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Mystery Road (2013)

2:14 | Trailer

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An indigenous detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a young girl.



9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Jay Swan
Pete Bailey
Charlie Murray
Tony Barry ...
Constable Roberts
Mr. Bailey
Jim the Coroner
Jack Charles ...
Old Boy
Tricia Whitton ...
Siobhan Binge ...
Daniel Roberts ...


In an outback town, Jay Swan, an Indigenous cowboy detective, returns home to solve the murder of a teenage Indigenous girl whose body is found under the highway trucking route out of town. Jay is alienated from both the white-dominated police force and the Indigenous community, including his teenage daughter, whom he discovers is connected to the murdered girl. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Ryan Kwanten, and Tasma Walton, MYSTERY ROAD is a gripping murder mystery with a cultural perspective. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Release Date:

15 August 2013 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Paslapciu kelias  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


AUD 3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Much of this film is shot in the small Australian town of Winton. Mystery Road held its first screening there. Some of iconic Australian film, Crocodile Dundee, was shot there (The Walkabout Creek Pub Scene). See more »


When the murdered indigenous girl is found in the pipe, she is sitting up with a gap behind her spine so that her weight is on her hips and her head against the pipe. She would have been slumped, but she was maintaining a posture impossible in a corpse. See more »


[first lines]
Detective Jay Swan: [waking to answer the phone] Yeah? Alright. OK...
[rolls out of bed]
Robbo: [greeting his arrival on scene] Jay...
Detective Jay Swan: G'day, Robbo. What's the story?
Robbo: The truckie pulled up to check his trailers, heard a wild dog growling from under the bridge, smelt something rotten.
Detective Jay Swan: How did he know it was a wild dog?
Robbo: Guess he just knows the difference, I suppose. You know, between a wild dog and a wild kind of normal dog.
See more »


Followed by Goldstone (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Worth looking at
16 March 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I don't think this is the greatest film ever made, or even Ivan Sven's best, but it's definitely worth a look. You'll have to leave aside any US parochialism (the US experience of place, politics, and film convention all too often stand in as "universal" or "neutral") and accept that this film may be addressing particularly Australian experiences and expressions of place, race, and politics, even as Sven tries to frame these concerns within recognisable genre conventions. His film probably doesn't fully succeed; and like most genre films, there's some predictability and inevitability about the plot line and outcomes. However, there's an excellent central performance and - if you allow yourself to settle into the rhythm the film demands, instead of looking for satisfaction of your own particular expectations/needs - the mood of the piece is affecting. In parts, it reminds me of Wake in Fright. That it presents an Aboriginal man as the central figure - and a policeman at that - "waking in fright" as an outsider in his own town/country is worth thinking about. Is it an "authentic" representation of "the outback"? What would that be? What's "the" "outback"? How would we know it was "authentic", and who has the right to say? Is John Ford's "The Searchers" an "authentic" representation of "the West"? I'm not suggesting this is on the same level as The Searchers, but to write it off as some have on this site seems harsh. Worth a look; it may teach you something about race relations in Australia.

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