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(IV) (2011)

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9/10
Beautifully filmed Eco Thriller
lasimp11 October 2011
I live in Tasmania and I know the country well enough. When I moved here in the 70's it was still considered possible that somehow the tiger had survived in some remote part of the island . Not So. Decades of intensive forestry and clearing and no hints of survival. Still the tantalizing reports occasionally surface. The animal has moved on to pure mythology. Into that scenario comes this beautifully filmed Eco thriller that has a great story line but is also about our beautiful island. The scenes are artfully mixed from various places in Tasmania and the original footage of the tiger is reproduced again for the big screen. How thrilling it was to see that old footage of the thirties (last definite sightings) again.This is the last surviving footage of a peak predator that was not a dog or cat relative but a marsupial and very strange. The film builds slowly and carefully, William Defoe is in a great role which he carries off so well Frances O'Connor and the kids are just entirely in the role! Go see this film if you have the chance and enjoy a beautiful movie I have avoided all discussion of the final 20 minutes go see it and be so surprised!! Its a beautiful and at times tense movie.
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9/10
Great Dafoe, magnificent Tasmania, powerful Silence
richard-196722 January 2012
Willem Dafoe plays a mysterious loner hired to find the Tasmanian Tiger, which is considered extinct. The film co-stars two wonderful kids and the Tasmanian back-country, extraordinarily beautiful.

What's great about this movie is that in addition to telling an excellent story, it is beautifully filmed and, as a bonus, sent my wife and me to the Internet to look up Tasmania and the Tasmanian Tiger, which indeed is considered the most recently extinct animal. So we learned something too! As for the story, sure you can carp and say it's too far-fetched, or too sentimental, or has holes in it (what story doesn't). But it hangs together quite well and is not only multi-faceted but refreshingly unpredictable.

And the wonderful Silence. Few actors can work in silence as well as Willem Dafoe. This may be his strongest-ever performance, his expressive face being his best feature. Many scenes are told in silence, or rather with only the sounds of the back-country and the excellent movie score.

Dafoe triumphs in a movie that is, after all, ultimately about his well-drawn character. After all, it is called "The Hunter."
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7/10
An escape into beauty and danger
Manton296 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
An elite hunter secretly hired to locate the last Tasmanian Tiger (extinct but, in this film, recently sighted), get genetic samples for a pharmaceutical company and then destroy all traces of it. He soon runs into serious problems. The Hunter takes you into some beautiful country and has a great performance by Dafoe at its centre and while it does offer quite a few reasons to grumble, I am not. I was entertained, I 'escaped', and I was on the edge of my seat when the danger kicked in towards the end. Only after the credits did I really begin to take stock of the defects and by then it was a case of 'while I really enjoyed it, I must say that...'. Basically, some of the characters and their motives etc. are not very well handled, and there are threads left hanging in a slightly messy way at the end. I imagine it was a bit of a rushed underfunded job. But: beautiful landscape beautifully shot; Dafoe's craggy, haunted presence - alone in the wild forests of Tasmania and, almost like some kind of awkward alien, relating to others; a hint of romance, and some cute moments with a couple of lovely children; the compelling main theme of hunting the elusive Tasmanian Tiger; suspense, and a nail-biting final showdown; and the Tiger itself, were enough to keep me happy. All in all, The Hunter is a very good bit of entertainment.
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If you're looking for a film that is subtle, unpredictable and uncompromising and makes you think, go see The Hunter.
cathybythesea-115 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Those who see director Daniel Nettheim's excellent film, The Hunter, will be divided into two camps – those who hate it and those who love it.

I was riveted throughout. If you're looking for a film that is subtle, unpredictable and makes you think, go see The Hunter. This film is every bit as uncompromising and compelling as the rugged Tasmanian landscape in which it was shot.

