Best new Australian Movies (2017) - Top Netflix & Cinema

Thinking of Australian cinema, successful franchises like Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee come to mind first. But Down Under has so much more to offer!
The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Australian movies of 2017 in cinema or on DVD or Netfix. Are Jocelyn Moorhouse, George Miller & John Curran Australia's biggest directors?

For many people, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max is probably all that comes to mind when they think of what Australian cinema brought about. It’s true though; you won’t see that many memorable Australian films in your local cinema. Not that there’s a lack of talent. Quite the contrary. When it comes to actors, Australia has its fair share of stars who made it in Hollywood. Mia Wasikowska (who seems to appear in almost every film nowadays), Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Guy Pearce, Russel Crowe and Nicole Kidman are just a few names that come to mind.

Now of course there are plenty interesting Australian films. There is a reason why these actors ended up in Tinseltown. When I visited the International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium last year, I noticed that a considerable amount of films from Down Under were shown. Australian cinema is alive and always has been. A nice occasion to sum up the highlights of the last couple of years.

Australia country statistics

Rank#9 (List of most popular countries)
ActorsKate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth & Tom Hardy
TrendingThe Dressmaker, Mad Max: Fury Road & Paper Planes
Amount of country films per year from 2010 to 2017

199 Australian movies scheduled for release this year.

List of highest grossers of the decade & budget

Australian productions are expanding rapidly, but that is mainly because the distinction between American movies & Australian movies has gotten even blurrier. Take a look at Mel Gibson' All-American story Hacksaw Ridge for example.
TitleBox officeBudget
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)$153M$150M
Happy Feet 2 (2011)$64M$135M
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)$62M$40M
(Read: Who needs big budgets? 25 low budget success stories!)

2017 anticipated releases to watch

    Jasper Jones (Saturday February 25, 2017)

    Jasper Jones film poster Director
    Rachel Perkins
    Hugo Weaving
    Angourie Rice
    Toni Collette

    Based on a classic Australian novel, 'Jasper Jones' tells the bittersweet tale of a young boy in 1965 trying to solve a murder mystery in a rural racist community. ... Read more


    Lion (Friday January 6, 2017)

    Lion film poster Director
    Garth Davis
    Dev Patel
    Nicole Kidman
    Rooney Mara

    This film about an adopted Australian young man looking for his roots in his native India tends to melodrama often, but brings compelling storytelling and great acting performances all the same. ... Read more


