Best New Zealand Movies

This page is updated regularly. Subscribe, so you don't miss new recommendations. The list of "Best New Zealand Movies" contains films with the following parameters. Style: visually appealing, weird, atmospheric, stylized, serious and intense. Plot: storytelling, mentor, dialogue, death, destiny, catastrophe, friendship, beautiful scenery, violence and redemption. Genre: Drama, Action and Comedy. Country: New Zealand, USA and Australia.
Best New Zealand Movies
Best New Zealand Movies
TOP Movies: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), Evil Dead (2013), Pete's Dragon (2016), What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Jojo Rabbit (2019), M3GAN (2022), The Royal Treatment (2022), King Kong (2005), Happy Feet (2006), Braindead (1992), Boy (2010), Once Were Warriors (1994), The Power of the Dog (2021), The Dark Horse (2014), Housebound (2014), The Piano (1993), What Dreams May Come (1998), The Last Samurai (2003), Deathgasm (2015).

List of Best Movies

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 201 min.
Story: Aragorn is revealed as the heir to the ancient kings as he, Gandalf and the other members of the broken fellowship struggle to save Gondor from Sauron's forces. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam bring the ring closer to the heart of Mordor, the dark ...
Style: epic, atmospheric, breathtaking, stylized, exciting ...
Audience: teens, kids, family outing, chick flick
Plot: sword fight, magic, battles, friendship, courage, good versus evil, magical, monster, army, sword and sorcery, warrior, wizards ...
Time: prehistory, prehistoric times
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 178 min.
Story: Young hobbit Frodo Baggins, after inheriting a mysterious ring from his uncle Bilbo, must leave his home in order to keep it from falling into the hands of its evil creator. Along the way, a fellowship is formed to protect the ringbearer and make ...
Style: atmospheric, epic, scenic, exciting, stylized ...
Audience: teens, kids, family outing, chick flick, girls' night ...
Plot: sword fight, friendship, fantasy world, sword and sorcery, good versus evil, magic, mythology, monster, river, journey, medieval, heroic mission ...
Time: future, prehistory, prehistoric times
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 140 min.
Story: Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the ...
Style: exciting, compassionate, intense, captivating, futuristic ...
Plot: post apocalypse, monkey, virus, revenge, suspense, gorilla, animals, future war, killer animal, journey, battles, survival ...
Time: future, 2040s, near future
Is relevant ?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 179 min.
Story: Frodo and Sam are trekking to Mordor to destroy the One Ring of Power while Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn search for the orc-captured Merry and Pippin. All along, nefarious wizard Saruman awaits the Fellowship members at the Orthanc Tower in Isengard.
Style: atmospheric, epic, captivating, exciting, dark fantasy ...
Audience: family outing, teens, kids, chick flick
Plot: sword fight, fantasy world, magic, mission, friendship, wizards, magical, monster, warrior, good versus evil, creature, elf ...
Time: prehistoric times, prehistory
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Evil Dead (2013)
Genre: Horror
Country: USA
Duration: 91 min.
Story: Evil Dead, the fourth installment of the Evil Dead franchise, serving as both a reboot and as a loose continuation of the series, features Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with a group of friends where the ...
Style: scary, suspenseful, bloody, slasher, splatter ...
Audience: boys' night, teens
Plot: supernatural, zombie, demon, forest, demonic possession, monster, brutality, violence, isolation, transformation, extreme violence, fear ...
Time: 80s, 2010s, 21st century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
Pete's Dragon (2016)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Country: USA
Duration: 102 min.
Story: For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace, who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than ...
Style: fairy tale, emotional, compassionate, touching, light ...
Audience: kids, family outing, girls' night
Plot: dragon, orphan, boy, children, disney, childhood, boy girl friendship, friendship, small town, imagination, magic, escape ...
Time: future, 80s
Is relevant ?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Genre: Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 161 min.
Story: The Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf have successfully escaped the Misty Mountains, and Bilbo has gained the One Ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back from the Dragon, Smaug.
Style: epic, breathtaking, heroic, entertaining, exciting ...
