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Australian Rules (2002)

  Starring: Luke Carroll, Kevin Harrington, Nathan Phillips
Links: Australian Rules on the IMDb
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2002 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 104th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Australian Rules (2002) is also mentioned in pearly's review of One Perfect Day (2004), pearly's review of Take Away (2003) and pearly's review of Under the Radar (2004).

"A quality Australian film" - a review by mino

Australian cinema can be a strange creature. While some great films are produced in Australia, there's also an awful lot of crap: higher levels, I suspect, than the cinema industries in most comparable countries. If you could trace the problem, I'd say that the Australian industry suffers from perfectly good ideas, totally ruined by misguided attempts to make the movies more commercially successful. Australian releases have a history of being ignored in Australian cinemas: this results, I fear, in paranoid studios insisting on changes to make movies more commercially appealing. Because this is always done in a heavy-handed and awkward fashion, the movies turn out to be, well, crap. Bad word-of-mouth ensues, meaning audiences stay away, and the vicious cycle continues.

So, what's my point? Well, every now and then, an Australian movie comes out which has no pretensions to popular appeal, other than a great story. No stupid twists, no needlessly imported American stars, no poorly-thought-out slapstick comedy: just a thought-provoking, well-acted, normal old movie. Australian Rules is such a movie: and wow, it's refreshing to see.

Australian Rules is the story of a small-town football team in South Australia: or at least, at first it is. Before long, the plot expands far beyond the football team, and instead becomes a story of the town itself — and its inhabitants. Racial conflict threatens to tear the town apart, and the football team's unlikely hero (Nathan Phillips) is caught right in the middle of it.

This movie is, at various times, funny, moving, disturbing, entertaining, and confronting — and sometimes all three. It's not without its flaws — the love story is rather underdeveloped, some of the ‘over-the-top’ adult characters are a little too over-the-top, and the first half drags on a little too much before the meaty bit starts — but frankly, these are more than counterbalanced by the sight of Max Fairchild (‘Beau’ from the Beaurepaires ads) getting rollicking drunk sucking beer straight out of the tap.

Australian Rules is well worth a look if you want to see what a quality Australian film looks like.

Oh, and needless to say: being original, well-told, and with no pretensions to stupid commercial niceties, Australian Rules did virtually nothing at the box office. Of course.

mino gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Sun 11 Jan 2004

"Down-to-earth with something-to-say" - a review by pearly

Australian Rules begins as the story of a small community where the young guys play in the local Aussie Rules footy team. Coached by the town's butcher "Arks" (Kevin Harrington), their star player is an Aboriginal named Dumby Red (Luke Carroll). The story is told from the perspective of Gary "Blacky" Black (Nathan Phillips), a good friend of Dumby's, and also a player on the footy team. The team are training for the grand final, and spending their spare time just mucking around.

Partway through the film, the whole atmosphere changes, as a racial war begins in the town. From its beginnings, the film is non-apologetically down-to-earth - just coasting along. It's also very humorous in its approach, and the switch in tone is a little surprising, and takes some getting used to if you have entered the film not knowing much of the storyline. I suppose, in a way, this mirrors real-life, in that you can be on top of the world, but then when a tragedy occurs, it's not easy to accept.

Australian Rules begins its cinema run at a time when there are a lot of films about similar topics going around (Beneath Clouds (2002) and The Tracker (2002) for example). This is, in a way, unfortunate, as it makes it difficult for the film not to get stamped and categorised (as, I suppose, I am now doing). All of these films are quite different, yet there are most definitely common themes running through them - and one of those things is that white Australians are being given a bit of a wake-up call as to how they treat others.

There are some great performances in this film, and I am appreciating the relaxed actors of Australia more and more. Maybe it's because their mannerisms are so familiar to me, or maybe it's just that they're good at what they do. This film is certainly evidence that Aussie films should not be disregarded, and whilst it might not be the best film you'll ever see, it's well paced, funny, and has something to say.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Sun 1 Sep 2002

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 7.00
Lowest rating: 7 (by mino, pearly)
Highest rating: 7 (by mino, pearly)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. yeah man

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from munroe on Tue 02 Sep 2003 14:06 #

  2. absolutely brilliant

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from arnie on Sat 11 Oct 2003 00:22 #

  3. good movie damn need to study on it

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from bro on Sun 09 Nov 2003 20:15 #

  4. i think this movie was absoulutely brilliant and i think that Nathan is absoulutely gorgeous!!!!! luv ya Nathan!!!!!!! :O

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Lauren on Sat 21 Feb 2004 16:47 #

  5. how much did it cost to make this movie

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from ren on Wed 25 Feb 2004 12:27 #

  6. i think this was a very deep and meaningful moie that was well presented. i loved it!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from jess on Sun 07 Mar 2004 15:17 #

  7. dude kick-ass movie, awesome way to look at the past, and it was a it had a deep msg passed thro the events

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Zach on Sun 07 Mar 2004 21:12 #

  8. Have you read the book Deadly, Unna?, or perhaps Nukkin Ya. Then you would know what the movie is about. Like most book to movie adaptaions, the book wins by a mile, and there is no exeptions to this movie.

