35 user 73 critic

The Dark Horse (2014)

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A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.
24 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Genesis
... Mana
Kirk Torrance ... Noble
... Sandy
Barry Te Hira ... Mutt
... Jedi
... Ariki
Lyel Timu ... Rangimarie
... Rusty
Calae Hignett-Morgan ... Piripi
... Dave
Te Rua Rehu-Martin ... Murray
Niwa Whatuira ... Michael
Lionel Wellington ... Rip
Wesley Broadfoot ... Nathan


A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When a king falters, it can take a community to help him stand... See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official Facebook | official site



Release Date:

17 July 2014 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Genesis  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


NZD 3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,487, 3 April 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$61,505, 1 May 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,170,000, 30 May 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cliff Curtis played Uncle Bully in 'Once Were Warriors', a movie which also included the art department/ set hound used in Dark Horse. That dog's name is Rudi. See more »


In a chess lesson, Genesis identifies the square c4 as "the Spanish square" and b5 as "the Italian square." These are the squares to which white moves the king's bishop on the third move of the Giuoco Piano, or Italian Game, and the Ruy Lopez, or Spanish Game, respectively; he's got them backward. See more »


Genesis: [to the Eastern Knights] You all belong to a very special whanau.
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Referenced in Talking Dead: Fear the Walking Dead (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Gripping, brilliant..engaging
28 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the best movies I have seen EVER. I know the area it was set in, so I was immediately in the zone...the acting is superb and the characters well written and well represented. The story takes you along on the journey and there were times when I was watching through my hands, anxious that things would not go well. The movie has stayed with me, popping into my mind and I have been transported back over and over...It is a rare thing for a movie to live on outside the 90-120 minutes spent inside the theatre..but this movie had such a profound impact. Full credit to the cast and crew for a compelling drama. This is a movie that is destined to become a classic. An amazing amazing story. Thanks !

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