Skip To Content
  • Australia Day 2017 badge
Posted on 25 Jan 2017

24 Australian Movies You Definitely Need To Watch

Grab a sausage sanga and enjoy these Aussie gems.

by ,

1. The Sapphires, 2012

Hopscotch Films

The Sapphires is a feel-good modern Aussie classic, about four women who form a music group and sing for troops during the war in 1968. The incredible cast features Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Shari Sebbens, and Chris O'Dowd, and the costumes are also a big bonus.

2. Mental, 2012

Screen Australia

Australian acting royalty Toni Collette stars as Sharon "Shaz" Thornbender, a hitchhiker with an ocker accent who takes care of a ~wacky~ family. The fact Collette plays someone named Shaz should be enough to reel you in.

3. Sleeping Beauty, 2011

Paramount Pictures

Written and directed by Australian Julia Leigh, Sleeping Beauty is a powerful erotic thriller about a university student who sleeps in bed with paying customers. Underrated actress Emily Browning, who you might recognise from A Series of Unfortunate Events and Sucker Punch, plays the beauty.

4. The Loved Ones, 2009

Screen Australia

If you loved Wolf Creek you're in for a treat with The Loved Ones - one of the best horror films to come out of Australia. It tells the story of a woman who kidnaps her crush, and forces him to be her date at a home-made school dance.

5. The Tunnel, 2011

Distracted Media

The Tunnel is another great horror feature from Down Under. This found footage film is delightfully creepy, and it'll also leave you with a new-found fear of train tunnels.

6. Snowtown, 2011

Screen Australia

Between 1992 and 1999, a series of shocking homicides known as the bodies-in-barrels murders occurred in South Australia. Snowtown is the story behind the murders so unsurprisingly, it's very dark.

7. Animal Kingdom, 2010

Screen Australia

This crime film picked up a bunch of awards, with star Jacki Weaver nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. If you end up loving it, you can also enjoy the TV series which was released last year.

8. Australia, 2008

20th Century Fox

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, who you may have heard of, star in this Baz Luhrmann directed drama. Despite being almost three hours long, it went on to become one of the highest grossing Australian films of all time, which does seem pretty appropriate.

9. December Boys, 2007

Village Roadshow Pictures

At the height of his Harry Potter fame, Daniel Radcliffe starred as an orphan in this coming of age film, alongside Teresa Palmer. Radcliffe also has an Aussie accent in this, so get ready to decide if he's mastered our slang or not.

10. Samson and Delilah, 2009

Madman Entertainment

First time actors Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson play Samson and Delilah, two teenagers who live in an Aboriginal community near Alice Springs. Honest and gritty, t's hard to watch at times, but it's very well made and as a result, it picked up awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

11. Two Hands, 1999


In the same year 10 Things I Hate About You was released, Heath Ledger also starred in this crime film set in Sydney. Rose Byrne, relatively unknown at the time, played Ledger's love interest.

12. Candy, 2006

Renaissance Films

The second Heath Ledger film on this list is considerably darker, so be warned: this story of love and addiction is beautifully made, but it'll rip your heart out.

13. Garage Days, 2002

Fox Searchlight Pictures

A young Sydney band is trying to make it big in the rock 'n roll world, but like almost every other pub band, they're not exactly succeeding. The movie is a fun ride, and the soundtrack is also worth checking out.

14. BoyTown, 2006

Roadshow Films

Fictional band BoyTown were huge in the '80s, but their popularity quickly fizzled out as their fan base grew up. In an attempt to re-capture their old fame, the former five members come together once again for a new tour, only this time they're a lot older and barely wiser.

15. Bad Girl, 2016

Film Victoria

Amy, played by Sara West, is a typical teen ~bad girl~ who has been forced to move to rural Australia, where she meets Chloe, played by Samara Weaving. But Chloe isn't exactly who she appears to be, and things quickly take a turn for the worst.

16. Catching Milat, 2015

Seven Network

OK, so this is technically a mini-series, but if you have a few hours to spare then it's definitely worth watching. The two-parter is based on the true story of how police and detectives caught Australian serial killer Ivan Milat. It focusses more on the crime aspect than the gore and violence, so you should be fine if you have a weak stomach.

17. The Wannabes, 2003

Macquarie Film Corporation

Inspired by the likes of The Wiggles and Hi-5, The Wannabes follows a man who desperately wants to create the next big kids' group. This also features actor Isla Fisher, right before she hit Hollywood with Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic.

18. The Dressmaker, 2015

Universal Pictures

Based on the novel by the same name, The Dressmaker stars Kate Winslet (doing an actually brilliant Aussie accent) as Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage, who returns to her small outback home of Dungatar. Tilly arrives to reconcile with her eccentric, unstable mother, and to seek revenge on those that wronged her so many years ago. It also stars Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Rebecca Gibney, and Judy Davis and is not the predictable rom-com you'd expect!

19. Last Cab to Darwin, 2015

Icon Films

Rex, played by Michael Caton, is a cab driver who has never left his home of Broken Hill. When he is faced with the news that he doesn't have long to live he decides to travel from Broken Hill to Darwin to take advantage of a euthanasia clinic. What starts as a journey to end his life with dignity, becomes the greatest adventure he's ever lived.

20. Mystery Road, 2013

Transmission Films

Ivan Sen's Mystery Road is an Outback-western drama starring Aaron Pedersen as an Indigenous cowboy detective who returns to his home town to solve the murder of a teenage girl. The cast also includes Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, and Ryan Kwanten.

21. Goldstone, 2016

Transmission Films

Sen's sequel to Mystery Road, Goldstone, is set three years after the events of the first film. When Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) arrives at the mining town of Goldstone, he finds himself tangled in a web of crime and corruption.

22. Holding the Man, 2015

Transmission Films

One of Australia's most iconic love stories, Holding the Man was adapted from Timothy Conigrave's memoir of the same name. In 1976, Timothy falls in love with John Caleo, while they're students at Xavier College in Melbourne. The film follows their 15-year relationship as the two overcome discrimination, separation, temptation, and everything else the world throws at them.

23. Tracks, 2013

Transmission Films

Tracks is based on the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson, who left her life in the city to trek 2,700km across the Australia desert. She sets off on a life-changing journey with only her dog and four camels for companions.

24. Strangerland, 2015

Worldview Entertainment

Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes star as Catherine and Matthew Parker, a couple who recently moved to a remote desert town in Australia. Right before a major dust storm hits, the Parker's children mysteriously disappear. With the town shrouded in dust, Catherine and Matthew are pushed to their limits to unravel the mystery of their children's fate.

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form