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Tomorrow, When the War Began Reviews

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Super Reviewer

July 29, 2013
Last year, the remake of the action popcorn cult hit Red Dawn hit theatres, and was disappointing to say the least. The idea of a teen militia fighting an enemy is nothing new, but when it's done right, you can pull off a well crafted film with a cast that can actually act. Although the Red Dawn remake was disappointing, I found it to be a decent film with mindless entertainment value. However with that being said, it was a highly forgettable film. Tomorrow When the War Began on the other hand is a similar film, but it is a better executed movie that has a good cast and a better plot. The film is packed with action and drama and it is a standout film that is sure to please viewers that were let down by the Red Dawn remake. This film has a better cast and a much better script, which makes this a necessity to watch for viewers looking for the perfect entertainment. The film is not perfect, but for the most part, it more than delivers its fair share of thrills. Plus on the other hand, the film is well structured with good characters and a very good plot, better than the Red Dawn remake anyway. I really enjoyed the film, and thought it was a well crafted picture worth checking out. If you love these types of films, don't hesitate to seek this one out, you'll be glad you did. The film could have used a bit more polishing in some areas, but for the most part; it succeeds at being a good film that will highly entertain you from start to finish.

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2012
"With all the crap in my life happening right now, I just wanted a simple action flick to ease my mind and not make me think so much. This film succeeded that for me. It wasn't the best film I could have chosen, but it was listed closer to the top of my que on Netflix, so that is what was chosen. The acting is OK. Nothing to write the award shows about. The story wasn't too interesting either. But still it managed to entertain me with it having the essence of "Red Dawn". But not as good. I got into it and that's all that mattered. I needed to be brain dead for awhile and this film succeeded in making that happen. I think it's worth a look at. Plus I think I might have liked it bit more because of all these damn apocalyptic books I've been reading. Still, give it a go if you get a chance."
Jason S

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2012
I love the concept and execution of the novel but there were times when I could tell this was created from a young adult series of books. While Red Dawn didn't hold back when it came to the reality of the risk the characters put themselves in this one seems to shy away from it. It's a great start to what could be a great series of films.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

March 16, 2011
A film about teenagers at war. However, these aren't REAL teenagers in a REAL war. This is all fictional crap, leaving our protagonists as self-obsessed prats, that will chat about kissing boys when they are in the middle of blowing up a bridge. The film is just a teenagers fantasy. Dumb-ass teenagers will come out hoping a war will break out soon. They are able to take out highly trained soldiers, which have just seized a developed country. It doesn't make sense, and this lack of sense leads to huge shifts in tone which collide traumatically. There's some slapstick humor, quickly followed by insane rants about the nature of the soul and life. Even after just 45 minutes these rants come across as out of character. The tension is non-existent. In the right hands, a film like this could have had be biting my finger nails, instead I was clipping them due to boredom. The film also muddles its themes. Is it against war or not? Perhaps this is due to the characters having to muse on such complex questions, but then it all hangs on whether or not the dog will live. A short and subtle moment where Ellie sees a painting of Aborigines doesn't raise any interesting discussions. Instead, they find a bullet-proof rubbish truck and have a high speed chase. Like a child trying to get involved in a debate with an educated adult, this is interesting to watch at first, but ultimately embarrassing.

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2011
"What does your instincts tell you?
That it's time to go to war."

When their country is invaded and their families are taken, eight unlikely high school teenagers band together to fight.

The gaps in logic in this film are glaring as we see scene after scene of exaggerated actions coming into play to force scene conclusions that are supposed to guide the plot dramatically, bridges that should be building audience confidence in their immersion into a relationship with each of the characters as well as with the narrative itself. The author seems to me to be the major part of the failure of this film to deliver anything close to a well-done film project. But that also must include the main production executives who also made the decision to allow an apparently film industry novice to make such important decisions on how to take from a piece of literature the obvious thematic merits that this film so sadly tries to demonstrate to the audience. Things like the struggle for adolescent courage, morality, ethics, etc.. Sometimes what comes to us in words cannot easily be translated into the abstract aspects that reside in film where our eyes can see the process and we interpret what the eye sees and we make decisions concerning the meaning. It was like I was watching a child make decisions about how to go about the intellectual translation process. I found myself getting angrier and angrier at the consistent lack of cohesion between abstract concepts and their concrete imagery that exists in the film because of the lack of understanding about this basic concept taught in film school. It created a terrible embarrassment in me for the people responsible for this project and the characters in the film as they were being turned into puppets where the audience must fill in the gaps of movement imaginatively because of the essential nature of puppeteering where movement cannot flow realistically. Thus we have characters who do things that people living the contexts in which they find themselves would not and should not do realistically because the mind does not flow that way, nor does the body. I have tried to give a review where there are no spoilers and have used "Red Dawn" as my metaphorical device that one can use to compare and contrast what is good and what is bad in a similar plot and in the production process of a similar project. If you want to analyze this film, I suggest watching "Red Dawn" first. I hope this helps, not to make a choice on whether or not to watch this film, but to understand from where its flaws come.