The Hunter tells the story of Martin David (Willem Dafoe), a gun-for-hire who is enlisted by a mysterious military-based biotechnology firm, Red Leaf, to secretly hunt and bring back samples of the Tasmanian Tiger. The Tasmanian Tiger is a creature with near mythical status which is believed to be extinct. Martin is a fastidious man with few attachments to weigh him down and whose life consists of going from one job to the next. Early opening shots of his hotel room with his handful of belongings lined up meticulously establish a man in whom an almost militant sense of order is ingrained.

In fact, when his contact at Red Leaf arrives late for a key meeting, Martin expresses his displeasure at having been kept waiting at his hotel room for two weeks. Never mind his layover is in Paris. Martin does not have the time or inclination for sight seeing.

From there, the film shifts to Tasmania where Martin discovers his lodgings are far more humble than he had expected. An arrangement has been reached for him to board at the home of a widower, Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor), whose husband, Jarrah, an outspoken environmentalist campaigner with many enemies, went missing some months ago. Lucy has fallen into a depressive slump and when Martin arrives, the house is in a state of complete disrepair and disarray. The only signs of life are Lucy's two inquisitive kids, Sass (Morgana Davies) and Bike (Finn Woodlock) who take an immediate liking to Martin.

I loved Martin's interactions with Sass and Bike. Both child actors deserve recognition for their unaffected, natural performances. One of the pleasures of this film was watching Martin's relationship with them develop. One could appreciate how both attention-starved kids would gravitate towards this resourceful, kindhearted stranger.

Martin is effectively a mercenary, and it's to Willem Dafoe's credit that he captures the impulses and complexities of the character so credibly. He is politically apathetic at the start of the film, disinterested in the motives behind Red Leaf wanting the DNA. He isn't fazed by the war being fought between the loggers, whose jobs are under threat, and the "greenies". He is reluctant to become involved in the lives of others, and is under strict instructions to remain isolated. In fact, after he arrives at Lucy's dilapidated home and is overwhelmed its disrepair and the intrusions of two over-eager kids, he tries to find a room at the local pub, where he is told he is not welcome.

At the same time, Martin is clever and calculating, with the keen instincts of a hunter and is able to defend himself when under threat, as we see closer to the denouement.

Martin brings order into the Armstrong house, fixing the generator, scouring the grimy bath and even dumping the bedridden Lucy into a tub of soapy water and instructing her children to no longer allow her access to the drugs she has been taking to numb herself: "She doesn't need them any more."

Slowly Lucy returns to the land of living, but not before mistaking Martin for her husband. It's a tension-filled night scene where she wakes to the sound of a vinyl record of Bruce Springsteen. She wanders out to the fairy light strewn trees and she sees Martin playing with her children. Martin is overjoyed at fixing the generator, and the two excited children dance with him outside delightedly.

This is a film full of evocative movements, which all serve to drive the narrative forward and provide insights into the character. For example, there is a genuine sense of menace when the loggers turn up in their four-wheel drives with their high beams on and gatecrash a party being thrown by Lucy. They threaten violence if the "greenies" continue their campaigning. It's quite telling that the duplicitous Jack Mindy (Sam Neill) is sitting in the backseat, and his actions later in the movie set off a series of events that end in tragedy.

I also loved the moment where Martin fixes the speakers hung high in the trees and the ecstatic reactions of Lucy, Sass and Bike as the music floods the landscape.

The Tasmanian landscape is a character itself, and I was enthralled by its shifts from lush greenery and stark blue skies, to its forbidding and bleak snow strewn landscapes.

The end is both triumphant and gut wrenchingly tragic. Martin discovers Red Leaf's unscrupulous motives at the same time as he stumbles on to what happened to his predecessor, Jarrah. Jarrah had been in Martin shoes, but had abandoned his assignment, switched allegiances, married his zoologist girlfriend and paid with his life.

Martin's increasing involvement in the life of Lucy, Sass and Bike raises the ire of a jealous Jack Mindy. It also brings him into conflict with his employer, who calls him to remind him to not become too involved with "the locals".

This is a film, in part, about Martin getting back in touch with his humanity. While Martin has a breezy relationship with the irresistible, talkative Sass, it's the younger child, the loner Bike, who knows more than he lets on, with whom he forms a wordless and poignant bond. The growing attraction between the solitary Martin and the vivacious Lucy was truly believable, and Dafoe and O'Connor have a nice chemistry.

