59 user 66 critic

Mystery Road (2013)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 15 August 2013 (Australia)
1:01 | Trailer
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 »





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 »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Much of this film is shot in the small Australian town of Winton. Mystery Road held its first screening there. Some of iconic Australian film, Crocodile Dundee, was shot there (The Walkabout Creek Pub Scene). See more »


At the beginning, the little girl's body changes position. When the trucker finds her, her lips are slightly apart, but when the police examine her body, he lips are closed. 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 »

User Reviews

This movie managed to hook me in the first minutes.
25 February 2015 | by irishsoundsSee all my reviews

Why was I immediately sold on this movie? Within minutes I was hooked, and stayed with it 100% right through. That, in my case, is an immediate plus point for any movie.

So how did it get me? I guess because it struck me as believable - the characters, the places, the story. Having visited the edge of the Auz outback I fully related to the backgrounds and the characters. The texture and feel of the presentation struck me as the genuine article. I have said it before about top quality film directing - that the feel was more like a documentary with real people and not actors.

The acting was excellent but not of a fine silken quality or in any way slick. Rather the characters were raw and gritty, which could explain some review comments suggesting wooden or poor acting.

This movie felt like a fly on the wall view of the hard side of a tough life in the Australian outback, replete with huge social problems, racism, and defeated and depressed people tying to survive while drugs and crime were eating into the life of the area.

As depressing as was the setting, funny enough, I was not in the least depressed by the movie. There was a strong ethical line and I felt throughout that good would make it in the end.

This is a great movie without any big name actors, without fancy settings, without a great musical score, without great special effects, without bells or whistles of any description. It is totally minimalist art. It's greatness is in the excellent direction, the acting, the cinematography, and a decent enough plot.

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

15 August 2013 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Mystery Road See more »

Filming Locations:

Winton, Queensland, Australia


Box Office


AUD3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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