Super Reviewer

November 11, 2010
'Tomorrow When The War Began'. Some cheesy dialogue and a few cliche moments, but decent action and suspense made it quite enjoyable

Super Reviewer

September 14, 2010
Great Australian action film with the version of 1984's Red Dawn. The action scenes are generally exciting as well as Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) and Homer's (Deniz Akdeniz) character growth is strong and impressive, impressive enough to carry the film past its problems.
From the striking aerial shot of the enemies' nocturnal invasion to the final bridge assault, director Stuart Beattie handles the action with giddy zeal. High-speed chases and frenetic machine gun battles rage in some of the most picturesque parts of New South Wales. This is the biggest Aussie action film since Max Rockatansky went beyond Thunderdome.
Surprisingly - for the man who wrote Collateral and a pirate's swag of Hollywood blockbusters - Beattie seems more at home behind the camera than pushing his pen. For a film based on such an intriguing central conceit, the script is adequate at best. There is no spark in the teen banter and it threatens to derail the film early on.
Tomorrow, When the War Began also isn't helped by the delivery from his young, inexperienced Soapie cast. Only Rachel Hurd-Wood shows signs of character development as Ellie's BFF Corrie. The rest of the teen underdogs are mere cyphers designed to win over the film's transparently targeted demographic.
Luckily the set pieces win the day, aided by shattering sound design and breathtaking cinematography.
I hope to look forward for the sequels with the same director and the rest of cast because that proved a massive hit at the box office in Australia.
Gimly M

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2013
Firstly, I am not patriotic. That in mind, I love when we Aussies bring out a film that gets international recognition. Unfortunately, these aren't often good. GOOD Aussie films like The Square, Cthulu, Dying Breed, Rogue, Cactus and Red Hill get virtually no recognition at all (and those are just some of the bigger films!). Tomorrow however, much like Wolf Creek, is actually good, AND received international acclaim. Just to clarify though, I don't think it really deserves to ever be compared to Greg McLean's Wolf Creek, despite my having just done that. Wolf Creek was a genuine fucking masterpiece, Tomorrow is what we refer to as "a bit a alright"; which is only a real compliment when given to a lady.

The film was long, but I ended up feeling like it really needed to have been longer, the set-up was just right, but the second act felt rushed to the point of stupidity. Though my final rating isn't dependant on how the film racks up to the John Marsden book it's based on, I'd like to make a point of stating how infinitely better a character that Lee was in the novel. This fact was in no way what so ever the fault of actor Chris Pa- PSYCHE! All his fucking fault. This guy is not an actor. Neighbours could maybe of made use of this kid on an off day.

By stark contrast, Caitlin Stasey who portrayed protagonist Ellie Linton actually DID come from Neighbours, but scarily enough she did a great job in Tomorrow.

It's one of those films where you can't help but find yourself arms outstretched, screaming at the television as the characters make stupid errors. Which is a double edged sword, on one hand, it means you've got fuckstupid writers, but on the other, it means you've got great writers. Paradox? What I mean is, to have the script be so badly written that the people behind it honestly thought we would ignore the plot-holes and retarded decisions is just plain weak, but to get the audience gripped by characters in such a short amount of time all comes down to great story telling.

The thing to really look forward to here is the intrinsically Australian environment, and even more than that, are these little tidbits you would miss if you blinked. Quotes like "The book's better than the movie" as genuine pieces of conversation are well worth the films downfalls.

All in all, the action is great, the soundtrack and actors are at an average bearable, there's a number of subpar moments, but none of which you can't get over. The ending to me seemed weak, but I asked some international friends of mine what they thought, and they all told me the same thing; "Nah we totally bought that, Tomorrow is basically a documentary about how arrogant and badass Australians really are, right?"



Super Reviewer

March 6, 2011
ĘTomorrow, When the War BeganĘ a good start to a new adventure/war movie franchise from Australia. It is all around a solid film with a very good script, good actors, direction and decent action scenes and thrilling moments all of which comes together in quite a neat little package.
Looking forward for the next two sequels>>>>>

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2010
Pretty good, a good attempt at copying Red Dawn. Most of this first movie is the set up of the kids getting together and the beginning of the occupation of Australia. Looks like they are tying to make this into a trilogy which I bet, with the interest showing here and all the freaking advertising, that they will be big hits in Australia.