In short, The Hunter is a love letter to the Tasmanian wilderness, an indictment of corporate green and an eloquent entreaty to reclaim what is lost – before it's too late.
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10/10
A hunter is contracted to track down the mythical Tasmanian Tiger.
mandalor11385 October 2011
Best Aussie film I've seen in recent memory. Dafoe as the hunter was brilliant. The children gave faultless, endearing performances and their dialogue (or lack thereof) was totally natural without forced "it sounds like it's coming from a 20 year-old" lines. Frances O'Connor and Sam Neil gave nuanced, layered performances. Tasmania as a 'character' was starkly beautiful and the screenplay well served by its 10 year-development. Every scene propels the story. There were some aspects reminiscent of 'The American' (i.e. sparse dialogue, the 'professions' of the protagonists) which is not a bad thing! 10/10 or 11/10 with the extra 'Aussie' star. t: @michaelclarkin
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9/10
Bloody ripper!
DoNotTrustImdb25 January 2012
Damn it's not often I come across an Aussie film that I would recommend to some one, but this is by far the best Aussie film I have seen in a long long time. I have lived in Australia for just on 30 years, and most films and TV series are lame, boring and very forgettable, but not this gem!

The scenery is breath taking, great cast, intriguing story line if you know all about the Tassie tiger, haunting music score makes this a must see film. Yes at most parts it is all about the tiger, but the director and good cast get's you really involved with all the characters and story line, it left me with chills at the end, and that's something I look for in a film but don't find that often, and damn I was not expecting it in an Aussie film.

9 out of 10 for me, and it's time for me to go back to Tasmania for a holiday, it's been way to long since last time I was there, and might even have a look around for that tiger.
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10/10
The Hunter
amnesiac_radar11 February 2012
Amazing, great acting, Willem Defoe is sublime, great cinematography, emotional story, this is a must see. There's a lot of rubbish films these days, I like to watch American TV series as they have huge budgets and have time to develop story lines so things are more satisfying. I think that film making is a saturated market, and most things have been done to death, but it's rare that I see a film that has a clear vision and aim and produces such fantastic results. Willem Defoe has to be one of the greatest American actors alive today, his performance in this film is understated and powerful. There is a sub narrative that is very touching and emotional and very powerful and had me close to tears. I think this is an enigmatic film and really enjoyed seeing Sam Neil playing a part which was so unexpected considering his past performances. A fantastic film for cinema buffs.
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9/10
An Unexpected Masterpiece
joshlore-16 January 2013
After seeing this film listed on a couple "Top Films of the Year," highlighted especially for the magnificent cinematography, and feeling in the mood for a brumal, wintry film, I decided to check it out. I was expecting a visually pleasing film with perhaps a mediocre plot; this expectation reinforced by the fact that I've never been overly impressed by Willem Dafoe (though I always saw more potential than his projects tend to drawl out). Well, sometimes your expectations are completely shattered.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why this film has not received much more praise than it has. Is it visually stunning? Absolutely. The epic scenes of the Tasmanian wilderness, the almost visceral portrayal of encroaching winter, and the sounds that accompany all of this (elevated even higher by the beautiful, soaring musical score by Matteo Zingales), more than met the high expectations I came to this film with. But this all comes, not as the film's great strength, but as part of a package equally impressive nearly across the board.

The Hunter is easy to write off as a successful but simple story, and this would not be inaccurate. But, it is simple only insofar as there is a subtle but deep complexity woven throughout, and to a degree that is hard for any film to achieve. The themes that find a perfectly balanced pitch within this movie are as broad as modern life itself. It touches on environmental issues, family crisis, understated romance, political thriller, and a man's struggle with his own recalcitrant character. And it is all of this without being too much or too little of any of it.

