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Mad Max (1979)

tomatometer

95

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 2

Staging the improbable car stunts and crashes to perfection, director George Miller succeeds completely in bringing the violent, post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max to visceral life.

80

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

Staging the improbable car stunts and crashes to perfection, director George Miller succeeds completely in bringing the violent, post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max to visceral life.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 135,861

My Rating

Movie Info

This stunning, post-apocalyptic action thriller from director George Miller stars Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a policeman in the near future who is tired of his job. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. He just wants to retire and

Nov 19, 1997

American International Picture

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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (2) | DVD (39)

Overnight, Mad Max went from being a U.S. cult hero to a mainstream figure, and Mel Gibson's place in the firmament was secured.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stunts themselves would be nothing without a filmmaker behind the camera and George Miller, a doctor and film buff making his first feature, shows he knows what cinema is all about.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some of the most determinedly formalist filmmaking this side of Michael Snow.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The tone sometimes wavers into self-parody, and there are occasional crude patches, but overall this edge-of-seat revenge movie marks the most exciting debut from an Australian director since Peter Weir.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mad Max is ugly and incoherent, and aimed, probably accurately, at the most uncritical of moviegoers.

May 21, 2003 | Comments (11)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beyond the explosive nature of the road movie, Mad Max also works as a character piece.

January 18, 2014 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Announcing a new kind of action-thriller, this impressively shot, ultra violent post-apocalyptic saga from Australia made Mel Gibson an instant star.

February 8, 2013 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Mel Gibson rules the road in the original Mad Max.

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Perhaps a bit clumsy in the lumbering middle act, but Mad Max delivers the goods when it comes to pulse-pounding car chases and stunts.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Despite its budget and other shortcomings, Mad Max is still worth watching and worth adding to the post-apocalyptic section of your home video collection.

October 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Like all of the best exploitation films, it transcends its limitations while simultaneously embracing them.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

The greatest example of Ozploitation movies, George Miller's 1979 "Mad Max" is a pure cinematic anomaly.

September 5, 2010 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

This is brutal, exciting stuff, all the more impressive for its budget constraints.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Classic cult fun made famous by director Miller and then new star Gibson.

August 3, 2007
Video-Reviewmaster.com

The stunt work is spectacular.

July 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (4)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Simple, but effective.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Australia exported this creative, original, exciting, low-budget genre landmark which gave the young Mel Gibson his first starring role.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This was a great movie!

August 4, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Though director George Miller took the post-apocalyptic tough guy Max a lot farther in the sequel The Road Warrior, Mad Max still packs in Miller's particular brand of black-comedy thrills.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Encompasses the essence of the sexy revenge flick.

July 8, 2005
▄berCinÚ

Cult low-budgeter that benefits from Miller's direction and Gibson's then lack of self-importance.

July 19, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Mad Max

A fun, terrifically staged and appropriately enthusiastically dystopian action film concerning a member of the police (Mel Gibson), feeling disillusioned from his work amidst a post-apocalyptic society, and how his young family is threatened by a ruthless biker gang after he is responsible for the death of their leader during a car chase. Director George Miller dresses this film up with no budget whatsoever amidst the beautifully desolate Australian landscape, with a star-making performance from Gibson as an everyday man character who is easy to root for given his situation. The movie takes a sudden turn near its conclusion that gives it a darkness I for one did not see coming, which in turn makes it a more memorable film instead of just a fun, though forgettable, action film. Instead this sudden change in tone makes it a film worthy of its cult classic status.
October 15, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
May 28, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The premise suggests something a little bigger than what the film really delivers, but "Mad Max" boasts from a powerhouse leading man and some pretty awesome car chases. As a cop is wanting to be with his wife, rather than being in danger every day on the job, every job just seems to get worse and worse, driving him to become a little crazier than his character was when we first met him. This film is a perfect representation of a great character arch and the classic way of showing it is present the whole way through. It moves a little slow and the secondary characters aren't very likeable, but I had fun watching this movie. "Mad Max" is a very enjoyable ride!
March 3, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

03/11/2012 (DVD)
November 3, 2012
EightThirty

Super Reviewer

    1. Mad Max: The chain in those handcuffs is high-tensile steel. It'd take you ten minutes to hack through it with this. Now, if you're lucky, you can hack through your ankle in five minutes. Go!
    – Submitted by Aaron K (20 months ago)
    1. Mad Max: I'm scared, Fif. It's that rat circus out there, I'm beginning to enjoy it. Look, any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, a terminal psychotic, except that I've got this bronze badge that says that I'm one of the good guys.
    – Submitted by Aaron K (20 months ago)
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