Ned Kelly (2003)



Critic Consensus: More depth about the legendary outlaw would be welcome, but as it is, Ned Kelly is a reasonably entertaining Western.

Movie Info

In the latter part of the 19th century, Australia is still largely untamed. The former penal colony's first-generation Irish immigrant population lives in poverty. Having already experienced police brutality and the death of his father, bushranger Ned Kelly is wrongfully imprisoned on the trumped-up charge of stealing a horse. Emerging a few years later, in 1874, Ned is hardened but vows to stay straight. Rejoining his widowed mother and younger siblings, he makes money for his family as a … More

Rating: R (for violence and brief nudity)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Michael McDonagh, John Michael McDonaugh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 27, 2004
Focus Features - Official Site


as Ned Kelly

as Joe Byrne

as Francis Hare

as Julia Cook

as Dan Kelly

as Steve Hart

as Aaron Sherritt

as Fitzpatrick

as Kate Kelly

as Ellen Kelly

as Grace Kelly

as Mrs. Scott

as Mr. Scott

as Premier Barry

as Jane Jones

as Lonigan

as Wild Wright

as Tom Lloyd

as Constable Hall

as Maggie

as Fanny Shaw

as McIntyre

as Richard Cook

as Kennedy

as The Great Orlando

as Anne Jones

as Johnny Jones

as Stanistreet

as Sherritt Trooper

as Sherritt Trooper

as Sherritt Trooper

as Sherritt Trooper

as Chinese Miner

as Reverend Gribble

as Irish Singer

as Laundry Girl

as Glenrowan Policeman

as Glenrowan Policeman

as Glenrowan Policeman

as Glenrowan Policeman

as Reardon

as Martin Cherry

as Bracken

as Mary Hegarty

as Edward Rogers

as Sullivan

as Young Ned

as Richard Shelton

as Mr. Shelton

as Mrs. Shelton

as Girl on Aaron's Knee

as Older Barmaid

as Old Man in Greta

as James Cook

as Matthew Cook

as Imperial Hotel Music...

as Imperial Hotel Music...

as Imperial Hotel Music...

as Imperial Hotel Music...

as Young Cook Stablehan...

as Toddler Ellen Kelly

as Greta Policeman

as Sarah Wicks

as Glenrowan Train Doct...

as Glenrowan Train Poli...

as Glenrowan Train Poli...

as Jerilderie Young Wom...

as Jerilderie Boy

as Jerilderie Man

as Jerilderie Woman

as Mandolin Player

as Fiddle Player

as Paying Farmer

as Child No.1

as Child No.2

as Spitting Farmer

as Aboriginal Tracker

as Aboriginal Tracker

as Aboriginal Tracker

as Handcuffed Farmer

as Handcuffed Son

as Glenrowan Train Prie...

as Policeman

as Newspaper Vendor

as Prison Warden

as Prison Warden

as Jerilderie Hostage

as Jerilderie Townspers...

as Ramsacked Family Mem...

as Glenrowan Policeman ...

as Police Foot Trooper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ned Kelly

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Critic Reviews for Ned Kelly

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (17)

Ultimately, Jordan's vision is so murky that Ned Kelly remains as foreign to us as wombat stew.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Boston Globe
Top Critic

If Ned Kelly is supposed to be an anti-hero to root for, his speeches border on parody and his cause is really unclear.

Full Review… | March 29, 2004
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Offers a couple of well-filmed showdowns and lots of pretty landscapes, but you need more than scenic views and stylish action to chronicle a life, especially one as controversial as Kelly's.

Full Review… | March 26, 2004
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

A leaden retelling of the legend of Australia's Jesse James that has understandably been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years.

March 26, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic

A handsome, action-packed biographical drama with a credibility gap wider than the screen.

Full Review… | March 26, 2004
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Ledger, talking into his chest for much of the film in an apparent effort to lend gravity to his performance, is pretty stiff, but so is Jordan's direction.

Full Review… | March 26, 2004
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ned Kelly

Well that was lovely and depressing now, wasn't it? And a bit of a spoiler, but that is the second time I have had to watch Orlando Bloom die on screen. It doesn't get any easier. Speaking of, I liked him in this role! Less stiff and form, a bit cuter and jokey than oh... all of his other roles? I also wished Geoffrey Rush's part was a bit bigger, but such is life. I liked it for what it was, but I was overwhelmingly captivated by it all. I watched it for pretty faces and I kinda got that.

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

This outback-set western is based on the life of Ned Kelly, Australia's most celebrated outlaw who enjoyed a Robin Hood like reputation in the late 19th century. Although a lot of period set, rose-tinted tales of the old west tend to romanticize their heroes, Ned Kelly's reverential treatment of the subject matter goes beyond romanticism and into sheer fantasy. All the lawmen are a bunch of corrupt, murdering rapists, save Geoffrey Rush who hardly gets a look in, and Ned Kelly is shown as a totally innocent and noble champion of the people and he and his gang sweep through the land robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, stopping only for some wombat stew and to bed some swooning groupies. The characterisation as a whole is borderline laughable, Heath Ledger having little to do but attach a small shrub to his face and look earnest. It does have some decent photography and a decent shoot out at the climax, but the endless quivering lower lips accompanied by penny whistles that lead there makes it barely worthwhile. Content to rip off the likes of Jesse James and Braveheart rather than present anything approaching a believable portrait of the man, this pseudo-historical claptrap left me rather cold and far worse, rather bored.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Story of the impoverished Irish immigrant Kelly family living in Australia in the latter part of the 19th century. Bushranger Ned Kelly(Heath Ledger) is wrongfully accused and imprisoned of stealing a horse, but emerges a few years later with his mother and siblings in which he makes money as a bare-knuckle boxer. After Ned and his mother are unjustly charged with murder, Ned Kelly is determined to avenge his family's name and strike back against his people's oppressors.
Ledger's portrayal of the Jesse James-esque Kelly is quite brilliant as he and his gang become the invincible "outlaws" of the Outback. Ned Kelly becomes a legend/hero, and still is to this day for his valor, and keen insight into justice so often ignored by so called authority figures.

Eric S

Super Reviewer

Ned Kelly Quotes

– Submitted by Glenn F (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jaime J (3 years ago)

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