The political relevance is what really amazed me, and I'm equally amazed at how little attention that gets in most reviews. The film is at its core, though almost without any of the typical obnoxious overstatement, a look at the length to which an avaristic corporation (one very much a part of the military-industrial-government complex) will go to get what it wants - the ways it will ruin lives that get in its way without a second thought. It's a military biotech company called Red Leaf in The Hunter, desperate to procure what may very will be the last living Tasmanian Tiger for ownership rights to its DNA. But you could replace Red Leaf with Monsanto or Haliburton or any number of the powerful corporations that have disproportionate influence over world affairs, and you would quickly see the relevance of this plot.

But this is no conspiracy theory film, either - and this is what makes it so wonderful. Red Leaf is there throughout the film, usually concealed subtly behind the backdrop of a much more personal story, but there are no over-exaggerated bad guys in this. Everyone involved in the unfolding story on the ground - our protagonist Martin (Willem Dafoe), his suspicious caretaker Jack Mindy (Sam Neill), the Armstrong family and their eco-warrior friends trying to protect the local wildlife, the loggers with whom they are fighting - is caught somewhere between good and evil. They are all in their own minds justified in what they do and stand for, and all are, to some varying degree, "caught in the middle" of complex world affairs.

There is also tragedy in this film on multiple levels. The driving mimetic object of desire in The Hunter is the elusive Tasmanian Tiger, long declared extinct, but around which rumors of sightings routinely surface, though are never verified. Martin's search for this creature at the behest of Red Leaf is a compelling story in itself, and by the time it reaches its conclusion, you are as invested as he. And then there is the family Martin is lodged with against his will. This is a story in itself, woven seamlessly into the larger tapestry of the movie, and it's through this element that we see Martin transformed from a rugged loner to increasingly affectionate and nuanced man. It's also through this element that we find the touching human spark and our comic relief, most often in the form of an outspoken but joyful little girl and a silent, complex little boy. And of course, there is the struggle of more abstract forces mentioned above: corporate greed, political interests, environmental degradation, economic necessity. All of these well developed elements of the film bring with them their own hopes and tragedies, and by the end, you're not quite sure which has moved you most. It's a broad vista that this film ultimately brings you to, and it is well worth the patient journey it takes you on to get there.

This has been a lengthy review (and I could easily double it's word count), but I want to be somewhat thorough on a film that has so far been much underrated and appreciated. It deserves drawing out all the ways in which it succeeds, for they are many. Please, give The Hunter a viewing. Let the subtle complexity reveal itself like fine red wine.

And to wrap this up: Bravo Dafoe!
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7/10
The landscapes are amazingly beautiful and the story line keeps you going
priyantha-bandara9 February 2012
The Hunter speaks of humanity left in a cruel man who was sent on a different mission. This time he is to hunt down an endangered animal and then he comes in touch with a wonderful family with kids where he finds his softness in heart. Film rather starts and moves bit slow but it just gives the total freedom for the viewer to wonder about. The plot is unique and I'm sure I have not come across anything similar before. The landscapes are amazingly beautiful and the story line keeps you going. I like Dafoes performance on this. And the sweet little kids.

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8/10
An Intelligent Eco-Thriller with Terrific Performances
soncoman25 April 2012
Opening (coincidentally) during the San Francisco International Film Festival, "The Hunter" would fit right in among the 175 films being shown there. This Australian film, filmed mostly in Tasmania, stars the great character actor Willem Dafoe (in a rare leading role) as Martin David, the title character. David is engaged by a multinational corporation to track down the last surviving "Tasmanian Tiger" so that they may have exclusive rights to its DNA. David must do this under the noses of environmentalists trying to stop deforestation and the locals whose jobs and livelihoods rely on it.

Masquerading as a scientist doing research, Martin finds himself quartered at the house of a local activist's widow (Frances O'Connor) and her two children (Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock.) Slowly, he finds himself entwined in their lives and finds a disturbing connection between his current employer and the late activist. Martin's contact in the community (Sam Neill) is wary of their growing relationship and sets things in motion that will have a devastating impact on all involved.

