26 of the Best Films from Australia

by Timothy_Ryan | created - 22 Mar 2011 | updated - 14 Nov 2011 | Public

As an Australian and a big fan of film I'm rather proud of our still rather small countries track record.

A lot of you will already be familiar with some well received or well known Aussie films such as Babe, Mad Max, Wolf Creek, Rabbit-Proof Fence, (the utterly insulting) Australia, Shine, Moulin Rouge!, or even just Crocodile Dundee. The following, however, I like a lot more.

If you are at all interested in good film I sincerely recommend checking out the titles on this list. I think Aussie film maintains a slightly unique flavour, much like our character, which I'm sure many people will love if they give it a chance.

There's a bit of everything in here, from comedy and drama, to action and horror. Let me know what you think, and please feel free to recommend me more!

Here's my top 26 Australian films (in alphabetical order). It certainly wasn't easy.

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1. Animal Kingdom (2010)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
83 Metascore

A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Bryce Lindemann

Votes: 48,887 | Gross: $1.04M

2. Beneath Clouds (2002)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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The story of Lena, the light-skinned daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Irish father and Vaughn, a Murri boy doing time in a minimum security prison in North West NSW. Dramatic events ... See full summary »

Director: Ivan Sen | Stars: Dannielle Hall, Damian Pitt, Jenna Lee Connors, Terry Dahlstron

Votes: 835

3. The Boys (1998)

R | 86 min | Crime, Drama

7.2
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Brett Sprague is a violent and psychopathic man, who is released on parole after serving a sentence for assault. As he returns to his family house and we watch him and his brothers, Stevie ... See full summary »

Director: Rowan Woods | Stars: David Wenham, Toni Collette, Lynette Curran, John Polson

Votes: 1,183 | Gross: $0.00M

4. The Castle (1997)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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A working-class family from Melbourne, Australia fights city hall after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion.

Director: Rob Sitch | Stars: Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry, Anthony Simcoe

Votes: 12,862 | Gross: $0.86M

5. Chopper (2000)

Unrated | 94 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.2
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65 Metascore

Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, Vince Colosimo, Renée Brack

Votes: 33,107 | Gross: $0.23M

6. The Home Song Stories (2007)

103 min | Drama

7.2
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A man remembers his childhood and his mother, a Chinese night club singer who struggled to survive in Australia with her two children.

Director: Tony Ayres | Stars: Joan Chen, Yuwu Qi, Joel Lok, Irene Chen

Votes: 796

7. The Illustrated Family Doctor (2005)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

6.0
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"The Illustrated Family Doctor" is a dark comedy, that centres on the story of Gary Kelp, a young man who condenses reference books for a company called the Info Digest.

Director: Kriv Stenders | Stars: Samuel Johnson, Colin Friels, Jessica Napier, Sacha Horler

Votes: 211

8. Kenny (2006)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy

7.3
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From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth delivers porta-loos to them all. Ignored and unappreciated, he is one of the cogs in society's machinery; a knight in ... See full summary »

Director: Clayton Jacobson | Stars: Shane Jacobson, Travis Golland, Chris Davis, Alf Scerri

Votes: 5,754

9. Lantana (2001)

R | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.3
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84 Metascore

The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.

Director: Ray Lawrence | Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Rachael Blake, Kerry Armstrong

Votes: 17,191 | Gross: $4.46M

10. Little Fish (2005)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.3
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77 Metascore

Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.

Director: Rowan Woods | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Martin Henderson

Votes: 7,676 | Gross: $0.01M

11. Look Both Ways (2005)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
64 Metascore

During one unusually hot and tragic weekend, four people struggle after hearing some life-changing news, this in turn brings them together.

