Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) Poster

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Worst movie I have ever seen
graham-938-45507731 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't read any of the books so I watched this film on its own merits and I'm generally supportive of Aussie films, but this film was terrible.

Let's start with the characters. Stereotypes galore from the prissy, ditsy uptown blonde through to the Chinese boy who's family owns a Chinese restaurant and he demonstrates Kung Fu skills. The actors seem very camera-aware, talking at the camera instead of each other and it doesn't help that the story is full of woeful clichés and unrealistic dialog. There was no development of the characters, i felt no attachment to any of them and towards the end i was wishing the "enemy" would kill at least half of them. The worst part for me is that the story suggests that they are mostly 17 years old, but only 1 character (the priests daughter *groan*) actually looks right for the part. I would have turned it off halfway if it wasn't for the stoner character. At this point I started watching it like it was a spoof movie.

The story unfortunately is full of holes and unrealistic events that make it so hard to watch. The enemy was made out to be so stupid and wildly inaccurate with their weapons. Please use a military adviser next time you want to make a film containing armed forces. Are we really supposed to believe that they wouldn't have engineers that could rebuild a bridge? On top of all the technical and military logic errors in the story, it almost seems to completely ignore the fact that Australia has a defense force.

Afraid of political correctness, the Asian coalition army invading has no name and it is painfully skirted around making the movie more unrealistic. Trying to keep gender equality alive with woman enemy soldiers (did we forget it was an Asian army?) another painful reminder of the poorly written script. The lead female gaining inspiration for a wall mural depicting aborigines and English redcoat troops was a vomit moment. You guys realise that the English settled here right, effectively conquering?? Just needed a scene with a woman vet holding an injured joey to finish it off.

The only good thing about this film is the view of the national park.

There is more, but I'm over it. Do yourself a favour and save your money.
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Where do I get paid to say this movie was good....
promo224 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Someone is obviously paying people to give positive reviews, I had heard that this was a film I should see... Wrong!

Clumsy, predictable, laughable. They should have had a grown-up check the script before starting production.

Dump trucks are not bullet proof! Soldiers don't run away when a teenager blows up a lawnmower. Soldiers don't go for dinner when someone steals their tanker. Soldiers don't sneak up on enemy 'commandoes' with their gun-lights on.

It kept looking like it could improve and some parts looked very stylish, but then ffffttt! Deflation.

Paper-thin character development, dry lines, ridiculous action sequences and the final scene... OMG lol wtf...I was embarrassed to have told my wife she should watch this with me, she doesn't mind suspending disbelief when watching something like this but she laughed out loud at the final 5 seconds and I cringed!

Sorry to the writer and director, good on you for having the guts to make a movie, no doubt better than I could do, but sheesh, maybe share the workload next time.
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I Enjoyed This Movie
MrAwesome102224 October 2013
To the reviews that question the logic of the film and mentioned the driving around "without a care in the world" do not understand military parameters of making a perimeter. In the film the only time they were driving freely was when they were outside of the city limits, where there were never soldiers.

When you play close attention to the small details you will notice things like that rather than writing in a review you found the movie "laughable." I loved the human interaction and how the movie was crafted to not just be a war movie, but something much deeper about people from different walks of life coming together for a cause.

The acting I felt was also very well done, as well was the script. Every character develops in their own unique way, which gave the script a very complete feeling. I really don't have any complaints for how it was presented, it was a very solid film. It was just missing a spark to push it over the top of being good to great.

True Score: 7.3
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Did everyone else watch a different movie?
aslan-937-28376430 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I felt it was necessary to sign up for an IMDb account to offset the skewed reviews this film is getting... it's current 6.9 rating is baffling to say the least.

I started watching this film with an open mind. The premise wasn't original (see Red Dawn) but I like Australian films and since it got such high reviews here, it would be worth a watch. I was sadly mistaken.

It's starts off well, establishing the main characters, but quickly falls off the rails once the kids return from their camping trip. I know I'm not the target audience for this type of film, but once you get past the teens and their budding crushes/relationships, this film makes little sense. I won't get into too much detail, but even a non-military person like myself knows that the way the "invaders" take over and police the town is completely implausible and impractical. And don't get me started on using gasoline as a high explosive, which is used as a plot device not once, but twice.

When the main characters start musing on the current situation and how their lives were before the "war" (an hour or two after returning to town no less), it comes across as wooden and silly. Maybe if I was a 14 year old girl I'd be more forgiving, but I'm not.

To top it all off, the movies doesn't have an ending. There's no satisfying conclusion to the story and it's blatantly clear they want to start a franchise with many sequels, which hopefully will never be made.

