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The Castle
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Castle More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Funniest and best Australian film I've seen to this date

8/10
Author: Craig Porter (archertroy@hotmail.com) from Australia
4 July 1999

My age: 13

The Castle is the story of Daryl Kerrigan, a tow-truck driver from Melbourne, who loves his house, which he calls a home and a castle. Living next-door to the airport has never been a problem for him and his family, until now. The airport wants to expand and is forcing Daryl's family and their neighbours out of their houses with a compulsory acquisition which Daryl will not stand for. He will go to court and fight for his right to stay in his home. This goes all the way to the high court.

One of the funniest films I have ever seen, The Castle has a good plot and courageous story. You will never be bored because the jokes keep coming. Acting performances are mainly good, but some are just fairly average. I recommend The Castle to everyone of any age group except small children as there is a bit of coarse language.

Australian Classification: M 15+: Medium Level Coarse Language

Rating: 80 out of 100

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not just for Australians!!!!

10/10
Author: copperline78 from United States
14 February 2005

Although this is an "Australian" film I must respectfully disagree with the other reviewer. I am an American and I absolutely loved this film! I have never been to Australia but I completely fell in love with every aspect of this movie. If you are a fan of over the top physical comedy, a la Jim Carrey, you may not care for "The Castle". But if you like films that rely on actors to masterfully deliver subtle comedic dialogue then this is one not to miss. I found the Kerrigans to be absolutely endearing and the recurring jokes a treat. "The Castle" is a film that is not only funny but poignant as well. Maybe its just me, but the Aussies that made this film totally get this American's sense of humor.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Going to Bonnie Doon!

Author: Timothy Thieke from New York City
22 February 2001

I loved this movie! My family loved it. My friends loved it. My co-workers loved it. Even though none of us have ever been to Australia we somehow all managed to understand about 99% of the humor in this very funny and lovable film. As perplexing as this may seem to some of the Americans who didn't like it, or give it half a chance, one only needs a rudimentary knowledge of Australian culture or a modicum of intelligence about life outside the US to enjoy The Castle.

Yes, the Kerrigans are tacky. Yes, they are not the brightest people on God's earth. And no one is going to accuse Darryl Kerrigan of having an eye for real estate. But they are decent folk who look out for one another and their friends, and for this reason we come to root for them. Refreshingly, the movie gets big laughs from its quirky characters and not from crude sight gags like some movies I could mention.

Who cares if it didn't play well in the States? "This is Spinal Tap" didn't do well at the box office either, and it's one of the funniest films ever made. "The Castle", for me, goes down as one of the funniest films of the 1990's.

"How much do jousting sticks go for, Dad? Not more than 250."

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

this one's going straight to the pool room!

10/10
Author: filminyc from New York City
8 April 2005

this movie is one of those gems that will affect your use of language. The cast -even the smallest roles- are gifted and hilarious. It's unfortunate that movies like these get put into the rarely opened box of 'foreign comedies.' Audiences stateside who can't easily find this title are deprived of monumental one-liners and brilliant performances by everyone involved.

One worries about some 'intrepid' type attempting to re-make this film in the U.S. It's easy to imagine executives wanting to translate the magic to more known U.S. actors. But while the humor itself is hardly parochial, the cast displays such a tight sense of comic timing that duplication seems hard,if not impossible. 'The Office' comes to mind...

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Slow at first, but builds to fantastic finish!

10/10
Author: mjdudeck from United States
14 December 2004

The first time I saw this movie I paid full price at a movie theater (something I rarely do). For the first half hour I thought I had wasted my money. The humor at the beginning is dry and silly. But as this movie progresses, the plot becomes important, not just the jokes. The characters are developed nicely and and you begin to take their side. The music is an excellent selection of classic rock tunes, such as "Hold Your Head Up," and other good ones.

By the end of the movie, I was laughing and cheering so hard I had tears coming down my face and I was falling out of my seat. The rest of the theater had the same reaction, and after the movie we all walked out with great big grins on our faces.

It's the story of a "little guy" and his family standing up to a rich corporation that is trying to "legally" force them out of their home (their "castle"). He stands up to them and tells them to shove it.

I liked the movie so much that I bought the video, and my family and I have watched it many times, always laughing and cheering for the Kerrigans.

I was somewhat surprised to see the negative reviews of this movie. I recommend it highly to anyone who likes to cheer for the underdog. There is some strong language that I wouldn't recommend for children. But there is no cheap sexual humor, and no gratuitous violence. I guess some people just can't appreciate a movie without these. This movie is just straightforward, honest comedy with an excellent theme. Look this movie up and see it. You will not be disappointed.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Australian comedy

10/10
Author: BadWebDiver from Perth, Australia
19 April 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a great comic film produced in Australia. Apparently it didn't do so well overseas, though I would have thought the basic themes of the trials and tribulations of suburbanite living, and the small man battling the large corporation would have had some universal relevance.

For those not familiar with the Australian sense of humour, this could possibly be described as similar to the US tv series "Home Improvement" (at least the early seasons when it was more farcically funny).

<Spoiler warning!>

A lot of the humour comes from the way some extraordinary information is presented in a very deadpan, matter-of-fact style. One of my favourite moments is when Kerrigan says that they had a soil sample done of their backyard a while ago. There's a major pause, then he says casually: "Have you ever heard of lead?"

