12 Must-See Australian Films

Fasten your seat belts – these 12 Australian films are a wild ride.

There’s something both bizarre and intriguing in looking at a country from the film’s perspective. Australia – mostly known for Sydney’s opera and animals that are deadlier than Chuck Norris’ roundhouse kick – has delivered plenty of fabulous cinematic pieces.

Here are some of films, that definitely deserve your attention.


 #12 Berlin Syndrome (2017)

This dark, twisted story of a lost Aussie girl who travels to Europe in order to bring balance to her life, has definitely gone under the radar last year. It’s a kind of gripping thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat, at the same time dripping with solemn atmosphere. And Teresa Palmer is the topping on the cake in “Berlin Syndrome”.

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#11 Bad Taste (1987)

Before Peter Jackson moved to directing one of the most famous book adaptations of all time, he kicked things off with a weird, B-scifi/horror. “Bad Taste” was indeed directed in bad taste. In the film, aliens landed on Earth in order to use humans as food in their fast-food chain. Peter Jackson also starred in this kitschy ugly duckling.


#10 Balibo (2009)

Based on a true story, this film portrays the drama that followed the arrival of five journalists to East Timor. The film depicts the story from the point of view of two other journalists who investigate the mysterious deaths of their colleagues. “Balibo” is mainly a fantastic piece of acting, with Oscar Isaac and Anthony LaPaglia in leading roles.


#9 Chopper (2000)

Eric Bana, drugs, curse words and 80s – do you really have more questions?


#8 Ned Kelly (2003)

This crime drama starring Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger was vastly overlooked when it came out. The film was neatly written and the two leading actors have put on quite a show and if that’s not enough, check out the supporting roles – Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts and Joel Edgerton. This fabulous cast should speak for itself.

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#7 Candy (2006)

Before Heath Ledger became the most iconic villain in the history of Batman movies, he already proved himself to be an acting beast. “Candy” is a profound example of his skills, as he plays a heroine-addict, who brings his newly met girlfriend into the world of addiction. It’s a bitter look into the world of drug abuse and a sorrowful portrayal of how human self-destruction works.

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#6 Partisan (2014)

Though “Partisan” didn’t receive much praise worldwide, the film boasts with both great visuals and a thought-provoking story. Set in a dystopian world, the film follows a boy, who lives with his mysterious guardian (played by Vincent Cassel). The film does have its troubles with narration, but the magnificent camerawork is worth your attention. Also, one of the scenes of “Partisan” could be easily called as one of the gems of modern indie cinema. Just go to Youtube.

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#5 Picnic At The Hanging Road (1975)

A genuine classic, directed by Peter Weir in 1975. It tells the story of few girls who mysteriously disappear after going for a picnic. The film famously left the audiences frustrated with its ambiguous ending, becoming one of the most disturbing pieces of cinema. It’s beautifully filmed too.

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#4 Snowtown (2011)

One of the best Australian films till this day. Justin Kurzel takes the viewer to Adelaide, where we get to know Jamie, an insecure boy, whose life is a true nightmare. The film is based on facts – the Snowtown murders have shaken the grounds of the Australian society, because the country has never witnessed such visceral crimes before. Kurzel’s film is often disturbingly difficult to watch and is recommended only to those, who can handle very – and I mean very – graphic imagery.


#3 Animal Kingdom (2009)

David Michod’s film is a masterpiece of modern thriller/noir. The films focuses on a crime family from Melbourne, which soon finds itself trapped in a web of lies, with the local police tightening the rope around their necks. “Animal Kingdom” is a magical film in many aspects, from extremely well-paced narration, to ominous, melodic music by Antony Partos and prominent acting. And that goddamn Ben Mendelsohn… a must-see.

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#2 Mad Max (1979)

Such list of Must-See Australian films cannot exist without George Miller’s opus magnum. It has set Mel Gibson’s career into motion, became one of the most popular Australian films till this day and gained a cult following over the years.

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#1 The Rover (2014)

My personal favourite from Australia and one of the best modern westerns I have seen. It is the second film by David Michod on the list too. This time, the film focuses on a world after an unknown collapse. Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson lead in this dry land and their performances are the main fuel of the dreary thriller. It’s atmosphere, brilliant acting, memorable long takes, creative soundtrack and finally – the crushing ending – are all unforgettable elements of an unforgettable film.

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