This is a beautiful, exciting film with nuanced performances from all the players. Dafoe's character doesn't say much, but his cragged face is as expressive a tool as his voice. Lengthy scenes are often dialogue-free, letting the surroundings and Martin's actions speak for themselves in a visual language. The juvenile performers are quite good, and Sam Neill is a welcome presence in any film.

Part character study, part eco-thriller, the film does not beat you over the head with its environmental message. It manages to present somewhat of a balanced view of the debate between economy and environment (at least with regards to the problems of the locals. Multinational Corporations are ALWAYS evil.) PETA may take exception to Martin's final actions with regards to his original assignment, but after some thought they might be hard pressed to come up with any better solution. It's the kind of film that leads to great discussion and debate afterwards.

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7/10
Beautiful and Dramatic Film with an Unpredictable and Sad Plot
claudio_carvalho18 July 2012
The independent and lonely hunter Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by the powerful biotech company Red Leaf to hunt down the last Tasmanian tiger. Red Leaf is interested in the DNA of the animal and Martin travels to Tasmania alone.

He poses of a researcher from a university and is lodged in the house of Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor). Martin leans that Lucy's husband has been missing for a long time and he befriends her children, Sass (Morgana Davies) and Bike (Finn Woodlock).

When Martin goes to the village, he has a hostile reception from the locals. Along the days, Martin spends his days in the Tasmanian wilderness chasing the Tiger and becomes closer and closer to the Armstrong family. But Red Leaf wants results no matter the costs.

"The Hunter" is a beautiful and dramatic film with an unpredictable and sad plot. The Tasmania landscape is certainly the great attraction of film that is supported by a good story, two lovely children (Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock) and the excellent Willem Dafoe. It is also great to see again Frances O'Connor, who had disappeared from the "big screen". My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): O Caçador" "The Hunter")
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7/10
Good - will probably watch it again sometime
shroyertour1 October 2012
This Adventure/Drama movie stars one of my favorite actors, Willem Dafoe. Dafoe has played a variety of roles over the years, with one of my favorites being Paul Smecker in The Boondock Saints (2000). Now this part as the hunter, Martin David, is also one of my favorites. He is a mercenary sent to hunt down what is believed to be the last remaining of a long thought extinct species Tasmanian Tiger.

During his hunt, he stays with a family in a remote area where the Tiger has supposedly been sited. The two kids there are brilliantly played by kid actors I've never seen before. The drugged out mom, grieving for a long missing husband, who the kids still think is coming home, is played by another actress I've only seen once, in The Windtalkers (2002). She handles the role well, only hinting at attraction for the mysterious hunter masquerading as a scientist.

Sam Neill plays a local guide who seems a little too interested in the status quo. Neill is perfect for this role and handles it astutely.

As they story unfolds, the main characters all become interesting, and are mostly sympathetic if not down right liked. The interplay of the supposedly aloof mercenary, the family he begins to form attachments with, and the usual crowd of locals who only complicate matters, makes for a very appealing story. Things get a lot more tense when Dafoe's employers become impatient with his apparent lack of progress.

Adding to the mood is some very cleverly chosen Springsteen music, along with some classical pieces; classical seems to be common in Dafoe movies.

If you like a film with some heart and nothing blowing up every few minutes, this is definitely a good movie to watch, one that I will probably see again sometime.
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7/10
Just missing a "spark" that would have brought it to life...a little.
matthewchermside16 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed this film. Defoe was excellent as usual. Very little back-story to his character, which actually made him more mysterious and interesting. Sam Neill is brilliant as always, and the rest of the cast hold up their end of the bargain. The host family are charming characters, especially the child-actors, who are excellent.

The long shots of the wilderness are beautifully executed and draw one into a strangely oppressive and claustrophobic wilderness. This is a film in which one learns to empathize with many of the characters, and the line between good and bad is realistically blurred. This reminded me of 'The Grey' a lot, without requiring incessant philosophical proselytizing from the main characters - they express more through their silences in this film.