Best Australian movies on Netflix or DVD in 2017

2010's best rated Australian movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  1. Hacksaw Ridge (03-10-2016, 139 minutes)
  2. Hacksaw Bridge marks the glorious return of Mel Gibson as a director. This story, of a pacifist army surgeon at the Pacific Front during WWII, could have easily turned into a horribly sentimental war drama like Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'. But it didn't. One of the most powerful anti-war movies of this century so far!
    StarringAndrew Garfield, Sam Worthington & Luke Bracey
    DirectorMel Gibson (Braveheart & Apocalypto)
    Similar moviesThe Thin Red Line
    Themessecond world war, warfare, drama, war,
    CountryAustralia United States
    Keywordsbiographical, insightful, outstanding,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  3. Boys in the Trees (20-10-2016, 112 minutes)
  4. A promising debut by young Australian filmmaker Nicholas Verso. 'Boys in the trees' is an unnerving coming-of-age flick that evolves around a bunch of teenage skaters hanging out during a Halloween's night. As the night progresses, the teens get to know more about each other, their dreams, and most importantly, their fears.
    StarringToby Wallace, Gulliver McGrath & Mitzi Ruhlmann
    DirectorNicholas Verso (The Last Time I Saw Richard )
    Similar moviesIt Follows
    Themesdrugs, fear, growing up, coming-of-age, horror,
    Keywordscreepy, dreamlike,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  5. The Rover (20-06-2014, 103 minutes)
  6. The Rover, David Michôd’s second feature after the acclaimed Animal Kingdom was met with high expectations long before it was released. Not in the first place because teeny hunk superstar Robert Pattinson was casted as one of the leads. It’s a visually stunning dystopian thriller, set in the outback of Australia (yes, Mad Max comes to mind) which tells the simple yet effective story of a hard boiled loner in pursuit of the men who stole his car. And yes, Robert Pattinson is absolutely capable of acting.
    StarringGuy Pearce, Robert Pattinson & Scoot McNairy
    DirectorDavid Michôd (Animal Kingdom, Hesher & Crossbow)
    Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road & Blue Ruin
    Themesbetrayal, revenge, crime, drama,
    CountryAustralia United States
    Keywordsexciting, powerful,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  7. The Babadook (28-11-2014, 93 minutes)
  8. It might be hard to believe that one of the best and most original horror films of the decade so far is an Australian film. You don’t really associate sunny Down Under with dark gothic tales. And yet it’s true. The Babadook tells the story of a Amelia, young widow who has to cope with her six-year old son, a boy with a vivid imagination. After reading The Babadook, a disturbing storybook, the boy believes he and his mom are surrounded by some evil entity. Amelia, irritated at first by her son’s behaviour, soon begins to see glimpses of the Babadook too. The Babadook is a brilliant take on the well known haunted house theme , but this time the real horror hasn’t anything to do with the supernatural at all; the film merely works as an eerie exploration of trauma.
    StarringEssie Davis, Noah Wiseman & Daniel Henshall
    DirectorJennifer Kent (Murder Call, The Well & Babe: Pig in the City)
    Similar moviesSinister & The Conjuring
    Themeschildhood, domestic violence, drama, horror, thriller,
    CountryAustralia Canada
    Keywordscreepy, remarkable,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  9. Tracks (06-03-2014, 112 minutes)
  10. It’s easy to be cynical about Tracks. You could call it the Australian answer to Sean Penn’s beloved Into the Wild (2007), but with a happy ending. Like in that film, Tracks begins with a disillusioned twenty-something looking for redemption or whatever by leaving the civilized world. Films like these, which celebrate the romantic idea of going it alone, I usually don’t like. The lessons to be learned are too obvious. Tracks has Mia Wasikowska though, who plays Robyn, a young woman who’s fed up with everyone and everything, with a great mixture of stubbornness and serenity.
    StarringMia Wasikowska, Adam Driver & Lily Pearl
    DirectorJohn Curran (Stone, The Painted Veil & We Don't Live Here Anymore)
    Similar moviesInto the Wild & Wild
    Themesanimals, freedom, adventure, biographical, drama,
    Keywordseasy-to-read, intriguing,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  11. The Rocket (19-04-2013, 96 minutes)
  12. Director Kim Mourdant rose to fame as Australian documentary maker with a focus on South East Asia. The Rocket is her feature film debut, but it’s clear to see where she came from. The film, which takes place in Laos and has an all Laotian cast, is a brilliant and affectionate portrayal of rural South East Asian life and a gripping coming of age tale at the same time. Ahlo is a young boy who is believed to be cursed and bring bad luck. When the annual Rocket Festival is about to take of he is determined to take part in the dangerous competition in hopes of twisting his faith.
    StarringSitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam & Suthep Po-ngam
    DirectorKim Mordaunt (Speed City, Copyrites & Survival)
    Similar moviesPaper Planes & The Boy
    Themesdreams, growing up, drama,
    CountryAustralia Laos Thailand
    Keywordsauthentic, spot-on,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  13. Satellite Boy (04-01-2013, 90 minutes)
  14. Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 classic film The Walkabout set the standards for the Australian Aboriginal cinema. Ever since, Australian filmmakers have been fascinated by this nature vs. man theme; the traditional unspoiled way of living in the outback vs. the fast metropolitan life in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Sattelite Boy, a cute but never too sentimental film about two aboriginal kids lost in the outback, places itself neatly in that tradition.

