Missing the 'e' in epic, the filmmaker has produced a labored pic, weighed down by the very artifice that is traditionally his specialty.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Australia is a pastiche of genres and references wrapped up into one horse-galloping, cattle-stampeding, camera-swooping, music-swelling, widescreen package.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
We are left with slow-moving insincerity and conceit, summoned up in the flatulence of that title: Australia, a country reborn in terms of facetious Hollywood cliches.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Australia tries to be a sprawling, romantic epic. Instead, it's a melodramatic exercise in tedium.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
A wildly ambitious, luridly indulgent spectacle of romance, action, melodrama and historic revisionism, Australia is windy, overblown, utterly preposterous and insanely entertaining.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Australia strains to do it all, and finally all you can see is the strain.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Though Luhrmann starts with plenty of potential, he squanders it almost immediately.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Sometimes Luhrmann seems to be living in a Dreamtime of his own; his movie is all over the map. But what a gorgeous map it is.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Comedy and tragedy, action and melodrama, full measures of quirk and swoon: It's just a plain good time at the movies.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Australia provides some remarkable moments: remarkably beautiful, remarkably imaginative and, against all odds, genuinely moving, which in a movie this overwrought and overblown is, in itself, remarkable.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
Even more than a Western, Australia is a musical without a songbook. Its emotions are large, its rhythms bold.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Jackman has musical-theater chops and knows how to sell material this ham-handed; Kidman isn't quite as deft.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Luhrmann is drawn to kitsch as inevitably as a bear to honey.
David Denby - New Yorker
What a gorgeous film, what strong performances, what exhilarating images and -- yes, what sweeping romantic melodrama.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Australia offers everything from a cattle drive to Nicole Kidman's rendition of "Over the Rainbow" to hordes of Japanese Zeros zeroing in on screaming children during the early 1942 attack on Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, two months aft
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Long in the making -- and almost as long in the watching -- Baz Luhrmann's Australia is epic piffle.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's not Luhrmann's best work to date, but it has crowd-rousing flair to spare.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's an endurance test that ends in moans of recognition as characters seem to be acting out scenes from other, better movies. Really, you don't want to sit through this.
Tom Long - Detroit News
If Luhrmann takes too long to tell the tale, it is at least a tale worth telling, shining a light on racism and mistreatment, folding it neatly into a crowded film that entertains us for most of the way.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
I must confess that I might have been harder on Mr. Luhrmann's film if I had not remained entranced by Ms. Kidman.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
Embracing grand old-school melodrama while critiquing racist old-fashioned politics, Baz Luhrmann's grandiose Australia provides a luxurious bumpy ride.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Never boring but often exhausting, Australia finally pulls itself together for an emotionally satisfying ending. Or six. Pass the gravy.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
It's messy and overwrought. But ambition this grand is worth two hours and 40 minutes of Aussie scenery, history (fudged), romance and war.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
At once sprawling and intimate, melodramatic and comic, magnificent and utterly bonkers, it bears entertaining witness to Luhrmann's love of old movies and his Down Under homeland.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Christine Champ - Film.com
The massive panoramas of wild Australia suddenly make Luhrmanns wild flourishes look puny.
Sean Means - Film.com
Australia is so damnably eager to please that it feels like being pinned down by a giant overfriendly dingo and having your face licked for about three hours: theoretically endearing but, honestly, kind of gross.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Calling a Baz Luhrmann movie a crazy mess isn't necessarily a damning statement. But it isn't an automatic compliment, either.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
It's a mystery to me how Baz Luhrmann continues to be regarded as a director worth following.
Dana Stevens - Slate
It looks great, but the same comment can be made about Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, which shares more than a passing resemblance.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The most expensive Australian film ever made is rousing and passionate.
Megan Lehmann - Hollywood Reporter
Overlong and self-indulgent.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Australia delivers with real panache.
Richard Schickel - TIME Magazine
Beautiful scenery and the best intentions can't save Australia from dissolving in goo.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Throw out the beefcake, the Stilton cheese, and the sub-Dynasty empire-building bushwah.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Dean Essner - Digital Spy
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
A funny frankenstein that's worth seeing just to point and laugh at.
Mike Edwards - Obsessed With Film
Mike Edwards - What Culture
"Australia" occasionally stumbles into corny sidesteps like Hugh Jackman's "Oh, crikey" catchphrase. But Baz Luhrmann mythologized his homeland as American directors like John Ford did with Westerns - dramatic-license exaggerations that pay off in droves.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
Australia is an enchanting throwback to an era of filmmaking which strived to entertain its audiences with dazzling spectacle and melodrama.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Luhrmann just piles quotation mark on top of quotation mark
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Whilst it's not the masterpiece we so desperately wanted it to be, Australia still manages to be a good time at the cinema.
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
It's a bit overloaded, though I love Luhrmann's obvious enthusiasm.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Here's a film you probably sneered at as its ads played for its mega-plex roll out. I beg you not to let you keep that from now buying the DVD.
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
It is a huge film - in scale, scope, look and feel, and of course budget. It is also a huge disappointment.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
Sometimes seems to be overwhelmed by Baz Luhrmann's excess, but the strength of his vision, the appeal of his visuals and the skill of his actors keep the film from capsizing.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Much like Scorsese's Gangs of New York, it's a film that has been long labored over, and the artist's love of the material is clear, but the inspiration has been lost along the way.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Recalls the old-fashioned, golden-age Hollywood movie-movies that wrapped forbidden desire, aching heartbreak, personal tragedy, war, adventure and breathtaking thrills in a glittering overlay of movie-star glamor.
Maitland McDonagh - Miss FlickChick
Unfortunately, between its predictably and the absence of chemistry between Kidman and Jackman, Australia amounts to little more than an amusing if just as readily-forgettable diversion.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
This is a movie for those who say they don't make 'em like they used to.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A busca de Australia por uma identidade cinematografica acaba levando o filme a oscilar perigosamente entre tons terrivelmente dispares.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
o Baz Luhrmann htizei enan oyranoksysti apo filodoksies, pairnei to asanser gia tin taratsa kai boytaei sto keno
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Unashamedly old-fashioned and corny, if not quite up to the director's usual high standards.
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Did I mention it's really long?
Michael Dance - The Cinema Source
Luhrmann's imagination too, demented and over reaching though it might be, is a glorious and vagrant thing to behold. His passion and romanticism, precisely because it's not trimmed and edited, exhilarates.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
It's anything but cool. It's warm, it has a big heart, and if you look at it in the right light, it's really rather beautiful.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Australia would love to be The African Queen, but is more The Australian Prince Charles: silly, longwinded, heart in the right place.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
The photography is a knockout. All Australia needed was a script with a sustained story and a stronger sense of where, and how, tragic drama should take over from camp seriocomedy.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Nothing wrong with a film's reach exceeding its grasp, but Luhrmann's ambition has left this one looking forlorn and exposed: Australia clears a huge space for itself and then hasn't the wit or the wherewithal to fill it.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Often beautiful but wildly inconsistent, Australia is none more Baz Luhrmann, which perhaps says it all. Worth a look on the big screen, though.
Chris Hewitt (UK) - Empire Magazine
Some of it doesn't work, but it remains a gloriously ambitious romantic epic and a truly memorable big-screen movie experience.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
It's a fine romp, epic in both ambition and visuals if not narrative - and if director Baz Luhrmann had stopped at the end of the love story's trajectory, the audience would have left entirely happy.
Nina Caplan - Time Out
Part western, part war movie and part epic romance, Baz Luhrmann's latest extravaganza is cheesy and ridiculous on several levels but it's also surprisingly enjoyable and never boring, despite its lengthy running time.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Australia is an epic love story, and a quite extraordinary piece of kitsch. Everything about the film is wildly over the top.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
Australia is a film for which you have constantly to suspend your disbelief. I did for some of the way, but in the end began to think it was a cross between the plonking Pearl Harbor and an expensive but routine sort of Oz western.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Jackman persuades as an Outback cowboy, Kidman's cut glass accent doesn't. Walters as Nullah is a great discovery. Australia is a soap opera of moods but eye candy Kidman is too fey a character to hold this diva show together.
