Critics Consensus

Eric Bana's performance as the charming but twisted Chopper is the highlight of this disturbing portrait about Australia's notorious author/criminal.



Total Count: 68


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,486
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Movie Info

What happens when you take the toughest guy you can imagine and make him Australian? He gets even tougher. Mark "Chopper" Read, best-selling author and underworld executioner, is Australia's most infamous and self-promoting criminal. His knack for killing and storytelling set him on an unlikely path toward the fame he has always dreamed of attaining. The film begins in a maximum-security prison, where Chopper's erratic behavior and dishonesty lead his "friend" to stab him repeatedly. Fearing further retribution, he cuts off his ears to obtain a transfer. The story then jumps eight years. Chopper, who's now on the fast track to a place where fact and fiction are increasingly blurred, is released. Filled with resentment and guilt and searching desperately for his hidden enemy, he kills a minor criminal in a fit of paranoia but manages to beat the charge by virtue of his now well-honed fabricating ability. However, he's charged with another offense and returned to jail where he writes an exaggerated account of his life of crime.


Eric Bana
as Mark `Chopper' Read
Simon Lyndon
as Jimmy Loughnan
David Field
as Keithy George
Dan Wylie
as Bluey
Bill Young
as Det. Downie
Vince Colosimo
as Neville Bartos
Kenny Graham
as Keith Read
Serge Liistro
as Sammy the Turk
Gary Waddell
as Kevin Darcy
Garry Waddell
as Kevin Darcy
Brian Mannix
as Ian James
Johnnie Targhan
as Paul the Bouncer
Sam Houli
as Robbo
Caleb Cluff
as Detective Creswell
Hilton Henderson
as Detective Wyatt
Fred Barker
as Governor Beasley
Peter Hardy
as Detective Cooney
David Ross Paterson
as Morriss Jeffrey
Marcus Taylor
as Jimmy's Mate
Pam Western
as Tanya's Mother
Renee Brack
as Television Interviewer
Gregory Pitt
as Prison Officer No. 1
Richard Sutherland
as Prison Officer No. 2
Andrew Dunn
as Prison Officer No. 3
Alan Close
as Medical Officer No. 1
Mark Stratford
as Classification Officer
Carl Price
as Brunswick Court Judge
Sarah Jane King
as Glamour Queen
Ernie Gray
as Crown Prosecutor
Terry Willesee
as Current Affairs Show Host
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Critic Reviews for Chopper

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (19)

Audience Reviews for Chopper

  • Aug 20, 2014
    Although less intelligent and fancy, and a whole lot more insecure, Eric Bana plays aussie career criminal "chopper" as some kind of modern day Alex DeLarge. Joie de vivre, disproportionate ego and paranoia ignite a cinematic cocktail with a brutal, darkly humourous and strangely engrossing taste.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2013
    Chopper is made by the performance of Eric Bana, who shows depth previously unseen in his other performances. His charisma, his intensity, and his delivery underscores every seen with the sort of manic criminality that makes the film truly effective. His ambiguous motivations, and the film's reluctance to ascribe real meaning, making the film all the more fascinating as a character study. It also works on a dramatic and, at times, comedic level, providing us with authentic character moments, and very interesting dynamics. Some of the dialogue can be a bit hard to decipher because of the accents, to be sure, but it nevertheless remains as an effective story of a twisted man, told in a brisk, gritty, and entertaining manner. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2011
    Chopper is one of the most incredible crime films that I've seen. The film tells the story of career criminal Mark "Chopper" Read. With this film it's almost impossible to tell fact from fiction, as Chopper's exploits seem too good to be true. Reid is a man who always fused explosive made up facts to tell a good yarn, and you really do see it in the film. Brought to life with amazing skill by actor Eric Bana who portrays Read in such a way that you cannot easily dismiss his strong screen presence no matter what your stance on the film is. One thing is for sure, Bana has never been better in any other film. Chopper was his best performance and he has yet to top it. The film takes a look at the life of this interesting and notorious criminal. The film hard to watch as it's very violent, and it gives you an insight into the mind of this larger than life criminal. The film is superbly crafted by director Andrew Dominik. Chopper is an electrifying film and is by far the most original crime film in quite some time. This is a film that crime film fanatics shouldn't pass up on. A solid piece of raw, gritty cinema; Chopper is a brilliant film combining the facts (and often fiction) of Australia's very own Billy The Kid. One of the reasons this film is so exciting is that Chopper Read is such an interesting figure that one cannot tear away from the screen, you are almost forced to watch his acts of depravity and you cannot look away because you want to know what this charismatic career criminal will do next. Chopper is not a film for the faint of heart as it often rough and violent, but never boring.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2009
    The Australian film Chopper is based on a series of novels written by Mark "Chopper" Read, chronicling his life of crime in a exaggerated and fictionalized manner. Chopper seems nigh invulnerable as he tromps his way through the world of organized crime, extorting money from drug lords and bumping off hitmen (all the while, being heralded as a national folk hero). As an action film, it's not quite as entertaining as similar films (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), but this is due mainly to it's not having a plot (at least not a conventional one). The film seems to count on us finding Chopper as fascinating as Chopper finds himself, which is a tall order to ask of anyone. Nevertheless, it's amusing to see how far someone will go to gloriify themselves. According to Goodfellas, Henry Hill never killed nobody or did anything too untoward, Mark Read takes the opposite approach, painting himself as the ultimate badass (even if he does apologize to his victims, even driving one of them to the hospital after shooting him in the stomach). If Chopper is the weaker film, it's only because it seems lackadaisical in execution. The first half of the film, which focused around Chopper's prison experiences, was definitely the strongest, and perhaps the film would've been better had it stayed with that scenario just a bit longer. It's a dark comedy that drags in places, glorifying a man who perhaps doesn't deserve glorification, but damned if I wasn't entertained. Possibly Eric Bana's finest performance.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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