Australian Cinema 1.0.1

by spike06 | created - 12 Sep 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

So your interested in Australian produced films but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you're a seasoned Australian movie cinephile & are simply looking for that next Aussie masterpiece. Look no further, you've definitely come to the right place! A selection of quality (& some not so) Australian cinema from through-out the ages. Be it Action, Drama, War, Western, Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Martial Arts, SciFi & more... your sure to find some inspiration here! I started this list because searching for 'true' Australian films here on the database always returns a mix including American productions filmed in Australia...you won't find any of them here. For a film to be included it must feature a majority Australian cast & be filmed in Australia. No American Productions filmed in Australia will be included. You WON'T be seeing films like: The Matrix, Dark City or Queen of the Damned listed here. This is an ongoing project that will be updated as I find more. Thus it's a select list which will hopefully become definitive in the not to distant future. (May 2015) Huge Update of Retro Horror & Thriller titles.

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1. Mad Max (1979)

R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley

Votes: 172,225 | Gross: $8.75M

Probably my all time favourite Australian film. Even better than its often thought to be superior sequel??.... You bet! Not just an action packed, but more Intelligent, grittier, darker, rawer and yes a more emotional film.

2. The Road Warrior (1981)

R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 151,209 | Gross: $12.47M

The film that started an entire subgenre on its own. Often emulated but never surpassed. The post apocalyptic action film extravaganza...Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior. A great sequel, a fantastic action film in its own right!

3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.

Directors: George Miller, George Ogilvie | Stars: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn

Votes: 115,142 | Gross: $36.20M

The final film in the Mad Max Trilogy. Based 15 years after the events of Mad Max 2. Solid popcorn munching entertainment!

4. The Chain Reaction (1980)

92 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will ... See full summary »

Director: Ian Barry | Stars: Steve Bisley, Arna-Maria Winchester, Ross Thompson, Ralph Cotterill

Votes: 644

A fun scifi actioner with car stunt work reminiscent of Mad Max. My first viewing left me slightly underwhelmed but I recently revisited, and my attitude has changed. Sure there's nowhere near the amount of high speed chases id like, but the story and atmosphere make up this shortfall. This is a bonafide Australian classic. A must watch by any lover of action cinema.

5. Wake in Fright (1971)

R | 109 min | Drama, Thriller

88 Metascore

After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay

Votes: 8,009 | Gross: $0.05M

On the cutting edge for the whole Ozploitation movement in Australia. Rediscovered in 2007 and remastered from this long lost negative. A story of one mans descent into alcoholism amidst the chaos and brutality of an alcohol fueled mining town set in the aching beauty of the Australian outback. A film which hit me with the force of a raging storm. An astounding work of art.

6. Stone (1974)

103 min | Action, Drama, Adventure

Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s.

Director: Sandy Harbutt | Stars: Deryck Barnes, Sandy Harbutt, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Lex Mitchell

Votes: 1,064

The Latest DVD release of this film proclaims: "Before Mad Max & The Road Warrior there was Stone".

Indeed there was. Stone being released a whole 6 years before Mad Max! ; D While not on par with the aforementioned, deserving of its B movie cult status none the less.

7. Romper Stomper (1992)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama

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: 34,865 | Gross: $0.18M

Highly controversial at the time of its release because of its violent content. Inspired by the highly publicized crimes of a leading Melbourne Neo-Nazi skinhead. The film which launched Russel Crowe on the world stage. BTW, its got a cracking punk sound track if you can find it!

8. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

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: 46,488 | Gross: $1.90M

The quintessential Australian Western which rubs shoulders with the best from the genre. Stellar cast including Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, John Hurt, Danny Huston and David Wenham. Written by music extraordinaire & all round tallented bloke Nick Cave. A damn fine piece of cinema.

9. Red Hill (2010)

R | 95 min | Thriller, Western

62 Metascore

A young police officer must survive his first day's duty in a small country town.

Director: Patrick Hughes | Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tommy Lewis, Claire van der Boom

Votes: 7,762 | Gross: $0.02M

10. Chopper (2000)

R | 94 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

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: 34,042 | Gross: $0.23M

11. Bad Boy Bubby (1993)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Bubby has spent thirty years trapped in the same small room, tricked by his mother. One day, he manages to escape, and, deranged and naive in equal measures, his adventure into the modern and nihilistic life begins.

Director: Rolf de Heer | Stars: Nicholas Hope, Claire Benito, Ralph Cotterill, Syd Brisbane

Votes: 10,953

BLACK comedy anyone? But be warned, its a twisted, violent, often nausea inducing crazy entertaining time.... a frightfully warped fun ride. Haven't seen this one since about 1995, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It scarred my fragile little mind :D & aren't I happy about it!