An awful, awful film… Red Dawn did it much better.
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The children of the revolution have arrived too little too late
Likes_Ninjas9010 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In the Australian country town of Wirrawee Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) is preparing to organise a camping trip with six of her school friends. They include Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and her boyfriend Kevin (Lincoln Lewis), Fiona; a beautiful girl who has never been camping before, Homer (Deniz Akdeniz); a Greek boy who is regularly in trouble with the police, Robyn (Ashleigh Cummings); who comes from a strict religious family and Lee (Chris Pang); who normally works in his parents restaurant but is invited because Ellie likes him. These varied personalities have different reactions to the bushland but they eventually agree that they should regularly return to this part of the outback labelled as "Hell". When they arrive back home though they are dismayed to find that the phone lines are dead and that Ellie's dog has been killed. They are unable to find any other working signals on their phones or in the other houses. Everyone in the town, including their parents, seems to have vanished. They soon realise that an Asian military force has invaded Australia and is holding people captive. The kids decide to fight for their freedom and work to sabotage their invaders.

One of the most significant moments in Stuart Beattie's career as a screenwriter was to pen the screenplay for Michael Mann's dazzling thriller Collateral (2004). The Australian's script reminded Hollywood of many of the essentials that had been lost in mainstream genre cinema: the necessity for deep characterisation, regularly driven by smart, witty conversations that were enjoyable to listen to. Beattie has been involved in various blockbusters since then. He worked on the stories for all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He also penned the script to the film Australia and has been involved with the much anticipated Halo film project. With a desire to be at the helm of his own writing though, Beattie has opted to make his directional debut by adapting the first novel in John Marsden's immensely popular young adult series "Tomorrow, When the War Began" (1993). The film's timing could not be better. It is set in the present and hints at Australia's sometimes dangerous nationalist attitudes to other countries. Kevin says at one point: "you're either in or you're out", echoing an infamous catchphrase by George W. Bush. The film also reveals its invaders to be an Asian military force, something that is never unveiled in the novels. Frustratingly for Beattie and fans of the novel though, this adaptation seems to have been pulled in two different directions for two separate mediums. Potentially interesting material and moral ambiguities are either simplified or minimised to single lines of dialogue.

Marsden's stranglehold over the screenplay cannot be understated. He reportedly rejected numerous scripts and film offers prior to Beattie but was pleased with this treatment when he read through it. It makes few changes to the essentials of the novel. The personalities of the characters are just like the novel, constructed rather than subtle. Marsden seems to have forgotten that time has moved on and those that cherished the novel in the 90s have grown up and presumably become more sophisticated. There's a lack of nerve here to let the audience think for themselves and allow them to delve into more complex issues. When Ellie kills her first soldier she looks over the body and her voice-over tells us how scared the soldier looked and how she must have been just like her. It's not enough for the camera shot and the perspective to exist by itself, replacing the language of Marsden's novel. It's a reoccurring issue with a lot of the dialogue in the film. The characters exist for Beattie to voice moral questions, just in case the audience didn't get them. Robyn has an argument with the group about not wanting to kill the soldiers because of her religious values. What happens to her is predictable and exists on a surface level, with little reflection. You'd almost wish William Munny would show up and say: "It's a hell of a thing, killing a man". He doesn't and the film's constraints towards it themes and the potential of its subtext are obvious.

Some critics have spoken about the problematic decision to employ a novice director to work with such inexperienced actors. It's a legitimate concern as most of the performers, bar Stasey, lack presence on screen. They have mostly worked just on television and they're only given a small corridor to work in because of the specific outline of what their characters are supposed to be and sound like. There's a lot of clunky, wooden dialogue that really only serves as a mouthpiece for the familiar questions relating to warfare. Thankfully, the technical aspects of the film are much more impressive. For a debut director, Beattie handles the action very well, with some genuinely exciting set pieces. There's a very well staged escape from a showground and a slick chase against a group of armoured buggies. Each these action scenes look and sound terrific. They're very exciting and intense.

Tomorrow, When the War Began might satisfy young viewers with its slick action sequences and its stereotypical character traits. Yet those who grew up with the novels will be disappointed that the material here has not expanded or been updated thoroughly enough. This is a straight adaptation that cannot break from the shackles of the original author. Beattie has not been allowed to delve deep enough into new ideas about warfare or the psychology of the cartoon-like characters here. The probability of a sequel is high but it would seem that the children of the revolution have arrived too little too late.
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One big face-palm
Nick M5 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie not knowing anything about it, I didn't even know it was Australian. I had my head in my hands for half the time it was so cringe until it was so bad I had to laugh out loud. The acting is over the top and ridiculous and the storyline unbelievable to the point of asking oneself if this is actually a joke. As I hadn't read the books at least I didn't have a childhood fantasy crushed like some people I know. I passed the time by wondering what the best way to invade Australia would be to hunt down the people responsible for the complete waste of time and money. The worst movie I have EVER seen in a cinema.
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Good cast, visually stunning but often put focus on the wrong things
Seth_Rogue_One9 December 2014
The cast is good enough and you can't complain about the visuals but the script is flawed, due to the makers eagerness into focusing on the teen- romance aspects of the movie instead of the survival aspect.

