7.5/10
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38 user 74 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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Curtis ... Genesis
James Rolleston ... Mana
Kirk Torrance ... Noble
Miriama McDowell ... Sandy
Barry Te Hira Barry Te Hira ... Mutt
Xavier Horan ... Jedi
Wayne Hapi ... Ariki
Lyel Timu Lyel Timu ... Rangimarie
Te Ahorangi Retimana-Martin ... Rusty
Calae Hignett-Morgan Calae Hignett-Morgan ... Piripi
James Napier Robertson ... Dave
Te Rua Rehu-Martin Te Rua Rehu-Martin ... Murray
Niwa Whatuira Niwa Whatuira ... Michael
Lionel Wellington Lionel Wellington ... Rip
Wesley Broadfoot Wesley Broadfoot ... Nathan
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Bravery is contagious See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | official site

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 2014 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Genesis See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Wayne Hapi who played "Ariki" had no previous acting experience before his debut in 'The Dark Horse', however as an ex gang-member he did have direct experience with the film's content. Wayne applied for an audition via email after Casting Director Yvette Reid placed a job listing at WINZ "seeking Maori Men aged 50-65yrs, tattoos and criminal records welcome!". Wayne was honoured with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 New Zealand Film awards. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mana: That's where I belong.
[with the Vagrants]
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Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Monster (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, moving.
27 August 2014 | by patanddebsSee all my reviews

This went straight into my top 5 movies of all time. Powerful story, raw in places. It brought a real depth of emotion and connection to the viewer. Cliff Curtis is a tour De force in this film, the best role I have seen him in. The supporting cast, despite being largely unknown, add a richness to the film, and also an authenticity to the setting. The fact that it is a true story also adds to the film, and made me want to find out more about the lead character, Genesis Potini. Although there are elements of violence, and that can be harrowing, they are tempered by extraordinary scenes of tenderness, and of humor. While the story has a New Zealand setting, it is a film for all people, from all parts of the world. If you are going to see one film this year, this is it. A must see.


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