    StarringDavid Gulpilil, Cameron Wallaby & Joseph Pedley
    DirectorCatriona McKenzie (Road, The Third Note & Mr. Patterns)
    Similar moviesThe Walkabout & Tracks
    Themeschildhood, growing up, adventure, drama, family,
    Keywordsgood, insightful,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  15. Hail (22-09-2012, 104 minutes)
  16. Hail is one of those films that is hard to pin down. Is it a fictionalized documentary, of documentary fiction? Well, what does it actually matter. Hail is a great film in the first place. An uncompromising, raw and poetic portrayal of Danny, an ex-convict. We follow Danny as he struggles to reconnect with his wife and his tendency to fall back into old habits. Cinematographer Germain McMicking deserves an honorable mention here, as Hail works visually overall. It’s the nightmarish images that evoke Danny’s tormented soul that’ll stick with you for a while.
    StarringDaniel P. Jones, Leanne Letch & Tony Markulin
    DirectorAmiel Courtin-Wilson (Ruin, Chasing Buddha & Ben Lee: Catch My Disease)
    Similar moviesSamson and Delilah & Fell
    Themeslove, poverty, drama,
    Keywordstragic, weird,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  17. Animal Kingdom (03-06-2010, 113 minutes)
  18. Director David Michôd already built up a reputation as a promising director after directing a few shorts and documentaries. With Animal Kingdom, his feature film debut, he really placed himself among Australia’s finest. Animal Kingdom is a raw and touching portrait of a young man who seems unable to escape from his family’s tight grip. J is a seventeen year old boy who just lost his mother who died by overdose. His grandmother, some sort of madre de familia of a degenerated, criminal family, adopts him. At first, his new family feels like a warm bath to J, but it soon becomes clear that he is all but free to do what pleases him.
    StarringJames Frecheville, Guy Pearce & Joel Edgerton
    DirectorDavid Michôd (The Rover, Hesher & Crossbow)
    Similar moviesSweet Sixteen & The Goob
    Themesdrugs, families, crime, drama, thriller,
    Keywordsdistinct, excellent,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

New Australian movies out now

Best recent & upcoming Australian movies with release dates.

Deal by Brenton Foale

Release dateN/A
StarringCris Cochrane, Kieran Cochrane & Brenton Foale
Previous releasesSnap Factory, The Legend of Ben Hall & Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla
Associated with drama, thriller,

Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Sotiris Dounoukos

Release date2015
StarringGia Carides, Maggie Naouri & Eva Lazzaro
Previous releasesMona Lisa, Paper and Sand & The Wall
Associated with drama,

The Legend of Ben Hall by Matthew Holmes
Release date2016
StarringCallan McAuliffe, Andy McPhee & Dean Kirkright
Previous releasesTwin Rivers & The Artifice
Associated with action, biographical, drama, western,

Lion by Garth Davis

Release date2016
CountryAustralia United Kingdom United States
StarringRooney Mara, Nicole Kidman & Dev Patel
Previous releasesAlice & P.I.N.S
Associated with drama,

The Dressmaker (29-10-2015, 118 minutes))

DirectorJocelyn Moorhouse (Proof, Unconditional Love & How to Make an American Quilt)
StarringKate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth & Hugo Weaving
Similar moviesThe Homesman & Jane Got a Gun
Themesrevenge, women, drama,
Keywordsbased on a novel, historical,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

Mad Max: Fury Road (15-05-2015, 120 minutes))
DirectorGeorge Miller (Happy Feet, Mad Max & Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior)
StarringTom Hardy, Charlize Theron & Nicholas Hoult
Similar moviesYoung Ones & The Road
Themesinsanity, rebellion, action, drama, science fiction, thriller,
CountryAustralia United States
Keywordsaction-packed, excellent,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

Paper Planes (15-01-2015, 96 minutes))
DirectorRobert Connolly (The Bank, Balibo & Underground: The Julian Assange Story )
StarringEd Oxenbould, Sam Worthington & Julian Dennison
Similar moviesChasing Ghosts & The Rocket
Themeschildhood, dreams, family,
Keywordscharming, heartfelt,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

Partisan (02-10-2015, 98 minutes))
DirectorAriel Kleiman (Deeper Than Yesterday, Young Love & Logman)
StarringVincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel & Florence Mezzara
Similar moviesThe Hunger Games & The Maze Runner
Themesfreedom, military, drama, thriller,
Keywordsdark, gripping,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix