What makes a movie uniquely Australian? Is it the Aussie slang words and accent? Or is it the Australian landscapes and culture? Whether you’re looking for a laugh, an excellent murder mystery, or just something to watch with your friends and family, there are Australian movies that are entertaining and thought-provoking.
Australian movies are a diverse set of films that combine artistic vision with narrative depth. They reflect the country’s unique culture and natural beauty and its struggles to balance modernity with tradition. If you feel like diving into an Australian movie, here’s an extensive bumper list to entertain for months.
- Australian Movies on Netflix
- Australian Dramas Based on True Stories
- Australian Family Dramas
- Australian Dramas About Society
- Australian Crime Thrillers
- Australian Historical Movies
- Australian Outback Movies
- Australian Comedy Movies
- 24- This Little Love of Mine (2020)
- 25- Superintelligence (2020)
- 26- Romance on the Menu (2020)
- 27- The Merger (2018)
- 28- Ladies in Black (2018)
- 29- Three Summers (2017)
- 30- Oddball (2015)
- 31- Backyard Ashes (2013)
- 32- Red Dog (2011)
- 33- The Nugget (2002)
- 34- Crackerjack (2002)
- 35- The Dish (2000)
- 36- Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
- Australian Musical Movies
- Australian Horror Movies and SciFi
Australian Movies on Netflix
Australian Dramas Based on True Stories
1- Sweet Country (2018)
Sweet Country is an Aussie western movie set in the 1920s about an Aboriginal man who runs after killing a white man in self-defence.
It’s an Australian movie inspired by real events, packed with larger-than-life characters and a tale that leaves viewers feeling outraged by the injustice of life.
Aboriginal stockman Sam and wife Lizzie are chased across the Australian outback by Sergeant Fletcher and Aboriginal tracker Archie after Sam is unfortunately enough to kill a white station owner.
The movie brings to life the issues between European settlers and First Nations people and is an important movie to watch about Australia’s often untold history.
Filmed in: Ooraminna Station, which is 40 km from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
Cast: Bryan Brown, Matt Day, Tremayne Doolan, Anni Finsterer, Natassia Gorey Furber, Gibson John, Ewen Leslie, Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Thomas Wright.
Awards: Multiple awards including 2017 Toronto Film Festival, Special Jury Prize at the 2017 Venice Film Festival, Best Feature Screenplay at Australian Writers Guild, Best Feature Film at the 2017 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Dramatic Film ImagineNATIVE festival 2017, and Critics Awards at Camerimage, Luxembourg, Venice and Dublin Film Festivals.
2- Lion (2016)
Lion is a multiple award-winning Australian movie that took the world by storm. It’s an emotional tale about a five-year-old boy in India, Saroo, who falls asleep on a train and gets lost.
He finds himself in Bengal, where he is cannot speak the language and is too young to know the name of his hometown.
He ends up a street urchin but is lucky enough to be adopted by an Australian couple and has a good life in Australia.
25 years later, curious about his birth family, Saroo heads off on a quest to find his birth parents. Using Google Earth and vague visual memories, he finds his hometown and biological mother.
Cast: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman.
Awards: 58 wins and 109 nominations, including nominations for six Oscars at the Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year 2017, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay, BAFTA, plus a long list of other awards.
3- The Railway Man (2013)
The Railway Man is a British-Australian movie based on the eponymous autobiography by Eric Lomax.
It’s about how Lomax, who was a British officer that was forced into labour on the Thai-Burma Railway by the Japanese, confronted his WWII torturer 30 years later.
The movie is a walk back into a horrific period in history and demonstrates the devastating effect of being captured and tortured.
After learning that his former torturer is working as a tour guide in Thailand, Lomax returns to confront the Japanese and discovers aspects about war and about himself he had not previously considered. The confrontation is a cathartic experience for both.
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sam Reid.
Awards: AACTA Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Music Score, ACS Awards for Cinematographer of the Year, FCCA Award for Best Script.
You may also like these Netflix shows:
4- Tracks (2013)
Tracks is a true story about a 27-year-old Brisbane woman, Robyn Davidson, who takes off on a 1,677-mile (2700 km) trek across the Australian outback with her entourage of a dog and four camels.
