The Hunter (2011) Poster

The Hunter (2011)

  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 5,019 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Drama
  • Release Date: 6 April 2012 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:100 min
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The Hunter (2011)


The Hunter 2011tt1703148.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Hunter (2011)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 5,019 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Drama
  • Release Date: 6 April 2012 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:100 min
  • Filming Location: Central Plateau, Tasmania, Australia
  • Gross: AUD 1,051,613(Australia)(28 November 2011)
  • Director: Daniel Nettheim
  • Stars: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Morgana Davies
  • Original Music By: Andrew Lancaster  Michael Lira  Matteo Zingales   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Two Word Title

Writing Credits By:

  • Julia Leigh (novel)
  • Alice Addison  screenplay
  • Wain Fimeri  original adaptation

Known Trivia

  • The Tasmanian Tiger, also known as the Tasmanian Wolf, thylacine or Thylacinus cynocephalus, the latter which is Greek for “dog-headed pouched one”, is an extinct species of carnivorous marsupial. It is so called a Tasmanian Tiger because of the stripes on its back.
  • The film’s source novelist Julia Leigh is also a writer-director herself, writing and directing Sleeping Beauty, another Australian movie released in the same year as this film. Leigh however did not actually work on the screenplay nor direct this film.
  • First feature film directed by Daniel Nettheim since Angst, a gap of about eleven years. Nettheim has worked in television during the interim.
  • An end title card reads: “Traps and snares are illegal in Tasmania”.
  • Willem Dafoe had to deal with leeches during production filming in the Tasmanian wilderness in Australia. In a media interview, he joked how he didn’t lose any blood, ironic because his previous Australian film Daybreakers had been a vampire movie. Both movies co-star Sam Neill.
  • Picked up for 2012 distribution in the United States by Magnolia Pictures after the film’s world premiere at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.
  • Approximately 40% of the film’s production personnel were from Tasmania – Australia’s small southernmost island where the film was shot. Locations included Maydena, Deloraine and the Florentine Valley.
  • The film’s lead character of Martin David, played by Willem Dafoe, was known only as M in the film’s source novel.
  • During the beginning of this film, actual original black-and-white archival footage is seen of the last ever Tasmanian Tiger living in captivity.
  • The source novel by Julia Leigh won the French Prix de l’Astrolabe Ettonants Voyageurs as well as a British Betty Trask Award. The book was also a New York Times notable book of its year as well as being short-listed for a number of literary prizes. It has been translated into nine languages and published in all major territories. This film was made 12 years after the movie’s source book was first published in 1999.

Plot: Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger. |  »

Story: Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Anita Sheehan known as executive producer
  • Vincent Sheehan known as producer
  • Liz Watts known as executive producer
  • Paul Wiegard known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Willem Dafoe known as Martin David
  • Sam Neill known as Jack Mindy
  • Frances O'Connor known as Lucy Armstrong
  • Sullivan Stapleton known as Doug
  • Callan Mulvey known as Rival Hunter
  • Jacek Koman known as Middleman
  • Morgana Davies known as Sass Armstrong
  • Dan Wyllie known as Pool Player
  • Maia Thomas known as Shakti
  • John Brumpton known as Publican
  • Dan Spielman known as Simon
  • Jamie Timony known as Free
  • Finn Woodlock known as Bike Armstrong



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Chiara Tripodi known as hair designer
  • Chiara Tripodi known as makeup designer




Production Companies:

  • Porchlight Films
  • Screen Australia (presents)
  • Screen NSW (in association with)
  • Screen Tasmania (in association with)
  • Fulcrum Media Finance (in association with)
  • Madman Entertainment (in association with)

Other Companies:

  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Fulcrum Media Finance  funding
  • Screen Australia  funding
  • Screen NSW  funding
  • Screen Tasmania  funding


  • Broadmedia Studios (2012) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment One (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Madman Entertainment (2011) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Madman Entertainment (2011) (New Zealand) (theatrical)
  • Magnolia Pictures (2012) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2011) (Germany) (all media)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2011) (Switzerland) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Global Special Effects

Visual Effects by:

