Tomorrow, When the War Began


Tomorrow, When the War Began

Critics Consensus

While the script isn't amazing and the story's race issues linger, this adaptation of John Marsden's book is an exciting, action-heavy adventure that should please fans of the series.



Total Count: 58


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,593
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Movie Info

Tomorrow When the War Began is a pulse-pounding action thriller that follows the journey of eight high school friends in an Australian coastal town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by an invasion that no one saw coming. Caitlin Stasey stars as 17 year old Ellie Linton, a precocious teen who leads her best friends including Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and Kevin (Lincoln Lewis) to an isolated, deep in the woods camp site named 'Hell.' Upon returning, they come to grips with the fact that their country has been overrun by a mysterious, invading army. When the hostile armed forces become alerted to the presence of the teenagers, Ellie and her friends, along with a new recruit (apathetic stoner Chris Lang, played by Andrew Ryan) - must band together to escape, outwit and strike back against the mysterious enemy that has seized control of the their town and imprisoned their friends and loved ones. -- (C) Freestyle


Rachel Hurd-Wood
as Corrie MacKenzie
Ashleigh Cummings
as Robyn Mathers
Andrew Ryan
as Chris Lang
Phoebe Tonkin
as Fiona Maxwell
Caitlin Stasey
as Ellie Linton
Chris Pang
as Lee Taikkam
Christopher Pang
as Lee Taikkam
Deniz Akdeniz
as Homer Yannos
Lincoln Lewis
as Kevin Holmes
Colin Friels
as Dr. Clements
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News & Interviews for Tomorrow, When the War Began

Critic Reviews for Tomorrow, When the War Began

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (21)

  • You know the drill: A small group of unsuspecting adventurers wanders into danger, and not all of them will get out alive.

    Feb 23, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Just fast-moving fun, enough so to gloss over its shortcomings.

    Feb 23, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite some effective moments, the film doesn't begin to compare with Milius's highly sophisticated rightwing movie that gives the Soviet and Cuban invaders their due.

    Apr 10, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Top Critic
  • Despite some decent acting, the teenagers seem more cardboard than flesh and blood.

    Apr 8, 2011 | Rating: 2/5
  • This has a stand-out, star-making performance from Neighbours' Caitlin Stasey - if only she didn't always emerge from battle looking as if she'd just stepped out of a L'Oréal advert.

    Apr 7, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Top Critic
  • There's a vein of thoughtfulness running beneath the brazenly explosive action highlights and fist-pumping soundtrack, though the suspense does fall prey to some debilitating credibility issues.

    Apr 6, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tomorrow, When the War Began

  • Dec 20, 2013
    blowing up a bridge doesn't need to be that fucking dramatic.
    Stevie S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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?" 63% -Gimly
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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."

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