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Mystery Road (2013)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 15 August 2013 (Australia)
1:01 | Trailer

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


Ivan Sen


Ivan Sen
9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Pedersen ... Detective Jay Swan
Hugo Weaving ... Johnno
Ryan Kwanten ... Pete Bailey
Jack Thompson ... Charlie Murray
Tony Barry ... Sergeant
Robert Mammone ... Constable Roberts
Tasma Walton ... Mary
Damian Walshe-Howling ... Wayne
David Field ... Mr. Bailey
Bruce Spence ... Jim the Coroner
Jack Charles ... Old Boy
Tricia Whitton Tricia Whitton ... Crystal
Siobhan Binge Siobhan Binge ... Tarni
Daniel Roberts Daniel Roberts ... Macca
Samara Weaving ... Peggy


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


Some roads lead to murder. See more »


Mystery | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

15 August 2013 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Paslapciu kelias See more »

Filming Locations:

Winton, Queensland, Australia


Box Office


AUD 3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ivan Sen wrote and directed a sequel to Mystery Road, entitled Goldstone (2016). Aaron Pedersen reprises his role, and joining the cast is David Wenham, Alex Russell, David Gulpilil and Jacki Weaver. A spin-off mini-series also titled Mystery Road screened on the ABC in 2018. See more »


When he's preparing his rifle and automatic for the drug meet, he cocks his handgun the first time. Then when he's in his car being shot at he cocks his handgun a second time without having fired or reloaded it. 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

Really interesting entertainment!
8 October 2014 | by Blazs91See all my reviews

This film was a pleasant surprise for me among the mass of today's Hollywood productions. The movie is a bit different in its rhythm and mood from as we are expected from its genre. It tries to combine the western and the thriller style, and I think it has succeeded.

The movie narrates a story of a lonely detective who tries to hunt down the murderer of a young girl in the remote and sparsely inhabited territory of Australia. But the movie is intended to be real, and makes a great effort in order to achieve that. It tries to show us the everyday life of a lonesome ranger in a realistic way. Thus, it could give us a totally different picture than the Hollywood action-stuffed blockbusters can provide.

We can hardly see a single gun in use throughout the whole movie, but somehow it manages to attract the attention of the audience. The newer and newer details of the crime are revealed in a nicely right pace. Sometimes, during the interrogation of a person I've already known what the detective's following question would be. But not the teeming clichés are responsible for that (because there were any), but the adequate atmosphere what the movie could have created, because it's able to involve the audience and encourage them to investigate along with the protagonist.

At the beginning I felt the fact a bit weird, that almost every single member of the town were totally unfriendly with the detective, even a few years old tiny kid, who was brave enough to announce without batting an eyelid that he'd take the detective's life. But later I realized, that I wouldn't be really happy too, if a ranger wanted to ask me a few question about a murder. However, not only these people were raw to the protagonist, but the other policeman were pretty arrogant either. We can feel the tension in almost every moment of an interrogation, because the conversations are usually interrupted with awkward silence, because the detective could hardly pull out the valuable information out of the people. That's why the dialgoues are occasionally a bit silly, but there are some moments when they're quite funky and gripping.

Nevertheless, the actors did a fine job, as far as some of them had only little opportunity to prevail on the silver screen. I admit, that it wasn't Hugo Weaving's most outstanding performance, as we could see him acting far better in the Matrix or in The Lord of the Rings. But I couldn't blame him for that, because his character was really obnoxious in this movie. I could have accused him at his first appearance on the screen, like almost any other people in the movie, except the protagonist.

We can hardly hear any music or soundtrack throughout the movie (only one or two), but it simply draws benefits from that, because the movie could create a much more depressing atmosphere int hat way. The film could perfectly visualize in front of our eyes, that the detectives don't have as fast-paced life as we could experience that in the high- budget Hollywood movie, but they are much slower, tedious, tiresome and difficult. The film owns a nearly 2 hours long runtime, thanks to the fact in part, that it has taken up the conventional towed style of the western genre. There are some moment, when we could see the characters looking at each for a quite long time period without moving or saying a word. But it had to be like this! So no worries!

If You'd like to experience a life-like investigation in a realistically implemented environment in the company of a logically built up storyline, than I can bravely recommend You this movie! Buti f You wanna see some action scenes speeding by right after other, and You don't wanna get slowed down, then this movie will not be your cup of tea.

Thanks for spending your precious free time with reading my review! Hope you liked it!

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