For instance there is a scene where the gang have a potentially lethal mission going on and 2 girls can't stop chatting about the boys they like, asking if this or that person is a good kisser etc.

And stuff like that happens throughout of the movie, so what everyone they know is either dead or prisoners of war does that really mean we can't go on a date right?

Yeah... But when it's not focused on that it's fairly entertaining.

The violence is very minimal which takes away a lot of the tension that could have been in the movie, okay it's aimed at teens but still war is never pretty.

There's also very little action for it to be listed as a action-movie and the poster makes it look like it's actionpacked as well but it's really not.

In the end of the movie which ends with a cliffhanger of sorts it's kind of obvious that it was always intended as a trilogy or something with this movie being the first part.

And it appears that the sequel is being made as we speak, I'd watch it but I hope they don't focus on too many love-triangles but of the actual war/survivor-story that time.
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Fantastic adaption.......congratulations!
annakedwards8 August 2010
I've just finished watching the world premiere of "Tomorrow When the War Began" in Sydney with my son. We've both read the complete "Tomorrow" book series, which we loved - so we went expecting the movie to not live up to the book because movies generally don't, do they? Well, we were really pleasantly surprised as this movie is a wonderful adaption.

A great cast of "unknowns" become the characters we know and love. They did a fabulous job of capturing the essence of the book with the right balance of action, character development and teenage romance. It really is a fantastic effort and I would be very surprised if this film doesn't smash it at the box office.

We both wanted to sit there and watch it all over again!
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Tomorrow When the War Began, may bring unintended consequences
mountain fog24 August 2010
This film, Tomorrow When the War Began, is the first in an intended series of three films, to be followed by a television series, depending on box office receipts.

It was a substantial investment for an Australian feature film, at $20 million, and its production values are generally excellent. DOP Ben Nott has done a superb job of capturing some of the beauty of Australia's bush and mountains, alternating with that serenity, the fast paced action sequences, with gun fights, car chases, explosions and general mayhem.

Although there are a number of small technical criticisms I noted, this film still rises way above the average fair, and its 143 minutes duration literally flies past, leaving you a little disappointed for want of more.

I have not read the seven book novel series, written by John Marsden, which the film is based on, so I was seeing the film and judging it on its merits, and I know the youth, in particular, who are familiar with the books, will love the film, as will many older folk who do not know Marsden's work.

The actors generally put in strong performances; however, there are a few awful character clichés which more than jar, which does disrupt one's involvement momentarily. I have written a more in depth analysis, which does not contain plot or ending spoilers, but does partly describe some scenes for critical purposes, on my film review site. On other criticisms, some logic and laws of physics have been bent, for dramatic purposes which, in my opinion, detract from the effect.

Realism, if respected on every level, always impresses more. The Hollywood multi-angle multi shot of the same effect is cartoonish and helps to degrade a drama, rather than enhance it. This film does commit some sins, but it is head and shoulders above the usual Hollywood fair, in the action genre.

In closing, I recommend you see this film, for it reveals a, potentially, extremely contentious issue, regarding the invaders, which may have historical socio-political repercussions, more than any other Australian film before it, particularly throughout Asia.

This film will be remembered by many for a number of reasons.

It is definitely worth the price of the ticket!
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Tripped over a Gem!
OK so this was one of those films that I tripped over. It was amongst a list of supposedly "worthy" sci-fi action films in the SMH one day about three months ago. Now I pay to go see films in the cinema that I know I want to see. But films that I couldn't be bothered seeing or paying for but still have a curiosity over - I download using bit torrent. And so it was that this film (along with some of the others) came my way.

Now I wish I had paid for it. Because it certainly is worth a proper screening! This film was a welcome breath of fresh air film making in the tradition of Aussie films where character development and story telling mean more than explosions. That's not to say that the explosions weren't good - they were - but this film brings back a rare thing nowadays in feature films - emotion.

Give this film a go. It's under rated, very delightful to watch and quintessentially Australian. Watching it, you begin to truly believe that "hey that could be my town, my son, my house". It challenges and yet entertains. And most of all, it's simple to watch. You don't need an arts degree to enjoy it - it flows over you.

Be patient with the beginning (like many Aussie films and old cars, it takes a while to get warmed up). In the end, I couldn't fault this film. It's one of the rare recent releases that I know will be watched again and again.

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Childish movie
Florin C.20 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Only one word: naive! A teenagers movie about teenagers for teenagers. If you have under 14 it is OK to watch it. It is comic to see how a group of young people successfully fight against a powerful army of invasion. It remind me of the old movies about the stupid Nazi and the smart French resistance. It's OK the special effects, the battle scene, but nobody can ever believe that a golf car can explode like a Chinese fire game. And the romance appears to be pretty foreseeable, the couples seems to be settled from the beginnings of the movie. It is a facile movie, for young and naive spectators, and I consider that it is a waste of time to see that movie. And I do have a strong impression that I seen a movie just like that sometime in the past.
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Swept me up and took me on an exhilarating ride!
simmmz10 April 2011
Fans of the Tomorrow book series rejoiced at the news of a cinematic adaptation of John Mardson's iconic Australian teen epic, Tomorrow When the War Began. As an enthusiast of the first 3 books (in a series of 7), I was ecstatic that it would get big screen treatment and not some shitty b-grade telly movie as I had feared. I'm pleased to announce that I walked out of this energised, with a racing pulse and a smile on the face.