Victor Olliver - Teletext
Never quite locks together into the sweeping cinematic journey Luhrmann clearly set out to create.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
With plot is similar to a Barbara Stanwyck '50s Western by way of Out of Africa, Luhrmann directs Kidman in a surprisingly scene-chewing performance.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Overcoming choppy storytelling, this film ultimately proves that the sum of its flawed parts is still a more than worthwhile adventure.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
an endurance test of good intentions and tangled ideas, exploited facts and fuzzy fictions, where the performances, like the plot, are slapped onto the beautiful backgrounds with the broadest - and clumsiest - of strokes.
Anton Bitel - Film4
In his kitschy way, Luhrmann delivers the goods, even when his big moments inspire tears of laughter rather than emotion.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
By the end, your wonderment at Luhrmann's inextinguishable enthusiasm for hokum starts to break you down and win you over.
Thomas Peyser - Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
The film is trying at times, but there is no question that the sheer spectacle of the film makes much of the consternation worth it.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Luhrmann shamelessly indulges in the most sweeping style of filmmaking imaginable, filling the screen with expansive images, action and emotion, plus plenty of cheesy camp
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Kitsch and cliche drive the story, but the faces and locations are stunning -- when the movie's over, you feel like you've been somewhere and seen something.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A lively, rollicking, overlong, overstuffed movie that tries my patience as much as it entertains me.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The excess is part of its charm; Luhrmann sees the classic movie genres as a magical playground and he wants to play on all the rides.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Luhrmann... apparently decided this time to make about five movies at once, as Australia fluctuates wildly among many genres and many more different tones. And it's long. So, so long.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
One wonders if there are any tablecloth cliches about Australia that have been missed.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
Not just unashamedly old-fashioned, but altogether smug about it... For myself, I admire the defiant mustiness of the whole project.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
It's trying so hard to be epic instead of just being epic.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
There's a lot to admire here, but not enough.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
Nullah's story lies beyond the ken of his Caucasian caretakers.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Had the team abandoned the tediously tidy final third of the film and all the awful World War II shenanigans we obviously don't care about, Australia would be a wild romp.
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
Whether or not Baz Luhrmann's Australia is a great film, it is one hell of a movie.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Baz Luhrmann's perfectly executed epic is a winner all the way. Kidman and Jackman are great but young Brandon Walters steals the show.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Rich, ambitious and often brave, this is a film that reaches, with desperately clawing outstretched hands, for greatness.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
With three storylines, a ludicrous performance by Kidman, and Baz's self-indulgence getting the best of him, AUSTRALIA is one of this year's biggest blunders.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
A wildly enjoyable experience, reconstituting some of the great traditions of the art form in engaging, unexpected ways.
Gabriel Shanks - Modern Fabulousity
It has very little of [Moulin Rouge]'s irreverence or nose-thumbing spirit, opting instead for a stubborn adherence to the tenets of the budget-busting Hollywood prestige pictures of the 1950s and 1960s.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The plot's key turning points have either too much or not enough emphasis and are often in the wrong spot.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
It's not the masterpiece we've been waiting for, but Australia is still an ambitious, at times even awesome, movie experience.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
At its best, it's funny, inventive and sweepingly sentimental. At its worst, it's a dead root, a miscast romance between a sexless pairing of actors.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
It's City Slickers. I mean, come on.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
You don't find many three-hour fairy tale love story war films about race relations featuring the ultra-competitive beef market in northern Australia. For good reason.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
Australia isn't "Titanic 2.0," but neither is it "Heaven's Gate.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
With measured visual flash, Luhrmann highlights the delightful presence of his two stars and realizes an unlikely feelgood film, in spite of its grave matters.
Matthew Sorrento - Film Threat
A film as grand as the Down Under itself.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
'Australia' runs out of steam along its lengthy journey, but it boasts gorgeous cinematography, a passionate romance, and more than a few thrilling scenes.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
This is a movie that doesn't just want to take over the cineplex--it wants to own it. For better and worse, it has a hell of a time doing so, though not without belching and hicupping along the way.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
It's a very broadly drawn movie and being something of a rarity, I'm inclined to encourage you to give this continent-sized epic a bit of a go.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Sumptuous and romantic, Australia is a gorgeous, ambitious epic achieved with Baz Luhrmann's inimitable style. Kidman and Jackman are at their best and awfully nice to look at. What's not to love?
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
We could have had something really representing the vibrant Aussie film industry.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
A note-worthy attempt but it's hard to ignore all the inconsistencies in this movie -- like the thrown-in fish-out-of-water segment about the Wizard of the Oz.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
A strictly 1940s vintage Hollywood florid spectacle melodrama.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Australia, director Baz Luhrmann's sweeping, romantic epic that takes place in the outback during the World War II-era, is exactly like the Energizer Bunny: It keeps going and going and going.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
An old-fashioned, screen-filling picture that is at times as rousing and untamed as the continent that it depicts.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
Baz' latest might differ from his Red Curtain Trilogy by doing away with the overt theatricality, madcap visuals and musical numbers, but it's still driven by his infectious love of every aspect of filmmaking.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
AUSTRALIA is a film that's simply way too earnest for our cynical age.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Although visually interesting, this latest from Baz Luhrmann is all over a map bigger than Australia.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Swells of emotion & panoramic stampedes fill the screen; however, meandering scenes in between have been cut out at the seams so often, you'll be wandering what it all means.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Luhrmann labors to frame his work as a grandiose social problem film -- rarely has a movie tried so hard, and so fruitlessly, for our love
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Messy but engrossing epic about race, love, and war.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Not just long and extravagant but woozy and ultimately rather silly...Luhrmann might have been aiming, Selznick-like, for a new Gone With the Wind, but his picture ends up feeling more like a second Duel in the Sun.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Australia, set in Australia's Northern Territory, a land of romance and adventure, should have been a terrific epic, but instead is a lavish family time-killer.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
As ridiculous as Australia often is, it's also ridiculously entertaining.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
I liked the characters, and I liked the actors, even if it didn't sweep me away.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
This film is a long love song written in two parts, and these actors duet nicely.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Australia only covers about two years in that continent's history. But as long as the movie feels, you'd swear it covered a decade ... or even a century.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
If for some reason you hate the song, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' you must avoid this film. Otherwise, it's a crowd pleaser, especially the fairytale-like first half
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Australia offers plenty of fun, and parades more spectacle, sweeping camera movement and gushy sentimental romance than can possibly be absorbed in 2 1/2 hours.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Its story is such a fusty melange of Western-movie cliches that we might as well be camped out in the old cowpoke canyons of Utah, listening to the ghost of John Ford wonder who forgot to shoot the writers.
Kurt Loder - MTV
You half expect a bloodied and battered Ben Affleck to be running shirtless in slow motion while an Aerosmith ballad blasts forth like cover fire from above. Hopefully Fosters beer won't sue, but it's true: Baz Luhrmann is Australian for Michael Bay.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
[Luhrmann] veers from earnest drama to brisk comedy and then tries to hold it together with awkward voiceover narration. Within five minutes, Australia seems headed for trouble. It gets there and stays there.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Yes, you can enjoy bits and pieces along the way, more than a few, even. At the end of this journey, though, you feel more exhaustion and relief than catharsis or satisfaction.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
That's it's not confrontational or deconstructionist may seem rebellious on paper, but blown up on the big screen for nearly three hours, Australia sure plays as purely conventional.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Either there's a huge inside joke at work in Australia, or else the movie is just corny and weird. We liked watching it enough to vote for the first interpretation.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
For much of its more than 2 1/2- hour length, this sweeping film from Aussie director Baz Luhrmann provides old-fashioned thrills and entertainment.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
James Verniere - Boston Herald
A moviemaker as creative as [Baz] Luhrmann should make more movies. If nothing else, Australia proves he needs the practice.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Dave White - Movies.com
Part melodrama, part live-action cartoon, and entirely awful ...
Christopher Long - DVDTown.com
Like the kangaroo that goes from a newcomer's sightseeing delight to dinner meat with the sudden crack of a rifle shot, Australia hops all over the place.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
Australia is sloppy, way too long, has awful dialogue, some bad special effects and very annoying characters.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
Australia is a wildly over the top look at Down Under, about what we might have expected from Aussie director Baz Luhrmann.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Christopher Long - Movie Metropolis
Clearly intended as a big blockbuster, to call it merely entertaining is damning it with faint praise.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
A big mess: emotionally incoherent, laughably simplistic and narratively graceless.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Baz Luhrmann's Australia isn't a history of the penal colony turned commonwealth, but Luhrmann's absurd, cliche-ridden filmmaking ought to be a jailable offense.
Armond White - New York Press
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Recreates the old pleasure of discovering an epic en masse...One moment in particular elicited a mass groan of ecstasy from our packed audience, which then elicited empathetic giggles from everyone.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
An enormous, exotic, exhilarating frontier adventure that is, in its weight and grand ambition, on the epic scale of 'Gone With the Wind.'
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Australia is something of a mess, though it's a spectacularly made mess that's carried along by its ambition and artistry and, most of all, its pure passion to please.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Australia is being marketed as the kind of old-fashioned romantic epic Hollywood rarely makes anymore, and after you've sat through it, you'll be thankful they don't.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Are we so desperate to sate our malnourished nostalgia for movie magic that we'd settle for a facsimile so grand, lavish and empty?
David Fear - Time Out New York
The worst culprit of overacting is David Wenham, whose dastardly henchman Fletcher ends up perhaps the most risible movie villain since Billy Zane's Cal Hockley took shots at Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Dawson as the Titanic sank into the chilly depths.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Baz Luhrmann's Australia is a sweeping, grand epic in the tradition of Gone With the Wind that gets away from its talented director, the writers he worked with and the team he hired to film his passion project.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
This almost three-hour epic keeps shooting for the stars but usually crash-lands with a thud. Someone should have told co-writer/director Baz Luhrmann that just because you call your movie Australia doesn't mean you've created a national epic.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
...wants to sweep previous sweeping historical romances off their feet.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
It's an ode to a place (exotic to some, familiar to others), yes, but more than that, Australia is state of mind: wonderment, grandeur, beauty, love, escape, hope.
Brett McCracken - Christianity Today
The singular vision of Luhrmann is to experience Australia and fall in love with the possibility of grand movies all over again.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The result is mostly a woodenly derivative melding of '40s maternal melodramas, oaters and World War II actioners.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
It is a pleasure, and not a guilty one, to place ourselves in the hands of a mischievous director who wants to push screen dimensions back to the era of CinemaScope, Technicolor and stereophonic sound.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
An epic that's cute when it should be sweeping and richer in Aboriginal mysticism than genuine cinematic magic.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Anyone craving a wide-screen romantic epic is in luck. Though flawed, Baz Luhrman's sprawling fantasia is a throwback to a noble cinematic tradition.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - National Post
It's not the ingredients that make a cinematic adventure a "classic epic" - Australia has all of the ingredients - it's how you cook them and this one is overdone.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
It almost goes without saying that the film looks gorgeous, but the filmmaking behind it feels unsure how to work on this grand a scale. Australia is big. But it never fills the screen.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
There's a sense throughout that this movie, stuffed script and all, means something. It's art! Only toward Australia's heavy-handed end do you realize that no, it's not art. It's a bloated cheesefest that will likely bomb at the box office.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
Baz Luhrmann's Titanic.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
By unnecessarily extending the film (and shortening what should have formed its crux), Australia manages the almost unfeasible feat of becoming a less honest film than Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
There's enough material in Australia to warrant a mini-series, which is how the feature film plays out. In one sitting, it's a tough sit.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
While it takes chutzpah to name a film after an entire continent, Australia is as vastly entertaining as Australia is vast.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Crikey, this is a long movie.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
A technical triumph in search of a heart that feels real.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Australia is an unbroken string of cliches. Director Luhrmann does the obvious at every turn, making each character an archetype and every action a crowd-pleasing, grandiosely predictable moment.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Baz Luhrmann's entertaining Australia simply must be watched on the biggest screen possible, as I imagine it becomes sillier and sillier as it shrinks.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
It's always nice to see pretty people doing great things, but in telling the story that should have been most his own, Luhrmann has ceded his vision to someone else.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Watching Luhrmann swinging for the fences and missing is still a hell of a lot more entertaining than watching most other contemporary filmmakers hitting their usual singles and doubles.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Simple, beautiful, important and grounded. All of which, in Baz Luhrmann's hands, bored me.
David Foucher - EDGE Boston
It's as big and bold and unabashedly old-fashioned as anything since Titanic, and as with that film, you'll forgive its excesses and revel in its sweep.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Halfway through, Australia veers sharply into Serious Issue mode.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Australia is what you get when the film projector overheats and the only thing that comes out is pure corn syrup.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
[U]nabashedly old-fashioned and proudly romantic... sincere and straight-up... embraces its own sentimentality without ever dipping into perilous levels of sappiness....
