Box art for Australia


action & adventure, drama, romance

A romantic epic set in Australia prior to World War II that centers on an English aristocrat who inherits a large ranch.When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover to protect her ranch.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
4 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Messy but engrossing epic about race, love, and war.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this historical melodrama stars popular Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but even with that level of celebrity wattage, it's unlikely to attract tweens and younger teens. But older teens, especially mature girls, may be drawn to the romance that's played up in the advertising. The film deals with mature themes like racism, greed, war, class consciousness, and sexual politics. The violence is realistic and occasionally bloody -- characters are speared, shot, burned, drowned, and beaten. The characters' sexual chemistry and tension turns into several passionate kisses and a love-making scene in which bare shoulders, a man's chest, and a woman's underwear, back, and legs are all visible. The Northern Territory is portrayed as full of hard-drinking, aboriginal-hating men and demure, high-society couples. Mature teens who see the film are likely to learn about about Australia's role in World War II and how the country historically treated its indigenous people.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's big issues. What do your kids think about the way the film addresses race, and how do they think things have changed since the film's era?
  • How were World War II-era racial tensions in Australia similar to anddifferent from those in America?
  • How accurate do you think the movie isin portraying Australia's history? What did you learn about the countrythat you didn't know before seeing the movie?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 3
    see all Australia reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Jackman has musical-theater chops and knows how to sell material this ham-handed; Kidman isn't quite as deft.

- David Edelstein, New York Magazine, Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rotten: One wonders if there are any tablecloth cliches about Australia that have been missed.

- Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Australia is so damnably eager to please that it feels like being pinned down by a giant overfriendly dingo and having your face licked for about three hours: theoretically endearing but, honestly, kind of gross.

- Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This two and half hours epic combines several genres and the style of old Hollywood classics to a highly entertaining bunch of kitsch. The film starts out as a romantic comedy, then turns into an adventure movie and lastly into a war drama with plenty of historical aspects, and yet manages to convince in most aspects of those genres. That's mostly thanks to the breathtaking cinematography, which is full of quirky gimmicks, and the great cast. The chemistry between Jackman and Kidman is working out fine, but the big winner of the film is undoubtedly newcomer Brandon Walters as half-aboriginal kid, who easily charms the audience with his talent and amiability. Sure, some of the comedic parts are a bit over the top, but so is pretty much everything else about the film. If you accept that, the long runtime passes by in an instant. There is love, there is war, there is adventure, all on a huge scale and not ashamed to joyfully bathe in the stereotypes of its classic Hollywood predecessors. And I can't begin to appreciate enough that Baz Luhrman chose an ending for this film that breaks with the conventions of the love drama genre. I applaud him for that. Yes, it's kitsch, but at least it's huge kitsch. If you like that, you're in for a treat.

- ironclad1609, Monday, May 3, 2010

3 stars

I think that this movie can be better than this.. Okay, it has great views but it's too computerized.. I'm actually expecting more than this movie. It's not that bad but it's not that good either.

- citawijaya, Saturday, September 26, 2009

5 stars

Filmed on location DOWN UNDER and also Oscar nominated...Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman join forces with visionary director Baz Luhrmann for an spectacle western epic and romance action adventure set during the brink of World War II. When an English aristocrat(Kidman)travels to the faraway continent,she meets rough-hewn cattle driver(Jackman)and an enchanting Aboriginal child(newcomer Brandon Walters). This unlikely trio joins forces and embarks on a transforming journey,driving a herd of cattle across hundreds of miles of the world's most beautiful,yet unforgiven terrain of the outback. When their world is torn apart by powerful enemies,they must try to find each other amidst the bombing of the city of Darwin by the Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbor. Luhrmann gives a widescreen painting of a vast canvas,creating a cinematic experience that brings together one of the big-budget down under spectacles that became one of the biggest hits of 2008.

- rayman0071, Monday, August 17, 2009