Another brilliant moment comes during a courtroom scene when the incompetent lawyer tries to argue his case on the basis of "a vibe". (a slight dig at some of the amazing legal arguments used on some earlier movies and tv shows worldwide).

I think what makes this a truly brilliant film, and one that puts it way ahead of many similar low budget comedies it the great way it manages to put across some farcically comic moments, while still giving the characters some heartfelt sincerity. The character make wild assumptions and total misreadings of the situation, yet they do it with a lot of heart and conviction. THEY believe in what they do. I think this is the secret of great comedy, even of the wildest farcical kind. It's a quality few film-makers, especially rookie low budget productions, hardly ever manage; yet Working Dog Productions has succeeded without question. Top marks guys, on a job very well done!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Like "Ray Bradbury's Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" but Australian

10/10
Author: jessewillis from Canada
20 June 2000

Like Ray Bradbury's Wonderful Ice Cream Suit but Australian. Well maybe not exactly like "Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" but it surely has the same inner beauty.

Ignore the quotes on the video's cover they utterly fail to capture what this film is about. Whoever designed the cover has obviously not seen the film. It is nothing like Crocodile Dundee or The Full Monty. And you will stop laughing it is more touching and heartwarming than it is hilarious.

Go, go now, stop reading this and go out and get a copy of The Castle. Gather up your loved ones because this should be a family experience.

The Kerrigans lead a simple life but then their simple themselves. They are tremendously supportive and loving. Their material wealth is next to nil, but the family makes lemons out of all the lemonades life gives them. Every meal is a banquet, every anecdote is a saga.

Lets face facts, Australians make the best films! Hollywood makes some good films but the Australians always seem to make better ones. Too Wong Foo Thanks For nothing when you can have Priscilla Queen of The Desert and The Castle. Go out right now and find a copy of The Castle. Don't expect convulsive laughs like in There Is Something About Mary. Expect giggles and a renewal in your faith in humanity. Are you still reading this? Go, I said go, go out and get The Castle!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

How much does he want for it?

10/10
Author: bobbobwhite from san ramon ca
28 October 2004

I'll pay it! I saw this film on TV on vacation in NZ and think it's one of the funniest comedies ever, and I'm not "dreamin". This film just goes to show you that we are just about as happy as we set out to be no matter what happens to us or what we have, and our personal situations make only a small difference in that happiness as it's is more a state of mind than of fact.

I bought the American DVD and it is just as good as the original. The car name change was no big deal, and the rest of it seemed the same and surely was the "vibe" of the thing. I just loved this film and recommend it to everyone I see.

The Kiwi's I asked about it said that that was the dumb way Australians really are. Now I'm sure they're dreamin', as I know at least one who isn't that way.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good clean fun that is mocking in a gentle way rather than being cruel

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
20 June 2005

The Kerrigan family live in a top property at the end of an airport runway. Dad has endless projects round the house and often stands in proud amazement at the size of his aerial, the hole that his son dug or some of the ideas his middle son has had. Mum is a great cook that can do a sponge cake as easy as seasoned chicken. Wayne is in prison, Steve is an apprentice mechanic and an ideas man, while Dale is just plain happy with his simple family life. However, when a compulsory purchase order comes through the post, the family find that they are being forced to sell up to make room for an extension of the airport.

Shot in less than two weeks because that is all they could afford to do, this comedy is a delightfully gentle comedy that draws laughs from the Kerrigan family but balances it perfectly so that we still like them. This is not as easy as it sounds because, in UK parlance, the Kerrigan's are "chavs" and are very simple people, they admire things that many of us would dislike (living below planes and beside pylons) and they are not the brightest in the world. In essence they are the "typical" Australian working class family and Darryl is the classic Aussie battler. The plot is simple and, although it is fairly obvious where it is going and isn't ever that dramatic, the story is gently engaging and pleasing. The laughs are gentle but consistent and show a real good touch in the writing – taking "normal" eccentricities and exaggerating just enough to be funny but not to the point where it is absurd. It is hard to describe but basically give it five minutes – you'll either get it or you won't and, if you don't, then don't bother with it because it is the same from the start onwards.

The direction is a bit rough and ready but that does suit the material – as does the cast. Caton is enjoyable and fits the bill spot on. Tenney has a smaller role but does it well; likewise Simcoe, Hope and a pre-Hollywood Bana. Narration is good from Curry and the majority of the cast play their material well considering the real time pressure they must have been under. One bit of trivia that illustrates the constraints in making this film is that the family name "Kerrigan" was selected because the tow trucks used for the film already had that name painted on them, so it saved costs to change the script rather than change the paint job.

Overall this was a delightfully amusing film with not a single harsh or cruel line in the whole thing. It may make fun of the Kerrigan family but it does it in an affectionate manner that is consistently funny without being a real belly-laugh fest. A perfectly entertaining family film that doesn't appear to have been damaged or compromised by the rushed shoot or the tiny budget.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A simple, wonderful film

9/10
Author: waynepenner
24 February 2003

People call this a comedy, and it is very funny, but its not a comedy. It is a wonderfully warm story about a simple man and his family who are faced with the devastation of losing their home because the government needs their land to enlarge the runway at Melbourne Airport. He refuses to accede to a law that can kick him off his land at a whim and fights all the way to the Supreme Court. If you have an ounce of sense and agree with the old adage that "the law is an ass" you will enjoy this film. If you have an ounce of humanity, you will LOVE this film. A deeply satisfying classic Aussie film, "beautiful".

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