It's a subtle film, almost too subtle for its own good - not for those with a short attention span and addiction to car chases and explosions. The brutal actions and consequences at play, especially towards the end, are handled very well, leaving one with both positive and negative feelings for those involved. A well-told story that is recommended.
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2/10
Brilliant and beautifully done...
transientdreams29 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely LOVED this movie all the way through until the last fifteen-or-so minutes. That killed it for me. Dead. Like an elegant, visual opera interspersed with many subtle emotions that are raw, clear, undefined and believably contradictory. Weaving a deeply satisfying tapestry of scenery, humor, characters, and all their differences, joys and sadness. Brilliantly shot as well in every respect. Yet, to me, the ending was SO extraordinarily unnecessary as to be tritely cynical. It basically ruined the feel of the entire movie viewing those final scenes. I 'get' the point of it having watched many, many British and Australian films. I just feel that the climax was ugly, unkempt, rushed, and offered only an empty cliché with no defined exit or sense of renewal emotionally. I simply can not rate this film because of certain creative disappointments, and though I have no intention to watch it ever again, I would indeed recommend it.
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6/10
Nice scenery
masterjk23 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I gave it a 5 for scenery and Defoe's performance. But the plot is muddled and the ending not really pleasing. Also, the picture of the rat faced "tiger" in the movie doesn't even seem to be accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine The one shown above doesn't look anything like the movie's depiction. But the scenery which actually shows many parts of Tasmania as a truly wonderful looking place. Too bad they didn't have better screenwriters and better publicists. Who ever heard of it? It went almost directly to video, obviously but with Defoe and Neill it should have surfaced. But as it was it just wasn't cohesive enough to entertain a large scale audience.
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9/10
Great Film
bicgus12 March 2013
It's been long time since I came out so satisfied by a film as I have felt after seeing The Hunter. I must admit that I find Willen Dafoe a captivating actor, and this film suits him magnificently. The script is simple, still quite strong, and it will catch your attention from start to end. The Tasmanian scenery adds to something mysterious, not quite well known to most of us I guess, and indeed I found it so mesmerizing that I took the time to find its exact location on the globe and many of it's geographical characteristics. This is one of those films that although you might not find it great as I did, still will leave you comfortable enough for the time spent.
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9/10
Dafoe's Acting is Truly Amazing!
lomerson225 December 2012
If you are a Willem Dafoe fan (I am) I highly RECOMMEND this movie. He plays a solitary, mercenary hunter caught in a complicated ethical dilemma. This film may be his best acting yet. I am left bothered by many unanswered questions, many undeveloped or underdeveloped characters and unexplained decisions throughout, but that is just the part of me that likes things tied up in a nice, neat little package. This film is one that, even during many periods of slow moving action and little to no dialog, kept me riveted to the screen! Despite the fact that I will be left wrestling several ethical questions for at least days, and I hate the way that several things in the movie happened I am rating this movie a 9/10 on IMDb. Caution...this is NOT a feel good movie (ok, maybe there are a couple of feel good scenes...but I am not going to spoil it for you!) Hunker down with a warm blanket, warm beverage and a snack and enjoy!
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9/10
Intensely human
alnu-930-98228415 September 2012
I've always enjoyed the initiatic stories of lonely hunters and fighters. However there is more to this one. The human heart resonates to David's feelings and the movie gets to you from its early moments and keeps you chained while squeezing your inner self of sympathy with its characters stories.

It's been quite long since I last saw something of this magnitude of feelings. The nature and the hunter have a common story to tell, a story about loneliness, betrayal,fight and tiredness, all sad and cold and asking for the warmth of love.

