Keith Adams Jr.’s review published on Letterboxd:
One year before turning the Marvel Cinematic Universe on its head with Thor: Ragnarok and a year after having everyone howling with laughter with What We Do In The Shadows, writer/director Taika Waititi gave us this funny and endearing comedy-adventure about 2 polar opposites who become something they never thought they would be: a family. Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a city kid who lives to break the rules, whether it’s throwing rocks or defacing public property or vandalism or loitering or whatever comes to his little gangsta mind. Ricky is soon placed in another foster home with the loving Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and her cantankerous husband Hec (Sam Neill), who doesn’t have the time nor the patience for Ricky while Bella treats him well as she was her own child. However, a tragedy leads Ricky, Hec & furry companion Tupac to go on the run with the authorities and Ricky’s no-nonsense case worker Paula (Rachel House) hot on their trail. While hiding out in the wild New Zealand bush, Ricky & Hec form a strong bond that will help them endure many challenges, from tough backpacking Kiwis to the gargantuan boar known as the Terminator Pig. As with his previous films Eagle Vs. Shark and Boy, Waititi provides us with a contemporary folktale with oddball characters faced with equally oddball situations that are both funny and bittersweet and Hunt for the Wilderpeople is no exception. Neill delivers his best performance since Jurassic Park and Dennison’s star-making turn as Ricky is pitch perfect that it’s no wonder that he’s making his North American debut in this year’s Deadpool sequel while Waititi’s comedic and character-based sensibilities are on full display here, showing us why he was the right guy to helm Thor: Ragnarok. If you crave a hilarious and heartfelt comic adventure with the most unlikely duo you’ll ever meet, then Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the movie that’s guaranteed to satisfy that craving.