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Australia (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  26 November 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 98,540 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 445 user | 242 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shea Adams ...
Carney Boy #3
Tony Barry ...
Mission Boy (as Jamal Bednarz-Metallah)
Damian Bradford ...
Constable #1
Carney Boy #1
Tara Carpenter ...
Essential Services Woman
Rebecca Chatfield ...
Magarri's Niece
Lillian Crombie ...
Bandy Legs
Old Drunk
Cath Carney
Arthur Dignam ...
Michelle Dyzla ...


In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |

Release Date:

26 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Austrália  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,800,723 (USA) (28 November 2008)


$49,551,662 (USA) (20 March 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film sees Hong Kong actor and stuntman Wah Yuen make his official English language debut. Yuen, a classmate of Jackie Chan and Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, has played the villain in such Hong Kong classics as Dragons Forever (1988) and Eastern Condors (1987), and is probably best known internationally for his role as the Landlord in Kung Fu Hustle (2004). See more »


In the scene where Nullah has just been taken away to Mission Island and Fletcher comes over to speak to Sarah, Sarah is holding her hat in one hand. She hastily switches it over to her other hand, but in the next cut, it is back in the hand it started in. See more »


[first lines]
Nullah: My grandfather, King George, he take'em me walkabout, teach me black fella way. Grandfather teach'em me most important lesson of all. Tell'em story. That day I down the billabong. King George, he teach me how to catch'em fish using magic song. See, I not black fella. I not white fella either. Them white fellas call me mixed-blood, half-caste, creamy. I belong to no one.
King George: That day I see'em them white fellas. They were pushing them cheeky bulls across the river onto Carney land.
Nullah: [...]
See more »


Referenced in Getaway: Episode #16.31 (2007) See more »


from Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
Written by Bernard Herrmann
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Luhrmann's Grand Epic That Is Australia
9 March 2009 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

I have been looking forward to 'Australia' for a long time. Though the experience from 'Australia' isn't as magical as Baz Luhrmann's spectacular 'Moulin Rouge' nor is it as well executed (on the technical side), but I still found it very enjoyable. 'Australia' works on multiple levels. The film is a mixture of adventure, action, romance and detailed history (like in any larger than life epic movie). All of them are put well together in the film. Luhrmann's vast imagination and creativity is very evident in his portrayal of the aboriginal culture and how that's where the heart of Australia lies. To move the story further, Luhrman shows the conflict of the aboriginals with the Europeans and its chaotic result. The film introduces plenty of historical themes and serves as a thumbnail. Yet, Luhrmann does not shy away from experimenting with the magical side of his film. The main story itself is very formulaic but enjoy it like you would see a Hollywood blockbuster and roll along.

The Australian landscape is dazzling to look at. It's a country that has always fascinated me and arises my desire to go there and such movies only remind me of that feeling. Mandy Walker's cinematography is fantastic allowing landscape itself to serve as a key character (for obvious reasons). The lighting could have used some betterment, especially in the action scenes where they used blue screen filter (it was painfully obvious). I also felt that the CGI was overused and at times it does interfere with the natural beauty in the background. The soundtrack is awesome as its a mixture of spiritual beats and old classics.

At the centre of 'Australia' is an Aboriginal child of mixed race, Nullah, who is played by a likable Brandon Walters. Even though Walters doesn't exactly get it 'right' with scenes that demanded him to display complex emotions, he does very well with the comic scenes and does not go over the top by 'being cute'. A vivacious Nicole Kidman is absolutely marvelous as the strong-minded Sarah Ashley. She displays her knack for comedy, is superbly restrained in the emotional sequences and shares a wonderful chemistry with her co-stars. Hugh Jackman's Drover may have been inspired by Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones, Paul Hogan's Crocodile Dundee and the dozens of famous Clint Eastwood characters. Jackman pulls off the part quite naturally. He and Kidman are magic on screen. The supporting cast is commendable. I liked the actors who play the colourful characters at Ashley's ranch. Jack Thompson provides some brilliant comic relief. Bryan Brown has a strong presence in a limited role and David Wenham is menacing as the evil Fletcher.

Luhrmann's attempt to entertain and amuse the viewer seems genuine and the man has done a lot of research and enlightens the viewer of Australia history. Forget these 'Titanics' and 'Pearl Harbours'. 'Australia' reminds us of the time when people enjoyed grand movies such as 'Gone With The Wind' and 'The Wizard Of Oz'. Through the numerous references, this movie pays tribute to many of the classics that have made a place in the history of cinema. Yet, this enchanting movie stands on its own.

36 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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