  • Kate Auld known as digital compositor
  • Sam Cole known as compositing supervisor: Fuel VFX
  • Felix Crawshaw known as visual effects producer: Fuel VFX
  • Janevski Danny known as digital matte painter (as Danny Janveski)
  • Troy Darben known as digital intermediate compositor
  • Ian Dodman known as digital effects supervisor
  • Brad Dunn known as digital compositor
  • Rebecca Dunn known as visual effects producer
  • Owen Longstaff known as digital compositor: Fuel VFX
  • Blake Muir known as compositing supervisor
  • Greg O'Connor known as digital artist: modeling and texturing
  • Kurtis Richmond known as senior matte painter
  • James Rogers known as visual effects supervisor
  • Cameron Sharp known as visual effects editor: Fuel VFX
  • Nathan Smith known as I/O supervisor
  • Colin Ware known as modeler and texture artist

Release Date:

  • Canada 9 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Australia 6 October 2011
  • South Korea 8 October 2011 (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 9 October 2011 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Sweden 25 January 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 4 February 2012
  • Netherlands 4 February 2012 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • Luxembourg 1 March 2012 (Luxembourg City Film Festival)
  • USA 2 March 2012 (Video On Demand)
  • New Zealand 22 March 2012
  • USA 6 April 2012

MPAA: Rated R for language and brief violence



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on April 6, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. lasimp from Australia
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    I live in Tasmania and I know the country well enough. When I movedhere in the 70's it was still considered possible that somehow thetiger had survived in some remote part of the island . Not So. Decadesof intensive forestry and clearing and no hints of survival. Still thetantalizing reports occasionally surface. The animal has moved on topure mythology. Into that scenario comes this beautifully filmed Ecothriller that has a great story line but is also about our beautifulisland. The scenes are artfully mixed from various places in Tasmaniaand the original footage of the tiger is reproduced again for the bigscreen. How thrilling it was to see that old footage of the thirties(last definite sightings) again.This is the last surviving footage of apeak predator that was not a dog or cat relative but a marsupial andvery strange. The film builds slowly and carefully, William Defoe is ina great role which he carries off so well Frances O'Connor and the kidsare just entirely in the role! Go see this film if you have the chanceand enjoy a beautiful movie I have avoided all discussion of the final20 minutes go see it and be so surprised!! Its a beautiful and at timestense movie.

  2. richard-1967 from United States
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    Willem Dafoe plays a mysterious loner hired to find the TasmanianTiger, which is considered extinct. The film co-stars two wonderfulkids and the Tasmanian back-country, extraordinarily beautiful.

    What's great about this movie is that in addition to telling anexcellent story, it is beautifully filmed and, as a bonus, sent my wifeand me to the Internet to look up Tasmania and the Tasmanian Tiger,which indeed is considered the most recently extinct animal. So welearned something too! As for the story, sure you can carp and say it'stoo far-fetched, or too sentimental, or has holes in it (what storydoesn't). But it hangs together quite well and is not onlymulti-faceted but refreshingly unpredictable.

    And the wonderful Silence. Few actors can work in silence as well asWillem Dafoe. This may be his strongest-ever performance, hisexpressive face being his best feature. Many scenes are told insilence, or rather with only the sounds of the back-country and theexcellent movie score.

    Dafoe triumphs in a movie that is, after all, ultimately about hiswell-drawn character. After all, it is called "The Hunter."

  3. Anton29 from London, England
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    An elite hunter secretly hired to locate the last Tasmanian Tiger(extinct but, in this film, recently sighted), get genetic samples fora pharmaceutical company and then destroy all traces of it. He soonruns into serious problems. The Hunter takes you into some beautifulcountry and has a great performance by Dafoe at its centre and while itdoes offer quite a few reasons to grumble, I am not. I was entertained,I 'escaped', and I was on the edge of my seat when the danger kicked intowards the end. Only after the credits did I really begin to takestock of the defects and by then it was a case of 'while I reallyenjoyed it, I must say that…'. Basically, some of the characters andtheir motives etc. are not very well handled, and there are threadsleft hanging in a slightly messy way at the end. I imagine it was a bitof a rushed underfunded job. But: beautiful landscape beautifully shot;Dafoe's craggy, haunted presence – alone in the wild forests ofTasmania and, almost like some kind of awkward alien, relating toothers; a hint of romance, and some cute moments with a couple oflovely children; the compelling main theme of hunting the elusiveTasmanian Tiger; suspense, and a nail-biting final showdown; and theTiger itself, were enough to keep me happy. All in all, The Hunter is avery good bit of entertainment.