For those unfamiliar with the material, the concept of is pretty much identical to Red Dawn – a group of teens from a country town go camping for a weekend to find out their country has been invaded, and their family have been held captive. They hide out and guerrilla warfare ensues.

Thematically, the film captures the clichéd 'working together' virtues of friendship corn from the novel. It is definitely in the writing that the film falls down…well, more of a stumble than a fall. I found this particularly unusual given the writer/director is Stuart Beattie – a screenwriter with an exceptional resume. He handles action far better than he handles characters in his directorial debut. Despite the ham and cheese in the writing, the broader screenplay is emotionally satisfying.

Whilst the acting is not of the highest calibre, I would say it was on par with other large franchise films with a young, teen cast (specifically Harry Potter and Twi). The actor who plays Lee is the weakest link here. Although he has the visual presence for the role, his delivery is consistently wooden. Caitlyn Stacey was a standout for me. She displays genuine emotion, genuine intensity and fear. I would have preferred if she spoke like less of a 'toff', and ripped into that bogan Aussie accent, but she brings a solid and believable strength.

As well as capturing the essence of the novel, the action sequences have been stunningly realised. The visuals have a polished look and feel, on par with films with a much higher budget (this had only $20AUD million) thus I believe it would stand up well in an international market. By any standards, the action is exhilarating and has been directed with clarity. Although I wouldn't have minded a bit more grit to the imagery, the cinematography is exceptional and captures the Australian landscapes beautifully. The soundtrack and score was nicely chosen, and the balance of humour and darker tones was effective.

Whilst not being the major box office success some would have liked, The Dead of the Night has been green lit, so thankfully there is more to come in this promising franchise. Despite some awkwardness, there is an energy in the characters and action that permeates Tomorrow When the War Began, making it an entirely gripping experience. For me, this was resonant action that sweeps you up and takes you on an exhilarating and emotionally fulfilling ride.
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The acting and directing inexperience really shows and hurts the adaptation of a good book.
andyjohnwise1 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I remember my thoughts when watching the trailer for Tomorrow when the war began. I had a good argument with a friend who was confident that the film's focus on character development would help it escape it's comparisons to Red Dawn.

But honestly after the first 5 minutes of the film and being subjected to the expositional and awkward dialogue I knew my fears were well founded. I read the first three and a quarter books about ten years ago and remember giving up on the series when it started to become a tad too ridiculous. But in the film that element of ridiculousness bursts through during the first action sequence. In the book you controlled the environment through your perception of the text, but in the film the realism being presented just doesn't juxtapose at all with the guerrilla scenes. When Ellie blows up the lawn mower and takes out the enemy soldiers (Who look like rejects from a Japanese science fiction film in their black storm trooper gear), you just can't accept it. Red Dawn at least was unapologetic and proud of it's gung ho approach. This film tries to ground itself too deeply in reality and as such the action just doesn't mesh well.

Getting back to the script, which is surprisingly clunky and awkward coming from an experienced screenwriter with various big American projects under his belt. The dialogue is awful and completely unhelped by the fact that the actors just aren't good enough to make it work. Perhaps if the director/ screenwriter had let them improvise a little it could have helped but as it is almost every line feels like it's being read off a teleprompter by a year 12 drama student. The dialogue also has a distinctly unaustralian flavour which also adds to the awkwardness of the performances. With some lines sounding incredibly B grade and almost straight out of Red Dawn.

The action scenes themselves are badly shot, with the camera not being able to decide what to focus on or follow. It isn't just the action as most of the shots are boring and bland with only a few exceptions.

In terms of adapting the book the small town of Wirrawee and the outback hideout of Hell are painfully under developed as locations. I remember the hike down into Hell being arduous and interesting in the book whereas in the movie it feels like they just walk down a hill and they're there. You never get the sense of this home away from home, sanctuary of the land feel that the book really emphasized and emphasized well In terms of character development, the interactions feel extremely soapy. The chemistry between the actors is average at best and once again the script doesn't help, with some characters being underused for huge portions of the film. This is the problem of the movie following the book a little too closely and choosing to only follow one group in the sequences where they will split up. In the book it wasn't a problem because the prose and inner monologue of the narration would keep you interested and make you generally surprised when the group would meet back up and something disastrous had happened to the others. But in the film it just doesn't work. You want to see what happened not be told. Show don't tell. This is the simplest aspect of filmmaking. It is also blatantly annoying when they meet up with the horrible stoner stereotype Chris who trails off into a horrible comic relief monologue about what he's been doing for the entire film when "I've been high the whole time" would suffice.

