6 Great Australian Movies Straight From The Outback

Tuesday, February 14 by Irving Oala

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A ton of great movies come out of the land down under, which may be surprising to many people as it is a place that seems so far removed from the rest of the world. While that may be true geographically, Australia is also it's own island continent with it's own Westernized culture and unique way of seeing the world. As it was first really settled by exiles and criminals, there is a specific tone to many Australian movies that isn't replicated anywhere else, making them intense, unique and most of all, memorable. Check out 6 great Australian movies straight from the outback listed below, so that you can get a sense of Australian sensibilities, history and culture without having to fly for a day straight.

"The Proposition."  

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Set in rural Australia during the 19th century, a lawman apprehends a few local criminals. Two of them happen to be brothers and the sheriff says he will hang the youngest, unless the oldest will go and find their third brother, a violent outlaw who lives off the land with a gang of fugitives. Guy Pierce stars in this brutal yet epic Western that shows the extremes between being wild and being held down by society. A brilliant, little-seen film that has a lot of graphic violence.

"Romper Stomper."  

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This rough and tumble,edgy independent Australian film made waves due to it's quality and the fact that it followed a group of skinheads as the main characters who don't like the way their neighborhood is changing. Russell Crowe is the star of this film, the breakout of performance of his career and the one that made him the international mega star that he is today. However, prepare yourself for some serious violence and grittiness when you watch this film.

"Animal Kingdom." 

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This stylized Australian film follows a crime family that lives in the cities of Australia and is constantly on the lamb from the law. Coming out the year after "The Departed," this film was regularly compared to the Scorcese epic, though it truly isn't the same movie. It focuses more on the characters and how they tear each other apart, both physically and psychologically. A very dark, yet entertaining crime drama.

"The Square." 

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Crime noir at it's best, "The Square" follows a man who gets in too deep and takes chances to try and fix his financial and family problems quickly. Much like other dark yet high-tension thrillers that have been made in America (think "Body Heat"), "The Square" has twists and turns throughout it, making it one of the better crime noir films of the last ten years from any country, not just Australia.

"The Piano." 

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The Academy Award winning modern classic love story that won the young Anna Paquin an Oscar, "The Piano" may be one of the most well-known Australian films, due to the fact that it was made by Hollywood and won so many awards. It's a historical and heartfelt movie, however, that will show Australia is not just tough, outback characters, but real people with real problems and feelings.

"Kokoda."  

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This little-known Australian gem is about a battle fought in nearby New Guinea during World War II by Australian soldiers and their native allies. Intense, beautifully photographed and deeply Australian, the director of this film went on to direct "Sanctum" from James Cameron.

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