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The best Australian movies (and where to stream them)

Where to stream the best Australian movies in your own backyard.

Best Australian movie overall
Mad Max Fury Road hero card
Mad Max: Fury Road
Director:
George Miller
IMDb rating
8.1/10
Streaming services
Netflix, Stan, Prime Video
Best Australian horror movie
Wolf Creek product card
Wolf Creek
Director:
Greg McLean
IMDb rating
6.2/10
Streaming services
Stan, Paramount Plus
Best Australian war movie
Hacksaw Ridge product card
Hacksaw Ridge
Director:
Mel Gibson
IMDb rating
8.1/10
Streaming services
Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now
Best Australian comedy movie
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - product card
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Director:
Stephan Elliott
IMDb rating
7.5/10
Streaming services
Prime Video
Best Australian drama movie
Moulin Rouge hero card
Moulin Rouge
Director:
Baz Luhrmann
IMDb rating
7.6/10
Streaming services
Disney Plus
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 22, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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Australia cops the raw end of the stick for not having the best movies. But the truth is, there are dozens of quality Australian movies—either set in Australia or made with Aussie cast and crew—that warrant your attention. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve made a list from newish big-name blockbusters to some cracking low-budget crowd-pleasers.

The best bit is most of the best Australian movies are available on at least one streaming service. Heck, a bunch of them are on multiple services, so you’ve got options, including some free ones. Scroll on for the best Australian movies that you can, unironically, stream in Australia today.

Compare the best Australian movies

Best for
Australian movie
Director
IMDb rating
Stars
Available on
View more
Best Australian movie overall
Mad Max Fury Road hero cardMad Max: Fury Road
George Miller8.1/10Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas HoultNetflix, Stan, Prime Video
Best Australian horror movie
Wolf Creek product cardWolf Creek
Greg McLean6.2/10Mick Taylor, Cassandra Magrath, Nathan PhillipsStan, Paramount Plus
Best Australian war movie
Hacksaw Ridge product cardHacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson8.1/10Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Hugo WeavingNetflix, Stan, Foxtel Now
Best Australian comedy movie
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - product cardThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Stephan Elliott7.5/10Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, Terence StampPrime Video
Best Australian drama movie
Moulin Rouge hero cardMoulin Rouge
Baz Luhrmann7.6/10Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Richard RoxburghDisney Plus
Rev Streaming
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Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Australian movie overall

Mad Max Fury Road hero card
Director
George Miller
IMDb rating
8.1/10
Streaming services
Netflix, Stan, Prime Video
pro
Pros
pro Epic post-apocalyptic action
pro Great characters
pro Killer soundtrack
con
Cons
con Could’ve been shot in Australia
con Some clunky dialogue
con More Doof Warrior, please
Play Video
  • Release: 2015
  • Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
  • Genre: Action Adventure Sci-fi

Okay, okay. It’s the first choice and there’s already some controversy. But Mad Max: Fury Road very much is an Australian movie. Writer-director George Miller is True Blue. Some of the cast is, too. And, most importantly, the titular Mad Max character is an Aussie. Despite being shot in Namibia, Fury Road is set in Australia. Oh, and it was originally going to be shot in Broken Hill but there was so much rain that the desert started looking decidedly un-post apocalypse-y. All that aside, Fury Road is one of the greatest action movies ever made. It’s a near-relentless chase movie from start to finish, which has incredible practical effects and stunts, lean but effective storytelling, and an incredible thumping soundtrack to drive it all. If you somehow missed it, go see it now on Netflix, Prime Video or Stan. If you’ve already seen it, go watch it again.

Outside of the other genre-specific category winners below, consider the following best Australian movie contenders:

Wolf Creek

Best Australian horror movie

Wolf Creek product card
Director
Greg McLean
IMDb rating
6.2/10
Streaming services
Stan, Paramount Plus
pro
Pros
pro Mick Taylor is chilling
pro Effective brutality
pro Switching protagonists
con
Cons
con Lacklustre ending
con Not for the squeamish
con Unequal screen time for victims
Play Video
  • Release: 2005
  • Stars: Mick Taylor, Cassandra Magrath, Nathan Phillips
  • Genre: Horror

Wolf Creek is a lean and mean horror flick. Lean because of its speedy running time, and mean because of the chilling portrayal of Mick Taylor by John Jarratt. Inspired in part by the horrific killings of Ivan Milat, Wolf Creek spends a little time getting to know the young leads that you know are in for a bad time. After their car breaks down, the touring trio are ‘saved’ by Taylor before things go from bad to truly harrowing. Wolf Creek isn’t perfect but it does earn points for doing things differently to the traditional slasher plot. Even if you’ve only seen it once, there are moments that’ll be burned into your brain. If you’re not squeamish, check it out on Stan or Paramount Plus.

