was a box office smash at home - but it's not just connecting with a local audience.
The Kiwi movie has a 100 per cent review rating on Rotten Tomatoes after its recent launch in American cinemas.
That puts Wilderpeople in rarefied air: other movies with a 100 per cent rating include Citizen Kane, Rear Window, The Terminator, Mary Poppins and Man on Wire.
Overseas critics can't contain their praise for the comedy caper.
"Full of off-kilter characters, an improbable set of events, and a touching if predictable ending, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is as enjoyable to watch as it is a gorgeously shot film," wrote IGN.
"Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can't believe your luck. "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is such a film," said the Los Angeles Times.
"Wilderpeople is ultimately winning, like all buddy comedies, because of the chemistry of its leads," said AP.
Wilderpeople is the second New Zealand film to review well on the aggregate site this year, with David Farrier's Tickled sitting at 91 per cent.
Waititi is currently filming Thor: Ragnarok, a big budget Marvel movie and the third Thor film featuring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Ruffalo.
Wilderpeople recently passed Waititi's Boy to become the top-grossing local film of all time.