She journeys from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, on the long and difficult solo journey for nine months.
Tracks has some stunning cinematography that inspires wanderlust and inspires viewers to want to explore more of the outback. It’s an uplifting movie to watch about pursuing out-of-the-box travel dreams.
After premiering at the Adelaide Film Festival, the movie ran at film festivals around the world.
Filmed in: South Australia and Northern Territory.
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl, Rolley Mintuma, dog and camels.
Awards: Tracks was nominated for several AACTA Awards, including Best Actress.
5- Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
Rabbit-Proof Fence is one of the most well-known Australian movies and an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
Based on real events in 1931 when in 1931, when three aboriginal girls who are taken from their homes to be domestic servants escape and run off on a trek across the Outback.
This Australian movie brings home the effects of the policies enforced by the Australian government, where mixed-race Aboriginal children were taken from their families and sent to training schools up until 1970.
The incredible thing is it happened a century after slavery was abolished.
Cast: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, David Gulpilil, Kenneth Branagh, Deborah Mailman, Jason Clarke, Ningali Lawford, Myarn Lawford, Garry McDonald, Roy Billing, Andrew S. Gilbert, Ken Radley.
Australian Family Dramas
6- Daughter (2015)
Daughter is an Australian movie based on a play written in 1884 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen called The Wild Duck.
It’s about a recovering alcoholic, Christian Nielsen, who returns to Australia to attend his father’s wedding during which he reconnects with childhood friends and discovers a family secret.
It’s about a tangled web of hidden relationships and the consequences of an illicit affair. The story unfolds to show how people’s lives are affected by learning that family ties have been steeped with lies.
Christian discovers his father has had an illicit relationship with the wife of his friend and their daughter is his half-sister.
Daughter focuses on the emotions and actions of the players and provides food for thought.
Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Ewen Leslie, Paul Schneider.
7- The Eye of the Storm (2011)
This is an enjoyable Australian drama about family relationships and follows the journey of the main characters who learn about themselves. The Australian movie is adapted from award-winning novelist Patrick White’s 1973 novel.
Two siblings visit their dying mother in Sydney with the hope of securing their inheritances. The dying woman, Elizabeth Hunter, is a wealthy grazier’s widow.
Her son is a stage actor whose career is on the decline and her daughter is the former wife of a French aristocrat. Although the staff love the old lady, her children do not have a close relationship with her.
Filmed in: Sydney, Melbourne and Tropical North Queensland.
Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis, John Gaden, Robyn Nevin, Colin Friels, Helen Morse.
Awards: Best Australian feature at the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival and a slew of Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in 2012, including Best Lead Actress.
Also read these posts about Australia:
- 25 Famous Australian Landmarks
- 120 Australian Trivia and Quiz Questions
- Australian Outback Characters
- Australian Road Trip Tips
- Australian Aboriginal Culture
- Australian Landscape Photography
- 10 Great Australian Pubs
Australian Dramas About Society
8- I Met A Girl (2020)
I Met A Girl is about a schizophrenic aspiring musician who heads off on a cross-country journey searching for a woman he has fallen in love with. When a mysterious woman he has met suddenly vanishes, finding her becomes an obsession.
The lead character, Devon Cassidy, is a singer-songwriter who has heard voices in his head since he was 12.
His imaginary companions are Mr Rocket the cartoon superhero Mr Rocket and Miss Needles the nurse. Is his mystery woman also a figment of his imagination?
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Joel Jackson, Lily Sullivan, Zahra Newman, Peter Rowsthorn.
9- Breath (2017)
Breath is set in the town of Denmark on the West Australian coast in the mid-1970s and is about the loss of innocence, sexual awakening, male identity and erotic asphyxiation.
Based on the book by award-winning author Tim Winton, the story follows two teenaged boys, a middle-aged surfing legend, his wife and a complex web of relationships.
The two teenagers were cast in the roles for their skill at surfing and the ocean cinematography is breathtaking.
Cast: Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Simon Baker.
Awards: AACTA Award – Best Supporting Actor, AACTA Award – Best Sound.
10- Broke (2016)
Broke takes a good look at what happens to pro athletes who need to keep on winning after their career comes to an end.
