Australia Reviews

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Christine Champ
Film.com
May 6, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Nina Caplan
Time Out
January 5, 2009
It's a fine romp, epic in both ambition and visuals if not narrative - and if director Baz Luhrmann had stopped at the end of the love story's trajectory, the audience would have left entirely happy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
December 2, 2008
There's a lot to admire here, but not enough.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
December 2, 2008
It's trying so hard to be epic instead of just being epic.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 1, 2008
Sometimes Luhrmann seems to be living in a Dreamtime of his own; his movie is all over the map. But what a gorgeous map it is.
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David Denby
New Yorker
December 1, 2008
Luhrmann is drawn to kitsch as inevitably as a bear to honey.
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Sean Means
Film.com
November 26, 2008
The massive panoramas of wild Australia suddenly make Luhrmanns wild flourishes look puny.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 26, 2008
The result is mostly a woodenly derivative melding of '40s maternal melodramas, oaters and World War II actioners.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 26, 2008
A wildly ambitious, luridly indulgent spectacle of romance, action, melodrama and historic revisionism, Australia is windy, overblown, utterly preposterous and insanely entertaining.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 26, 2008
Australia tries to be a sprawling, romantic epic. Instead, it's a melodramatic exercise in tedium.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 26, 2008
At once sprawling and intimate, melodramatic and comic, magnificent and utterly bonkers, it bears entertaining witness to Luhrmann's love of old movies and his Down Under homeland.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Fear
Time Out
November 26, 2008
Are we so desperate to sate our malnourished nostalgia for movie magic that we'd settle for a facsimile so grand, lavish and empty?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
November 26, 2008
Australia delivers with real panache.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 26, 2008
[Luhrmann] veers from earnest drama to brisk comedy and then tries to hold it together with awkward voiceover narration. Within five minutes, Australia seems headed for trouble. It gets there and stays there.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 26, 2008
It looks great, but the same comment can be made about Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, which shares more than a passing resemblance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 26, 2008
Long in the making -- and almost as long in the watching -- Baz Luhrmann's Australia is epic piffle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 26, 2008
This film is a long love song written in two parts, and these actors duet nicely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 26, 2008
Never boring but often exhausting, Australia finally pulls itself together for an emotionally satisfying ending. Or six. Pass the gravy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 26, 2008
Australia is being marketed as the kind of old-fashioned romantic epic Hollywood rarely makes anymore, and after you've sat through it, you'll be thankful they don't.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
November 26, 2008
Comedy and tragedy, action and melodrama, full measures of quirk and swoon: It's just a plain good time at the movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 26, 2008
Australia is so damnably eager to please that it feels like being pinned down by a giant overfriendly dingo and having your face licked for about three hours: theoretically endearing but, honestly, kind of gross.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 26, 2008
What a gorgeous film, what strong performances, what exhilarating images and -- yes, what sweeping romantic melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 26, 2008
It's an endurance test that ends in moans of recognition as characters seem to be acting out scenes from other, better movies. Really, you don't want to sit through this.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 26, 2008
Even more than a Western, Australia is a musical without a songbook. Its emotions are large, its rhythms bold.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
November 26, 2008
Australia provides some remarkable moments: remarkably beautiful, remarkably imaginative and, against all odds, genuinely moving, which in a movie this overwrought and overblown is, in itself, remarkable.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 26, 2008
This almost three-hour epic keeps shooting for the stars but usually crash-lands with a thud. Someone should have told co-writer/director Baz Luhrmann that just because you call your movie Australia doesn't mean you've created a national epic.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 26, 2008
Australia strains to do it all, and finally all you can see is the strain.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 26, 2008
I must confess that I might have been harder on Mr. Luhrmann's film if I had not remained entranced by Ms. Kidman.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 26, 2008
Calling a Baz Luhrmann movie a crazy mess isn't necessarily a damning statement. But it isn't an automatic compliment, either.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 26, 2008
Australia offers everything from a cattle drive to Nicole Kidman's rendition of "Over the Rainbow" to hordes of Japanese Zeros zeroing in on screaming children during the early 1942 attack on Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, two months aft
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 26, 2008
Beautiful scenery and the best intentions can't save Australia from dissolving in goo.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 26, 2008
Australia is a pastiche of genres and references wrapped up into one horse-galloping, cattle-stampeding, camera-swooping, music-swelling, widescreen package.
| Original Score: 3/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 26, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 25, 2008
It's not Luhrmann's best work to date, but it has crowd-rousing flair to spare.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
November 25, 2008
It almost goes without saying that the film looks gorgeous, but the filmmaking behind it feels unsure how to work on this grand a scale. Australia is big. But it never fills the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 25, 2008
Missing the 'e' in epic, the filmmaker has produced a labored pic, weighed down by the very artifice that is traditionally his specialty.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 25, 2008
Baz Luhrmann's entertaining Australia simply must be watched on the biggest screen possible, as I imagine it becomes sillier and sillier as it shrinks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
November 25, 2008
Dear Baz Luhrmann: You have a problem, and the first step toward solving it is recognizing it: Despite your manifest gifts as a filmmaker, you can't do tragedy. And you need to stop trying.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 25, 2008
Halfway through, Australia veers sharply into Serious Issue mode.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
November 25, 2008
It's a mystery to me how Baz Luhrmann continues to be regarded as a director worth following.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 25, 2008
Though Luhrmann starts with plenty of potential, he squanders it almost immediately.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 25, 2008
If Luhrmann takes too long to tell the tale, it is at least a tale worth telling, shining a light on racism and mistreatment, folding it neatly into a crowded film that entertains us for most of the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 25, 2008
It's messy and overwrought. But ambition this grand is worth two hours and 40 minutes of Aussie scenery, history (fudged), romance and war.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
November 24, 2008
Overlong and self-indulgent.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 24, 2008
Jackman has musical-theater chops and knows how to sell material this ham-handed; Kidman isn't quite as deft.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 20, 2008
Embracing grand old-school melodrama while critiquing racist old-fashioned politics, Baz Luhrmann's grandiose Australia provides a luxurious bumpy ride.
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Megan Lehmann
Hollywood Reporter
November 18, 2008
The most expensive Australian film ever made is rousing and passionate.