• Whale Rider (2002)

Whale Rider

Release Date: 2002

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 2003

PG-13 |1 hr 41 min

Plot Summary

Only males are allowed to ascend to chiefdom in a Maori tribe in New Zealand. This ancient custom is upset when the child selected to be the next chief dies at birth. However his twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), survives. At age 12, she enlists the help of her grandmother (Vicky Haughton) and the training of her uncle (Grant Roa) to claim her birthright. But to break with convention, she'll have to do the impossible: win over her ultra-traditional grandfather (Rawiri Paratene).

Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa, Mana Taumaunu, Rachel House, Taungaroa Emile

Director: Niki Caro

Genres: Children , Drama

Production Co: Pandora, South Pacific Pictures, ApolloMedia

Keywords: Underdog, Passionate, Quest, 2000s, Touching, Growing up, Inspiring

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    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. show more

  • 88
    Peter TraversRolling Stone

    A film of female empowerment that resonates deeply. show more

  • 80
    Sheri LindenThe Hollywood Reporter

    The film boasts a terrific newcomer in the lead role, exquisite widescreen photography and a powerful sense of place. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004)
Nominated Actress in a Leading Role