  4. mandalor1138 from Australia
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    Best Aussie film I've seen in recent memory. Dafoe as the hunter wasbrilliant. The children gave faultless, endearing performances andtheir dialogue (or lack thereof) was totally natural without forced "itsounds like it's coming from a 20 year-old" lines. Frances O'Connor andSam Neil gave nuanced, layered performances. Tasmania as a 'character'was starkly beautiful and the screenplay well served by its 10year-development. Every scene propels the story. There were someaspects reminiscent of 'The American' (i.e. sparse dialogue, the'professions' of the protagonists) which is not a bad thing! 10/10 or11/10 with the extra 'Aussie' star. t: @michaelclarkin

  5. cathybythesea-1 from Australia
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    Those who see director Daniel Nettheim's excellent film, The Hunter,will be divided into two camps – those who hate it and those who loveit.

    I was riveted throughout. If you're looking for a film that is subtle,unpredictable and makes you think, go see The Hunter. This film isevery bit as uncompromising and compelling as the rugged Tasmanianlandscape in which it was shot.

    The Hunter tells the story of Martin David (Willem Dafoe), agun-for-hire who is enlisted by a mysterious military-basedbiotechnology firm, Red Leaf, to secretly hunt and bring back samplesof the Tasmanian Tiger, a creature with near mythical status which isbelieved to be extinct. Martin is a fastidious man with few attachmentsto weigh him down and whose life consists of going from one job to thenext. Early opening shots of his hotel room with his handful ofbelongings lined up meticulously establish a man in whom an almostmilitant sense of order is ingrained.

    In fact, when his contact at Red Leaf arrives late for a key meeting,Martin expresses his displeasure at having been kept waiting at hishotel room for two weeks. Never mind his layover is in Paris. Martindoes not have the time or inclination for sight seeing.

    From there, the film shifts to Tasmania where Martin discovers hislodgings are far more humble than he had expected. An arrangement hasbeen reached for him to board at the home of a widower, Lucy Armstrong(Frances O'Connor), whose husband, Jarrah, an outspokenenvironmentalist campaigner with many enemies, went missing some monthsago. Lucy has fallen into a depressive slump and when Martin arrives,the house is in a state of complete disrepair and disarray. The onlysigns of life are Lucy's two inquisitive kids, Sass (Morgana Davies)and Bike (Finn Woodlock) who take an immediate liking to Martin.

    I loved Martin's interactions with Sass and Bike. Both child actorsdeserve recognition for their unaffected, natural performances. One ofthe pleasures of this film was watching Martin's relationship with themdevelop. One could appreciate how both attention-starved kids wouldgravitate towards this resourceful, kind-hearted stranger.

    Martin is effectively a mercenary, and it's to Willem Dafoe's creditthat he captures the impulses and complexities of the character socredibly. He is politically apathetic at the start of the film,disinterested in the motives behind Red Leaf wanting the DNA and isn'tfazed by the war being fought between the loggers, whose jobs are underthreat, and the "greenies". He is reluctant to become involved in thelives of others, and is under strict instructions to remain isolated.In fact, after he arrives at Lucy's dilapidated home and is overwhelmedits disrepair and the intrusions of two over-eager kids, he tries tofind a room at the local pub, where he is told he is not welcome.

    At the same time, Martin is clever and calculating, with the keeninstincts of a hunter and is able to defend himself when under threat,as we see closer to the denouement.

    Martin brings order into the Armstrong house, fixing the generator,scouring the grimy bath and even dumping the bedridden Lucy into a tubof soapy water and instructing her children no longer allow her accessto a cocktail of drugs she has been taking to numb herself: "Shedoesn't need them any more."

    Slowly Lucy returns to the land of living, but not before mistakingMartin for her husband. It's a tension-filled scene at night where shewakes to the sound of a vinyl record of Bruce Springsteen and wandersout to the fairy light strewn trees and she sees Martin playing withher children. Martin is overjoyed at fixing the generator, and the twoexcited children dance with him outside delightedly.

    This is a film full of evocative movements, which all serve to drivethe narrative forward and provide insights into the character. Forexample, there is a genuine sense of menace when the loggers turn up intheir four-wheel drives with their high beams on and gatecrash a partybeing thrown by Lucy, threatening violence if the "greenies" continuetheir campaigning. It's quite telling that the duplicitous Jack Mindy(Sam Neill) is sitting in the backseat, and his actions later in themovie set off a series of events that end in tragedy.

    I also loved the moment where Martin fixes the speakers hung high inthe trees and the ecstatic reactions of Lucy, Sass and Bike as themusic floods the landscape.

    The Tasmanian landscape is a character itself, and I was enthralled byits shifts from lush greenery and stark blue skies, to its forbiddingand bleak snow strewn landscapes.

