The Dish (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dish (2001)



Critic Consensus: A feel good movie without an abundance of mush.

Movie Info

In this comedy, as American astronauts prepare to make one giant leap for mankind, a small Australian town stumbles through its own small steps to help. In the summer of 1969, Cliff Buxton (Sam Neill) leads a team of scientists overseeing the operations of one of the world's largest radio telescope dishes, nestled in a New South Wales community of sheep farmers. As NASA prepares for Apollo 11, the first manned voyage to the moon, Buxton and his crew are asked if they will allow their telescope's dish to be used as a backup receiver for the television transmission from the moon, should the main receiver in California fail. Buxton and his men are more than happy to help, and the village is agog as they gear up for their own small part in one of the world's greatest adventures. Mayor McIntyre (Roy Billing) and his wife May (Genevieve Mooy) are thrilled to be greeting a small but steady stream of important visitors, though many of the locals are not especially good with etiquette, and several members of Buxton's team, most notably high-strung Mitch (Kevin Harrington), are less than enthusiastic about Al Burnett (Patrick Warburton), the know-it-all NASA technician brought in to oversee the Australian operations. When a change in Apollo 11's schedule means the Australian dish will have to pick up the vital broadcast from the moon, Cliff, Mitch, and Al must put aside their differences to pull the show together. Though played for laughs, The Dish was inspired by actual events. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Sam Neill
as Cliff Buxton
Kevin Harrington
as Ross `Mitch' Mitchel...
Tom Long
as Glenn Latham
Genevieve Mooy
as May McIntyre
Tayler Kane
as Rudi Kellerman
Billie Brown
as Prime Minister
Roy Billing
as Mayor Bob McIntyre
Lenka Kripac
as Marie McIntyre
Matthew Moore
as Keith Morrison
Eliza Szonert
as Janine Kellerman
John McMartin
as U.S. Ambassador
Bille Brown
as Prime Minister
Carl Snell
as Billy McIntyre
Rosalind Hammond
as Miss Nolan
Naomi Wright
as Melanie
Grant Thompson
as Mr. Callen
Bernard Curry
as Newspaper Reporter
Jason Ritterman
as Adrian Hobbs
Alexander Zent
as Lead Guitarist
Rowan Macartney
as Trumpet Player
Neil Pigot
as Journalist
Darren Davidson
as Camera Person
Simon Donaldson
as Sound Person
Frank Bennett
as Barry Steele
Randall Berger
as Ambassador's Aide
Charles 'Bud' Tingwe...
as Reverend Loftus
Alister Paterson
as ABC TV Newsreader
Colette Mann
as Betty the Bush Poet
Susan Ward
as Female Print Journal...
Roger Crisp
as Male Reporter
Nicholas Bell
as TV Scientist
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Dish

Critic Reviews for The Dish

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (31)

we are all part of planet Earth, and Sitch's film reminds us without preaching

Full Review… | March 3, 2011
Old School Reviews

A heartwarming family movie about the space race.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

A satellite dish sitting in the middle of an Australian sheep farm might not sound like the most compelling subject to base a story around, but there are hidden charms in this graceful film that add up to something quite out of the ordinary.

Full Review… | May 20, 2009

Sitch's movie is a simple pleasure, full of memorable characters and comedy that could only occur under the direction of a patient and observant director.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

Sitch deserves the highest praise for recapturing the global feeling of rapture and awe at watching a man walk on the moon. ... For a few minutes we can party like it's 1969.

Full Review… | May 30, 2003
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A tender memoir of one of the few occasions when the world united in awe.

Full Review… | February 13, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Dish


i liked it! its a nice little cute movie thats amausing in places and quite good fun movie that leaves you happy, and of course sam neill looks gorgeous as ever!!
its about the landing on the moon of neil armstrong but its about the dish that broadcasted the pictures to earth based on true events and based in australia!
A nice movie to watch light heartedly!!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Fantastic Aussie film. Full review later

Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer


Based on a true story Sam Neill and his team in Australia are responsible for beaming the image of Neil Armstrong's moon landing around the world.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

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