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
...the director's sweeping epic is so faithful to recreating the films of his father's generation from which it is cobbled together, the entire thing is embedded in artificiality.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
For the more inclined, Australia is a dramatically fertile, immersive gem: an epic with true epic intentions and execution, reinvesting in patient storytelling and widescreen magnetism.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The beautiful locations and production values can't compensate for all the thin characters and lack of originality.
Chris Farnsworth - E! Online
If it sounds shallow and predictable, Australia is, in fact, anything but.
Anne Barrowclough - Times [UK]
not even a shirtless Jackman makes this Australia worth visiting.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Dear Baz Luhrmann: You have a problem, and the first step toward solving it is recognizing it: Despite your manifest gifts as a filmmaker, you can't do tragedy. And you need to stop trying.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
If you check your brain at the door, you'll enjoy much of this roistering, resolutely old-school jumble of cliches, lavishly packaged by an unusually restrained Baz Luhrmann.
David Noh - Film Journal International
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
Baz Luhrmann's epic story of love and adventure isn't quite the classic it hopes to be, but it paints a vivid portrait of the titular continent on the brink of World War II.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Call it a little show on a big stage, or tiny brushes on a huge canvas. But you also have to call it disappointing.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
epic, magical and romantic... but unwieldy and muddled, too.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
Baz Lurhman never sets a consistent tone for movie. There's too much camp for the film to be taken as a serious drama, and the filmmaker flirts with outdated '30s era cinema conventions of a John Ford western like "Stagecoach."
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Dutifully goes through the sweeping-swoony motions.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
An unwieldy stab at an old-fashioned movie epic, Baz Luhrmann's Australia is corny, implausible, well intentioned and even somewhat enjoyable in its own way, at least for a while.
Dan Callahan - Slant Magazine
A spellbinding, old-fashioned adventure story and romantic drama with many magical moments of high drama, emotional catharsis, and awesome cinematic beauty.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
it has the uncanny ability to manipulate its audience into involuntary oohs and ahhs even while provoking it by using every hoary plot device imaginable
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
By far Luhrmann's weakest film, Australia is a banal, anachronistic WWII melodrama that wears its liberal politics on its sleeve and confuses pictorial beauty with genuine art and schmaltz with real emotion.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It takes a continent's worth of nerve and extravagance to make a film like this in this way, throwing melodramatic romance, greed, racism and aboriginal spirituality into the fantasy mix.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
It sounds like a mess because it is one. A gorgeous, earnest, reckless, and brazenly captivating mess.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Terrible. Cartoonish turkey with no script. Australia should rescind Baz's citizenship. Smart move, Russell Crowe, backing out of this.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
This costly, much-troubled, forever-in-production epic nonetheless falls short of its lofty ambitions; undone by an unfortunate combination of hubris, predictable studio meddling and fate.
Wade Major - Boxoffice Magazine
The film will be nominated for gorgeous cinematography, the landscape forming the backdrop of a story that is more conventional than the sort director Luhrmann is accustomed to.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The film's rapid changes of tone often make for a bumpy ride.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman effortlessly don the mantles of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable here; the screen is crammed with ravishing images.
Frank Hatherley - Screen International
A flawed, formulaic family crowd pleaser that barely succeeds as campy anachronistic period fluff. Will go down as a self-indulgent disappointment in many corners
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
A very loud, crazily colourful and delightfully strings-free romp -- fun while it lasted and fondly recalled, but not, alas, the big love we yearned for.
Angus Fontaine - Time Out Sydney
It's not the size that matters most in Baz Luhrmann's Australia, it's the many details, the intimate, personal moments, the connection with and respect for the Aboriginal culture in the context of human interaction, and the evil that greed makes men callo
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The film looks magnificent but is far too long. The star power is dazzling but I didn't believe the central characters or their relationship. Nonetheless, it's an engrossing experience and one whose indelible images of a strikingly beautiful land linger.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Despite its flaws - and it certainly has flaws - I think Australia is an impressive and important film.
David Stratton - The Australian