Whale Rider

Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Whale Rider Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.

PG-13 2003 105 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 31 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 2+

It is boring.

Before watching I thought this movie would be sad because it is about whales being killed. I thought this movie was bad because it was very slow and boring. I didn't really like it. I recommend this movie to kids who like slow movies, otherwise you might not wanna watch this. This movie was about sexism, whales and traditions.
age 8+

Great film!

Beautiful film. My 8 year old loved it and we can't figure out why there is the 11+ rating from the experts. The very beginning does have the death of the mother but it is not shocking and the core of the scene is on how the father and grandfather react to the death of the mother and baby. The baby is shown as swaddled and you would not know that it had died if not for the conversation around the scene. Honestly, the plight of the whales is much more livid and disturbing at the very end but not too much for most 8 year olds. I clicked on too much swearing because there was one line that went something like if you don't say this right 'your d--k will fall off'. We got the question Mommy what's a ...... That's the troubling part for kids but it is so outweighed by the masterful tale. It is a view of a culture soon forgotten and that is the worry of the people in this film. Great juxtaposition of the modern world and the old and value of traditions and the need to change them in some ways and not in others. The main lesson is of course about gender roles and forgiveness with grace. The girl Pakai is amazing on all counts. A wonderful role model for little girls. The boys who do their best are also very good role models. Excellent film.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing

Movie Details

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