A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.


Taika Waititi


Taika Waititi, Barry Crump (based on the book "Wild Pork and Watercress" written by) | 1 more credit »
1,216 ( 35)
20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Hec
Julian Dennison ... Ricky
Rima Te Wiata ... Bella
Rachel House ... Paula
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne ... Kahu
Oscar Kightley ... Andy
Stan Walker ... Ron
Mike Minogue ... Joe
Cohen Holloway ... Hugh
Rhys Darby ... Psycho Sam
Troy Kingi ... TK
Taika Waititi ... Minister
Hamish Parkinson Hamish Parkinson ... Gavin
Stu Giles Stu Giles ... Sick Man
Lloyd Scott ... Tourist


Bella and Hector, two reclusive country folk, become foster parents to Ricky, a problem child from the city. After some adjustment, things go reasonably well. However, the death of Bella means Hector now has to look after Ricky, and they didn't get along too well. Moreover, her death causes Child Services to decide to send Ricky back to the orphanage. Ricky refuses to go back and runs away, ultimately sparking a national manhunt for him and Hector. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nature just got gangster

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including violent content, and for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The song that Ricky was dancing to as he listened to his Walkman was Magic What She Do by Dave Dobbyn. See more »


In the final chase with the cop cars the audience see they are ford falcons. The New Zealand police force don't use Ford falcons in their police fleet. In fact they use Holden Commodores which is the rival to Holden in New Zealand. See more »


Hec: You can take him, but I'm staying here.
Hugh: Like hell. People want answers.
Ron: Yeah, answers.
Hec: Look, we got lost, I got injured, he's fine, it was basically a holiday.
Ricky Baker: Not a real holiday because he made me do stuff.
Hugh: Like what?
Ricky Baker: Just stuff. He had a sore leg so he made me do things for him. It was hard at first because my hands are so soft, but I got used to it. I didn't really wanna do it, but it was the only way to survive. It wasn't always hard, sometimes I got to do my own thing. He pretty much never ...
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Crazy Credits

The credits include sections headed "Wildercrew" and "Wildercast", with the latter including the subheading "Wilderdogs". See more »


Written by Lukasz Pawel Buda (as L. Buda), Samuel Scott (as S. Scott) and Conrad Wedde (as C. Wedde)
Native Tongue Music Publishing
Arranged by Hamish McKeich
Performed by Pepe Becker, Anna Sedcole, Phillip Collins, Robert Oliver
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User Reviews

Revels in a unique, idyllic quirkiness that could have only come out of somewhere like New Zealand
9 August 2017 | by MrDHWongSee all my reviews

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a New Zealand film starring Sam Neill and directed by Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark, 'Boy' the Movie, and Thor: Ragnarok). Based on the book "Wild Pork and Watercress" by Barry Crump, its unique charm and humour boost the appeal of what would have been an otherwise generic bonding story.

Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a juvenile delinquent, goes on the run from child protective services in the New Zealand bush. Reluctantly joining Ricky is his surly foster uncle Hector (Sam Neill), who is forced to bond with his nephew while trying to find ways for them to survive in the wilderness. Eventually, a nationwide manhunt is launched by the police to swiftly bring the two of them to justice.

Funny, poignant, and well-cast, Hunt for the Wilderpeople revels in a unique, idyllic quirkiness that could have only come out of somewhere like New Zealand. The film's dramatic moments always hit home and never feel like they were inserted merely for cheap emotional effect. The humour, which is very dry and tongue-in-cheek, frequently adds to the film's likability and unconventional tone. Newcomer Julian Dennison shines as Ricky Baker, a rebellious young boy with a heart of gold and Sam Neill plays off him quite well as his irritable foster uncle.

I rate it 8/10

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New Zealand



Release Date:

1 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunt for the Wilderpeople See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,439, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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