Audience: teens, family outing, kids, chick flick
Plot: fantasy world, dragon, sword fight, magic, sword and sorcery, good versus evil, imaginary kingdom, magical, warrior, elf, mythology, wizards ...
Time: 2010s
Is relevant ?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Genre: Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 169 min.
Story: Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit enjoying his quiet life, is swept into an epic quest by Gandalf the Grey and thirteen dwarves who seek to reclaim their mountain home from Smaug, the dragon.
Style: epic, breathtaking, captivating, exciting, scenic ...
Audience: family outing, teens, kids, chick flick
Plot: fantasy world, sword fight, dragon, sword and sorcery, ancient, wizards and magicians, wizards, creature, imaginary kingdom, magical, elf, mythology ...
Time: future, 2010s, prehistoric times, prehistory
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
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What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 86 min.
Story: Vampire housemates try to cope with the complexities of modern life and show a newly turned hipster some of the perks of being undead.
Style: absurd, humorous, parody, gothic, atmospheric ...
Audience: kids, teens, adult
Plot: vampire, dark humor, werewolf, friendship, supernatural, zombie, goth, buddies, immortality, social misfits, roommate, found footage ...
Time: year 1997, year 1978, year 1912, 21st century
Place: new zealand, oceania
Is relevant ?
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 101 min.
Story: Ricky is a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive.
Style: funny, touching, feel good, humorous, scenic ...
Audience: kids, girls' night, teens
Plot: coming of age, nature, hunting, juvenile delinquent, boy, wilderness, childhood, adoption, forest, dog, sarcasm, countryside ...
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Country: New Zealand, USA
Duration: 144 min.
Story: Immediately after the events of The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarves try to defend Erebor's mountain of treasure from others who claim it: the men of the ruined Laketown and the elves of Mirkwood. Meanwhile an army of Orcs led by Azog ...
Style: epic, exciting, suspenseful, entertaining, serious ...
Audience: teens, family outing, kids, chick flick
Plot: fantasy world, battles, dragon, sword fight, sword and sorcery, good versus evil, wizards, imaginary kingdom, elf, wizards and magicians, adventurer, knight ...
Time: future, 2010s
Is relevant ?
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
Country: New Zealand, USA, Czech Republic
Duration: 108 min.
Story: A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must ...
Style: sad, funny, psychological, touching, controversial ...
Audience: kids, teens
Plot: world war two, boy, nazi, nazi germany, satire, nazism, hitler youth, hitler, jew persecution, jewish girl, violence, coming of age ...
Time: 1940s, year 1945, year 1944
Place: germany, los angeles, central europe
Is relevant ?
M3GAN (2022)
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, New Zealand
Duration: 102 min.
Story: A brilliant toy company roboticist uses artificial intelligence to develop M3GAN, a life-like doll programmed to emotionally bond with her newly orphaned niece. But when the doll's programming works too well, she becomes overprotective of her ...
Style: feel good, splatter, dark, slasher, psychotronic
Plot: artificial intelligence, evil doll, aunt niece relationship, orphan, niece, nosy neighbor, violence, car accident, puppet, human experiment, child, neighbor ...
Place: oregon, portland oregon, washington state, seattle
Is relevant ?
The Royal Treatment (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Family, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 96 min.
Story: Isabella runs her own salon and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, while Prince Thomas runs his own country and is about to marry for duty rather than love. When Izzy and her fellow stylists get the opportunity of a lifetime to do the hair for the ...
Style: romantic, entertaining, feel good, semi serious, captivating ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: love and romance, prince, couple relations, couples, royal family, royalty, wedding, crown prince, destiny, changing lives, hairdresser, love ...
Is relevant ?
King Kong (2005)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance
Country: USA, New Zealand, Germany
Duration: 187 min.
Story: In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with the leading lady.
Style: sentimental, scenic, emotional, exciting, epic ...
Audience: teens, kids, girls' night, family outing, date night ...
Plot: king kong, dinosaur, jungle, monster, creature, beast, gorilla, rescue, giant animal, survival, human animal relationship, island ...