It’s a story about a former athlete who grapples with a gambling addiction and is a topical subject as gambling problems and allegations of match-fixing have left a black mark on rugby league.
Although the storyline is fictional, the concept is based on a common problem of sports betting and its impact on footy fans.
The storyline covers some heavy issues faced by gamblers including depression, financial and relationship issues, homelessness and suicide.
Cast: Steve Le Marquand, Max Cullen, Claire van der Boom, Steve Bastoni, Justin Rosniak, William Zappa, Brendan Cowell.
11- Mad Bastards (2011)
Mad Bastards is about three generations of men in an Australian family and their difficulties controlling their violent impulses. This Australian movie premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and showcases the beauty of rural Australia.
TJ travels to the tiny frontier town of Five Rivers to find his son but chews of more than he bargains for when he is confronted by a local cop and a tense interpersonal relationship ensues.
In a bizarre twist, one of the actors, Roxanne Williams, who played a minor role as a confidant to the hard-partying leading lady was jailed for three years for stabbing her partner to death with a butcher’s knife in the East Kimberley.
Cast: Dean Daley-Jones, Lucas Yeeda, John Watson, Douglas Macale.
12- Beneath the Clouds (2002)
Beneath Clouds is a character-driven journey around a young Indigenous woman and an escaped prisoner. Lena is a blonde, fair and in denial about her Aboriginal heritage.
She has an Irish father and an Aboriginal mother. The show highlights both the physical and emotional journey of the unlikely pair while on the road to Sydney.
Both are alienated from their families and the emotions of confusion, anger and resentment faced are explored thoroughly in this Australian movie.
Cast: Dannielle Hall, Damian Pitt, Jenna Lee Connors.
Australian Crime Thrillers
13- The Combination: Redemption (2019)
10 years after the release of the controversial The Combination, its sequel The Combination Redemption picks up six years after the death of John Morkos’ younger brother as John is caught in a war between white supremacists and a new crime boss.
Filmed in: The Combination Redemption was filmed in the suburbs of western Sydney, including Granville, Guildford, Parramatta and Merrylands.
Cast: George Basha, Johnny Nasser, Tony Ryan, Abbey Aziz.
14- Son of a Gun (2014)
Son of a Gun follows 19-year-old JR who is sent to jail for a minor crime for six months. He’s taken under the wing of armed robber Brendan Lynch, who saves him from being molested and agrees to do some tasks for Lynch when he gets out.
Six months later, JR finds himself embroiled in the criminal world of hijacking helicopters, buying illegal firearms, fake passports and breaking Lynch out of jail.
Cast: Ewen McGregor, Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander, Jacek Koman, Matthew Nable.
15- Animal Kingdom (2010)
Animal Kingdom is a gritty Australian crime drama movie loosely based on Melbourne’s Pettingill family.
It follows a 17-year-old outsider (Joshua) who is taken under the wing of his grandmother, an influential figure in a notorious Melbourne crime family.
It’s a fast-moving movie with mafia conflicts, violence and double-crossings.
Filmed in: Melbourne.
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, Robert Forster, Toni Collette
Awards: Academy Award for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing.
16- The Combination (2009)
Lebanese Australias John Morkos is released from prison and tries to stop his brother from being involved in the criminal underworld.
This Australian crime drama caused controversy when violence broke out at Sydney screenings and one of its actors was charged with sexual assault in a separate incident. The message of the movie is that crime doesn’t pay.
The Combination takes a good hard look at the lives of Lebanese migrants living in western Sydney. It’s a gritty view of multiculturalism and racial tensions in Australia among white Australians and ethnic migrants.
Filmed in: Sydney.
Cast: George Basha, Clare Bowen, Firass Dirani.
17- Berlin Syndrome (2017)
A holiday romance in Berlin turns into a nightmare for Clare, an Australian photographer who hooks up with a teacher.
After a passionate night, she discovers she is locked in her lover’s apartment, and he has no intention of letting her leave. The suave and passionate lover changes into a cold and distant jailor.
Australians love travel and adventure. Berlin Syndrome portrays the downside of the possible consequences of exploring a strange country as a single.