    The end is both triumphant and gut-wrenchingly tragic. Martin discoversRed Leaf's unscrupulous motives at the same time as he stumbles on towhat happened to his predecessor, Jarrah. Jarrah had been in Martinshoes, but had abandoned his assignment, switched allegiances, marriedhis zoologist girlfriend and paid with his life.

    Martin's increasing involvement in the life of Lucy, Sass and Bikeraises the ire of a jealous Jack Mindy. It also brings him intoconflict with his employer, who calls him to remind him to not becometoo involved with "the locals".

    This is a film, in part, about Martin getting back in touch with hishumanity. While Martin has a breezy relationship with the irresistible,talkative Sass, it's the younger child, the loner Bike, who knows morethan he lets on, with whom he forms a wordless and poignant bond. Thegrowing attraction between the solitary Martin and the vivacious Lucywas truly believable, and Dafoe and O'Connor have a nice chemistry.

    In short, The Hunter is a love letter to the Tasmanian wilderness, anindictment of corporate green and an eloquent entreaty to reclaim whatis lost – before it's too late.

  6. Perry Bee from On a distant star
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    Damn it's not often I come across an Aussie film that I would recommendto some one, but this is by far the best Aussie film I have seen in along long time. I have lived in Australia for just on 30 years, andmost films and TV series are lame, boring and very forgettable, but notthis gem!

    The scenery is breath taking, great cast, intriguing story line if youknow all about the Tassie tiger, haunting music score makes this a mustsee film. Yes at most parts it is all about the tiger, but the directorand good cast get's you really involved with all the characters andstory line, it left me with chills at the end, and that's something Ilook for in a film but don't find that often, and damn I was notexpecting it in an Aussie film.

    9 out of 10 for me, and it's time for me to go back to Tasmania for aholiday, it's been way to long since last time I was there, and mighteven have a look around for that tiger.

  7. francisgroves from United Kingdom
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    Amazing, great acting, Willem Defoe is sublime, great cinematography,emotional story, this is a must see. There's a lot of rubbish filmsthese days, I like to watch American TV series as they have hugebudgets and have time to develop story lines so things are moresatisfying. I think that film making is a saturated market, and mostthings have been done to death, but it's rare that I see a film thathas a clear vision and aim and produces such fantastic results. WillemDefoe has to be one of the greatest American actors alive today, hisperformance in this film is understated and powerful. There is a subnarrative that is very touching and emotional and very powerful and hame close to tears. I think this is an enigmatic film and really enjoyedseeing Sam Neil playing a part which was so unexpected considering hispast performances. A fantastic film for cinema buffs.

  8. transientdreams from United States
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    I absolutely LOVED this movie all the way through until the lastfifteen-or-so minutes. That killed it for me. Dead. Like an elegant,visual opera interspersed with many subtle emotions that are raw,clear, undefined and believably contradictory. Weaving a deeplysatisfying tapestry of scenery, humor, characters, and all theirdifferences, joys and sadness. Brilliantly shot as well in everyrespect. Yet, to me, the ending was SO extraordinarily unnecessary asto be tritely cynical. It basically ruined the feel of the entire movieviewing those final scenes. I 'get' the point of it having watchedmany, many British and Australian films. I just feel that the climaxwas ugly, unkempt, rushed, and offered only an empty cliché with nodefined exit or sense of renewal emotionally. I simply can not ratethis film because of certain creative disappointments, and though Ihave no intention to watch it ever again, I would indeed recommend it.

  9. indevu ( from United States
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    The Hunter is an Australian film set in Tasmania that follows MartinDavid (Willem Dafoe), a professional hunter and a mercenary, who ishired by a biotech company to kill the last remaining tasmanian tiger.It is never quite clear what the exact motivations are for wanting thetiger dead beyond some generalized financial motivation (i.e. cloning,medical extract, etc.). At a certain level it doesn't really matter andthe film doesn't suffer from the lack of clarity around that fact.

    When I first read the plot synopsis for this film I thought it wasgoing to be some sort of goofy action film, with this bad-ass chasing atiger around in the woods – like some sort of non-alien version ofPredator. It is not like that at all. The hunting scenes are morescenic than violent, and the film explores personal interactions, aswell as issues related to mankind's destruction of natural resources.The key is that it does this without you realizing it until the film isover. It doesn't get bogged down with that stuff and maintains a levelof suspense that is engaging.