Several other noteworthy Aussie horror flicks, either made in Australia or made by Aussies, are worth checking out, too:

  • Talk to Me (Netflix)
  • The Loved Ones (Stan)
  • Rogue (Netflix, Stan)
  • Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (Prime Video, Foxtel Now)
  • Snowtown (Stan)
  • Pitch Black (Foxtel Now, Stan)
  • Cargo (Netflix)
  • Relic (Stan)
  • Wake in Fright (physical media)
  • The Invisible Man (Binge)
  • Saw (Stan, Starz)

Hacksaw Ridge

Best Australian war movie

Hacksaw Ridge product card
Director
Mel Gibson
IMDb rating
8.1/10
Streaming services
Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now
pro
Pros
pro Brutal but beautiful biopic
pro Great all-round performances
pro Harrowing battle sequences
con
Cons
con Sometimes a bit too soapy
con Tweaks to the true story
con May feel too long
Play Video
  • Release: 2016
  • Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving
  • Genre: War-Drama

While Gallipoli is the go-to iconic Australian war movie—understandable, given it’s part of the national identity—for me, it’s been beaten in recent years by Hacksaw Ridge. Sure, it’s a very American story of wartime bravery from a pacifist soldier, Desmond Doss, it’s directed by Mel Gibson, filmed in Australia and its lead characters are predominantly played by Aussies. As for the film itself, Hacksaw Ridge is an incredible true story that’s brutally realised. Andrew Garfield is great as Doss and the supporting cast all help elevate the material. As you might expect from Gibson given his more notable directorial efforts, Hacksaw Ridge is relentless in its depiction of wartime violence, which helps underscore Doss’s devout pacifism. Stream Hacksaw Ridge on Netflix, Stan or Foxtel Now.

For other great Australian war movies, check out these picks:

  • Gallipoli (Binge, Foxtel Now)
  • Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (Netflix, Foxtel Now, 7Plus, Beamafilm)
  • Beneath Hill 60 (Stan, Beamafilm)
  • The Water Diviner (digital purchase or rent)
  • Kokoda (digital purchase or rent)
  • The Last Bullet (physical media)

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Best Australian comedy movie

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - product card
Director
Stephan Elliott
IMDb rating
7.5/10
Streaming services
Prime Video
pro
Pros
pro Lots of humour and heart
pro Iconic visuals
pro The three leads are fantastic
con
Cons
con A bit slow in parts
con Some bits haven’t aged well
con Prep your feels for shifts from humour to heart
Play Video
  • Release: 1994
  • Stars: Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp
  • Genre: Comedy

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a mouthful of a movie title that’s absolutely fitting once you get a taste of the larger-than-life leads. Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terrence Stamp all shine with a sibling-like friendship that has them quipping one moment and heart-to-hearting the next. Given when it was released, The Adventures of Priscilla does tackle some tougher topics but it’ll make you laugh and thoroughly entertain you with its colourful performances more than it makes you cry. If you’ve somehow missed a movie whose legacy is still alive and well today—one that has a stage musical adaptation and has been paid tribute to at the Olympics—go check it out today on Prime Video.

