6.6/10
15,404
108 user 170 critic

The Snowtown Murders (2011)

Snowtown (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 19 May 2011 (Australia)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer

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Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.

Director:

Justin Kurzel

Writers:

Shaun Grant, Shaun Grant (story) | 3 more credits »
23 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucas Pittaway ... Jamie Vlassakis
Bob Adriaens Bob Adriaens ... Gavin
Louise Harris Louise Harris ... Elizabeth Harvey
Frank Cwiertniak Frank Cwiertniak ... Jeffrey
Matthew Howard Matthew Howard ... Nicholas
Marcus Howard Marcus Howard ... Alex
Anthony Groves Anthony Groves ... Troy
Richard Green ... Barry
Aaron Viergever Aaron Viergever ... Robert
Denis Davey Denis Davey ... Guitar Player
Allan Chapple Allan Chapple ... Prayer Reader
Beau Gosling Beau Gosling ... David
Brendan Rock Brendan Rock ... Marcus
Bryan Sellars Bryan Sellars ... Minister
Daniel Henshall ... John Bunting
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Storyline

Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother, Elizabeth, and two younger brothers, Alex and Nicholas, in a housing trust home in Adelaide's northern suburbs. Their home is but one of many sun-starved houses crammed together to cater for a disenfranchised society. Jamie longs for an escape from the violence and hopelessness that surrounds him and his salvation arrives in the form of John, a charismatic man who unexpectedly comes to his aid. As John spends more and more time with Jamie's family, Elizabeth and her boys begin to experience a stability and sense of family that they have never known. John moves from the role of Jamie's protector to that of a mentor, indoctrinating Jamie into his world, a world brimming with bigotry, righteousness and malice. Like a son mimicking his father, Jamie soon begins to take on some of John's traits and beliefs as he spends more and more time with him and his select group of friends. The protection and guidance that John presents to Jamie is ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the shocking true story See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 2011 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snowtown Murders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,273, 4 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,012, 18 March 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was based on a true story. See more »

Quotes

John Bunting: It's not fuckin' mean if you kick the shit out of some diseased prick. He fuckin' deserves it. It's an Australian fuckin' tradition, anyway. Eh?
[chuckles]
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Connections

Referenced in David Stratton: A Cinematic Life (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Crozat Converse
Lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven
Performed by Church Congregation
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User Reviews

excellent example of gritty Australian realism
18 October 2011 | by roberts-ellen-xSee all my reviews

I agree with the other people who have written reviews who say that it is good to get some background on the murders as I watched this without any and was confused in parts. What is interesting is that the film makers either assumed that you would have this knowledge, or accepted that the plot would only partially be known. In that sense we really are like witnesses who aren't let in on all the facts - in a strange way keeping some of the plot details leads to the sense of claustrophobia in the film.

Snowtown is an excellent example of the genre of gritty Australian realism which includes films like The Boys and Idiot Box.

This reminded me a lot of The Boys in building tension slowly and I think the rhythm of the film was spot on. It was also similar in the sense that it suggested that poverty and a lack of opportunity lead to violence (not necessarily for Bunting but probably for the other characters). But I think this just reinforces prejudices about poverty that middle class people have.

I think that Jamie was a very good choice as a main character because he clearly had the most complex relationship with Bunting and what he was doing. As the audience we were also invited to have that relationship then

I was pretty surprised that the film only had an MA rating rather than R, particularly given the nature of the violence portrayed.


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