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Australia Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...triple-espresso-shot extreme romance Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Long before the second hour of Australia (which feels like the fifth), it's clear that Luhrmann hasn't found a satisfactory way to make a movie nearly as ballsy -- or coherent -- as he wants his creation to be.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Like the last two "Pirates" movies, Australia is ambitious more than awe-inspiring, grandiose rather than grand, full of spectacle but not spectacular.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    [Luhrmann's] movie is all over the map. But what a gorgeous map it is. The too-muchness, like the too-longness, befits the Northern Territory's vastness. In its heart of hearts Australia is an old-fashioned Western -- a Northern, if you will -- and all the more enjoyable for it.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Defies all but the most cynical not to get carried away by the force of its grandiose imagery and storytelling.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie's historically accurate storyline -- in which half-aboriginal, half-white children are taken away from their homes and taught how to be domestic servants in white society -- is meant to teach an historical lesson about racism toward native cultures. Other messages include love triumphing against the odds and people finding family in unexpected places.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: A woman is underestimated as not being brave or bold enough to run herown cattle farm in a dangerous territory, but she shows the men aroundher that she can hold her own. A couple from different social classes falls in love and further goes against the norms of the time by socializing with aboriginal people. Some characters are outright villains with no redeeming qualities.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Several scenes of disturbing violence, including two men being speared to death, one man getting thrown into crocodile-infested waters, a woman drowning, a man being trampled to death by a stampede of cows, a young boy being struck by an adult, World War II bombings/explosions, burned characters, and the death of a well-liked character. A few instances of violence are episodes of men sacrificing themselves to save other characters. A kangaroo is hunted, but the scene is played for laughs.

  • sex false2

    Sex: The film's stars have an electric chemistry that's accompanied by a lot of sexual tension. Jackman's character in particular is depicted as incredibly sexually attractive; there are several scenes of him shirtless. A scene in which a white man knocks on an aboriginal woman's door for sex (he's later shown buckling his belt, etc.) is somewhat disturbing. A couple passionately kisses several times and makes love on a bed, but there's no nudity. A woman takes a bath in front of a man (no camera shots below the shoulders). A boy is aware of sexual behavior and calls it "wrong-headed business."

  • language false3

    Language: Lots of "crikey"; other language includes infrequent uses of words like "damn," "bloody," and "bastard." One use of "f--king." Several characters use disparaging terms to refer to aboriginal and half-aboriginal people, including "creamy."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Australians are portrayed as hard drinking. Various adults drink hard liquor in and out of a pub. One man is known as a drunk and sneaks alcohol on most occasions.