Time: 1930s, prehistoric times, 20th century, year 1933
Place: new york, empire state building manhattan new york city, usa, manhattan new york city, madison square garden manhattan new york city ...
Is relevant ?
Happy Feet (2006)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Music, Musical, Romance
Country: USA, Australia
Duration: 108 min.
Story: Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!
Style: feel good, exciting, touching, entertaining, light ...
Audience: kids, family outing, girls' night, preschoolers, pre-teens
Plot: penguins, looking for love, social misfits, talking animals, fish, exile, animals, goofy hero, life risking, snow, environmental, dancing ...
Place: antarctica
Is relevant ?
Braindead (1992)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 104 min.
Story: When a Sumatran rat-monkey bites Lionel Cosgrove's mother, she's transformed into a zombie and begins killing (and transforming) the entire town while Lionel races to keep things under control.
Style: splatter, bloody, humorous, surreal, disturbing ...
Audience: teens
Plot: zombie, monster, supernatural, macabre, cult, living dead, cannibalism, zombie attack, apocalypse, brutality, insanity, transformation ...
Time: 50s, 20th century, 90s, year 1957
Place: new zealand, oceania
Is relevant ?
Boy (2010)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 87 min.
Story: It's 1984, and Michael Jackson is king - even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for ...
Style: touching, humorous, surreal, unusual plot structure, visually appealing ...
Plot: coming of age, childhood, absent father, youth, small town, daydreamer, family relations, mischievous children, parents and children, robbery, loser, unsupportive parent ...
Time: 80s, 20th century, year 1984, future
Place: new zealand, oceania, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Once Were Warriors (1994)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 102 min.
Story: A drama about a Maori family lving in Auckland, New Zealand. Lee Tamahori tells the story of Beth Heke’s strong will to keep her family together during times of unemployment and abuse from her violent and alcoholic husband.
Style: disturbing, controversial, realistic, emotional, sincere ...
Plot: gang, alcohol abuse, children, dysfunctional family, relationships, child abuse, abusive husband, violent, redemption, sexual abuse, gangsters, family relations ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: new zealand, oceania
Is relevant ?
The Power of the Dog (2021)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Western
Country: New Zealand, UK, Canada, Australia
Duration: 126 min.
Story: A domineering, magnetic rancher responds with mocking cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and her son, until the unexpected comes to pass.
Style: psychological, thought provoking, serious, tense, anamorphic ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: male full rear nudity, cowboy, mother son relationship, animal cruelty, old west, brother brother relationship, homosexuality, gay, male nudity, brothers, power relations, alcoholic ...
Time: 1920s, 20th century
Place: australia, montana
Is relevant ?
The Dark Horse (2014)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 124 min.
Story: One-time Maori speed-chess champ, Genesis Potini, lives with a bi-polar disorder and must overcome prejudice and violence in the battle to save his struggling chess club, his family and ultimately, himself.
Style: realistic, serious, captivating, emotional, motivational ...
Plot: chess, mental illness, compassion, friendship, underdog, uncle nephew relationship, brother brother relationship, dedicated educator, hopes, contests and competitions, teenager, illness ...
Time: 20th century, future
Place: new zealand, oceania
Is relevant ?
Housebound (2014)
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 107 min.
Story: When Kylie Bucknell is sentenced to home detention, she's forced to come to terms with her unsociable behaviour, her blabbering mother and a hostile spirit who seems less than happy about the new living arrangement.
Style: scary, suspenseful, disturbing, psychological, funny ...
Audience: date night, teens
Plot: haunted house, house arrest, supernatural, twists and turns, female protagonist, suspense, ghost, plot twist, parents and children, police investigation, dark humor, family relations ...
Time: 21st century
Place: new zealand
Is relevant ?
The Piano (1993)
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Country: Australia, France
Duration: 121 min.
Story: After a long voyage from Scotland, pianist Ada McGrath and her young daughter, Flora, are left with all their belongings, including a piano, on a New Zealand beach. Ada, who has been mute since childhood, has been sold into marriage to a local man ...
Style: psychological, serious, sexy, sexual, scenic ...