    Three reasons you should watch it: 1. Dafoe is well cast and does agreat job as the hunter. He has an edge and toughness that feels realwithout seeming cartoonish. I think this is because there are timeswhen he looks frail, cold, tired, confused, etc. He never breaks, buthe isn't some sort of superhuman terminator. 2. Very cool scenery whichis well shot. 3. I am tired of the "bad-ass loner softened by awoman/child" plot line we see in so many films. I 've never bought thatstoryline and it is everywhere. Although his film doesn't dodge itcompletely, it is handled more deftly and realistically than usual. Wedon't get put on pause halfway through the film for some artificiallove scene, and with the possible exception of the very final scene,none of Martin's actions on that front seem all that hokey orcontrived.

    One thing you might not like: As I mentioned above, we don't reallyever learn why the mysterious biotech company wants the tiger dead andwhat they intend to do with the samples they want returned. I don'tthink the movie needed to cover that in great detail, but there are alot of people dying over this tiger so it seems like we should know abit more about why.

  10. Chilly Willy from at my place
    06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

    First I would like to correct something in the movie's description,here at IMDb. Martin isn't a mercenary, as through the term mercenaryit is generally understood a hired gun for army like operations and notfor hunting deer or rabbits, while I don't think in the movie wassomething that leads to this conclusion. Martin, although he was hiredby a pharmaceutical company, was just a regular, possibly very wellknown for his skills, hunter.

    Sadly enough there aren't many movies these days with such an uniquestory, so well done while everything happens along incrediblelandscapes. It's one of those movies you wanna watch home, when there'sno one around so they won't bother you from the course of the events,with the highest sound and video clarity as possible. Even if it hassome flaws, I really enjoyed it and I know for sure I would like to seeit again sometime.

    SPOILER ALERT The story resumes to the fact that a hunter by the nameMartin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by a pharmaceutical company, RedLeaf, to track down and collect samples from an elusive animal, thetasmanian tiger. As the story goes, Martin gets attached to the familywhere he temporarily establishes, as they see in him a substitute fortheir father, from whom they didn't heard anything in the past 8months. By the end of the movie because they had to suffer in theaccount of the job he has to do, as Red Leaf becomes too impatient andjumpy to get what they want, he decides to incinerate what seamed to bethe last specimen of a tasmanian tiger,this way settling the score withthe greedy, a bit too murderous company.

    I have to admin that what I've liked about The Hunter, I've liked alot. Most of what impressed me I've tried to summarize before gettinginto the spoiling business. A bearded Dafoe is the embodiment of how ahunter usually looks. Even that calm, reflective attitude he adopted iswhat you usually see at a skilled hunter. Generally speaking of course.

    Although it seams the producers paid attention to important detailsI've observed some flaws more or less meaningless. For example whenMartin, as he just arrives, enters a bar, the locals seam a bit tooaggressive while, by that time, they couldn't knew him or hisbusiness.It's hard to believe they just hated any new face they sawaround. Even later the hostility the locals manifest towards the maincharacter remains unexplained as he acts prudent, in almost completesecrecy. Another thing would be that later, when he finds theremainings of those children's father, even if the involvement of RedLeaf is kinda obvious, his death is mostly presented as a mystery.Although I don't find it necessarily as a down side, 'cause is nice touse your brain once in a while and link the events by yourself, itwould had been nice to have a clear picture against whom exactly youshould build a bit of antipathy. After Martin discovers a second hunterwas hired and he arrives back, he finds out that the girl and hersmother (Frances O'Connor) were killed in something that seamed like afire accident. Now don't get me wrong but there was no reasonwhatsoever for the second hunter to set the lodge on fire, assumingthat he was the one who did it as the line of events makes us believe.If he wanted to get rid of some evidence, if that was all about, itwould had been enough to take the encased laptop and do whatever hemight liked with it. Just for that there was no need to set the wholehouse on fire. Even if we suppose it was just an accident, there was noreason to build drama so quickly, forced on the last 15 minutes of themovie, making it feel unnatural in the line of events. The last awkwardthing would be the way the tasmanian tiger is presented, something likesome sort of a chupacabra. It is highly unlikely, for someone, toacknowledge the existence of the very last specimen of an elusivespecie. Being elusive means nobody really knew how many tasmaniantigers were in the wild, so how come he was so sure, near the ending,he caught the last one ?

    If you're going only for the obvious, sure it ain't perfect, but itsflaws pale compared to the overall feeling. I think it aims somewhereat a deeper level,leaving the impression of a kind soul bound to stayalone in a world with greed, finding his meanings in the wonders ofnature.

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