Tomorrow, When the War Began - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tomorrow, When the War Began Reviews

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October 11, 2016
I thought this was a great movie. Its basically Red Dawn, but set in Australia and the invaders are of Asian descent (probably North Korean). The characters and acting are really good, and it has some good direction and camera work. There's enough action set pieces and character development for a solid action movie, and maybe a potential franchise.
½ July 30, 2016
Not a bad film a good mixture of a teen drama and war, It was better than I thought but I knew it wasn't going to be a classic but worth a watch.
½ April 3, 2016
Although Not a horrible film, it is a blatant rip off of the movie Red Dawn. The film is decent and not trerribly written, however it lacks the ability to draw you in and make you want more.
February 28, 2016
It is widely believed that the United Stated of America is the land of the free, however in Australia we know better.

Our vivid, vast and high unique country envelops its inhabitants; both adults and children alike, in a wonderful sense of security. But what happens when that is taken away?

Hailed in 2000 by the American Literary Association as one of the top 100 books written for teenagers, Tomorrow When the War Began is the first in a series of seven novels by acclaimed Australian author John Marsden. Australia's first major action movie aimed at teenagers, the adaptation has taken creative liberties with some characters but effectively captures the books essence.

In the small coastal town of Wirawee, seven teenagers in an end of summer trip decide the let their hair down in true Aussies style; by camping. Exploring deep into the dense bush, the group discovers an idyllic remote location ripe for hunting, shelter and fun in affectionately named, Hell.

Naïve to the fact that their lives have been altered forever however, the teens return home to find their families missing, their animals perishing and all forms of communications cut-off.

Logically and systematically returning to each family home they find no answers, so the troop decides to investigate why only the local fair ground and hospital show any form of activity.

The realisation that Australia has been invaded by a foreign power hits only to hard when Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) witnesses cold-blooded murder through the fence of these makeshift concentration camps. Shocked she inadvertently exposes the group and they return to the safety of Hell.

After picking up another escapee; the clueless and careless, Chris (Andrew Ryan), the group bands together to make a plan action. Concluding they must put away childish notions and learn to fight, survive and attack the unknown enemy if they wish to outlast the war no-one knew was coming.

Screen writer Stuart Beattie (Australia, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) embraces his directorial debut, casting first time motion picture actors Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours), Phoebe Tonkin (Packed to the Rafters) and Lincoln Lewis (Home and Away).

The film suffers slightly from a mismatched soundtrack, over acting and overt typecasting, but it is the first; with two sequels based the later books already in the pipelines hopeful a little bit more depth of character will be explored.

Such a familiar premise (i.e. Red Dawn 1984), Tomorrow When the War Began stands out mostly due to its location and simplicity. Rather than allowing the teens to instantly become self-confident warriors with no fear, it shows them as vulnerable children attempting to survive and rebel.

The cinematography is refreshing. Avoiding shaking camera, perplexing cuts and massively overdone action sequences, this movie embraces the smaller things, giving viewers time to absorb its content.

The Verdict: This long-awaited film will not only satisfy the memory of avid teen readers from the 90s, but also showcase Australia's young acting talent, writing talent, film making abilities and beautiful scenery.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 10/09/2010
½ January 24, 2016
This movie was a nonsensical "Red Dawn" rip off where somehow the Chinese invaders think it's a great idea to take over a small town in the middle of nowhere. They are so strategically challenged that the Chinese move all their tanks and artillery to an area that can only be accessed by one bridge. I feel dumber for watching this movie that was mostly driven by teenage angst.
½ January 11, 2016
I didn't expect much when I noticed one of the actors from Neighbors was in it but I was pleasantly surprised. Was expecting a bomb but I really got into it. I want more!
½ January 9, 2016
Teenagers saving the world by guerilla war fare..... Sigh.
½ January 5, 2016
Goofy premise, story is stupid and contrite. The kids did a good job of acting however, a Red Dawn made in Australia, may be we will get another Mel Gibson or Nicole Kidman out of this group.
November 14, 2015
Is the tween source material an excuse for the suspension of disbelief necessary for several key moments of this film to require superhero powers? This is good stuff for younger viewers but adults are likely to find it thin in places and the ending is rather abrupt to say the least.
½ September 25, 2015
Terrible film. Lousy acting, clumsy direction and the wrong tone for the story. Avoid.
August 17, 2015
Watched it on netflix out of the blue and really enjoyed it. So its the same story as red dawn but i didnt mind. Totally going to read the book series.
May 23, 2015
It's a masterpiece of genre with awesome screenplay elements, very well
conduced and played. The drastic action scenes are flawless and
stunning real. The diversity of characters give a rich perspective of
the experience purposed. It's not a movie just to sell, but a movie to
enjoy as art.

In a director's cut, will be more nice yet, with more
photograph exploration, and with more characters exposition. The young actors was awesome too, all girls are pretty. Surprised with Australian movie quality's!

I saw other movies of urban invasion, but now this is my preferred.
February 7, 2015
An entertaining teen action drama with a likeable cast of characters and a good balance in tone between the light hearted and serious moments. The straightforward plot moves along at a quick pace and builds up suspense as part of the explosive action scenes, but it's all too cleanly cut, especially the ending.
January 15, 2015
Sloppy action and a poor premise, saved by good performances.
December 27, 2014
I've watched this movie 2x. Truth be told these aren't military people. They are teens who come home from a week of camping to discover their home is taken. Now if you've read the books you understand the idea of the movie. I personally enjoyed this because though many say there was Crappy acting I don't agree. A least 2 of these actors are popular in American tv or film and they are liked. One is also in the CW The Originals. I think those who are reviewing are expecting some American style of action. This isn't an American movie, and like the character Ellie says this doesn't happen there in Australia. If the actors are portraying how people would really act then they've done a good job. I believed it was a bunch of teens having fun and then coming back were in disbelief. If your expecting some kind of Dwyane Johnson, or Jason Bourne type movies that are based solely on action of booms, and shootings, then this wouldn't be your movie. This is a narrative movie not a action packed boob popping entertainment.
½ December 19, 2014
This film might be a bit clichéd at times but it is a entertaining ride
½ November 28, 2014
It's a really good movie and I really enjoy watching it
November 15, 2014
Dumb Kids Continually, Even Unnecessarily, Put Themseleves In Harm's Way..Once The "War Began", & The Characters Make This Realisation, Why Not Head For The Hills Right Away?? Weakly Plotted Rubbish. No Real Character Development..I'd Say Stick To The Book, But I've Not Read It. Going On This I'm Not Going To Bother.
½ November 14, 2014
was missing something i couldnt put my finger on
September 29, 2014
Its a combination of a "disney like bunch of teenagers" in a middle of a post apocalyptic war with cool effects but has very weak plot lines and weak scriptwriting. Well its not Attack the Block after all.
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