27 Aussie Movies You’ll Actually Want to See in 2014

Didn’t know Australia made 27 films a year, let alone 27 worth watching? You wouldn’t be alone.

Australia makes many more films than that – they just often don’t make it to cinemas or aren’t, er, that great.

Last year, Australian movies hit an eight-year low at the local box office with a share of just 3.51%, the lowest figure since 2005’s 2.8%, and below the 10-year average of 3.8%.

Ouch.

That’s INCLUDING the big bucks from Baz Luhrmann’s glossy The Great Gatsby, which industry bible if.com.au estimates came in at $27.4 million down under to become the sixth-highest grossing Australian movie of all time.

Here’s the good news: if 2013 was one of the worst on record, then 2014 is about to redeem itself in one hell of a fight for Australian movies.

Take a look at recent festivals overseas. Six Australian films were selected for Toronto. A record four were invited to Venice. Two South Australian filmmakers were just honoured with different awards at Sundance last month. And now we have four films about to screen at SXSW.

Hollywood stars working down under over the past 12 months – or just about to start – include Kate Winslet, Adrien Brody, Angelina Jolie, Simon Pegg, Ewan McGregor, Ethan Hawke, Aaron Eckhart, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Gerard Butler, Josh Hartnett, Vinnie Jones, Stephen Lang and Portia De Rossi. Plus we’ve had French superstars Emmanuelle Beart and Vincent Cassel too.

There’s a mix of thrillers, war dramas, horrors, romances and the odd comedy about to come our way. Let’s take a look at what to expect.

I researched as much as possible but if I’ve made any errors or there’s something you think should be added to this list of 2014 releases, let me know in the comments below!

 

27 Australian Movies to Watch in 2014

 

1. Kill Me Three Times

Simon Pegg Kill Me Three Times Australian Films 2014

Who: Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Bryan Brown

What: Thriller

Red Dog director Kriv Stenders brings us this story from the Australian surfing town of Eagle’s Nest, where a young woman is the thread that binds three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge.

Filmed: WA (Perth, Margaret River, Lancelin)

 

2. I, Frankenstein

Aaron Eckhart bare chest in I Frankenstein

Who: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto, Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney

What: Action sci-fi

Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans. Written and directed by Tomorrow When The War Began‘s Stuart Beattie.

Filmed: VIC (Melbourne)

 

3. Tracks

Tracks Robyn Davidson Mia Wasikowska

Who: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver

What: Adventure biopic

The true story of Australian travel adventurer Robyn Davidson. A young woman goes on a 1,700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog.

Filmed: SA & NT

 

4. Son of a Gun

Son of a Gun

Who: Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander, Brenton Thwaites

What: Crime drama

Locked up for a minor crime, 19-year-old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life and finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price – Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protegee.

Filmed: WA (Perth, Kalgoorlie, Fremantle)

 

5. Drive Hard

John Cusack Drive Hard Australian Films

Who: John Cusack, Zoe Ventoura, Thomas Jane

What: Action/comedy

BMX Bandits director Brian Trenchard-Smith takes us on a crazy chase across Australia’s Gold Coast when a former race car driver is abducted by a mysterious thief and forced to be the wheel-man for a crime that puts them both in the sights of the cops and the mob.

Filmed: QLD (Gold Coast)

 

6. The Rover

The Rover Guy Pearce Robert Pattinson

Who: Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Nash Edgerton

What: Action drama

David Michod’s HIGHLY anticipated follow-up to Sundance hit Animal Kindom tells the story a loner whose car was stolen from a desolate town in the Australian outback and is now tracking the gang of thieves, with the forced assistance of a wounded guy left behind in the wake of the theft.

Filmed: SA (Flinders Ranges, Adelaide, Leigh Creek, Copley, Marree, Hammond)

 

7. My Mistress

Emmanuelle Beart My Mistress

Who: Emmanuelle Beart, Harrison Gilbertson, Rachael Blake, Socratis Otto

What: Romance drama

What starts as a beautiful and strangely innocent affair between a vulnerable teenage romantic and a French S&M mistress (French actress Emmanuelle Beart) soon becomes more dangerous.

Filmed: QLD (Gold Coast)

 

8. Singularity

Singularity Australian Films 2014

Who: Josh Hartnett, Alice Englert, Tamsin Egerton, Claire Van Der Boom, Bille Brown

What: Adventure romance

Great Barrier Reef, 2020. After a dangerous dive to save his wife Laura, marine archeologist Jay Fennel lies brain dead in a Boston hospital. Fennel’s dream-like coma takes us back in time to Pune, India in 1778 where the British East India Company is invading the palaces and a young captain named James Stewart, who bears a striking resemblance to Fennel, is about to embark on a dangerous mission.

Filmed: QLD; India; UK

 

9. The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner Ryan Corr and Russell Crowe

Who: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Isabel Lucas, Ryan Corr

What: War drama

Russell Crowe’s directorial debut follows an Australian man who travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.