The title is a clever take on the Stockholm syndrome complex and one of the key aspects of the movie is how the relationships between captive and captor evolve.
Filmed in: Berlin and Melbourne.
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt, Emma Bading, Lucie, Aron.
Australian Historical Movies
18- The Water Diviner (2014)
The Water Diviner is a period movie set in the 19th century after the battle of Gallipoli about a man who tries to find his three sons who disappeared at the battle.
One of the interesting aspects of this movie is it was Aussie actor Russel Crowe’s directing debut, and he also starred as widowed hero Joshua Connor.
Following the suicide of his wife, he takes off to Turkey in search of his sons’ bodies for closure.
His quest leads him to Istanbul, where he meets other sufferers such as attractive single mum Ayshe, her son Orhan and a Turkish officer who fought against his sons.
Cast: Isabel Lucas, Jai Courtney, Olga Kurylenko, Russell Crowe
Awards: AACTA Award for Best Film, AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, AACTA Award for Best Costume Design
Australian Outback Movies
19- In My Blood It Runs (2019)
This is a documentary told from a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy’s perspective of his struggle to balance education with his Arrernte/Garrwa upbringing in Alice Springs.
Dujuan speaks three languages, is a skilled hunter and child-healer.
The 10-year-old shares his take on the world in this documentary. Although he is highly intelligent, he is failing in his schoolwork and is under the pressure of scrutiny from welfare and the police.
In My Blood It Runs shows the fight his family puts up to educate him in Arrernte ways while he deals with the pressure of being caught between two worlds.
This Australian movie delves deeply into issues of history and the modern-day issues affecting Australia’s aboriginal people.
Cast: Dujuan Hooson, Carol Turner, Megan Hoosan, Colin Mawson, James Mawson.
20- Goldstone (2016)
Goldstone addresses the hot topics of human trafficking, corporate corruption, and cultural issues.
Indigenous detective Jay Swan arrives in the town of Goldstone to search for a missing Chinese woman and uncovers a web of corruption.
Filmed in: Middleton in the Queensland Outback.
Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver, Cheng Pei-Pei, David Wenham, David Gulpilil, Michelle Lim Davidson.
21- Toomelah (2011)
Toomelah follows 10-year-old Daniel who goes to work for a local drug dealer after he is suspended from school.
Daniel has to deal with his mother’s addictions, an alcoholic father and an aunt who was part of the Stolen Generations.
Toomelah is a sobering look into life in an Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales.
This Australian movie received a standing ovation at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Cast: Daniel Connors, Christopher Edwards, Michael Connors, Dorothy Cubby.
Awards: 2011 Pacific Meridian Film Festival Grand Prix, 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Award.
22- Satellite Boy (2011)
Satellite Boy is about a 12-year-old boy who goes on a journey to save his home but gets lost in the Australian Outback.
While trying to work out how to survive, he is forced to use the skills he learnt from his grandfather.
This Australian movie is a showcase of the stunning beauty of the Kimberley region.
It’s a tale about Pete, who lives in an old drive-in theatre with his grandfather Jagamarra. Pete dreams about opening a restaurant there but is dismayed when a mining company claims the land.
Cast: David Gulpilil, Cameron Wallaby, Joseph Pedley.
23- Australian Rules (2002)
Australian Rules highlights the racial tension in a remote South Australian fishing town, where football is a common interest between the Nungas (blacks) and Goonies (Whites).
Gary, a hard-drinking white Australian, and Dumby, who has a bright future as a major league Aboriginal footballer, are play in a football team that wins the premiership.
This movie was commissioned by the Adelaide Arts Festival, is based on a young adult’s novel and much of the story is autobiographical.
It was controversially criticised by Aboriginal activist David Wilson, who objected to the movie because it was filmed without consultation with the Aboriginal community in Port Pearce.
The reason cited was the script used racist language that was disrespectful to two black me shot by a white man in Port Victoria in 1977, which was an incident the movie was loosely based on.
Cast: Nathan Phillips, Simon Westaway, Kelton Pell, Celia Ireland, Kevin Harrington, Luke Carroll and Tom Budge.
