Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hunt for the Wilderpeople2016

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)



Critic Consensus: The charmingly offbeat Hunt for the Wilderpeople unites a solid cast, a talented filmmaker, and a poignant, funny, deeply affecting message.

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Movie Info

Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. Equal parts road comedy and rousing adventure story, director Taika Waititi (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, upcoming THOR: RAGNORAK) masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way.

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Julian Dennison
as Ricky Baker
Sam Neill
as Uncle Hec
Rima Te Wiata
as Aunt Bella
Rhys Darby
as Psycho Sam
Taika Waititi
as Minister
Stu Giles
as Sick Man
Lloyd Scott
as Tourist
Selina Woulfe
as Organ Player
Mabelle Dennison
as Church Lady
Sonia Spyve
as Court Lawyer
Timothy Herbert
as Court Lawyer
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News & Interviews for Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Critic Reviews for Hunt for the Wilderpeople

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (55)

The always funny Rhys Darby makes a third act appearance as Hunt for the Wilderpeople treks deeper into the unrestrained realm of adventure comedy with absurd glee.

March 13, 2020 | Full Review…

Hunt for the Wilderpeople transforms a fairly unremarkable tale of adoption into a wild and wonderful fantasy, yet again proving that New Zealand may as well just be Middle Earth.

August 25, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It has all the makings of a new childhood classic: it's got wonder and adventure and loads of humor, and ultimately winds up on the side of optimism - but it also has moments of genuine tragedy and danger.

June 13, 2017 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Gentle and appealing performances can't rescue this facile and cloying comedy.

December 29, 2016 | Full Review…

[Its] 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.

December 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Warmly funny and deeply delightful.

December 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hip, self-aware, and self-effacing, here is the "orphan kid finds a home" Disney wishes she could make. Heat up the popcorn time!

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Hard to put into words how much I loved this film, but if I could do it well there would be a variant of "magic" among them. Like Waititi's "Boy" before it, this is a movie that carries the joy and wonder of childhood into the painful realities of the adult world. Brilliant and unconventional coming-of-age story; realistic but whimsical, too. Highly recommend!

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


With an excellent direction by Taika Waititi (who always finds ways to surprise me) and great performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, this is a funny and refreshing sweet road movie (or in this case "bush movie") that makes us laugh out loud with its offbeat humor.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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