99 mins
Poster for Savage

New Zealand drama charts the evolution of a gang member across three decades - from the brutal state-run boys' homes... More

Where to watch Savage

Savage is available to stream in Australia now on YouTube... More and Stan and Google TV and Apple TV Store and Ritz at Home.

Savage | Ratings & Reviews

"What this film is saying about the devastatingly repetitive nature of abuse is far from new, but how it’s said through authentic local history is. New Zealand’s notorious historical borstals inflicted damage on the nation that perhaps hasn’t been acknowledged as much as it should be. We’re still suffering from those wounds, with our gang culture the most obvious of them, and Savage forces the viewer to wallow in that. It’s a powerful debut feature from Sam Kelly and I eagerly look forward to whatever he does next."


"The triptych structure is a little fiddly, but Savage is never less than powerful."

The Irish TimesThe Irish Times

"A moving character study with bruising moral weight."

The GuardianThe Guardian

"Considered storytelling amid the coshing. An auspicious debut from Sam Kelly."

Little White LiesLittle White Lies

"It is never less than heartfelt and engaging."


"A credibly hard-hitting if depressingly repetitive (fackin, fackin, fackin, fackin) milieu, with shades of Lee Tamahori's classic New Zealand drama Once Were Warriors."

The TimesThe Times

"This is a brutal, confronting and, ultimately, very emotional watch."


"The details of gang life are fascinating. The casting is superb..."

Sydney Morning HeraldSydney Morning Herald

"Thoughtful character drama more interested in exploring the longterm effects of childhood abuse than the broader activities or impact of our street gangs."

New Zealand HeraldNew Zealand Herald

"Shifting back and forth among three watershed moments in the protagonist's life, Kelly draws an emotional roadmap detailing one man's life and how he got from A to B."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

"There is a good deal of promise and ambition on display here, but Kelly never entirely pulls off what feels like his attempt at a Maori excursion into Scorsese territory."

Screen DailyScreen Daily

Savage | Details

MA15+, Strong themes, violence and frequent coarse language
Country of origin
New Zealand

Savage | Trailers