And when there is no more gotten love to light the fire, the given love will do just fine.
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Half-hearted outdoors drama with nice scenery but unclear purpose and lack of dramatic tension.
BOUF11 October 2011
I never really understood what was supposed to be at stake here. I meet a selfish, very independent hunter (Dafoe - very good) whose mission is to find the apparently extinct Tasmanian tiger, because a big company wants it. I don't know why, but I'm interested. He meets some cliché opposition from the local rednecks, and a grizzled old ham (Sam Neill), who looks predictably shifty and may have something to do with the disappearance of the last man who sought the tiger. That man's kids are needy and believable. I like them and care about them and their relationship with the hunter, but their drugged-out mother is a bore and the hunter's possible burgeoning relationship with her is, like the rest of the story so far, half-hearted. The hunter's search for the tiger is interesting, and mildly dramatic. Then I find out exactly why the big company want the tiger, but it doesn't increase what little stakes there are. There are the occasional VISIBLE threats to the hunter and his quest, but they're also half-hearted. There are the occasional moving moments, and the hunter's realisation that he loves the kids, is nice, but not enough. It's still like like a short film with padding, and an hour has gone by. There's a chance for some really tense action during a nasty confrontation in the bush, but that's bungled by incompetent direction. Then there's a tragedy involving the main characters THAT WE DON'T SEE! (this is a film!) and a sentimental wrap-up. And I'm left wondering what it was all actually about. Here is my conclusion: apart from excellent work from the children, and Dafoe, the key players were presumably unable to identify that the script is very undernourished, so they went ahead and made a film with no real spine.
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8/10
Don't be alarmed, the ending is FINE.
Nathanial_014 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As other readers have told you, this is a powerful film, with great acting that gets you inside the character's mind, and lets you feel their emotions. Many have warned that the last 20 minutes have an ending that ruined the film for them.

On the contrary, the ending was fine and couldn't have ended any other way.

If you were on the fence about watching this, due to other reviewer's takes on the ending, read my following opinion and give the movie a shot.

** SPOILER **

The ending wouldn't of made sense if Martin had let the tiger go free. It was known there were hunters before him, and will be hunters after he 's gone, if he shall fail. Shooting the tiger was an act of mercy. If you recall back to earlier in the film, Lucy, mother of the two children, mentioned that "It's probably better off extinct, if it survived people would always want to find it, hunt it down." Keep it in mind when Martin pulls the trigger, he is contemplating the idea of the tiger alone, constantly being hunted the rest of his life by poachers, or whomever Redleaf might send to replace him. Instead Martin takes the higher road and shoots the tiger as an act of mercy, giving it a chance to finally rest in peace. You may even consider the tigers glance to the ground before the shot, to be a reflection of the sadness, or sorrow this tiger is constantly going through.

** END OF SPOILER **

Give the movie a chance, I guarantee after reading my review of the ending, you'll agree the ending was fine and the reviewers giving it a bad reputation don't seem to have the capability of looking into films at more than face value.
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8/10
Beauty of primordial simplicity in a modern time
marchegianni-283-2723924 February 2012
There is something pure and truthful about this movie. Of course, it has a story, but the story is just a symbol. The depth behind the story and what it implies is what matters here. A work of art is never entertaining and just served as it is.

This work of art explores the relation between the remains of that what is primordial in nature and what is essential in a man. It does not speak to us, but rather shows us instead. Through it's impeccable imagery we can almost sense something primordial in the outbacks of the modern day world. And in that world, as he is also in nature, a man is without direction, until an insight is born. True compass is on the inside.

And for that, I applaud the artists.
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9/10
Superb well paced film
james-trickeyd10 September 2013
I was blown away when I saw the low score this film had received on IMDb, so as a long time reader and no-time contributor to this site, I was forced to sign up and give my own view.

The one thing I have come to really dislike about many modern films is the need for things to be constantly happening with no time to reflect. I have long been a fan of directors such as the Coen Brothers and Clint Eastwood because they take the exact opposite approach.

Most of the critics of this film on IMDb seem to have a problem with it's slow pace. I say if your ADHD has reached that level, then go and watch someone with pants over their trousers save the world; or failing that, anything by Michael Bay. Some criticism was also raised about the realism of certain parts, but I only saw it in places (and very occasionally) being substituted for genuine poetic license.

The Hunter never relinquished is tense feel throughout, and it makes you care about the characters. Willem Dafoe does an amazing job getting you to root for him, particularly considering his non-talkative character. The cinematography is also extremely beautiful.

