Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

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.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Videos

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Photos

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.

Watch it now


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
View All

News & Interviews for Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Critic Reviews for Hunt for the Wilderpeople

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (37)

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…

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…

Strictly for those who love pie-eyed problem pics with scenic wanderlust.

December 27, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

There's brilliant chemistry between Dennison and Neil, the pair quite obviously bouncing off each other; a joy to watch on screen, and as the story progresses you begin to feel like a member of their special pack, gleefully part of the adventure.

September 19, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Hunt for the Wilderpeople has been a huge audience favourite at festivals this year and you can see why, with its brand of dark New Zealand humour, coupled with a boy's own adventure story that goes not merely off the rails, but off-road and off-grid.

September 16, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features