The sound design is another element that hurts the film. The noises of warfare sound more like they're from a video game or Stallone film than the noises you'd expect to hear in a realistic environment. An emphasis on the sounds of the Australian bush would have been nice to help hammer home that this is Australia being invaded. This coupled with the bad art direction on the part of the invaders with their silly looking armour and Command and Conquer Nod Buggies just helps to make the action hurt the film even more.

Overall I just couldn't get into the film at all. The pacing was too fast when it should have been slow and too slow when it should have been fast and there are some jumps in the story and time that feel a little clunky. This film had such an easy job to set it up so that I'd really feel for the characters and get behind their struggle, but the sad fact that they're developed so badly and acted even worse, made me actually start going for the soldiers.

If this is the film that's supposed to rejuvenate the Australian film industry, then god help us. Because if this is what the future holds, we may as well just dub cheesy b grade American films with Australian accents, because that's pretty much what Tomorrow When the War Began was.
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A brilliant adaptation and not your average blockbuster movie
esinger59 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I was lucky enough to attend the world premiere of "Tomorrow When the War Began" yesterday evening and I have to say I was blown away. There were a few flaws, but overall it was an absolutely brilliant experience.

The film tells the story of seven teenagers who go away on a camping trip and return to discover that a foreign army has invaded their home and imprisoned their families, and how they cope with this – and also how they fight back to save everything they care about.

Soon after the film begins, we are drawn into the world of Wirrawee (actually Raymond Terrace in country NSW), the small country town where these teenagers have lived their whole lives in. Ellie (Caitlin Stasey), our heroine, is called out to her best friend Corrie's (Rachel Hurd-Wood) house for exciting news, and from there the two girls plan to invite friends on a trip into the wild unknown. As the story unfolds from here, we are given clear insights into the characters' lives and personalities, and the sense of atmosphere that we get is incredible – the relationships between all these characters are believable and already the production design is highly impressive.

This film, to me, is split into two halves. The first half is light-hearted and hugely funny as we get to know all the characters, and at this point, I should name them – Corrie's boyfriend, Kevin (Lincoln Lewis), Homer (Deniz Akdeniz), the wild man of the group, Fiona (Phoebe Tonkin), better known as Fi, the princess, Lee (Chris Pang), the quiet, introverted one, Robyn (Ashleigh Cummings), who has strong religious convictions, and later we meet Chris (Andy Ryan), who is perpetually stoned and is either, in his portrayer's words "highly intelligent ", or "highly stupid", depending on who you ask. Romances are blooming all over the place and there is just a general sense of fun.

The second half, when the gang returns home and sees what has happened is much more serious, although we still do get a few laughs here and there. It is filled with action – wild, tension-filled chases in trucks and enormous, breathtaking explosions. However, despite the blockbuster-style action sequences, this is definitely not your typical Hollywood movie where things get blown up and nobody cares. These characters are real people – they fight with each other, they have to make incredibly hard life-and-death decisions that are in direct opposition to the values they have carried their whole lives, and, perhaps most believable of all, they question the ethics of what they have to do to survive. As Ellie asks the group at one point, "How many people do I have to kill to keep myself alive?" Not your bog-standard Hollywood blockbuster, huh? The film also has something to say on the age-old topic of book-to-film adaptations, and it was agreed by the characters who discuss this that "the books are better", which the audience found greatly amusing. I must say a word on the casting because it was absolutely top-notch in every case. However, I have to give special props to Caitlin Stasey and Deniz Akdeniz for their extraordinary portrayals in this film. Caitlin is almost exactly as the book describes Ellie – a seemingly ordinary girl who goes on to do incredibly brave things and yet still doubts that what she is doing is right. It was an amazing performance, full of gusto and real emotion. Good on you, Caitlin! Deniz Akdeniz is also incredible as Homer. Homer starts off as a troublemaker and "class clown" type, never taking anything too seriously and a lover of pulling pranks on his friends. However, when the group become fugitives, Homer begins to show his serious side, demonstrating qualities of strong leadership and organisation. Deniz was able to portray both sides of Homer wonderfully and if he doesn't become a star after this movie is officially released then I will be very surprised. He also seemed to be the audience favourite too! The production values, photography and visual effects are also outstanding, and a huge congratulations go to the crew for pulling it off so beautifully.

Overall, this is an incredibly powerful and thought-provoking film and I strongly encourage everyone who reads this review to see it if it comes out in your area.
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makes me wanna read the book
Dominik Schlatter27 May 2011
sometimes i just choose to simply like a movie and not care too much about its possible faults.

