20 Best Australian Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Are you looking for some Aussie films? Well, look no further, mate! Today, we will be showing you our list of the 20 best Australian movies way back from the 1960s all the way to the 2020s.

Whether you want a blast from the past or a taste of something new, if it is an Aussie film you want, one or two of these films will likely do the trick! As you can see, we have a long journey ahead of us. So, without further ado, action!

1. They’re a Weird Mob (1966)

English 1h 52m IMDb

They're a Weird Mob (1966)

Director: Michael Powell

Stars: Walter Chiari, Claire Dunne,  Chips Rafferty

They’re a Weird Mob takes inspiration from a novel bearing the same name. It follows an Italian immigrant as he arrives in Australia. The story tells how he tries to understand the culture and people of Australia and shows all the hardships he faces as he settles in his new environment.

This film is the oldest one on this list. It is ideal for those looking to add an oldie but goodie to the movie night watchlist.

2. Relic (2020)

English 1h 29m IMDb
Relic (2020)

Director: Natalie Erika James

Stars: Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote

Relic follows Edna, Kay, and Sam. When Edna, the matriarch, suddenly goes missing, Kay and Sam, her daughter and granddaughter, come and visit her at the old family home. However, all sorts of horror soon manifest and terrorize the family.

The film is a psychological horror that shows how dementia can consume and terrorize a family. Relic is a film you want to consider checking out if you like horrors with some depth.

3. Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)

English 1h 50m IMDb
Careful, He Might Hear You (1983)

Director: Carl Schultz

Stars: Wendy Hughes, Robyn Nevin, Nicholas Gledhill

The film takes inspiration from a novel released two decades before the movie. It centers on a little boy and his two aunts. It tells of the custody battle between the two and how the little boy lives through the ordeal.

This movie is a drama that starred the late Wendy Hughes. If you are a fan of dramas or the actress, this film is one you want to check out.

4. Mary and Max (2009)

English 1h 32m IMDb
Mary and Max (2009)

Director: Adam Elliot

Stars: Toni Collette(voice), Philip Seymour Hoffman(voice), Eric Bana(voice)

This stop-motion film centers on its titular characters – Mary and Max. It tells of how they become pen pals and the friendship they form through constantly sending each other letters. It also shows the struggles of the two in their own lives and the rocky times their comradeship faced.

This film is for those who want something tender that can squeeze their heart. Make sure you have some tissues when you watch this film, as there will likely be tears. (Lots of it.)

5. The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

English 1h 43m IMDb
The Year My Voice Broke (1987)The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

Director: John Duigan

Stars: Noah Taylor, Loene Carmen, Ben Mendelsohn

The film centers on three friends struggling as they slowly emerge into adulthood. It tells the story of how the three find each other, the many hurdles they face, and, ultimately, their future.

As you might have already guessed, the film is a coming-of-age movie. It deals with themes of love, friendship, and identity. If you find these are themes you are fond of, you might want to give this film a shot.

6. Oyster Farmer (2004)

English 1h 31m IMDb
Oyster Farmer (2004)

Director: Anna Reeves

Stars: Alex O’Loughlin, Jim Norton, Diana Glenn

Oyster Farmer centers on a man named Jack Flange. It tells how his quest to steal money to pay off the hospital bills of his sister gets him a job at an oyster farm. However, that is only the beginning, and things quickly turn when Jack finds himself tangled up in all sorts of trouble and mayhem on the farm.

If you want some laughs and gags, with some romance and drama on the side, you might want to give this film a shot then!

7. The Castle (1997)

English 1h 25m IMDb
The Castle (1997)

Director: Rob Sitch

Stars: Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry

The film centers on the Kerrigan family, their home, and their battle to keep their house. While the family’s house is not the best place on the planet, they live happily and peacefully here. However, the family finds their peaceful everyday lives threatened as they face an airport to keep their beloved home.

The Castle is one of the greatest Australian films ever made. If you want to see the best of the bests of Aussie cinematography, this film is one to add to your watchlist!

8. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

English 1h 34m IMDb
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

Director: Phillip Noyce

Stars: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh

Rabbit-Proof Fence follows three girls. It tells how the girls were plucked from their home, their journey as they attempt to find their way back, and the many tests, trials, and hurdles they face along the way.

The film is a drama inspired by a true story and a book in the 1990s. You might want to give this one a shot if you want something that can pull a few heartstrings.

9. The Last Wave (1977)

English 1h 46m IMDb
The Last Wave (1977)

Director: Peter Weir

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil

The Last Wave follows a lawyer as he takes on a case that proves to be bizarre in more ways than one.

What was supposed to be the unraveling of a murder case becomes more puzzling as it starts to reveal and untangle mysteries in his life too. Soon, he starts putting the pieces to the puzzle of the case and his life. However, he soon realizes there is now something more important to solving the murder.

If you are a fan of mysteries and questions, this film is one you want to consider.

10. Strictly Ballroom (1992)

English 1h 34m IMDb
Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Stars: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter

Strictly Ballroom is the first part of the Red Curtain Trilogy. It follows a dancer as he tries to find his own groove, win a competition, and find a new partner on the dancefloor and in life. It shows his ups and downs and how he dances through it all.

The film is a romantic comedy. If you want your romance film light and with plenty of dancing, this film is undoubtedly one you want to check out. It has the romance, the laughs and gags, and the grooving and moving!