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from erin on Thu 01 Apr 2004 11:12 #

  9. A wonderfully thought out, well paced movie that's captivating, entertaining, and humerous all in one. Blackie, Clarence and Dumby were all heroes in their own way, which made the story realistic. Fantastic effort.

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Alex on Tue 21 Sep 2004 21:58 #

  10. i didnt like this book or mocie aswell, it had no relevance to cultural issues occuring in todays society at this ver y moment. i give this movie a 1 out of 10

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from tonio on Fri 24 Sep 2004 15:54 #

  11. This movie was great with the acting from Nathan!!!

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from G on Fri 22 Oct 2004 10:46 #

  12. Great acting from Nathan! I love you!

    A comment from Justin on Wed 03 Nov 2004 15:15 #

  13. A true blue Aussie movie!

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Adam Beall on Wed 03 Nov 2004 15:17 #

  14. this movie is good but nathan is the biggest dog ive ever seen.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from strona ( on Tue 09 Nov 2004 18:57 #

  15. i loved this movie it was soo awesome!!! i love nathan!!! it was heaps sad.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from caitie on Wed 08 Dec 2004 21:08 #

  16. i hated this movie with passion to think australians are portrayed to be maggot breeding, foul mouthed low lifes is a massive disgrace.

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from jay on Mon 28 Feb 2005 18:20 #

  17. Australian Rules isnt the best movie in the world...maybe we should leave the movie makin to america ay?

    Rating given: 3

    A comment from kristen on Sun 13 Mar 2005 23:07 #

  18. this movie sucked

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from JM on Wed 16 Mar 2005 09:57 #

  19. this movie pongs of bad news

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from fred on Wed 16 Mar 2005 09:58 #

  20. u suck

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from me on Wed 16 Mar 2005 09:59 #

  21. full of shit

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from kelly on Tue 22 Mar 2005 15:32 #

  22. I did not like this movie. it makes Australians look like we cant talk properly and swear non stop. This movie was pathetic and the filming was awful and the themes of racism dont exist today.

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Lauren on Mon 28 Mar 2005 17:57 #

  23. Nathan is a whore

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Alex Murphy on Sun 08 May 2005 23:56 #

  24. the acting by clarance was crap but i loved the movie

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from hanah on Tue 17 May 2005 11:22 #

  25. i thought it was a good movie and it passed a very good msg yeah i loved it !

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from rissa on Mon 23 May 2005 15:20 #

  26. it sux i didn't like it

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from um me on Thu 16 Jun 2005 15:00 #

  27. it was ok, nothing special for the amount of awards it won.

    A comment from steve on Tue 21 Jun 2005 12:11 #

  28. it was shit 2 many abbos

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from hello on Wed 22 Jun 2005 21:21 #

  29. fkn AWSOME MOVIE!!!! nathan phillips is a SPUNK...n luke carrol is fkn gorjus 2!!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Beth... on Tue 12 Jul 2005 19:15 #

  30. good

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from chelsea on Tue 06 Sep 2005 11:37 #

  31. Nathan is such a cutie in this movie Is he in all saints now cause I think I saw him

    A comment from Jess on Mon 31 Oct 2005 02:00 #


    A comment from jordan weetra on Mon 28 Nov 2005 11:15 #

  33. a good movie with alot of meaning in it all charecters acted godd and it is good to learn what happens in real hard life

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from desi on Thu 16 Mar 2006 17:24 #

  34. the story had a really powerful message and the acting was really good. I can relate to parts of the film and i know that it is partially based on a really sad story. i think that it is important that australians see this becasue racism is still a huge problem in the world. I know that not all australians act this way but there are still a whole heap who do. The scenery in the movie is really nice and showcases parts of the 'invisible' australia that we all take for granted. It was an awesome movie

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from anita on Mon 20 Mar 2006 20:09 #

  35. it was shit

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from kay on Sat 06 May 2006 23:44 #

  36. Its was a good movie with many strong points. Anyone who doesn't think that there is racism today is up in the clouds and should realise that there still is racism around and that needs to change.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from BoB on Wed 21 Jun 2006 11:52 #

  37. this was the worst film ever shown. i'd rather watch gay porn. damn poofters. this was shit!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from sebastian kukla on Thu 08 Nov 2007 13:10 #

  38. waste of time.
    watch this crap

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from tom myspace on Thu 08 Nov 2007 13:13 #

  39. why the fuck would ppl waste my time with this shit. i have to say, i thought the abos were hot though...especially the male ones. i love chode, sorry bt its jst the way i am. if any gay cunts read this, feel free to contact me xoxox

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Nathan Armani Hope on Thu 08 Nov 2007 13:13 #

  40. i love men and their hairy balls

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Anthony Leader on Thu 08 Nov 2007 13:14 #

  41. I Love Choe Balls and cum

    A comment from Curtis Dickson on Thu 08 Nov 2007 13:17 #

  42. Hi my name is Nathan Armani-Hope and I am not gay. I have not been on this site before and the person under my name is Curtis Dixon and Anthony Leader in which they keep calling me gat but guess what. I'M NOT. the email addresses are curtis' and anthony's.

    A comment from Nathan Armani-Hope on Sun 01 Jun 2008 16:45 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 6.42 (36 ratings)

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