Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
The director's key achievement is creating a convincing sense of daily life in the household and neighborhood. This is not a narrow drama that focuses on a few themes; it paints a whole style of life, the good times with the bad.
Once Were Warriors works, to some degree, on three levels: the visceral, the emotional, and the intellectual, and it is the amalgamation of these that makes this a memorable film.
Once Were Warriors has more to say than the traditional TV-movie about spousal abuse. But some viewers will have to pay a price: This is a movie that requires strength and fortitude to sit through.
You can feel director Lee Tamahori doing his best to get a rise out of you. Yet his work has fire and substance, too.
At once upsetting and highly involving, it packs an undeniable punch.
It's a fine, fierce and nearly unforgettable movie.
You may not want to accept what you see here; you may be unable to accept it. But it's doubtful you'll leave this film unmoved.
An uncompromising, emotionally draining drama that presents the urbanization of New Zealand's Maori as a cultural disaster, one that is mirrored in the shards of a shattering marriage. This explosive first film by director Lee Tamahori focuses on the transformation of a battered wife, but its story is fueled by the machismo of the disenfranchised Maori male.
A brutally effective family drama. Rough around the edges and crudely obvious at times, it still presents a raw, disturbing story of domestic strife.
Domestic violence has never been more savagely portrayed on screen.

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