Director: Sarah Watt | Stars: Mary Kostakidis, Justine Clarke, Daniela Farinacci, Robbie Hoad

Votes: 2,836 | Gross: $0.10M

12. Looking for Alibrandi (2000)

103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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A teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the ... See full summary »

Director: Kate Woods | Stars: Greta Scacchi, Anthony LaPaglia, Elena Cotta, Kerry Walker

Votes: 2,647

13. The Magician (I) (2005)

85 min | Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A mockumentary that follows Ray Shoesmith, a Melbourne hitman who is simultaneously ruthless and caring, likeable and volatile. 'Filmed' by his media student neighbour for a university ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Ryan | Stars: Scott Ryan, Ben Walker, Massimiliano Andrighetto, Kane Mason

Votes: 747

14. Noise (I) (2007)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.8
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The community reels after an incident on a suburban train. A young cop, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus, is pitched into the chaos that follows this tragic event. He struggles ... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Saville | Stars: Maia Thomas, Carole Browne, Kent Clifton-Bligh, Aaron Murphy

Votes: 2,375 | Gross: $0.02M

15. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Mystery

7.6
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During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse

Votes: 27,555 | Gross: $0.08M

16. Praise (1998)

98 min | Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
79 Metascore

An unfocused twentysomething (Peter Fenton) moves in with a former co-worker (Sacha Holder), who is suffering from low self-esteem because of her weight, looks, and a case of eczema. Their ... See full summary »

Director: John Curran | Stars: Peter Fenton, Sacha Horler, Marta Dusseldorp, Ray Bull

Votes: 523 | Gross: $0.03M

17. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson

Votes: 45,228 | Gross: $1.90M

18. Romper Stomper (1992)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama

6.8
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A group of skinheads become alarmed at the way their neighbourhood is changing.

Director: Geoffrey Wright | Stars: Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie, Alex Scott

Votes: 33,650 | Gross: $0.18M

19. Romulus, My Father (2007)

R | 104 min | Biography, Drama

6.7
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57 Metascore

It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is a story of impossible love that ultimately celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son.

Director: Richard Roxburgh | Stars: Eric Bana, Franka Potente, Marton Csokas, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 3,843 | Gross: $0.00M

20. Samson and Delilah (2009)

101 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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71 Metascore

Samson and Delilah's world is small- an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, ... See full summary »

Director: Warwick Thornton | Stars: Rowan McNamara, Marissa Gibson, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson, Scott Thornton

Votes: 2,792

21. The Snowtown Murders (2011)

Not Rated | 119 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.

Director: Justin Kurzel | Stars: Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris, Bob Adriaens

Votes: 14,701 | Gross: $0.01M

22. Storm Boy (1976)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Family

7.2
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Mike is a lonely Australian boy living in a coastal wilderness with his reclusive father. In search of friendship he encounters an Aboriginal native loner and the two form a bond in the care of orphaned pelicans.

Director: Henri Safran | Stars: Greg Rowe, Peter Cummins, David Gulpilil, Judy Dick

Votes: 765

23. Ten Canoes (2006)

Unrated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
82 Metascore

A story within a story. In Australia's Northern Territory, a man tells us one of the stories of his people and his land. It's a story of an older man, Minygululu, who has three wives and ... See full summary »

Directors: Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr | Stars: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Gulpilil, Richard Birrinbirrin, Peter Minygululu

Votes: 3,959 | Gross: $0.28M

24. Three Dollars (2005)

R | 118 min | Drama

6.3
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THREE DOLLARS is the story of Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself with a wife, a child, and three dollars. Eddie's world revolves around the three women in his life: his ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Connolly | Stars: David Wenham, Frances O'Connor, Sarah Wynter, Robert Menzies

Votes: 645

25. The Tracker (2002)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, History, Western

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
71 Metascore

It's 1922; somewhere in Australia. When a Native Australian man is accused of murdering a white woman, three white men (The Fanatic, The Follower and The Veteran) are given the mission of ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer | Stars: David Gulpilil, Gary Sweet, Damon Gameau, Grant Page

Votes: 1,896

26. Two Hands (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a ... See full summary »

Director: Gregor Jordan | Stars: Heath Ledger, Bryan Brown, David Field, Tom Long

Votes: 8,751