Audience: chick flick, girls' night
Plot: piano, love triangle, sexual relations, adultery, infidelity, desire, love and romance, love affair, human nature, couple relations, arranged marriage, couples ...
Time: 19th century, victorian era, 1850s, 18th century
Place: new zealand, oceania, scotland
Is relevant ?
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What Dreams May Come (1998)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Country: USA, New Zealand
Duration: 113 min.
Story: Chris Neilson dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing than he could have ever dreamed of. There is one thing missing: his wife. After he dies, his wife, Annie killed herself and went to hell. Chris decides to risk eternity in hades for the ...
Style: surreal, philosophical, touching, inspirational, emotional ...
Audience: teens, chick flick
Plot: afterlife, heaven and hell, life philosophy, life & death, redemption, love, death, destiny, metaphysics, true love, spirituality, husband wife reunion ...
Time: 90s
Is relevant ?
The Last Samurai (2003)
Genre: Action, Drama
Country: USA, New Zealand, Japan
Duration: 154 min.
Story: Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the ...
Style: epic, breathtaking, serious, captivating, exciting ...
Audience: girls' night, manly
Plot: samurai, sword fight, battles, war, military, courage, warrior, pride and honor, self discovery, katana, human spirit, martial arts ...
Time: 19th century, victorian era, 1870s
Place: japan, asia, africa, pacific ocean, san francisco ...
Is relevant ?
Deathgasm (2015)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror, Music
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 86 min.
Story: Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives.
Style: satanic, splatter, atmospheric, brutal, scary ...
Audience: teens
Plot: heavy metal culture, demon, supernatural, teenage boy, apocalypse, music, teenager, demonic possession, high school, zombie, bullying, devil ...
Place: new zealand, new jersey
Is relevant ?
District 9 (2009)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: South Africa, USA, New Zealand, Canada
Duration: 112 min.
Story: Aliens land in South Africa and, with their ship totally disabled, have no way home. Years later, after living in a slum and wearing out their welcome the 'Non-Humans' are being moved to a new tent city overseen by Multi-National United ...
Style: serious, cerebral, thought provoking, biting, futuristic ...
Audience: chick flick, boys' night
Plot: alien, distopia, suspense, alien invasion, mutation, quarantine, extraterrestrial, space and aliens, transformation, alien encounter, alien race, metamorphosis ...
Time: future, 2000s, year 1982, 21st century
Place: africa, south africa, johannesburg south africa
Is relevant ?
Slow West (2015)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Thriller, Western
Country: UK, New Zealand
Duration: 84 min.
Story: In the Old West, a 17-year-old Scottish boy teams up with a mysterious gunman to find the woman with whom he is infatuated.
Style: suspenseful, road movie, stylized, atmospheric, serious ...
Plot: gunfight, bounty hunter, horse, chase, coming of age, old west, death of father, complex characters, solitude, life & death, wilderness, criminal ...
Time: 19th century, future
Place: usa, scotland, california, ireland, colorado
Is relevant ?
Eagle vs Shark (2007)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Country: New Zealand
Duration: 88 min.
Story: The New Zealand made "Eagle vs Shark" is the tale of two socially awkward misfits and the strange ways they try to find love; through revenge on high-school bullies, burgers, and video games. Love blossoms for Lily over double Meaty Boy ...
Style: feel good, humorous, absurd, sentimental, melancholic ...
Plot: love, love story, friendship, eagle, eccentricity, dark humor, loneliness, crazy, fall in love, love and romance, obsessive quest, intrigue ...
Place: new zealand, oceania
Is relevant ?
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
Country: USA, New Zealand
Duration: 92 min.
Story: A prequel to the first two Underworld films, this fantasy explains the origins of the feud between the Vampires and the Lycans. Aided by his secret love, Sonja, courageous Lucian leads the Lycans in battle against brutal Vampire king Viktor. ...
Style: gothic, dark fantasy, scary, dark, exciting ...
Audience: chick flick, boys' night, teens
Plot: vampire, werewolf, sword fight, beast, supernatural, monster, immortality, vengeance, transformation, fictional war, battles, evil empire ...
Time: 2000s, 12th century, 21st century
Is relevant ?
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