The Tracker


The Tracker

Critics Consensus

An engrossing drama.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,117
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The Tracker Photos

Movie Info

Experimental director Rolf DeHeer's film The Tracker depicts a controversial moment in the Australian justice system, in doing so taking on a popular topic among Australian filmmakers--the complicated and too often racist relationship between Aboriginals and locals. When an Aboriginal tracker (David Gulpilil) leads the manhunt for a fugitive native, a series of atrocities are performed on the ancient tribe by a sadistic policeman participating in the search party. The line between savage and civilian is blurred beyond recognition when Fanatic (Gary Sweet), the policeman, massacres a large group of peaceful Aboriginals. It eventually becomes clear that the tracker, who purposely keeps the Aboriginal a half-day ahead of the search party, is in control of the operation and has his own mysterious agenda. DeHeer takes a unique approach in the direction of this film; opting to show graphic paintings by artist Peter Coad during violent moments in lieu of filming bloody scenes among the actors. The drama itself is often contradicted by haunting, plaintive songs with lyrics written by DeHeer himself.


Noel Wilton
as Fugitive
Grant Page
as Veteran
Damon Gameau
as The Follower
Gary Sweet
as The Fanatic
David Gulpilil
as The Tracker

Critic Reviews for The Tracker

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (11)

  • A high-minded film that at times verges on didacticism, The Tracker is redeemed by its adherence to a simple yet distinctive approach to storytelling and its uniformly strong acting.

    Mar 4, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • An imposing film that tackles a serious theme with dignity and even audacity and that features production values of the highest quality.

    Mar 3, 2005

    David Stratton

    Top Critic
  • An engrossing study of race and history in Australia.

    Mar 3, 2005
  • See the film mainly for the quiet and powerful work of Gulpilil in the title role.

    Mar 19, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Tracker is one of those rare films that deserves to be called haunting.

    Jan 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The Tracker has the punch of a good Western with a clean and direct script plus an adventurous use of songs and folk paintings.

    Jan 27, 2004

Audience Reviews for The Tracker

  • Mar 27, 2011
    Tracker is a haunting, and engrossing film that showcases the beautiful talent of David Gulpilil in the title role, and uses music to help tell the story, but it may prove to be overused by some.
    Raymond W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2010
    Simple story, good cinematography, let down by an overuse of music.
    Robert F Super Reviewer
  • Nov 16, 2006
    a very strong and disturbing feature film about the racisim towards the aboriginals of Australia, what sets this film apart from other such similar titles aside from the versatile and mezmorizing performance by David Gulpilil, one of the most important and popular Abororginal actor's to date. is that even though it is a violent film, the violence isn't shown in the conventional sense, it is shown through drawings which mirror the events occuring on the screen. Also to be noted is the extremely haunting soundtrack by Archie Roach
    julia G Super Reviewer

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