Box art for Jindabyne


drama, thrillers

The discovery of a body on a weekend fishing trip haunts the lives of four men and the inhabitants of their small Australian town.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intense relationship drama for adults only.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this short story-based film is a bleak study of human cruelty in the form of emotional sabotage and actual murder. There are many violent episodes -- from the opening sequence in which a serial killer stalks his prey to a scene in which two children kill a pet to an emotionally jarring exchange in which a husband and wife fight each other with words and fists. Racism also rears its nasty head, and there are disturbing close-ups of a murdered woman. Characters drink, smoke, and swear.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the media can vilify or anoint someone because of their choices. In some cases -- like the one presented in this movie, in which four men ignore a dead body until their vacation is done -- is it justified? If so, why? Does the film explain why the men decide to do what they did? Does it make sense? Is the reaction they get from their families understandable or outrageous? How do such moments bring some people closer and tear others apart?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 30
    see all Jindabyne reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The frustration here is that none of this leads anywhere. Perhaps that is the point, that some mysteries are never solved, but Jindabyne could give us a little more to work with.

- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fresh: While it's most certainly not light viewing, and it's entirely devoid of 'Hollywood moments', this is a fine, intelligent, troubling film.

- Brian Webster, Apollo Guide, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: It's hard not to admire the film's confidence in making the story its own, and Ms. Linney, a mix of iron will and emotional fragility, delivers her usual complex performance.

- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, Friday, May 11, 2007

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Atmospheric and very well acted film that has nightmarish feel in it. The real problem seems to be that it does not know if it wants to be thriller, drama or a low-key horror film. So it turn to be all of those same time, but loses something along the way. Ending feels a bit let down with all the questions left open. Captivating stuff though.

- emilkakko, Saturday, January 7, 2012

3 stars

here is a case of an intimate film that tries to encompass too much. A simple morality tale; of not doing what society will have you believe to be the "right thing" and the conseqences of not only your actions, but the mores society places on you. The film attempts to instill a sense of displacement; all of the charactors are trying to make the best of things, even though they are clinging to symbolic gestures and icons of attachment to time, place, and the people around them. In truth, an almost existential tone pervades this effort, and as such, it could have held its ground; but the spiritual overtones are devisive and distracting. The impetus of the film comes from four fishing buddies who discover a recently dead body while on their much anticipated yearly fishing trip. Rather than make the day hike out of the canyon to report the body, they spend the weekend as they normally would, and only report the incident after leaving at their normal time. The truth eventually comes out and the community and family are outraged by their callous insensitivity; ignoring that the girl was already dead so it would make no difference to her (and in such a remote location it wasn't as if the delay would have made any difference in potentially catching the killer - and at this point no-one has any idea of how she died). The fisherman believe they've done enough by simply tying her to a tree limb so her body wouldn't float downstream and over a waterfall, and it is ironic that this bow to "humanity" leads to the discovery of their "insensitivity" and sets off a chain reaction of hate. Of course the real issue is that the dead girl was an Aboriginie, so their neglect appears to be racial (when it was really just a snap reaction to having to waste their only time off in order to report their findings). Laura Linney, as one of the wives of the fisherman, then goes on a Quixonic quest to appease her own sense of self as much as appeasing the Aboriginal population. This takes her to the Aboriginal "funeral", a sequence that goes on way too long and is ackward - perhaps by intention. The undercurrent to all this surface action is the sense of disenfrancisement - even the city itself, Jindabyne, was moved from its original location because it was in the way of a new reservoir. There are plenty of scenes of the children facing the dangers of the unknown swimming and playing in and around the reservoir, many of which seem to interupt the narrative, and serving the sole purpose of reminding the viewer that we're all just fish out of water. I admire the vision, but felt that the execution could have been tighter.

- paulsandberg, Monday, October 27, 2008

4 stars

Brilliant drama about a murder and a marriage. Laura Linney is the best performance in this film that gives great courage.

- deano, Thursday, January 4, 2007