7.5/10
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38 user 74 critic

The Dark Horse (2014)

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1:49 | Trailer

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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.
25 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

Genesis: From the dark into the light.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Stunning
10 August 2014 | by craig-parkerSee all my reviews

This film easily ranks as one of the 3-4 greatest films to come out of New Zealand for me.

NZ film has produced some powerful drama over the years, particularly films like Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors and The Piano. IMO, The Dark Horse stands shoulder-to-shoulder with all those and actually exceeds them in some regards.

It's not an easy watch at times, there were moments I felt myself almost having to turn away from the screen... The tension is pretty relentless during periods, and I actually felt exhausted by the end.

But there was also plenty of genuine laugh out loud humour littered throughout, which balanced it all out nicely.

And boy was I glad for the experience. I actually had moments of not wanting to laugh because I was worried it would start me crying...! It was pointless... I ended up doing plenty of both in the end.

An instant NZ classic. Bravo to the filmmakers.


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