(2008)

Critic Reviews

53

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Defies all but the most cynical not to get carried away by the force of its grandiose imagery and storytelling.
70
Variety
Deliberately anachronistic in its heightened style of romance, villainy and destiny, the epic lays an Aussie accent on colorful motifs drawn from Hollywood Westerns, war films, love stories and socially conscious dramas. Some of it plays, some doesn't, and it is long.
67
Jackman, who stepped in after a cranky Russell Crowe walked away in a salary dispute, strikes just the right chord as a scruffy romantic hero.
60
Village Voice
The result is mostly a woodenly derivative melding of '40s maternal melodramas, oaters, and World War II actioners.
50
Jackman has musical-theater chops and knows how to sell material this ham-handed; Kidman isn't quite as deft. I've always admired her gumption in working so hard to overcome a certain temperamental tightness--but that tightness has now spread to her skin.
50
Charlotte Observer
Really should have been made 60 years ago. It would have been timelier, with its tale of life in the remote north of that country during World War II. The juicy overacting, stereotypes and dramatic exaggerations would have been more in keeping with the style of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
50
The A.V. Club
It almost goes without saying that the film looks gorgeous, but the filmmaking behind it feels unsure how to work on this grand a scale. Australia is big. But it never fills the screen.
42
Long before the second hour of Australia (which feels like the fifth), it's clear that Luhrmann hasn't found a satisfactory way to make a movie nearly as ballsy -- or coherent -- as he wants his creation to be.
40
With Australia, Luhrmann obviously intends to stage a grand romance against the epic backdrop of World War II. But what we get instead is an unwieldy mess that needed another six months in the editing room.
40
To marvel at the purity of Australia's corniness isn't to imply that the movie functions as so-bad-it's-good camp, or guilty pleasure, or anything else involving aesthetic enjoyment.

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