12. The Hard Word (2002)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

51 Metascore

Three fraternal bank robbers languishing in jail, discover a profitable (if not dodgy) way to spend their time. Crime can most certainly pay, if you "know wot I mean?" However when sex and ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Roberts | Stars: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Joel Edgerton, Damien Richardson

Votes: 3,375 | Gross: $0.42M

13. The Square (2008)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

A man's life begins to unravel when his mistress brings him a bag of cash.

Director: Nash Edgerton | Stars: David Roberts, Claire van der Boom, Joel Edgerton, Peter Phelps

Votes: 5,068 | Gross: $0.05M

14. Metal Skin (1994)

115 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Psycho Joe, a petrol-head from Altona, Melbourne, secures employment at a local Supermarket. Here, he meets the over-sexed Dazey. Joe and Dazey form a friendship based on a mutual interest ... See full summary »

Director: Geoffrey Wright | Stars: Aden Young, Tara Morice, Nadine Garner, Ben Mendelsohn

Votes: 418

Definately in my top 10 movies of all time. From the director of Romper Stomper.

Lost, dispondent dope-addled car-obsessed young males with disturbing disconnected lives become focused on an arbitrary quest in order to find meaning. (thanks somebozo943!)

Unflinching indie brilliance with punch!

15. Animal Kingdom (2010)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

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: 50,675 | Gross: $1.04M

16. The Rover (2014)

R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

10 years after a global economic collapse, a hardened loner pursues the men who stole his only possession, his car. Along the way, he captures one of the thieves' brother, and the duo form an uneasy bond during the dangerous journey.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, David Field

Votes: 39,457 | Gross: $1.11M

17. The Babadook (2014)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Horror

86 Metascore

A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Director: Jennifer Kent | Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney

Votes: 161,911 | Gross: $0.92M

18. Gettin' Square (2003)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

Gettin' Square is about starting over, keeping clean and going straight. Barry Wirth is fresh out of prison and determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But like his mate Johnny 'Spit... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky | Stars: Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Timothy Spall, Freya Stafford

Votes: 2,705

19. Dirty Deeds (2002)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime

1973 Sydney: An Australian gangster sees booming business, due to U.S. soldiers being in town for relaxing between their tours to the Vietnam war, attracts the attention of first the Chicago mafia, and then their East Coast competitors.

Director: David Caesar | Stars: Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman, Sam Neill

Votes: 3,013

20. Idiot Box (1996)

R | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Looking for the fast track out of suburban hell, two natural born losers scheme an impossible heist. Mick is slack, cynical, and most of all, unemployed. He masterminds the plan while Kev, ... See full summary »

Director: David Caesar | Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Jeremy Sims, John Polson, Graeme Blundell

Votes: 758

21. The Big Steal (1990)

99 min | Comedy

To impress a girl a shy teenaged boy buys a used Jaguar.

Director: Nadia Tass | Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan, Marshall Napier, Damon Herriman

Votes: 856

22. Dogs in Space (1986)

R | 103 min | Drama

The film is set in a house occupied by a collection of social misfits. The main storyline is that of a strange musician's relationship with a girl, their drug use and his band. These events... See full summary »

Director: Richard Lowenstein | Stars: Michael Hutchence, Saskia Post, Nique Needles, Deanna Bond

Votes: 1,033

23. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Mystery

81 Metascore

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: 29,364 | Gross: $0.23M

24. Angel Baby (1995)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

Two schizophrenics meet during therapy and fall passionately in love. Ahead of them lies the inevitable road to disaster - one they share to the end.

Director: Michael Rymer | Stars: John Lynch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Colin Friels, Deborra-Lee Furness

Votes: 1,240

25. Crackerjack (2002)

92 min | Comedy

When dwindling membership and increasing overheads makes a local bowling club and prime candidate for a takeover, it's all hands on deck to save the club, in what turns into an epic battle ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Moloney | Stars: Mick Molloy, Bill Hunter, Frank Wilson, Monica Maughan

Votes: 2,159

26. Two Hands (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

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: 9,169

27. Candy (2006)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

Director: Neil Armfield | Stars: Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Budge

Votes: 39,958 | Gross: $0.04M

28. Muggers (2000)

97 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

Brad and Gregor, two broke medical students in their final year and debut to a loan shark, must resort to contentious lengths to finance themselves. A fresh comedy with scruple less students.