Filmed: SA (Port August); NSW (Fox Studios, The Rocks); Turkey

 

10. The Little Death

The Little Death Josh Lawson

Who: Bojana Novakovich, Josh Lawson, Ben Lawson, Lisa McClune, Lachy Hulme, Kate Mulvany, Zoe Carides

What: Comedy

This ensemble comedy explores the sexual tensions and desires that brim beneath five apparently normal couples and marks the directorial debut of Anchorman 2‘s Josh Lawson.

Filmed: NSW (Sydney)

 

11. Wolf Creek 2

Wolf Creek 2 John Jarratt

Who: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn

What: Horror

Nine years after the original Wolf Creek, the outback once more becomes a place of horror as another unwitting tourist becomes the prey for crazed, serial-killing pig-shooter Mick Taylor.

Filmed: SA (Adelaide)

 

12. The 34th Battalion

Who: Vinnie Jones, Stephen Lang, Luke Hemsworth, Claire Van Der Boom, Vince Colosimo

What: War action

Australia, 1916. After the death toll at Gallipoli, a group of friends are forced to choose between their lives at home or the call of duty in France. They soon find themselves in some of the worst battles the world had seen.

Filmed: NSW & QLD

 

13. Backtrack

Sam Neill Adrien Brody Backtrack movie Australian film

Who: Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy, Anna Lise Phillips

What: Supernatural thriller

The second directorial feature from screenwriter Michael Petroni (The Book Thief) follows a psychologist whose life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers his patients are all ghosts of people who died in an accident 20 years ago.

Filmed: NSW (Sydney, Camperdown)

 

14. Now Add Honey

Now Add Honey Robyn Butler and Portia De Rossie

Who: Portia De Rossi, Hamish Blake, Angus Sampson, Ben Lawson, Lucy Fry

What: Comedy

Wayne Hope directs his wife Robyn Butler (who wrote the film) alongside De Rossi (now Mrs Ellen DeGeneres) in this film where normal life implodes for a suburban family when their pop-star cousin comes to stay.

Filmed: VIC (Melbourne)

 

15. Felony

Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in Felony Australian film 2014

Who: Joel Edgerton, Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney, Melissa George

What: Crime thriller

Three male detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident leaves a child in a coma. One is guilty of a crime, one will try to cover it up, and the other attempts to expose it. How far will these men go to both disguise and unravel the truth? Written by Joel Edgerton.

Filmed: NSW (Sydney)

 

16. Partisan

Vincent Cassel Partisan

Who: Vincent Cassel, Sapidah Kian, Jeremy Chabriel

What: Dramatic thriller

From the producers of Snowtown comes the tale of young Alexander who, raised to see the world through cult leader Gregori’s eyes whilst growing up in a commune, is starting to think for himself.

Filmed: VIC (Morning Star Estate, Mount Eliza)

 

17. The Babadook

The Babadook

Who: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall

What: Horror

A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Filmed: SA (Adelaide)

 

18. The Reckoning

Jonathan LaPaglia and Viva Bianca in The Reckoning AUstralian film

Who: Jonathan LaPaglia, Luke Hemsworth, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Viva Bianca

What: Mystery thriller

After his partner is murdered, a detective must track down two teenage runaways whose video footage contains the identity of the killer.

Filmed: WA (Perth)

 

19. Paper Planes

Who: Sam Worthington, Anthony LaPaglia, Ed Oxenbould

What: Family drama

Fresh off his cinematic adaptation of The Turning, director and co-writer Robert Connolly is bringing this true story to the big screen about an 11-year-old boy obsessed with flight. Brought up by his father in a remote town in country Australia, the young boy’s life changes when he wins a spot at the regional Paper Planes Championships in Sydney.

Filmed: WA (Perth) & Japan (Tokyo)

 

20. Unbroken

Angelina Jolie directs the true story of Louis Zamperini in Unbroken

Who: Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney, Alex Russell, Maddalena Ischiale

What: War drama

An international story with serious Hollywood cred (the screenplay is from the Coen Brothers and Angelina Jolie is directing), Unbroken chronicles of the tale of real life Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.

Filmed: NSW & QLD

 

21. Healing

Hugo Weaving and Don Hany in Healing

Who: Hugo Weaving, Xavier Samuel, Don Hany, Laura Brent, Justine Clarke

What: Drama

At the tail end of a 16-year sentence, an inmate is sent to a low-security, pre-release prison with a special program that pairs men with injured game birds.

Filmed: VIC (Kyneton, Healesville, Melbourne)

 

22. Around the Block

Damian Walshe-Howling and Christina Ricci on Around the Block Australian films

Who: Christina Ricci, Damian Walshe-Howling, Jack Thompson, Hunter Page-Lochard

What: Gritty drama

A young Aboriginal boy is torn between his unexpected love of acting and the disintegration of his family.

Filmed: NSW (Sydney)

 

23. Predestination

Predestination Spierig Brothers Australia

Who: Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor, Sarah Snook

What: Sci-fi thriller

Director/writer brother duo Michael and Peter Spierig re-teamed with their Daybreakers lead star Ethan Hawke in this story about the life of a time-traveling Temporal Agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

Filmed: VIC (Melbourne)

 

24. Charlie’s Country

Charlie's Country

Who: David Gulpilil, Luke Ford

What: Biopic

Writer/director Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil’s latest collaboration throws the spotlight on the colonialist relationship between white law and Indigenous people. It follows Ten Canoes and The Tracker.