For other iconic Australian comedy movies, check out these other funny-bone ticklers (and, no, Mortal Kombat hasn’t been put in the wrong category):

  • Crocodile Dundee (Stan)
  • The Castle (Stan)
  • Babe (Binge, Paramount Plus, Foxtel Now)
  • Red Dog (Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now)
  • Muriel’s Wedding (Stan, Foxtel Now)
  • Mortal Kombat (Binge, Foxtel Now)

Moulin Rouge

Best Australian drama movie

Moulin Rouge hero card
Director
Baz Luhrmann
IMDb rating
7.6/10
Streaming services
Disney Plus
pro
Pros
pro Spectacular (spectacular) choreography
pro Pop culture tunes beautifully reimagined
pro Story with a lot of heart
con
Cons
con Fever-dream opening
con Tissues essential for the ending
con You need to lean into the ridiculousness
Play Video
  • Release: 2001
  • Stars: Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Richard Roxburgh
  • Genre: Musical/Romance

Look, you could interchangeably place The Adventures of Priscilla here and Moulin Rouge in the category above. But, for me, Priscilla is funnier than it is sad, and Moulin Rouge is more drama than comedy. Admittedly, Moulin Rouge has some great comedy and fantastic moments of spectacle, fuelled by Baz Luhrmann’s delightfully unhinged vision. But those moments are sandwiched in between a truly tragic love story that’ll break your heart no matter how well you know what’s coming. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are fantastic as leads whether they’re quipping, singing or making the audience cry. There’s also a fantastic supporting cast of local and international talent to help stick the landing on a fantastical tale that could’ve easily been a B-movie were it not for the collective talent in front of and behind the camera. Check out Moulin Rouge on Disney Plus.

For other great Australian dramas, including a range of crime stories, check out these flicks:

  • The Dressmaker (Stan, Binge, Foxtel Now)
  • The Dry (Netflix, Binge)
  • The Piano (Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now, SBS On Demand)
  • Shine (Netflix, Prime Video, Brollie)
  • Two Hands (Netflix, Prime Video, ABC iView, Beamafilm)
  • Animal Kingdom (Stan, SBS On Demand)
  • Ned Kelly (Binge, Paramount Plus, Foxtel Now)
  • The Hunter (Stan)
  • Jindabyne (Stan, Foxtel Now)
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence (Netflix, Stan, SBS On Demand)
  • Burning Man (digital purchase or rent)

Where to look for the best Australian movies

The winners and contenders listed above are far from exhaustive. In fact, there are dozens of other Australian movies that were on my longer short-list before I finalised the picks above. With so many streaming services in Australia, picking one with the best selection of Australian movies can be tricky.

Thankfully, I’ve done some of that hard work for you already, tallying the Australian movies above into a list to find the best streaming services. If you want the most Australian movies, Stan seems to be the best place with 20+ of the movies listed above. Foxtel Now and Netflix are close contenders with 13 and 12, respectively.

For free streaming options, start with SBS On Demand or Beamafilm. Otherwise, you can also find a smattering of great Australian movies on Prime Video, Binge and Paramount Plus.

icon-expertise

How we choose the best Australian movies

Obviously, picking the “best” Australian movies involves a lot of subjectivity. I started by searching for lists of the highest-ranked Australian movies, then organised them into genre categories. Eligible movies could be made in Australia, set in Australia and/or involve cast and crew that are Australian, though I tried to relegate the more tenuous picks to contenders rather than winners.

The specific categories were determined by which genres of Australian movies have the most Google searches each month. From there, I used JustWatch to find where my category winners and runners-up were available to stream in Australia.

Ultimately, the winners in each category are my personal favourites that I’ve seen over the years. I’m a lifelong movie lover and ex-film critic who’s seen (and loved) all of the category winners, most of the contenders, and a lot of other Aussie flicks (good and bad) that didn’t make the final cut.

Australian movies frequently asked questions

Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time in Australia, taking in close to $119 million at the local box office according to Screen Australia. All of the other top 50 performers at the Australian box office are international movies, too, except for Crocodile Dundee, which slots in at 24 with roughly $48 million.

Lots of movies take place in Australia, including iconic local hits like Muriel’s Wedding, Crocodile Dundee and Chopper. Other movies like Pitch Black, Mission: Impossible 2 and The Matrix were shot in Australia albeit aren’t set in Australia. Conversely, Mad Max: Fury Road is set in Australia but was filmed in Namibia.
Baz Luhrmann’s original Australia movie from 2008 was a slog of a drama that was nowhere near as engaging as his other movies. It’s since been recut into Faraway Downs, an even longer miniseries, which you can watch on Disney Plus.
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There are over 1,000 movies to Binge and we've picked out a few of the very best.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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