The Dark Horse

The Dark Horse

STREAMING NOW3 Providers
The Dark Horse

Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider, Sunshine) leads this true Kiwi story as Genesis Potini, the speed-chess prodigy from New Zealand. Battling severe bipolar disorder, Genesis finds purpose in coaching a local chess club. Co-stars James Rolleston (Boy).

After being released from a mental institution, Genesis moves in with his distant gang-affiliated brother and teenage nephew (Rolleston). With no desire to stay in the gang house all day, Genesis joins the local Gisborne chess club where he hopes to somehow coach its youthful and diverse members to a national championship.

2014Rating: M, Drug use, offensive language and violence124 minsNew Zealand
DramaTrue Story & Biography
94%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Liam Maguren

Flicks, Liam Maguren

flicks

Opening the New Zealand International Film Festival to an immersed crowd, this cinematic tale of real-life chess wizard Genesis Potini holds the power to do the same across Australian audiences. The story follows Genesis (Cliff Curtis) and his desire to invigorate the youngsters of the Gisborne chess club into feeling the same passion for the intellectual sport as he does, applying an imaginative Māori perspective to the board game. However, having spent the prior two years in a mental institution, the club-runners reluctantly question whether or not this enthusiasm comes from the head of a 'crazy person'. Poverty, parental neglect, drug abuse and gang-affiliation add to the despair, but The Dark Horse swiftly relieves the bleakness with surprising and well-timed bouts of rugged comedy.

4.0
0

WOW

This was an amazing film, very moving and poetic with a pertinent subject matter. A startling reflection of certain cultural aspects of contemporary NZ.

5.0
0

dance with shackles

The movie is made out of the true story, which is both inspring and confining. It restricts the film in the narrative as well as the plot. It could have achieved better results by being more fit into the genre.

3.0
0

Went to see the film a few weeks back and going by all the comments on this board it just about covers what I wanted to say. A truly humble man who did not let his illness or personal issues topple his will to rise above his circumstances. A beautiful and touching story, fine acting by the cast and extras, and well done to the film crew for bringing this...

4.0
0

A definite MUST watch!

Leaving the theatre after this one, I felt like I had witnessed something really special. A gripping story about a man battling his own demons, and at the same time having the courage to stand up for what he believed was right. I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout the movie, and laughing and crying along with the characters. Stunning...

5.0
0

This is not a great review.

This is not a great review, but what a great film. The performance from not only Cliff that played Genesis but also Wayne Hapi, what an amazing talent, first time actor stays true to what he has been through and really his performance shines. A great film, I will be first to get it on bluray. and I still need to watch it second time on the big screen, It is...

5.0
0

Worth more stars if there was a little violence

The underlying true story is amazing. Genesis (brilliantly played by Cliff Curtis, and he's not the only good actor in the movie) deserves a lot more recognition. A "genius", but like so many, tortured. in real life the story goes so much further. The inspirational potential perhaps lost due to the undercurrent, albeit to some extent representing real life,...

3.0
0

DON'T MISS IT

A wonderful tribute to a man who was bigger than his circumstances. A warm, wonderful, involving film depicting an ordinary man who, despite his own struggles (or perhaps because of them), taught 15,000 kids that they were worth something. Truly inspiring.

5.0
0

GO SEE IT!

Loved this movie, can't say anything else about it but go see it - everyone else covered it above.

0

Close To Home

This is an emotional, moving film. It is based on a true story. It shows young people born into families,where their normal way of life is fueled with drugs and alcohol. They are also expected to follow along this path of crime and aggression. Then along comes Genesis Potini,a man with a brilliant mind,who leads them on a path of escape.With a sense of...

5.0
0
Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

press

James Napier Robertson has sculpted a compelling film.

0
Stuff

Stuff

press

A feel-good true story... ultimately it's not the narrative which will affect you as much as watching these two sensational faces portray variations on harrowing and hope.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

The best to come out of these shores in many a year.

5.0
0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

Contrary to the standard Hollywood diagnosis of mental illness, it doesn't improve according to how much love a sufferer receives, although there is a lot of love between Curtis and his epic character.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An emotionally potent story of redemption anchored by a heart-piercing lead performance from Cliff Curtis.

0
Flicks, Liam Maguren

Flicks, Liam Maguren

flicks

Opening the New Zealand International Film Festival to an immersed crowd, this cinematic tale of real-life chess wizard Genesis Potini holds the power to do the same across Australian audiences. The story follows Genesis (Cliff Curtis) and his desire to invigorate the youngsters of the Gisborne chess club into feeling the same passion for the intellectual sport as he does, applying an imaginative Māori perspective to the board game. However, having spent the prior two years in a mental institution, the club-runners reluctantly question whether or not this enthusiasm comes from the head of a 'crazy person'. Poverty, parental neglect, drug abuse and gang-affiliation add to the despair, but The Dark Horse swiftly relieves the bleakness with surprising and well-timed bouts of rugged comedy.

4.0
0
Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

press

James Napier Robertson has sculpted a compelling film.

0
Stuff

Stuff

press

A feel-good true story... ultimately it's not the narrative which will affect you as much as watching these two sensational faces portray variations on harrowing and hope.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

The best to come out of these shores in many a year.

5.0
0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

Contrary to the standard Hollywood diagnosis of mental illness, it doesn't improve according to how much love a sufferer receives, although there is a lot of love between Curtis and his epic character.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An emotionally potent story of redemption anchored by a heart-piercing lead performance from Cliff Curtis.

0

WOW

This was an amazing film, very moving and poetic with a pertinent subject matter. A startling reflection of certain cultural aspects of contemporary NZ.

5.0
0

dance with shackles

The movie is made out of the true story, which is both inspring and confining. It restricts the film in the narrative as well as the plot. It could have achieved better results by being more fit into the genre.

3.0
0

Went to see the film a few weeks back and going by all the comments on this board it just about covers what I wanted to say. A truly humble man who did not let his illness or personal issues topple his will to rise above his circumstances. A beautiful and touching story, fine acting by the cast and extras, and well done to the film crew for bringing...

4.0
0

A definite MUST watch!

Leaving the theatre after this one, I felt like I had witnessed something really special. A gripping story about a man battling his own demons, and at the same time having the courage to stand up for what he believed was right. I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout the movie, and laughing and crying along with the characters. Stunning...

5.0
0

This is not a great review.

This is not a great review, but what a great film. The performance from not only Cliff that played Genesis but also Wayne Hapi, what an amazing talent, first time actor stays true to what he has been through and really his performance shines. A great film, I will be first to get it on bluray. and I still need to watch it second time on the big screen, It...

5.0
0

Worth more stars if there was a little violence

The underlying true story is amazing. Genesis (brilliantly played by Cliff Curtis, and he's not the only good actor in the movie) deserves a lot more recognition. A "genius", but like so many, tortured. in real life the story goes so much further. The inspirational potential perhaps lost due to the undercurrent, albeit to some extent representing real...

3.0
0

DON'T MISS IT

A wonderful tribute to a man who was bigger than his circumstances. A warm, wonderful, involving film depicting an ordinary man who, despite his own struggles (or perhaps because of them), taught 15,000 kids that they were worth something. Truly inspiring.

5.0
0

GO SEE IT!

Loved this movie, can't say anything else about it but go see it - everyone else covered it above.

0

Close To Home

This is an emotional, moving film. It is based on a true story. It shows young people born into families,where their normal way of life is fueled with drugs and alcohol. They are also expected to follow along this path of crime and aggression. Then along comes Genesis Potini,a man with a brilliant mind,who leads them on a path of escape.With a sense of...

5.0
0