Filmed: Arnhem Land (NT)

 

25. Galore

Galore Lily Sullivan and Ashleigh Cummings

Who: Ashleigh Cummings, Lily Sullivan, Toby Wallace, Oscar Redding

What: Teen drama

Billie and Laura, two reckless teenage best friends, share everything, except for Billie’s biggest secret; she’s crazy in love with Laura’s boyfriend. Screens at 2014 Berlinale this month.

Filmed: ACT (Canberra)

 

26. Cut Snake

Alex Russell Cut Snake

Who: Sullivan Stapleton, Alex Russell, Jessica De Gouw

What: 70s thriller

A pair of ex-cons hatch a scheme to burn down a nightclub in Brisbane in this tense 1970s crime-thriller about one man’s struggle to escape his past.

Filmed: VIC (Melbourne)

 

27. Maya the Bee Movie

Maya The Bee movie

Who: Voiced by Jacki Weaver, Noah Taylor, Richard Roxburgh, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Miriam Margoyles, Umbilical Brothers

What: Kids animation

Based on the much-loved television series, Maya the Bee first began in the 1970s and continues today with the popular CG television series seen on ABC TV in Australia. Now Flying Bark Productions is bringing it to the big screen with this Australian-German co-production about misfit ants and a couple of baby bees named Maya and Willi.

 

Plus Coming Soon…

 

The Dressmaker (2015)

Who: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis

What: Dramedy

Based on Rosalie Ham’s best selling novel and to be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, a glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Who: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whitely

What: Post-apocalyptic action

The fourth film of Australian director George Miller’s Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road is an interquel set between the events of the first and second instalments. Shortly after avenging his wife and son’s death, Max Rockatansky has left MFP for the Outback, and is now on his own as the world slowly plummets in the aftermath of the oil crisis and the global war.

Filmed: NSW (Penrith, Sydney); Namibia; South Africa

 

Gods of Egypt (2016)

Who: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton

What: Adventure fantasy

A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt.

To be filmed: Fox Studios Sydney, NSW

 

Nice Package (release date TBC)

Who: Dwayne Cameron, Leon Cain, Isabella Tannock, Ashley Lyons

What: Crime comedy

A wannabe professional thief, his gay best friend, a sexy hostage, some thugs and a mystery package everyone wants…

Filmed: QLD

(Synopsis info & images via imdb, Facebook and production companies)

the author

Marie C

Feature writer by trade, movie maniac by night, Marie-Christine grew up watching films from the projection booth at the local drive-in and now she's lucky enough to write about them.

31 comments

  1. Another great suggestion! Sorry guys, I tried hard to research as much as possible but not always possible to know about them all 🙂 Thanks for including the link!

  2. Aaron Wilson’s” Canopy”. Selected for Toronto, Rotterdam, Pusan. U.S screenings already announced. Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s “Ruin”. Venice, Rotterdam. Unmissable.

  3. Excellent suggestions Ricardo. I remember reading about them both from the festival circuit, just wasn’t sure about release dates for either, or if either had already had small releases down south? Keep us posted if we don’t get that info first

    1. I totally agree, great addition Melissa! I didn’t know about it when I made this list but I’ve written a couple of other stories on it since, such a cool concept

    1. Sorry Josh! These Final Hours did get pointed out to me early on and I wrote up a separate post about it. I might have to do another one I think, that movie has a lot of fans on here!

    1. It’s a good point Alex – Animal Logic did a great job, so are we classing it as an Aussie movie? Would be interested to hear what everyone else thinks about that

        1. I was comparing it in my head to Unbroken & Fury Road too, but thought maybe because they have (some) Aussie actors they were more Aussie. Tell you what though, I’ll never leave off These Final Hours again 😉

  4. There was an indie feature that was screened to a sold out Astor Theatre in Melbourne called How To Time Travel. Directed by an up and comer Samuel Sheffield. Worth checking it out.

  5. Lets not forget another great Aussie film, Theatre of the Dead. Filmed in the nation’s capital, it is Australia’s premier zombie film.

    I was an extra too. 🙂

    Cheers

  6. Question, do you not know how these things work when you say “to do it 2014”? Obviously you don’t understand how those types of things work. If you did you probably wouldn’t have put so many movies on this list that don’t come out until this year, 2015.

  7. Maybe you can help me. I am an Australian who lives in the U.S. I try to see as many Australian movies as I can find. A few years ago I saw one that was probably made in the past 10 or so years. It was not a blockbuster and I can’t even remember where I saw it. It was a romance film with a good plot. It was set in a city – I believe it was Sydney but it may have been Melbourne. It didn’t have wide views of the city – instead, more narrow streets, cafes with open fronts. I have a vague memory of the plot but it centered on a romance between a young couple who meet in the city. I have been searching through lists of Australian movies but I can’t seem to find it. The setting and pace of the movie reminded me a little of “The Last Days of Chez Nous.”

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