The acting is pretty good, the story is semi-believable, and the lines are not corny as you would expect. I will definitely watch the sequels.
November 27, 2013
Tomorrow, When The War Began
Starring, Catlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akedeniz,Christopher Pang,Asheligh Cummings,Andrew Ryan,and Colin Fries.
My Review
Ellie Linton: Good book?
Corrie Mackenzie: Better than the movie.
Ellie Linton: Yeah, books usually are.
I am not glad i did not read the book to this franchise before seeing the movie cause in the beginning it just seems like another version of Red Dawn,maybe the book had something more to it. But other then that I do think this film is actually great.
Eight High school friends in an Australian town go on a retreat in the a part of the mountains they haven't been to that they call Hell. After their weekend is spent there they come home having realized that their town is under siege by another country. They intend to fight back and this were the war for there town back begins.
If there are seven books then I honestly think I should read it. This series by the presentation of this film looks better then most teenage young adult novels that are becoming blockbuster franchises. These actors are all independent actors who mostly work in Indie films such as this one. If they keep going with movies like this one I hope to see them in more Indie action flicks. The three actors to me who stand out is lead Catlin Stasey, Christopher Pang, and Rachel Hurd-wood. The character of Ellie is so confident and independent to make sure that her friends stay alive through her integrity,courage,and ferocity. Corrie is much more subtle character she imposes curiousness in her facial expression when it comes to the disaster of knowing their dog is dead, their families gone, and their town under refuge she is curious but in fear and is brave so she can conquer that fear. Lee is the more quiet character who is very intelligent,skilled and has baggage. That baggage being his parents, he doesn't like working with his parents in their restaurant but yet he has to. During the film he falls for Ellie and gets shot but he does it for not only his friend but his family.
I felt like if this were me and I was with a group of friends in a part of the mountains and another country took over our town what would we do,fight to our last breath and make a difference or would we put ourselves in shame and accept the disaster, avoid it and let it have it's day? I felt like this would be a conflict not only with my family but with myself. That is what makes this film so great to put yourself in so great a risk for not your country or town but your family.
I give Tomorrow, When The War Began a four and a half out of five.
June 14, 2010
I'm really giving this a 4.25, but 4 stars seemed like it would be underrating the film. Tomorrow, When the War Began is a great screen adaptation of the bestselling Australian book series by John Marsden. This film is a good mix of suspense and action that any viewer can find enjoyable. Really, it's Red Dawn set in Australia...and there's nothing wrong with that, because Red Dawn is amazing!!
April 16, 2012
Although it is based on a YA book series (as most everything seems to be these days), there are some definite similarities to Red State, the american "teenagers waging a guerilla war in their invaded homeland" movie (and it's unfortunate remake, natch). That being said, each of the seven leads does a great job, giving solid performances worthy of pretty much any movie. There's rarely a moment that the post-occupation atmosphere isn't fully realized, and their nervous distracting chatter about who's kissing who and such actually felt pretty genuine, as a way of keeping them from thinking too much about the fact that they could die at any moment (much like real soldiers will make plans for when they strike it rich back home). On that point, the script is very serious, never losing sight of the fact that these are still teenagers waging war with their own viewpoints on the situation, rather than a group of specially trained black-ops mercenaries as some reviewers below seem to forget they're not. The ending is extremely open, leaving things very up in the air for the characters should the production team get clearance to film the rest of the series. Even if they don't, the open ending still works well, showing that these kids aren't goping to save everything all at once and that they are still humans prone to failing, making this one excellent film by the time it's all over.
July 27, 2014
The Best Movie, Seen it so many times. wish the next one would come out
October 14, 2012
A much better Red Dawn remake than the Red Dawn remake no doubt. A bright young cast of Aussies liven up WW3.
June 23, 2014
There's nothing amazing about this adaptation, but its characters are likeable and the premise and execution have, for the most part, been well adapted from the source material.
June 23, 2014
While the adaptation is loyal to the novel, the script and characters wear thin after a while. Not to mention the endless cliches, scarcely believable story and many 'no way they could of escaped that' moments.
June 23, 2014
Excellent film, read all the book after watching this and then the spin off 3 Ellie Chronicles afterwards!
May 3, 2014
I loved it should definitely make a sequel but im pretty sure that s not going to happen
May 2, 2014
It's very much good enough for a watch, but the plot holes kill it.
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