Australian Comedy Movies
24- This Little Love of Mine (2020)
Laura leaves her career as a lawyer in San Francisco and goes home to the small tropical Queensland Island where she grew up.
Her childhood friend’s grandfather asks her to travel home to deliver a contract to cement her friend Chip as the head of his family’s business.
Chip and Laura are attracted to each other and romance blossoms in Tropical North Queensland.
This is a feel-good movie set in Australia’s sunshine state.
Filmed in Cairns and Palm Cove.
Cast: Saska Hampele, Liam McIntyre, Lynn Gilmartin.
25- Superintelligence (2020)
Superintelligence is a comedic fantasy about a former executive who becomes the first person to be studied by an artificial intelligence who may one day take control of the world.
It’s a big-budget comedy show that is easy to watch and requires little thinking but rather silly at times.
The pressure is well and truly on Carol when she realises humanity is in her hands as the AI observes her while it decides whether to save, enslave or destroy humanity.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, James Corden, Bobby Cannavale.
26- Romance on the Menu (2020)
After inheriting a café from her aunt, a New York restauranteur arrives in Lemon Myrtle Cove in Australia.
While trying to renovate before putting it up for sale, she falls in love with the chef and begins to re-evaluate her lifestyle.
Of course, there’s a fiancé in New York sitting in the wings hoping to get back together with her and commitments to her NY business means she has a big decision to make.
This Australian RomCom strikes at the heart of something that is at the top of mind for many, slowing down and smelling the roses.
Cast: Cindy Busby, Tim Ross, Naomi Sequeira, Peter Bensley, Barbara Bingham, Perry Mooney, Joey Vieira, Marita Wilcox, Jenny Wynter.
27- The Merger (2018)
The Merger is an Australian comedy movie about identity.
When a former AFL football player’s career suddenly ends, he goes back to his hometown to be the coach for the Roosters, the local footy team.
Troy finds that Boggy Creek is falling apart, and he makes friends with Neil who hasn’t recovered from his Dad’s death in a car crash.
Neil’s widowed Mum Angie is in charge of a refugee support centre while Nel’s grandfather Bull Barlow is a racist.
Troy chooses refugees to play in the local team and they train with a bunch of typical Aussies.
Filmed in: Wagga Wagga was Boggy Creek.
Cast: Damian Callinan, Kate Mulvany, John Howard, Fayssal Bazzi, Rafferty Grierson.
28- Ladies in Black (2018)
In 1959, a shy schoolgirl starts working in a prestigious Sydney department store and her life changes when she meets the “ladies in black.”
This is a feel-good old-fashioned Australian movie that has good vibes yet sends a message about the topical subject of immigration.
Based on a short novel by Madeleine St John, also called The Women in Black, the movie offers fascinating insights into Sydney’s Hungarian community of educated and cultured refugees.
The status of refugees housed offshore on Nauru island has been a controversial subject for years.
Ladies in Black makes a statement about the positive effects of immigration and what can happen when communities integrate well.
Cast: Angourie Rice, Julia Ormond, Vincent Perez, Susie Porter, Rachael Taylor, Ryan Corr, Celia Massingham, Shane Jacobson, Nicholas Hammond, Noni Hazlehurst.
29- Three Summers (2017)
Three Summers is a RomCom centred around a folk festival in WA called Westival, where a country fiddle player Keeley meets composer, Roland.
The two fall in love, and over a period of three summers, they keep crossing paths.
Westival is based on the Fairbridge Festival and the movie has a subplot as one of the supporting characters is a racist who learns the errors of his thinking.
Filmed in: Western Australia’s Peel region.
Cast: Robert Sheehan, Rebecca Breeds, Michael Caton, Magda Szubanski, Deborah Mailman, John Waters.
30- Oddball (2015)
Oddball is an Australian movie about how a chicken farmer and his granddaughter train their dog to protect a penguin sanctuary against foxes.
Set on-off the Warrnambool coast on Middle Island where small Fairy Penguins have found a home, this is a feel-good movie for families.
Cast: Shane Jacobson, Coco Jack Gillies, Sarah Snook, Alan Tudyk.
Awards: FCCA Awards for Best Performance By A Young Actor, Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award for Best Family Film, Traverse City Film Festival Stuart Hollander Prize for Best Kids Film and nominated for other awards.