11. The Babadook (2014)

English (Australia) 1h 34m IMDb
The Babadook (2014)

Director: Jennifer Kent

Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall

The Babadook follows Amelia and Sam – a mother and son. It tells of their struggles against a monster from a pop-up storybook, and shows how trauma and grief can consume and terrorize us if we choose to ignore them instead of facing them head-on.

This film is a psychological horror. If you are a fan of this genre, you might want to give this film a shot. It is one of the most successful films in this genre, after all.

12. Gallipoli (1981)

English 1h 50m IMDb
Gallipoli (1981)

Director: Peter Weir

Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr

Gallipoli revolves around two sprinters. The story tells how the two meet; and details their enlistment and how they navigate through the war.

This film is not for the faint of heart. It is a PG film and does not show much blood or brutality. However, it deals with serious themes that can hit close to home. Gallipoli is a film you want to check out if you are up for a tearjerker.

On the other hand, Gallipoli could also be a film to consider if you are looking for a patriotic movie, as it deals with such themes.

13. The Final Quarter (2019)

English 1h 15m IMDb
The Final Quarter (2019)

Director: Ian Darling

Stars: Adam Goodes

The Final Quarter is a documentary revolving around Adam Goodes. It centers on his last few years and emphasizes the explicit show of the crowd of their dislike for the player.

The film does not contain any new material regarding the issue. Instead, it is more of a compilation of the different footage, interviews, comments, and such on the topic.

You might want to consider giving this film a shot If you are a fan of the player, someone new to the field, or only want a better understanding of the issue.

14. The Dry (2020)

English (Australia) 1h 57m IMDb
The Dry (2020)

Director: Robert Connolly

Stars: Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell

The Dry follows a federal agent as he visits his hometown to attend the funeral of an old friend. However, he soon finds himself to be more than a mourner, as the parents of his late friend ask him to solve the case of his murder.

This film is a thriller. If you want something that will have your heart racing and your blood pumping on movie night, The Dry is a film you want to check out. However, it is also a drama. If you are a softie, you might want to have some tissues ready too!

15. Shine (1996)

English 1h 45m IMDb
Shine (1996)

Director: Scott Hicks

Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine

Shine is a biographical film that centers on David Helfgott. It tells the beginnings of the pianist. Additionally, it shows the struggles and hardships of the famous musician faced in life. Here, the viewers will get a glimpse of how the pianist rose to fame, disappeared from the scene, and got back on his feet to play for the crowd again.

If you are a fan of the pianist, like learning about musicians and geniuses, or enjoy music in general, you might want to consider giving this film a shot then.

16. Mad Max (1979)

English 1h 28m IMDb
Mad Max (1979)

Director: George Miller

Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne

The film centers on Max Rockatansky, a law enforcer. The story tells of the state of Australia in a dystopian-like predicament and all the chaos in the breakdown. However, the emphasis is on how all the mayhem gave rise to the titular vigilante.

Mad Max is an action film. If you want some running and chasing, this film will likely not disappoint. If it is the action you came for, this film is one you want to consider. Also, if you want more, you can go ahead and check out the rest of the Mad Max series!

17. Red Dog (2011)

English (Australia) 1h 32m IMDb
Red Dog (2011)

Director: Kriv Stenders

Stars: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rohan Nichol

The film takes inspiration from a true story and a novel bearing the same name. It follows Red Dog and his long and sad adventure in search of his master, whom he had no idea had already died in an accident. However, in his search, he befriends the townspeople and becomes everyone’s dog.

Red Dog is a family film. If you are looking for an Australian film to add to your family’s movie night watchlist, this one is one you want to consider. Not only is it family-friendly, but it is full of laughs and gags!

18. Stone (1974)

English 2h 12m IMDb
Stone (1974)

Director: Sandy Harbutt

Stars: Deryck Barnes, Sandy Harbutt, Hugh Keays-Byrne

Stone centers on a motorcycle gang and a detective. After the gang members die off one by one, a detective goes undercover to solve the mystery behind the murders. Soon, he finds himself identifying with the group, putting him in a tight spot when he puts the pieces of the puzzle of the murder together.

If you are up for an old biker film, Stone is a movie you might want to check out!

19. Lion (2016)

English 1h 58m IMDb
Lion (2016)

Director: Garth Davis

Stars: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara

The film follows Saroo, a young boy who goes missing from home. In a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself farther away from home.

However, he soon finds himself settled in a new loving family. Years after he goes missing, he embarks on a journey back to his village and his true family. Will the little kid, who is now a grown man, find his way back home?

Lion is one of the most decorated and successful Australian films of all time. If you want an Australian film that will not disappoint, this film is one to consider.

20. Acute Misfortune (2018)

English (Australia) 1h 31m IMDb
Acute Misfortune (2018)

Director: Thomas M. Wright

Stars: Daniel Henshall, Toby Wallace, Gillian Jones

Acute Misfortune is a biographical film revolving around Adam Cullen. It takes inspiration from Erik Jensen’s biography of the artist. With that, it should not be a surprise the film does not only focus on the artist but also on his relationship with his biographer.

Give this film a shot if you are a fan of the artist or art in general. However, it could also be an interesting watch even if you are not much of a fan or an art enthusiast, as it is an interesting take on the life of an artist gone too soon.


Final Words

Cut! That is a wrap! Today, we showed you our list of the 20 best Australian movies from the 1960s to today.

Whether you are looking for some old goodies or new golds, we hope we got to help you today. If you have other movie matters or concerns, feel free to check out our other lists and discussion!

Best Australian Movies to Add in You Watchlist

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