(i have not read the book.)

what appealed to me most was the way the story is being told. just enough 'foreplay' to introduce the characters and then: war. the war-thing reminded me a little of 'war of the worlds'. how an invasion takes place but the focus stays on the characters rather than on big guns and fireworks. we don't even know what nation these soldiers belong to. it doesn't matter, that's not the point. it's hat makes the movie special instead of just another war-movie with people taking turns in getting shot. there was just enough romance, humor and action to make it work. after having seen hundreds of action movies, i'm starting to appreciate it, when it's not overdone. sure enough this movie is for teens, but enjoyable for everybody.

to all critics: of course it's impossible for a bunch of teens to steal a petrol truck and blow up the most important bridge of the region. in real life, helicopters would shoot them to bits in a matter of seconds. we know. and we also know that a petrol truck would not cause an explosion like this. this would cause a low-speed detonation at best, because yada-yada-yada...

so stop criticizing you big science-nerd. ;-)

watch it. no worries: you 've seen worse movies, i'm sure!
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Worst Movie I have ever watched
fotogenic-940-7702793 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This has to be one of the worst movies of all times. Squarely aimed at the under 18 the acting is just disgraceful and some of those line deliveries were just poor directing.It was like Home and Away trying to get serious, The script is a shocker I could have done better with out much thought. This a thoroughly disappointing movie the concept is just stupid , the invasion ,plan, my God was that made up by an 12 year old playing war games on a computer? Would a real enemy muck around with small towns and try landing on beaches? No way, it would be all out missile attack,with smart bombs, implosion bombs as lethal as a Nuke and they would probably throw in some napalm and a small nuke here and there and definitely chemical weaponry would be employed,all this before they even thought of a man on the ground. The only saving grace was the scenery but the rest of it must have been a big Disappointment and I would say this will be a "B" grade write off for Paramount.
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First book of one of Australia's Best Fiction series Comes to the big screen
Isawthat16 August 2010
"Tomorrow When the war Began" is the First book in the Series known as the "Tomorrow Series", a series of seven books and a further series known as "The Ellie Chronicles" by Australian Author John Marsden.

This Book was Year ten English reading for many Australian schools in the late 90's and early 00's

Tomorrow when the War Began concerns itself with seven Australian teenage friends from a rural town who go on a camping trip to "Hell" (the name given to the destination), and while on this camping trip find the way to an area many thought myth, a place well hidden, while camping in this newly found place Australia is invaded by an unnamed country, changing their lives forever.

The Movie does live up to the books, though it is ten years since I last read them, I still choke up at the thought of several of the scenes depicted in the book, and seeing them on the big screen, depicted as well as I could have hoped has left me yearning for the rest of this series to be as well done.

I will be purchasing the DVD as soon as it comes out.

Good work.

10 out of 10!
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Terrible bad movie
mu-max2 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The 6,2 that this movie still has is the last proof I needed not to trust in IMDb-ratings. This movie is unbelievably bad. It's filmed bad, it is an awful stupid pseudo-patriotic story with dialogues from hell. Don't watch it!

And as I have to write ten lines to confirm you how bad it is: Do you really want to see a movie in which the only character-development is the Christian babe accepting, that killing people is okay in the end as long as they are "the enemy"? A movie in which every soldier of the force that invaded whole Australia in only one day acts clumsy and unprofessional and shoots worse than imperial stormtroopers while the Christian babe kills half a dozen enemies the first time she uses a gun? I was happy that they didn't wave the flag or sing some stupid national anthem while playing war. Believe me, it's not worth even the time of your live you spend watching it.

and btw: I only just made myself an IMDb-account to warn you to not watch this movie ...
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7+ Star Review...Really?!
ryankuyps25 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
OK, admittedly I've never read the book series this movie is based upon. I went into it assuming it would be some kind of modern day "Red Dawn". Not even close. The only explanation I can fathom for the inflated rating is that a great deal of Austrailian reviewers are getting behind a home-made movie. The acting was OK, the effects were below average, and the plot was under-developed. Who invaded again? Sorry for the spoiler, but how is it that a devout Catholic girl would pick up an AK-47/74 for the first time and easily "mow-down" five enemy soldiers. Come on...did the movie have ANY military subject matter experts? The abrupt ending was very disappointing because I was hoping the movie would redeem itself at some point, but alas it was not to be. I implore you not to waste your time with this C-movie. I've been using IMDb for years to assist me in determining what I should and should not watch and have never submitted a review, but this rating was so misleading that I couldn't stand idly by and have others waste 100 minutes of their life that they will never get back.
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Enjoyable but flawed
Dave (dctcool)2 September 2010
Based off the best selling Australian Teen novel of the same name Tomorrow When The War Began is the first in a series of books by John Marsden about a group of high school students who take a camping trip before school starts and return to find that the country has been invaded by an unknown force, and they make a stand to fight the enemy using guerilla tactics The cinematography and action in this film is fantastic, from the second the first gunshot is fired the adrenaline really picks up and boy does it deliver big time, the explosions in this film are great, and what makes them great is not their size but the debris and characters they send flying, I mean there were pieces of debris that missed characters by cm's and it really ads extra dimension with close calls if this film had been shot in 3D it would have been incredible to see the film just for that.

