2 user 6 critic

Kuleana (2017)

1:46 | Trailer
A disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father's name.


Brian Kohne


Brian Kohne
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Moronai Kanekoa ... Nohea Kanekoa
Kristina Anapau ... Rose Coyle
Sonya Balmores ... Kimberly Coyle
Stefan C. Schaefer ... Victor Coyle
Branscombe Richmond ... The Moke
Marlene Sai Marlene Sai ... Grandma Kanekoa
Augie Tulba Augie Tulba ... Detective Tulba
Mel Cabang Mel Cabang ... Sheldon Zhang
Vene Chun Vene Chun ... Bossy Kanekoa
Kainoa Horcajo Kainoa Horcajo ... Bill Kanekoa
Steven Dascoulias Steven Dascoulias ... Chad Blake
Kealani Warner Kealani Warner ... Kimberly Coyle
Hoku Pavao Hoku Pavao ... Hoku
Bill Hensley Bill Hensley ... Mr. Hensley
J.D. Tanuvasa ... Terry


A disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father's name.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Protect our family, defend this land See more »


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, thematic material, and some partial nudity


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »




English | Hawaiian | Japanese

Release Date:

23 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Maui, Hawaii, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,126, 30 March 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$165,254, 6 May 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hawaii Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Great story that also gets Hawaii right
18 April 2018 | by mwukelic-61210See all my reviews

First, about the movie itself -

The plot has an intricate, whodunit film noir feel that doesn't spoon feed us clues. If you pay attention, the subtle details will come back to you time and again. Like, "ah, THAT'S why ____ did that!" Can't really say much more about the plot without creating a spoiler alert, lol. Suffice to say ... it works.

The actors cast as the main characters Nohea and Kim (Moronai Kanekoa and Kristine Anapau) are both skilled pros, so they were able to carry the plot and validity of the premise. This is also true for supporting actors Augie Tulba and Mel Cabang - both local Hawaiian personalities who showed serious drama skills here. And Vene Chun's performance as Uncle Bossy was pivotal to the emotional success of the plot. Sonya Balmores as Rose was probably the most perfect casting I've ever seen - there is something ethereal about her that both beautiful and heartbreaking. Can't describe it. I'll stop here before I end up discussing every cast member.

Now about the Hawaiian aspect of Kuleana - I've lived in Hawaii half my long life, and have seen so many movies and TV shows trying to get it right, but missing the boat a bit. (No pun intended). This one succeeds.

First of all, I am not Hawaiian, but I have great respect and affection for this culture. So know that I can only relate my experience through the lens of a non-Hawaiian. But having said that, I've got to say ... the authenticity and soul of the cultural aspect of this film truly touched me. Deeply.

Cinematically, I'd say that one of the trickiest aspects that Kohne accomplished was to keep the cultural aspect low key enough to not distract from the main plot, but to weave it throughtout in such a way that - by the time the credits rolled - that impact of it had me in tears. The "let me sit here for a minute" kind. In a good way.

I'm not sure what the mainland release possibilities are but if you have a chance, I highly recommend seeing it. At least once, if not twice.

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