31- Backyard Ashes (2013)
Backyard Ashes is about a series of comedic events between two neighbours that leads to the accidental incineration of a prized cat and a backyard cricket match.
The conflict between an Aussie cricket fan and his new neighbour from England, who is a snob, lays the groundwork for scenes that are funny.
Sporting fans will love that the movie recognises Wagga Wagga as the sporting capital of Australia.
It’s a low budget movie that is Australian through and through.
Cast: Andrew S. Gilbert, John Wood, Waseem Khan, Damian Callinan, Rebecca Massey.
32- Red Dog (2011)
Red Dog is an Australian comedy-drama movie about the adventures of a dog who hits the road to search for his master.
Red makes friends along the way, brings communities together and worms his way into people’s hearts.
This feel-good Australian movie is based on the true story of an Australian cattle dog who travelled through Western Australia in the 1970s, uniting a local community along the way.
It’s one of the best dog movies to watch and is an emotional tale.
Cast: Koko, Josh Lucas, Racheal Taylor, John Batchelor, Noah Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Loene Carmen, Luke Ford.
Awards: AACTA Awards for Best Film, Golden Collar Awards for Best Dog in a Foreign Film, Inside Film Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Narrative Film, Best Script, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music.
33- The Nugget (2002)
The Nugget provides a good laugh about three road workers who find a massive gold nugget worth millions.
The bumbling three discover how winning a fortune can change the lives of working-class men but not necessarily in a positive way.
It’s a hilarious watch and after arguing about how to split their fortune, they have bigger problems trying to keep it.
Cast: Eric Bana, Stephen Curry, Dave O’Neil.
34- Crackerjack (2002)
Crackerjack is a movie about how a community pulled together to save their local bowling club.
In Melbourne, where parking is expensive, three members have the rights to car-parking spaces at their inner-city bowling club.
Jack makes an extra income to top up his earnings as a call-centre worker and has a cushy deal going that is turned upside down when the club calls his services.
Cast: Mick Molloy, Bill Hunter, Monica Maughan.
35- The Dish (2000)
The Dish is based on actual events but portrays fictional characters, a team of scientists who are responsible for managing a satellite dish at the Parkes Observatory.
NASA uses the satellite radio dish as a backup transmitter for the 1969 moon mission and the eccentric Australian scientists overcome a series of mishaps.
The Dish is a comical representation of the different cultural attitudes between the USA and Australia.
Filmed in: Forbes (33 km from Parkes), Old Parliament House in Canberra.
Cast: Sam Neill, Patrick Warburton, Tom Long, Kevin Harrington, Roy Billing.
36- Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
Muriel’s Wedding is a classic Australian comedy-drama movie about an ABBA-obsessed ‘ugly duckling’ called Muriel who is ridiculed by her trendy friends.
Despite having a mundane life and a psychologically abusive father, she dreams of marrying the man of her dreams.
After moving to Sydney, she learns about disappointment and the harsh realities of life.
Filmed in: Tweed Heads, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Moreton Island, Tugun, Darlinghurst, Surfers Paradise, Sydney.
Cast: Toni Collette, Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths, Genevieve Picot, Sophie Lee.
Australian Musical Movies
37- The Sapphires (2012)
The Sapphires is another Australian movie comedy musical based on a stage show and is loosely based on a true story.
It’s about three sisters – Gail, Cynthia and Julie – whose career skyrockets after they go on a singing tour to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam.
Set in 1968, the girls were discovered at the Globe Hotel’s annual talent quest by an Irish promoter and head off to an audition in Melbourne.
The Sapphires has a boppy soundtrack, colourful costumes and is a light-hearted happy watch.
Cast: Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and Chris O’Dowd.
Awards: Won multiple awards including the 2013 AACTA Awards for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design.
38- Bran Nue Dae (2010)
Bran Nue Dae is a musical comedy that covers several hot themes: Aboriginal reconciliation, family and the act of forgiving.
Set in 1965, the tale follows Aboriginal teenager, Willie, is shipped off to boarding school far away from his life in laid-back Broome in Western Australia.