Unfortunately what drags the film is its script, the dialogue is extremely corny and clichéd, and the bulk of the characters are blatant stereotypes and this is apparent with the way the characters are introduced, in fact I can go though each of them right now, Ellie - Farmer's Daughter, Corrie - the lead's best friend, Kevin - The coward, Homer - The rebellious bad boy, Fiona - the pampered city girl, Robyn - The upstanding religious girl, Chris - The stoner, and the biggest stereotype of them all Lee - The Asian, don't believe me about the Asian? let me give you his character background: He's an expert piano player, his parents own a Chinese restaurant, he moves swiftly like a ninja as evident when he's climbing down a mountain, he stops a fast moving snake with a stick in one strike, he speaks one or two proverbs I mean I was half expecting him to bust out some Kung Fu with the way the filmmakers were treating his character thank god they didn't go that far.

On the topic of the characters the one that really stood out for me performance wise was the character of Homer, Actor Deniz Akdeniz handles his character really well being as charismatic and witty and probably has the second most character development out of all the characters next to Ellie.

To be fair though this is the first in a series of books so there is defiantly room for improvement if the next movie comes out. Notice I said "if" not "when" that's because being an Australian film it has to do really well domestically if it has even a chance of getting made, if it doesn't do well bye bye The Dead of The Night (the next movie in the series) Overall the film is enjoyable despite the poor dialogue, it defiantly needs a better script writer for the next film, though leave him doing the action, Stuart Beattie did that well and pretty good for a directing debut.

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God awful
kieron7233 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Without reading the books, I went into this movie unbiased. Actually, since I'm Australian, I was already sort of biased towards liking it (since I like supporting Australian cinema). I hadn't heard anything about it before the day I watched it, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

What a waste...I'm sure the seven books are pretty good reads and pretty intense, but this movie is a god-awful eyesore! I was laughing most of the way through not because of the 'good jokes' in the movie but because of how much of a joke the movie was!

Where to start...the characters is as good as any place, since it's all the same garbage. Horribly stereotypical characters, from the farm girl who can drive anything to the Asian guy with natural instincts and the airheaded rich girl who just entered puberty. With the exception of Ellie, who is well developed (as she's the main one), each character had no effort in their construction. The fact that the actors portraying the characters were equally bland did not help...

Which brings me to the dialogue and acting. Just because there's a former neighbours star in this, doesn't give the movie a right to copy eeeeevery boring cliché from the show. Good lord it's awful, which is very surprising considering STUART BEATTIE wrote the screenplay (writer for the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie). I suspect he was being overpowered by the horrible acting by everyone and decided to make the script a bit easier to convey, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But some one-on-one scenes between actors were so unbelievably boring and pointless at times (most times) that I actually turned my head and cringed. They are an embarrassment to the Australian Film Industry and are helping to keep us down movie B rated movies forever.

Next comes the plot. While I imagine the book had time to thoroughly explain what was going on, all we get is a very brief overview of what has happened. We don't find out who or WHY or what everyone else on the planet is doing while this is going on. It's just full of holes...but at least we get a good lot of teenage drama instead...

Next, the action and movement scenes. Again, I'm sure they're explained well in the book but the movie assumes a hell of a lot. They also portray the invading army as having the dumbest soldiers in history. At times they're in terrible danger and then suddenly they're back at a safe house! And they are also the least discreet group in the world. Seriously, motorbikes. Lots of invading foot patrols but none on main roads? Very far-fetched that they escaped detection all those times.

I could write forever but I'm out of words. There's no 0 out of 10 so 1 will do...
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Plagiarize Much?
ddcole23 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Unfortunately, I was unable to get past the very strong similarities with "Red Dawn." The differences were subtle: moved the setting 9000 miles, added the regional accent, changed the genders of the main characters, and Voile! -- "Red Dawn" in Australia. Oh! The name changed. For an "Action, Adventure, Drama" genre it was really heavily Melodrama -- not a lot of action; the adventure was a drive in the country; but, oh the drama! The acting left a lot to be desired but when you start with a home movie you're not going to end with much more. Sorry, but I believe all the "good" reviews were only flag wavers wishing to support an endeavor of a countryman. I will not waste my time or money on the sequels.
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Why is this movie getting good reviews exactly?
notvery6 September 2010
As a casual frequenter of IMDb I felt a compulsion to register just to review this horrible, horrible movie - particularly considering the absurd number of positive reviews attached to this film. Many fanbois out there?

Not having read the books before (fully intending to) I had nonetheless heard how incredible they were, and I admit although the preview wasn't inspirational it certainly made me want to see this film. Forty five minutes in however I was seriously toying with the idea of walking out.

Wow where does one begin? The characters are all uniformly one dimensional stereotypes, with absolutely no depth and no character development over the entire film. Need to fill some pre-ordained role? Not a problem, we'll have *insert prerequisite character* do it because, you know, THEY CAN.

