Kon-Tiki

Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 25, 2013
    80
    This terrific film certainly contains the spark of discovery.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 23, 2013
    80
    Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are unusually committed to maritime mechanics, and the excitement grows as steadily as the sailors’ beards.
  3. Reviewed by: Donald Liebenson
    Jun 11, 2013
    75
    While the wind goes out of its sails a few times along the way, this is a ravishingly photographed, old-fashioned man-against-the-elements adventure epic propelled by human-scaled heroics.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 30, 2013
    75
    For most of its running time, it's a riveting rendition of a stranger-than-fiction tale.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    May 2, 2013
    75
    Kon-Tiki reminds us how important it is to expand our horizons by making discoveries, exploring new worlds and pushing ourselves to the absolute limits of human endurance.
  6. 75
    Kon-Tiki is a grand old school yarn with enough drama and dramatic incidents to make even Indiana Jones envious at the adventure of it all.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 26, 2013
    75
    In the most thrilling sequence of this consistently rousing old-school adventure, Heyerdahl grabs a passing shark with his bare hands, thrusts a hook into it, drags it aboard and guts it with a knife. Now that’s what I call entertainment. I haven’t seen such crazed brutality since Lou Lumenick’s review of “Movie 43.”
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Apr 25, 2013
    75
    There's no denying its status as a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable Old Hollywood-style adventure.
  9. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Apr 24, 2013
    75
    Kon-Tiki, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s modern dramatization, while well-acted and smartly filmed, rarely musters any actual sense of excitement.
  10. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 23, 2013
    75
    As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  11. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Apr 1, 2013
    75
    There is little more to Kon-Tiki than a fun, handsomely-mounted, old-style adventure story. And as impressive a feat as that is to achieve, especially outside of Hollywood, which kind of specialises in this sort of thing, those looking for something with more depth from this category may come away a little disappointed.
  12. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 25, 2013
    70
    Kon-Tiki features a protagonist who was determination itself, a filmmaking style that is square as opposed to cutting edge, and a story that is strong enough to involve us despite its earnest underpinnings.
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    May 29, 2013
    67
    Although a Norwegian production, the film has a muted Hollywood sensibility that keeps things real. It’s an absorbing and often lyrical piece of storytelling that doesn’t overembellish the facts or rely on a pumped-up score or whiplash editing to heighten the dramatic action.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 4, 2013
    63
    Kon-Tiki is stalwart and uplifting and there are passing moments of wonder.
  15. Reviewed by: Ben Nicholson
    Dec 18, 2014
    60
    In only ever managing to skim the surface, the spirit of their crusade is never really evoked. What's left is ultimately a handsome, and at times heart-stopping voyage that never lives up to its classic forebears.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Dec 18, 2014
    60
    It’s a sturdy, straight tribute to an undertaking that feels wacky, quixotic and heroically mad – proving little that it set out to prove, but a great deal accidentally, about resourcefulness and survival in extremis.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 21, 2013
    60
    Roenning and Sandberg never dig deeply into the real, underlying motivating force behind Heyerdahl's voyage aboard the Kon-Tiki -- the name of his visually unimpressive but ultimately seaworthy raft -- other than relying on the fact that he wanted to prove his theory correct.
  18. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Apr 1, 2013
    60
    Delivering visual drama and understated character study, sometimes in disappointingly formulaic fashion, the feature has its incisive moments but falls short as both epic and intimate portrait.
  19. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Apr 1, 2013
    60
    This is filmmaking of great ambition and ability, though it’s not always conducive to solid storytelling.
  20. 50
    In a kind of perverse alchemy, this film manages to turn that narrative gold into dross, and reduce the daunting perils of a 4,300-mile voyage to a ho-hum checklist. Welcome to the reverse magic of the movies.
  21. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    May 2, 2013
    50
    The movie is a pretty humdrum affair when it focuses on humans, even when actors are playing characters based on real people.
  22. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Apr 21, 2013
    50
    It lacks the fire and eccentricity that we want from our stories of adventurers driven by obsessions that could be seen as egotistical or just plain bonkers.
  23. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 25, 2013
    30
    There’s no denying the real Heyerdahl’s bravery, but if this movie is to be believed, his voyage was largely bereft of tension and interesting conversation.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Apr 29, 2013
    9
    Great Norwegian movie about Thor Heyerdahl. The movie is exciting as well as dramatic, one of the best Norwegian movies ever made in myGreat Norwegian movie about Thor Heyerdahl. The movie is exciting as well as dramatic, one of the best Norwegian movies ever made in my opinion. Must watch! Full Review »
  2. Aug 28, 2013
    9
    Very good film, kept my attention from the begginning to the end. The historical background is very nice, and the personality of theVery good film, kept my attention from the begginning to the end. The historical background is very nice, and the personality of the characters, especially that of the protagonist, are very interesting. For me it was impossible to not be thrilled by the thoughts of being in their place, in the most isolated place in the oceans, with just a wooden balse, and travel thousands kilometers with that sometimes crazy leader. It is the kind of movie that I want to tell everyone I know to watch. Full Review »
  3. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    This is a wonderful movie! It's the best film I've seen all year. Reminded me of "Life of Pi" but better.
    The action is riveting with special
    This is a wonderful movie! It's the best film I've seen all year. Reminded me of "Life of Pi" but better.
    The action is riveting with special effects that enhance rather than exploit the narrative. It's nice to see a return to intelligence in special effects movie making. But call me old fashioned; I like movies that tell a story.
    And everyone knows it's a great story. This film is just an energy boost from beginning to end. And the music and acting are superb. I think this film will get some Academy Award notice. The Weinstein brothers nail it again. Bravo!
    Full Review »