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

2 stars

Ray Lawrence is a director I admire. His direction is generally always faultless and his films always stir up appealing yet somewhat awkward issues. Jindabyne raises social questions but does so in the slowest and most inane way possible. You don't have to be a Raymond Carver fan to enjoy it either, although that said I don't feel any adaptation of his work has ever fit a particular style or has indeed worked anyway. The pace is painfully slow, the editing lethargic and the performances inconsistent. It's amazing how such a thrilling premise could become something so stale, all intrigue is extinguished within the first third of the film and it never fully recovers. Watch it for the few moments of genuine tension or because either Gabriel Byrne or Laura Linnney are your favorite actors but that's about as far a recommendation as I can give.

- SirPant, Friday, August 22, 2014

3 stars

font=Century Gothic]"Jindabyne," based on the same Raymond Carver story that formed part of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," is a frustrating attempt to stretch it to a full-length movie, setting it in a resort town in Australia. In this case the body belongs to Susan Cooper(Tatea Reilly), a young Aboriginal woman who disappeared on her way to a music festival. Her body is discovered by Stewart Kane(Gabriel Byrne), a white mechanic on a fishing trip with three buddies, whose American wife, Claire(Laura Linney, excellent again), has been suffering from nausea, hoping that she is pregnant, because the alternative is too horrifying to contemplate./font] font=Century Gothic]/font] font=Century Gothic]The major problem with "Jindabyne" is not with the leisurely pacing(which does allow time to capture the beautiful Australian countryside wonderfully). It is in how the movie is constructed, giving too much time to establish how much of an outsider Claire is.(Personally, I don't blame her for being alarmed that her son brought a knife to school. And I find all children to be a little creepy but that little girl takes the cake.) More time should have been spent at the fishing party, just enough to draw out the horror while revealing less about Susan's killer which should have been left more of a mystery. And the ending is particularly weak./font] font=Century Gothic]/font] font=Century Gothic]What would have been interesting is if one half of the movie had been spent with the Kanes, and the other half with the Coopers, which would have provided more of a dialogue on racism instead of the usual language of denunciation that we are already so used to hearing. What the movie is concerned with is how the everyday lies we tell separate us from not only our loved ones but also men from women and people of different skin color into different camps. /font]

- gator681, Sunday, March 16, 2008

4 stars

What do you do when you discover that the man you thought you knew and loved is not guided by the same moral compass as you? What if your mental stability is questioned because of a previous bout with severe post-partum depression? How do you engage your significant other and get him to explain his actions to you? That, in a nutshell, is Jindabyne. Claire (Laura Linney) is trying to understand how Stewart (Gabriel Byrne) and his buddies could blythely go on fishing with the dead body of a young woman tethered in the stream. The interplay between these two characters, their friends, and their disapproving neighbors form the core of this highly emotional film. A subtext concerns the man who killed the girl and may be a serial killer. This subtext, however, was kept on the very fringe. The real meat of the film was in Stewart's inability to admit to any wrongdoing and Claire's need to atone for what she perceived was a great moral failure. Interesting interaction with the aboriginal culture and a taste of the racial tension that exists in the land down under. Great cast, heartbreaking story, starkly beautiful scenery, and a couple of heartpounding moments combine to make this a winner that is still, at times, tough to watch.

- fb1144932598, Thursday, May 21, 2009