River Queen

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  • R
  • 2005
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 5.9  (2,714)

River Queen is a historical adventure drama film set in 19th century New Zealand. The film was directed by Vincent Ward, and it stars Samantha Morton, Kiefer Sutherland and Cliff Curtis. The film was released in 2005 and revolves around Sarah O'Brien (Samantha Morton), a young Irish woman who becomes embroiled in the conflict between English settlers and Maori tribes in New Zealand.

The film begins with Sarah and her father, Francis O'Brien (Stephen Rea), arriving in New Zealand in 1868. Francis O'Brien is a captain in the English army, and he has been tasked with helping to pacify the Maori tribes who are resisting English colonization. Sarah is initially hesitant about their relocation to New Zealand, but she gradually becomes more comfortable with her new life.

However, Sarah's life changes dramatically when her father is killed in battle, and she is taken captive by a Maori tribe led by Wiremu (Cliff Curtis). Sarah is initially hostile towards her captors, but she gradually begins to understand their perspective and becomes sympathetic to their cause. When she is eventually released, Sarah decides to join the Maori and becomes involved in their struggle for independence.

Along the way, she meets and falls in love with Doyle (Kiefer Sutherland), an Irishman who is fighting on the side of the English. Doyle is conflicted about his loyalties, and he is sympathetic to the Maori cause. As Sarah becomes more deeply involved in the conflict, she finds herself torn between her love for Doyle and her commitment to the Maori.

The film is beautifully shot and features stunning cinematography that captures the rugged beauty of the New Zealand landscape. The film's director, Vincent Ward, is known for his visually striking films, and River Queen is no exception. The film captures the harshness of life in colonial New Zealand, and the emotional toll that war takes on all those involved.

The performances in the film are excellent, particularly Samantha Morton's portrayal of Sarah. Morton gives a nuanced and complex performance that captures the character's transformation from a naive and sheltered young woman to a fierce and determined warrior. Kiefer Sutherland is also excellent as Doyle, showing a vulnerability and sensitivity that makes his character sympathetic despite his conflicted loyalties. Cliff Curtis gives a strong performance as Wiremu, conveying both the dignity and the desperation of a leader fighting for his people's survival.

The film's score, composed by Karl Jenkins, is also noteworthy, blending elements of traditional Maori music with Western classical music to create a unique and haunting sound.

Overall, River Queen is a powerful and emotionally resonant film that explores the complex and fraught history of colonial New Zealand. The film's themes of identity, loyalty, and the price of war are timeless and universal, making this a film that resonates long after the credits have rolled. For fans of historical drama and adventure films, River Queen is a must-see.

River Queen is a 2005 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.

River Queen
Where to Watch River Queen
River Queen is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent River Queen for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (2,714)