Ned Kelly Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 8, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2009
A bit of a one sided portrayal of one of Ireland?s great anti-heroes. The acting isn?t awful and the direction isn?t bad, it?s just not a very captivating film. Time progressions are poorly projected and character studies are a little mixed up. It?s a very average film to be fair.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2007
To be perfectly honest, the initial reason I rented this was for the eye candy, but Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger really aren't much to look at under big beards. The story itself is what propells this film, and it's interesting to see the Old West-type frontier in a country other than America. The image of the final showdown is really strikingly iconic, but the movie itself is relatively slow.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2008
An impressive and remarkable western epic. A great and thrilling action-packed adventure. Heath Ledger gives an outstanding performance.
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2008
This is one of those movies where the stars look immaculately unkempt: not a hair out of place that wasn't deliberately positioned so. Try as they might, Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom cannot quite manage to distract our attention from the make-up chair just out of shot, in lieu of a hedge to be drawn through backwards. The film offers such a romanticised portrait of its anti-hero that it makes those early Hollywood tributes to Billy the Kid and Jesse James look positively restrained in their revisionism. As if the deck wasn't already stacked in Kelly's favour, Naomi Watts' character is only there to recycle that hoary old cliche of the noble man who would rather go to the gallows than besmirch a lady's reputation with his alibi. The film is nicely photographed in general, but it somehow manages to reduce the unique splendour of the Australian countryside to a generic wilderness, which could be just about anywhere. If you're desperate for an Aussie bushranger movie, I would recommend "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith" or "The Proposition": better movies which do justice to the singularly beautiful landscape.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2007
This new Aussie biogrpahy of a famous bushranger is getting more better than 1970 film with absolutely story.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2011
It has a good deal of high points, good production value, a solid score and another great performance from Ledger, as well as from his castmates. However, the predominant dullness, underused narrative, occasional disturbances and lack of depth leave Gregor Jordan's "Ned Kelly" to draw a little sloppily, but still hit its mark to an extent.
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2012
Star studded cast, together retells the great Australian legend: Ned Kelly. A little bit shallow on showing more depth of the legend, it's kinda a neo-western with some elements of epic films. Orlando Bloom proved to be a surprisingly good actor as he plays Joe Byrne. However, the film glorified an outlaw which was slightly depressing, totally improved the reputation of Australians.
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2009
Good movie! It had humor, action, and romance. I usually enjoy any movie that Heath Ledger is in, and this one didn't disappoint me!
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2008
Although described as an epic, and despite desperate attempts to achieve such status, 'Ned Kelly' never quite reaches brilliant film-making on that sort of scale. Throughout the course of the film we sense that that is what it wants to be, but the director just isn't quite sure of what to do to make it as such. So instead we are left with a B-grade of the genre, even though there isn't such a thing - an epic is an epic - isn't it? Heath Ledger becomes the heroic protagonist but never quite seems to know what he's doing, although the simple script helps him out for the most part. There's some nice action and attempts at sensitivity and realism work for the most part. The main problem is the romance between Ledger and Naomi Watts - it's far too sudden and the director doesn't even attempt to make us believe in its genunuity - no convincing or persuading. It's just presented and the audience are forced to accept it, but can't. Geoffrey Rush too is sorely underused as the police captain, a role he would have manifested brilliantly would the script allow it, but he still does his best. The finale has a lot more impact than most of the film, and while exciting and full of action is also rather spirited - which is quite of touch with the rest of the film.
February 15, 2010
So bad. Heath Ledger's dreadful Irish accent is distracting as is his poorly exaggerated acting. The movie is unbearably slow and difficult to watch. (First viewing - In my early twenties)
November 17, 2007
I wanted to see this for so long I was afraid I might end up not liking it in the end. But of course in the end I loved everything about it.

I love the story of Ned Kelly. Before watching this movie I read up on some of the history, but seeing it played out like this was the best way I can think of to learn the story.
July 7, 2012
First i'd like to say that Heath Ledger can play any role you throw out at him. And Orlando Bloom didn't do so bad either. Actually the whole cast was pretty great and they all did good in this Irish movie based off the infamous Ned Kelly. (The movies based of a true story).

The only thing that went wrong was the screenplay. It got boring and dragged sometimes but it was redeemed by the good acting. If your a Ledger fan I think you should watch it but otherwise its up to you.
March 6, 2012
I have seen this movie 2 times and each time i want to see it again and a few months later i forget about it. a good movie, but not the best.
January 2, 2010
This movie was amazing. I got it as an Xmas gift. I thought that I would only like it for Heath's performance, but it was so much more than that. I don't really know why I like it so much, I don't usually like these sort of films. But it was simply AMAZING. I actually cried at the end, which is a first for me.
January 9, 2009
A decent movie, but it lacks emotional impact. Ledger and Bloom stand out drastically from the underused and unusually bland Watts and Rush.
½ October 31, 2007
A cast full of pretty actors with irish accents, and a moving story about a young man pushed into becoming a folk hero. If I knew more about the the historical context, perhaps I would have questioned more its hero-worship of Ned Kelly. As it was, it felt very Braveheart in its portrayl. Namoi Watts was an unnecessary addition, and her screen time would have been better served providing more character development for the Kelly gang beyond their drinking and womanizing. Even so, I enjoyed it as an overview of the life of a legend.
½ December 21, 2008
Watching the ending, I almost couldn't believe this movie was based on a true story. A decent flick with great acting by heartthrobs Ledger and Bloom.
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