As much as I dislike ridiculous Australian stereotypes, here are some of my favourite movies set in Australia. Not many movies are specifically set in Australia, so most of these are based in Australia’s outback – somewhere I’m not particularly familiar with.
1. Tracks 2013 (Rated 7.2/10 on IMDb)
One of my favourite solo journeys films, this one is based in my homeland Australia – so you can imagine how much it tempts me to follow in these footsteps. Adapted from a book, Tracks is an adaption of Robyn Davidson’s memoir, chronicling the author’s nine-month journey on camels across the Australian desert. In 1977, Robyn Davidson travels from Alice Springs across 2700kms of Australian deserts to the Indian Ocean with her dog and four camels.
2. Australia 2008 (Rated 6.6/10 on IMDb)
I remember when “Australia” was first being released all of my classmates were interested to know how it would turn out – would it be full of stereotypes? Would it relate to us? Overall, we were excited. Knowing some of Australia’s most famous actors would be starring in it made us all the more keen to see it as soon as it came out.
“Australia is an Australian epic historical romantic drama film. Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.” (Source)
3. Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 (Rated 7.5/10 on IMDb)
The “Rabbit-Proof Fence” was one of those movies we all grew up watching – whether for school or our own choosing. “The Rabbit-Proof Fence” was adapted from the book “Follow The Rabbit-Proof Fence” and is a great depiction of Australia’s history. It is based on a true story concerning the author’s mother, as well as two other mixed-race Aboriginal girls, who ran away from the Native Settlement in Western Australia, to return to their Aboriginal families, after being placed there in 1931. The film follows the Aboriginal girls as they walk for nine weeks along 2,400 km of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their community, while being pursued by white law enforcement authorities and an Aboriginal tracker.
4. Crocodile Dundee 1986 (& sequels) (Rated 6.5/10 on IMDb)
When I first left for Los Angeles in 2013, “Crocodile Dundee” was one of the first movies I decided to watch. I wasn’t sure why, but some part of me was curious how a stereotypical Australian would adapt to the American lifestyle. “Crocodile Dundee” is an Australian comedy about a reporter from New York who comes to interview the ‘legendary’ bushman Dundee who reportedly survived a Salt-Water Crocodile attack. She becomes intrigued by Dundee and invites him back to New York to continue the feature story. The rest of the movie follows Dundee’s adventures around New York while he tries to get used to the odd customs and behaviours of everyone around him.
5. Kangaroo Jack 2003 (Rated 4.4/10 on IMDb)
“Kangaroo Jack” is a children’s comedy where two childhood friends are forced by the mob to deliver $50,000 to Australia – but everything goes wrong when a wild Kangaroo accidentally makes off with the money.
6. Finding Nemo 2003 (Rated 8.2/10 on IMDb)
Surely there aren’t many people who haven’t already seen “Finding Nemo”, but does everyone remember those famous lines – “ P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney”? For anyone who is curious, “Finding Nemo” is about a single father clown fish who searches the seas for his son Nemo with Dory, a Blue Tang with short-term memory loss. Though majority of this movie is set underwater, the ending sees the beautiful Sydney Harbour.
7. The Water Diviner 2014 (Rated 7.7/10 on IMDb)
“The Water Diviner” “is a 2014 Australian historical fictional war drama film about an Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons”
8. The Castle 1997 (Rated 7.8/10 on IMDb)
It took me a while to watch this movie. I had heard people make references although I didn’t end up watching “The Castle” until I had to for English in high school.
“The Castle” is an Australian comedy filmed in 11 days. It’s about a Melbourne family living with an airport in their backyard until the government and airport authorities try to force them out of their home.
This film is about the families fight to keep their home.
9. Muriel’s Wedding 1994 (Rated 7.2/10 on IMDb)
Another Australian comedy, “Muriel’s Wedding” is about a socially awkward girls search for marriage whilst listening to non-stop ABBA.
10. Tomorrow when the War Began 2012 (Rated 6.2/10 on IMDb)
Though this may be an odd choice to watch when coming to Australia (having a war in it and all) it is one of my favourite films – especially for its all-Australian cast. I am still saddened that there is no sequel coming. This movie is based off of a famous fiction novel following a group of teenagers that go camping – only to return home to discover that everything has changed. Their families are gone, and an invading foreign power has taken over.
What would you watch in the land down under?