Willie finds it difficult to settle into the school and after being punished by the priest he runs away from the mission and hooks up with old Uncle Tadpole.
The two, along with a couple of hippies embark on a 3,000 km road trip through the absolutely breathtaking outback on their way to Broome.
Bran Nue Dae is an Australian movie version of the first Aboriginal musical written by Broome creator Jimmy Chi.
Cast: Phillip Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins, Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski.
Australian Horror Movies and SciFi
39- Sweet River (2020)
Sweet River is an Australian thriller movie about a woman who goes to a small town called Billins to search for the body of her son, who went missing and was the victim of a serial killer.
Years later, she takes up the search to get emotional closure as all the other children’s remains were found except for her sons.
In the process, she uncovers the town’s dark secret.
This is an Australian movie with a moody tone with a slow-burn approach set in sugar cane farming region.
Filmed in: Tweed Valley.
Cast: Lisa Kay, Jack Ellis, Jeremy Waters.
40- I Am Mother (2019)
I Am Mother is a creative Australian movie with several twists in the plot.
The movie is set several years after a mass extinction event where humanity has been wiped out.
The story only has three characters, a teenage girl, a robot finds and a strange woman.
It’s a well-told story about the dangers of AI and worth a watch.
Cast: Hilary Swank, Rose Byrne.
41- Cargo (2017)
Cargo is an apocalyptic horror drama about the aftermath of a pandemic, a virus that turns humans rabid.
It follows the desperation of an infected father, who is desperately trying to find a way to protect his baby.
Cast: Martin Freeman, Simone Landers, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter, and Caren Pistorius.
Awards: Nominated for AACTA Best Film and other awards.
42- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road is a follow on from the 1979 Australian cult action movie Mad Max.
It’s set 50 years after the apocalypse when civilisation has crumbled, and Australia is a wasteland.
The cult leader of the War Boys, Immortan Joe, has captured Max and are using him as a living blood bag for one of their sick War Boys.
Imperator Furiosa has escaped with Immortan Joe’s five wives and the War Boys are hot on their tail.
Max escapes and tries to steal Imperator Furiosa’s Rig but is forced to take her and the five wives along on this fast-paced chase.
The famous star of the first three movies, Mel Gibson, who was the original Max was replaced by a younger actor to keep Max the same age as the previous movies.
Filmed in: Namibia.
Cast: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy.
Awards: 88th Oscar Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up and Hair, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Production Design.
43- Predestination (2014)
Predestination is an imaginative Australian movie based on a short story by Robert A. Heinlein, written in 1959. It follows the adventures of a temporal agent on a time-travelling assignment. The agent is tasked with preventing an elusive criminal from launching an attack that ends up with thousands of people dying.
It’s a clever storyline that’s well-executed, with plenty of colour and creativity in the sets. It’s one of those movies you’ll need to pay attention to follow the storyline.
Filmed in: Melbourne’s Docklands Studios with some scenes in Melbourne CBD and Abbotsford.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor.
Awards: AACTA for Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Production Design, ACS Award, FCCA Awards for Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Toronto After Dark Film Festival Special Award for Best Sci-Fi Film.
44- Wolf Creek (2005) and Wolf Creek 2 (2014)
Wolf Creek is a chilling tale about two British backpackers and their Australian friend who buy an old car to go on a journey from Broome to Cairns.
They don’t make it very far, breaking down in Wolf Creek National Park, and are rescued by a man who takes them to his camp and pretends to fix their car.
It turns out, they’ve fallen into the clutches of a serial killer, Mick Taylor.
In Wolf Creek 2, the focus is on Mick Taylor who stalks a tourist across South Australia.
Filmed in: South Australia.
Cast: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, John Jarratt, Kestie Morassi.
45- The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook is a suspenseful Australian horror movie that follows Amelia, a widow in Adelaide who is bringing up her six-year-old son on her own.
Sam becomes obsessed with an imaginary monster and asks his mum to read him a storybook called Mister Babadook. Soon after, strange things start happening such as doors opening and closing, creepy sounds and glass in their food.
Amelia starts believing the Babadook is haunting her, becomes paranoid and starts hallucinating.
Filmed in: Adelaide.
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall.
Awards: AACTA for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best First Feature.