The 20 Greatest New Zealand Films of all Time

by pappa-7 | created - 05 May 2011 | updated - 05 May 2011 | Public

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1. Goodbye Pork Pie (1980)

R | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Local goon, Gerry, hires a yellow mini in Kaitaia using a stolen license. John's wife has just left him and moved to Invercargill. He is devastated and needs to talk to her. He has no ... See full summary »

Director: Geoff Murphy | Stars: Tony Barry, Kelly Johnson, Claire Oberman, Shirley Gruar

Votes: 1,020

2. Utu (1983)

R | 104 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1870, a Maori warrior working with the British finds his village massacred, and vows revenge.

Director: Geoff Murphy | Stars: Anzac Wallace, Bruno Lawrence, Tim Elliott, Kelly Johnson

Votes: 894

3. Boy (I) (2010)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, Boy, an 11-year-old child and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets a chance to know his absentee criminal father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.

Director: Taika Waititi | Stars: James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Taika Waititi, Moerangi Tihore

Votes: 18,603 | Gross: $0.26M

4. Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian Arahanga

Votes: 30,183 | Gross: $2.20M

5. Bad Taste (1987)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Terry Potter, Pete O'Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett

Votes: 42,424

6. Samoan Wedding (2006)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

58 Metascore

Four raucous Samoans are banned from their best friend's wedding. To get in, they have to prove themselves as mature individuals by getting and keeping girlfriends.

Director: Chris Graham | Stars: Oscar Kightley, Iaheto Ah Hi, Shimpal Lelisi, Robbie Magasiva

Votes: 1,468 | Gross: $0.07M

7. The Piano (1993)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance

89 Metascore

In the mid-19th century, a mute woman is sent to New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

Votes: 75,071 | Gross: $40.16M

8. Meet the Feebles (1989)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

Multiple animals and insects experience the sleazier side of show business while working on a variety show.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Danny Mulheron, Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie, Mark Hadlow

Votes: 18,190

9. Arriving Tuesday (1986)

84 min | Romance

Ok I do agree with the conditions

Director: Richard Riddiford | Stars: Judy McIntosh, Peter Hayden, Rawiri Paratene, Heather Bolton

Votes: 16

10. Topless Women Talk About Their Lives (1997)

87 min | Drama, Comedy

Liz has missed an appointment to have an abortion. She has to keep her child, and neither her boyfriend Geoff nor child's father Neil are too happy about it. She can not decide which ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Sinclair | Stars: Danielle Cormack, Joel Tobeck, Ian Hughes, Willa O'Neill

Votes: 353

11. Smash Palace (1981)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

Al Shaw's life revolves around motor racing and his back country junkyard, the "Smash Palace". His French wife, Jacqui, doesn't appreciate the lack of attention due to Al's obsession with ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Anna Maria Monticelli, Greer Robson-Kirk, Keith Aberdein

Votes: 835

12. The World's Fastest Indian (2005)

PG-13 | 127 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

68 Metascore

The story of New Zealander Burt Munro (Sir Anthony Hopkins), who spent years rebuilding a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Iain Rea, Tessa Mitchell

Votes: 50,117 | Gross: $5.13M

13. Vigil (1984)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

A lonely girl living on an isolated, mist-cloaked farm is confronted with the changes wrought by a stranger that arrives.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Penelope Stewart, Frank Whitten, Bill Kerr, Fiona Kay

Votes: 562

14. Heavenly Creatures (1994)

R | 99 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent

Votes: 57,107 | Gross: $3.05M

15. Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale (1986)

PG | 71 min | Animation, Comedy

Featuring the characters from Murray Ball's "Footrot Flats". Questions will be answered as the small town of Raupo comes to life on the big screen.

Director: Murray Ball | Stars: John Clarke, Peter Rowley, Rawiri Paratene, Fiona Samuel

Votes: 810

16. Came a Hot Friday (1985)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Comedy

This eccentric rural New Zealand tale follows two con men as they attempt to trick a small town into their illegal gambling scheme.

Director: Ian Mune | Stars: Peter Bland, Phillip Gordon, Michael Lawrence, Billy T. James

Votes: 180 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Family

80 Metascore

A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 38,238 | Gross: $20.78M

18. Dead Alive (1992)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Horror

54 Metascore

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin

Votes: 88,501 | Gross: $0.24M

19. The Quiet Earth (1985)

R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.

Director: Geoff Murphy | Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith, Anzac Wallace

Votes: 23,523 | Gross: $2.12M

20. Black Sheep (2006)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into bloodthirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm.

Director: Jonathan King | Stars: Oliver Driver, Nathan Meister, Tammy Davis, Matthew Chamberlain

Votes: 38,152 | Gross: $0.08M



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