Romper Stomper

1993

Romper Stomper

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,958
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Movie Info

This controversial drama (which earned an NC-17 rating in the U.S.) was a major box-office success in its native Australia, and it made an overnight star of its leading man, Russell Crowe. Hando (Crowe) is a member of a gang of racist skinheads who lash out with violence against the growing number of Asian immigrants settling in the country. While Hando and his partner Davey (Daniel Pollock) lead a bunch of brutal, half-bright thugs, they have convinced themselves that what they do is the noble work of saving Australia for Australians (or at least the white Australians who drove the aborigines into the outback). Into this milieu comes Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie), a troubled young woman who suffers from epilepsy and was raised in a sexually abusive environment. Gabe becomes something of a gang moll, dividing her time (and her sexual favors) between Hando and Davey, generating considerable tension between them. When the gang's favorite bar is purchased by a group of Vietnamese immigrants, Hando and Davey organize an all-out attack, little imagining that the Asians are ready and able to defend themselves. Romper Stomper was released in America in both its original, uncut form, and in an edited version that earned an R rating from the MPAA.

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Critic Reviews for Romper Stomper

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6)

  • Romper Stomper is A Clockwork Orange without the intellect.

    Jun 9, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The cheap 'message' of the ending fails to salvage a film that at best is well-meant but misguided, at worst, flashy and garbled.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Exploits the frustration, anger and violence of a despicable subculture while excusing the glorification of its hate aesthetic as necessary "reporting."

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • It's merely another violent art house picture, slumming modishly in the world of psycho-personalities, and exhibiting only occasional flashes of originality.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • One can see why Crowe's star sky-rocketed from this point on: his performance is intense and compelling, revealing a genuine, steely-eyed menace.

    Nov 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This is in no way a pleasant film experience. It is relentlessly psychologically violent, almost nauseatingly so on occasion. However it is one of the finest films to be made in this country in recent years.

    Aug 8, 2017 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Romper Stomper

  • Dec 15, 2011
    The only problem I ever had with this movie is the soundtrack, it just feels out of place and awkward and it puts a damper on a good racial drama. Russell Crowe is the head of a skinhead gang. He is incredibly destructive ordering his gang to attack the new Asian immigrants moving into his neighborhood. But he is not so smart in that his little attacks have made him the target of his enemies that far outnumber him and left to his own devices it might as well be anybody that he is attacking. One point in the film when he is attempting to convince his friend that he should murder his ex-girlfriend I am thinking to myself "he's just not happy unless he is killing or getting others to kill for him." It is true that this movie may not be very smart in terms of trying to deal with "what is racism? are you actually racist or have you been fed racist propaganda so long that you can't tell the truth for yourself?" Definitely not a "This is England" or "American History X" approach in storytelling. Yet in its simplicity there is a charm to it, this is the story of a micro-dictator and the downfall of his regime.
    Greg A Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2011
    A horrible yet endearing film about people in pain. The neo-nazis are shown in a bad light which they most certainly should be, but the acting of some of the members make me feel sad for them that they have fallen into this path. Great performances and an amazing final scene.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2011
    One of the best independant films of all time!
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2011
    The equivalent of American History X, without the redemption aspect. I liked that this feels like an even more realistic version of A Clockwork Orange in terms of an impoverished urban lifestyle, in which gangs rule. Russell Crowe is unbelievably convincing as the head honcho Skinhead; his reign of terror in this is worth watching alone. I wasn't crazy about the final showdown, but I guess it had to be done in order to be released. The visual style is wonderfully grainy and almost as deranged as its hero.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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