Great film!
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9/10
Introspective...
MarieGabrielle25 July 2012
As mentioned , this film is centered around a mercenary in search of a Tasmanian tiger which has a physiological toxin that is valued by a pharmaceutical multinational corporation, Red Leaf (Good vs. Evil) Pretty basic premise, but yet the story is well told in a subtle manner. Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor as locals in the Australian mountains and terrain. The cinematography is moving, beautiful and harsh at the same time.

Willem Dafoe is very good as the mercenary, he stays with O'Connor and her two children, she has previously lost her husband under mysterious circumstances.

As mentioned, this is not an action, or heavy dialog film. Yet it still has cadence and draws in the viewer. The footage of the Tasmanian tiger is intriguing.

Think Hemingway type story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". There are some very good moments in the film, and Dafoe gives a believable performance. The conclusion is interesting also, there is a bitter sadness to it. Recommended. 9/10.
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5/10
The Hunter is like a safari trip with no wildlife in sight
Likes_Ninjas9022 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A biotech research company hires a mercenary named Martin (Willem Dafoe) to hunt down the Tasmanian tiger in the Australian bushland. He finds the territory extremely hostile because the loggers in the area are afraid that environmentalists will endanger their work. Martin takes refuge with a family, including Lucy (Frances O'Connor), who takes sleeping pills and her two small children, one of whom does not speak. Their house is a shambles because they are reeling from the disappearance of Lucy's husband, who went missing while looking for the tiger himself. With the help of some drawings from one of the kids, Martin travels back and forth to the bush, trying to bait the tiger. Yet the ambiguity surrounding Jack (Sam Neill), a fellow bushman, lends a sense of unease to Martin's expedition.

The Hunter is like a safari trip with no wildlife in sight. It is based on a novel by Julia Leigh. She wrote and directed Sleeping Beauty earlier this year. If she had adapted her own novel this might have been a more accomplished film, not just because of her formal sophistication, but her understanding of her own story too. What's missing here is clarity and a strong narrative premise. The film is sketchy with plot details because we know so little about the research company or Martin himself. Without this foundation of exposition the twists in the narrative and Martin's eventual attachment to the family make little sense. There are superfluous characters too. The motives of Sam Neil's character are achingly unclear. What we initially assume about Jack doesn't eventuate and then his surprise alignment is never explained. His part is so superfluous that it could have really been played by anyone or cut altogether. I was disappointed that he was wasted in this film. Compounding these narrative issues is the lack of real conflict and drama. Apart from an improbable climax, the film is dull. We rarely feel the weight of the terrain overcoming Martin. There are also far too many scenes of him driving aimlessly, coupled with moments of trap making and the domestic scenes, which don't satisfy.

Director Daniel Nettheim tries to rectify the lack of tension through the inclusion of the territorial loggers. But their representation and characterisation is laughable. They act more like a group of evil bikies, terrorising people by flashing their headlights and firing rifles in the air. This needed to be handled with a lot more subtlety and to have the tension build under the surface. At the very least, the film has some conceptually interesting ideas, including the way that groups of men mark their territory. Both the loggers and Martin resort to primitive methods, like intimidation and hunting and gathering, to determine their grounds. The film also holds a natural beauty that is immensely impressive. None of the Australian landscapes have been stylised because they don't need to be. The focus on the lush greenery of the bushland is solely magnificent. These are some of the more impressive elements of The Hunter, which individually, point to a more complete thriller. Yet like so many Australian films, the script needed more refinement and a lot less driving.
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8/10
The Hunted Hunter
Tweetienator6 November 2018
Willem Dafoe is a skilled actor and in this movie he just proves that fact again. The Hunter is a well balanced mix of elements of thriller, drama and a little bit of romance. On top we get wonderful shots of Tasmanian wilderness and some action.

Not the biggest production, but this is the kind of movie where the actor playing the main character can show his brilliance, as there is a lot of focus on him.

All in all The Hunter is a entertaining piece with some depth and a fine tone of melancholy. A movie for a mature audience.
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