Director: Dean Murphy | Stars: Jason Barry, Matt Day, Petra Yared, Simon Bossell

Votes: 257

29. The Illustrated Family Doctor (2005)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

"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: 213

A rarely seen Indie Black Comedy gem. This one came straight from left field and firmly smacked me in the kisser. Highly recommended if you ike independant, quality film making with a strong story and plenty of dark humor!

30. The Rage in Placid Lake (2003)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy

63 Metascore

An exuberant, sharply satirical comedy about two parentally neglected teenagers who find the courage to believe in themselves

Director: Tony McNamara | Stars: Jordan Brooking, Ben Lee, Rose Byrne, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 2,660

31. Proof (1991)

R | 86 min | Drama, Romance

The life of a blind photographer who is looked after by a housekeeper is disrupted by the arrival of an agreeable restaurant worker.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot, Russell Crowe, Heather Mitchell

Votes: 5,677 | Gross: $0.52M

32. Malcolm (1986)

PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi

Malcolm is a chronically shy mechanical genius who has just been fired for building his own tram. He gets Frank, who has just been released from jail, to move in to help pay the bills. ... See full summary »

Director: Nadia Tass | Stars: Colin Friels, John Hargreaves, Lindy Davies, Chris Haywood

Votes: 1,833 | Gross: $0.54M

33. The Efficiency Expert (1992)

PG | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

An expert on productivity shows wacky workers in 1966 Australia how to run their moccasin factory like clockwork, despite laying off more than half the workforce.

Director: Mark Joffe | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ben Mendelsohn, Alwyn Kurts, Bruno Lawrence

Votes: 1,507 | Gross: $0.10M

34. True Love and Chaos (1997)

97 min | Drama

Hanif and Dean steal a cache of drugs from Dean's psychotic brother Jerry, and at the last minute get a lift with Mimi as she decides to drive to Perth. They pick up a drunken singer, ... See full summary »

Director: Stavros Kazantzidis | Stars: Naveen Andrews, Ben Mendelsohn, Miranda Otto, Noah Taylor

Votes: 234

35. Red Dog (2011)

PG | 92 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.

Director: Kriv Stenders | Stars: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rohan Nichol, Luke Ford

Votes: 14,885

36. Blurred (2002)

95 min | Comedy, Drama

Follows five groups of teenagers as they hit the road for Schoolies Week.

Director: Evan Clarry | Stars: Tony Brockman, Travis Cotton, Jamie Croft, Jessica Gower

Votes: 445

37. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 33,249 | Gross: $5.73M

38. Felony (2013)

TV-MA | 105 min | Thriller

52 Metascore

An accident involving a young child sets off a chain of events that brings an Australian police officer's world crashing down.

Director: Matthew Saville | Stars: Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Simpson

Votes: 4,294

39. These Final Hours (2013)

R | 87 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

61 Metascore

A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.

Director: Zak Hilditch | Stars: Jessica De Gouw, Nathan Phillips, David Field, Lauren Cleary

Votes: 13,937

Wow! This film floored me. One of the greatest depictions of the chaos and hopelessness one would expect to endure in the event of a major societal collapse let alone the end of the world. Top notch acting. A solid story. Terrifying effects. This is a modern Australian scifi masterpiece.

40. Fell (I) (2014)

100 min | Drama

Fell is an entrancing and enigmatic drama - a dreamlike, visually resplendent tale of nature, revenge and redemption.

Director: Kasimir Burgess | Stars: Matt Nable, Isabella Garwoli, Brett Robin, Eddie Baroo

Votes: 88

41. Beneath Hill 60 (2010)

R | 122 min | Drama, History, War

In 1916, the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company is tunneling beneath German fortifications and bunkers to detonate massive explosive charges.

Director: Jeremy Sims | Stars: Brendan Cowell, Harrison Gilbertson, Steve Le Marquand, Gyton Grantley

Votes: 6,689

42. Crocodile Dundee (1986)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy

62 Metascore

An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.

Director: Peter Faiman | Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, David Gulpilil

Votes: 83,548 | Gross: $174.64M

43. Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

PG | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

41 Metascore

Australian outback expert protects his New York love from gangsters who've followed her down under.

Director: John Cornell | Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, Ernie Dingo

Votes: 49,002 | Gross: $109.31M

44. Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

54 Metascore

When their country is invaded and their families are taken, eight unlikely high school teenagers band together to fight.

Director: Stuart Beattie | Stars: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz

Votes: 28,898

45. Sleeping Beauty (2011)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

57 Metascore

A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.

Director: Julia Leigh | Stars: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Bridgette Barrett

Votes: 28,667 | Gross: $0.04M

46. Mary and Max (2009)

Not Rated | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Director: Adam Elliot | Stars: Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana, Barry Humphries

Votes: 146,148

47. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi