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Mystery Road Reviews

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Jay Boller
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a straight-up, "Law & Order"-esque criminal investigation, it's watchable. But lingering shots and half-baked racial commentary overstate the importance of "Mystery Road."

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 31, 2014
David McGinty
The Skinny

Detective Jay Swan is no Marlowe; he just isn't engaging, or all that interesting.

Full Review Source: The Skinny | Original Score: 2/5

February 27, 2014
Alex Doenau
Trespass

There simply isn't enough dynamism to justify Sen's story. Australian movies have to work harder to secure audiences beyond those who go to them out of a sense of duty or worthiness; Mystery Road simply doesn't go that far.

Full Review Source: Trespass

December 17, 2013
Tom Clift
FILMINK (Australia)

A masterfully executed slice of storytelling that rates as one of our finest films of the past few years.

Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)

December 17, 2013
Sandra Hall
Sydney Morning Herald

Mystery Road's links to the classic Hollywood western are as obvious as its hero's cowboy boots and white hat but they do nothing to diminish its Australianness.

Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 17, 2013
Philippa Hawker
The Age (Australia)

A work of evocative suggestion and concrete detail, a film that uses the genre trappings of the western and the thriller to explore a complex story of crime and indifference.

Full Review Source: The Age (Australia) | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 17, 2013
Craig Mathieson
The Sunday Age

A deeply satisfying and slow-burning modern-day western set in outback New South Wales, Ivan Sen's outstanding film Mystery Road bridges the current divide in Australian cinema with a prominent and precise work.

Full Review Source: The Sunday Age | Original Score: 4/5

December 17, 2013
Margaret Pomeranz
At the Movies (Australia)

I think he's a wonderful filmmaker.

Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia) | Original Score: 4/5

December 17, 2013
David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)

MYSTERY ROAD is, indeed, a bit of a mystery - but there are so many wonderful elements to the film that you wish the confusions had been ironed out more satisfactorily.

Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia) | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 17, 2013
Simon Foster
sbs.com.au

There is slow burn and then there is Mystery Road, writer-director Ivan Sen's languid, dusty smalltown western set in a Queensland hinterland rife with racial tension, social malaise and organised crime.

Full Review Source: sbs.com.au | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 17, 2013

Oblique in its intent and without the complexities of an investigatory film along the architectural lines of Roman Polanski's Chinatown, Mystery Road broods and simmers.

Full Review Source: Crikey

October 26, 2013

Mystery Road offers nothing new in terms of crime plot, but its awesome setting and tenacious hero make it an absolute must-see, especially for western fans.

Full Review Source: HeyUGuys | Original Score: 5/5

October 21, 2013

With a tight-lipped Aaron Petersen as a lonely, personally troubled cop investigating the murder of a local teen, director Ivan Sen delivers a brooding, unsettling, racially charged slice of Outback Noir.

Full Review Source: 3AW | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 18, 2013
CJ Johnson
ABC Radio (Australia)

What lifts this atmospheric and affecting film from its genre limitations are its milieu, its striking visual style and its truly enjoyable, low-key performances.

Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia) | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 16, 2013
Lauren Carroll Harris
Concrete Playground

A new classic with a rich tide of ideas unraveling and washing around the edges...no easy explanations, no Hollywood signposts, just a genre piece of great complexity and troubling beauty. An important film, a stunningly entertaining one, and a great one.

Full Review Source: Concrete Playground | Original Score: 8/10

October 15, 2013
Simon Miraudo
Quickflix

Cormac McCarthy is yet to set one of his sparse, existential tales in the Australian outback, and he may never need to now Ivan Sen has picked up the burden with Mystery Road.

Full Review Source: Quickflix | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 14, 2013
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

Mystery Road, not far from Massacre Creek, is a place where mysteries are finally solved in Ivan Sen's powerful and gripping murder mystery. It has the makings of a genuine modern Australian myth, a rare thing in Australian cinema and one to be cherished

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

October 12, 2013
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

The journey that Sen invites us to take is one of discovery, as he metaphorically digs in the dusty earth to find the clues that allow the mystery to be unravelled

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

October 12, 2013
Anton Bitel
Eye for Film

Sen... creates a Great Southern western, using the iconography of the oater to show the Australian landscape as something akin to the shifting boundaries (geographical, moral, racial) of America's wild, wild cowboy days

Full Review Source: Eye for Film

September 25, 2013
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

Touched by dry humor and elegant action, this is a marvelous blend of classic detective noir and modern Outback Western.

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher

September 23, 2013
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