The dialogue sounds like it came straight from an American High School serial - no really, has any Australian you have ever met actually spoken like these kids? I prefer my Beverly Hills 90210 to be set in Beverly Hills thankyou very much.

The *acting* (and I use the term loosely) really sets this movie apart. Enjoy Neighbours? Home and Away? You will love this movie. Prefer to hear someone deliver a monologue instead of a monotone? Then don't waste your time.

I will admit, there are probably a good 5 or 10 minutes of enjoyable experiences here - hence the three. But if you aren't prepared to sit through the rest of this movie to get to it, don't waste your time.

If you want to see a good Australian movie, forget this piece of rubbish and go rent The Castle. Yeah, it's dumb (good dumb though ;P), but at least it isn't an American movie shot in rural Australia, starring Australian actors portraying clichéd American teen varsity students. Wow just typing that was a mouthful.
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Good idea weighed down by problems
rowlsroyceau9 September 2010
A group of friends take an extended camping trip into the mountains. When they return, they find their country invaded by an unknown force, their families forced into a concentration camp, and take it upon themselves to begin a resistance movement.

I have not read the book, but as an Australian I really wanted to enjoy this movie, and I did, but I also came away thinking that it could be a lot better. This is probably the most controversial film I have watched in a long time, because I enjoyed the experience of watching it but I found so many problems with it as well:

The Good: Ellie and Homer's character growth is strong and impressive, impressive enough to carry the film past its problems.

The action scenes are generally exciting.

The film manages to maintain suspense even outside of the action scenes. It's good at conveying the emotions one should feel to find that their homeland has been invaded. I cared about the characters, worried about the way they fought with each other, and gritted my teeth for their success.

The Bad:

The other characters don't grow much.

Some dialogue is clunky. The beginning is a little cheesy as all the characters are introduced. The film does not start quickly.

The action scenes are generally implausible: petrol explosions are all too frequent: a crime to intelligence that Hollywood itself has committed numerous times but don't we know better than that now? Petrol is rather hard to make explode because you need to make sure that it's mixed with a specific ratio of oxygen. Yet everything carrying petrol goes off like TNT. At one stage, something containing petrol explodes three times. How?

I complained to some friends about this issue and they said it was the same as in the book. When I suggested changing the explosive they disagreed, because the movie should stay loyal to the book. But the book was about CHARACTERS. It wasn't about the way they did things, but for anyone with a bit of technical knowledge it's clear that John Marsden didn't do a whole lot of research if this is an exact representation of the text.

None of the characters look like year 12 students. I'm a high school teacher. It's very rare that any female students look like the long-legged, tall, slim, beautiful models used in this movie. Likewise not all boys look like buff sportsmen, but in this movie they do. Hence the movie loses some of its plausibility: it doesn't look like school children taking the war to the enemy. It looks more like university graduates. Only one character - Robyn Mathers - actually looked like a real school girl (except her clothes were so cliché-conservative Christian that even she looks a little unbelievable).

Action scenes were implausible: I like the idea of a movie where a bunch of teenagers outwit an invading force. But the director must be careful not to make the soldiers look dumb or incompetent. Instead he/she must make the teenagers look clever, or lucky. This movie does not succeed here.

Enemy strategy is questionable: the whole TOWN was put in a concentration camp! This is not how you invade a country. Are they going to do this for every town/city in Australia? When you're invading a country you dedicate your forces to fighting that country's military, and even once that's finished, you allow the population to keep going about its daily business and put soldiers on the street to keep order. You try to keep local law enforcement intact so they can do it. You don't herd everyone into a camp because then you need to feed them and clothe them yourselves, which, even if not done well, will draw resources away from where they're needed more.

Despite all of these issues, Tomorrow when the War Began has the framework of an interesting story and an interesting concept. It's a shame that anyone with a small amount of technical knowledge will be able to find more holes in this than a colander, nevertheless if these things aren't a concern to you then here is an emotional adventure with a fair dose of suspense and action. I'll be going to see the sequel, and I'll be praying someone remakes the movies in twenty years time.
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didn't want to watch came out loving it
hayleycrouch2 September 2010
My boyfriend had been nagging me for weeks saying that we had to go watch "Tomorow when the war began" as soon as it came out, i really did not want to see this film, as i didn't think it would appeal to me and i thought it would be another "BOY" movie.

I went into the cinema with that thought and came out loving the movie, wanting to see it again! It was fantastic the actors in this movie where incredible, they felt so real and made you feel like you where involved with the story.

It did scare me, and i covered my eyes and jumped at a few scenes but i also had laughter and moments of happiness and sadness. The time flew past, when it got to the end i said "is that it, is it over already". it disappointed me that it ended how it did, but my boyfriend informed me that there is going to be more to the series where it will continue on, and i hope that he is right, because i cant wait to see more!!! 8 out 10 GOOD JOB
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