towering performance from Temuera Morrison as Jake the Muss.

Jake and Beth (Rena Owen) Heke have been married for 18 years and have five kids. While the love is there, Jake is a terrifying man who frequently fights at the pub and in the home. The film follows several weeks in the Otara family's life, showing Jake's alcoholism and its destructive effect, as well as the indomitable spirit of Beth.

Once Were Warriors became the highest ever grossing NZ movie at the domestic box office, until it was overtaken by Roger Donaldson's The World's Fastest Indian in 2005.

Trailers

Awards

Winner of nine awards at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards 1994.

Directed by

Written by

Drama

91mins

Rating: R16 Graphic violence

New Zealand

Los Angeles Times

press

As often happens when films are intent on getting a message across, Once Were Warriors can't stop itself from overdoing things.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

Powerful and chilling... directed by Lee Tamahori with such narrative momentum that we are swept along in the enveloping tragedy of the family's life.

New York Times

press

In his visceral first feature, Tamahori offers social realism with a savage kick, depicting Maori New Zealanders whose ties to their own history have been destroyed.

Variety (USA)

press

The barren lives of members of an urban Maori family are rigorously exposed in this rugged and painful picture... one of the best to emerge from New Zealand in quite a while.

Time Out London

press

Emotionally raw, visually stylish first feature, with the intensity of the best social melodrama.

Empire (UK)

press

Brutal, powerful and emotionally ripping.

still one of my favourite movies

a good kiwi film

AWESOME MOVIES AWESOME ACTORS WONDERFUL JOB

user


AWESOME MOVIES AWESOME ACTORS WONDERFUL JOB

T