Best new Australian Movies in 2018 & 2017 (Netflix & Cinema List)

The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Australian movies of 2018 in cinema, DVD and Netflix. Are Jocelyn Moorhouse, George Miller & John Curran Australia's biggest directors?

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!

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.

New Australian movies in 2018

Top movies up for release in 2018

  • The Nightingale

    DIRECTOR: Jennifer Kent
    CAST: N/A

    Besides being one of our favorite recent movies from Down Under, 'The Babadook' is actually one of our favorite 21st century horror flicks too. So obviously were pretty excited for director Jennifer Kent's new film 'The Nightingale'. Taking place in Tasmania 1823, it tells the tale of a young convict woman determined to avenge her the killing of her family. Read more

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Best Australian movies of 2017

Top rated 2017 Australian movies

  • Berlin Syndrome

    DIRECTOR: Cate Shortland
    CAST: Teresa Palmer Max Riemelt Matthias Habich

    After the breathtaking WW2 drama 'Lore', Australian director Cate Shortland focusses on a story that takes once again place in Germany. So far the similarities. 'Berlin Syndrome' is a nerve-shredding psychological thriller about an Australian backpacker meeting the wrong guy in Berlin. After a romantic first night, she finds herself locked in in his apartment. Read more

    RATING: 83/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 20th, 2017

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  • Jasper Jones

    DIRECTOR: Rachel Perkins
    CAST: 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

    RATING: 83/100

    RELEASE DATE: December 12th, 2018

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  • Lion

    DIRECTOR: Garth Davis
    CAST: 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

    RATING: 75/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 6th, 2017

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Best Australian movies on Netflix or DVD in 2018

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

  • Hacksaw Ridge

    DIRECTOR: Mel Gibson
    CAST: Andrew Garfield Sam Worthington Luke Bracey

    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! Read more

    RATING: 82/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 3rd, 2016

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  • The Rocket

    DIRECTOR: Kim Mordaunt
    CAST: Sitthiphon Disamoe Loungnam Kaosainam Suthep Po-ngam

    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. Read more

    RATING: 73/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 19th, 2013

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  • Animal Kingdom

    DIRECTOR: David Michôd
    CAST: James Frecheville Guy Pearce Joel Edgerton

    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. Read more

    RATING: 73/100

    RELEASE DATE: June 3rd, 2010

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  • Boys in the Trees

    DIRECTOR: Nicholas Verso
    CAST: Toby Wallace Gulliver McGrath Mitzi Ruhlmann

    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. Read more

    RATING: 72/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 20th, 2016

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  • Tracks

    DIRECTOR: John Curran
    CAST: Mia Wasikowska Adam Driver Lily Pearl

    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. Read more

    RATING: 72/100

    RELEASE DATE: March 6th, 2014

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  • The Babadook

    DIRECTOR: Jennifer Kent
    CAST: Essie Davis Noah Wiseman Daniel Henshall

    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. Read more

    RATING: 68/100

    RELEASE DATE: November 28th, 2014

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  • Satellite Boy

    DIRECTOR: Catriona McKenzie
    CAST: David Gulpilil Cameron Wallaby Joseph Pedley

    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. Read more

    RATING: 66/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 4th, 2013

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  • The Rover

    DIRECTOR: David Michôd
    CAST: Guy Pearce Robert Pattinson Scoot McNairy

    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. Read more

    RATING: 64/100

    RELEASE DATE: June 20th, 2014

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  • Hail

    DIRECTOR: Amiel Courtin-Wilson
    CAST: Daniel P. Jones Leanne Letch Tony Markulin

    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. Read more

    RATING: 59/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 22nd, 2012

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