The Greatest Australian Drama Films, Ranked

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Australian Drama Films, Ranked
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Vote up the best films made in the land down under.

These are the best Australian dramas, ranked from best to worst by user votes. Some Australian drama movies revolve around heartfelt love stories while other good Australian drama movies tackle important social and political topics. A few of the most entertaining Australian dramas even feature future Oscar winners.

What films will you find on this best Australian dramas list? In 1993, a little known actor, Russell Crowe, showed off his impressive acting abilities as the violent leader of a racist youth gang in the film, Romper Stomper. Seven years later, Crowe became everyone's favorite underdog in the award-winning film, Gladiator. Moulin Rouge! is another great Australian drama film.

Australian actor, Heath Ledger, starred as a young man addicted to heroin in Candy. Other good movies that are featured on this top Australian dramas list include Shine, The Proposition and Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Which movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.
Most divisive: The Proposition
Ranked by
  • Mad Max
    Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne
    40 votes
    • Released: 1979
    • Directed by: George Miller
    In the dystopian, action-packed Mad Max, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) grapples with a lawless, post-apocalyptic world. A former highway patrol officer turned reluctant hero, Max navigates a barren wasteland where fuel and water are scarce commodities. He contends with marauding gangs of ruthless, motorized vandals led by the vicious Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Directed by George Miller, this Australian cult classic set new standards for on-screen car chases and stunts, winning six Australian Film Institute Awards. As Max battles to survive, he becomes an iconic symbol of grit and resilience in the face of chaos and despair.

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  • Gallipoli
    Mark Lee, Mel Gibson, Bill Kerr
    50 votes
    • Released: 1981
    • Directed by: Peter Weir
    Archy (Mark Lee) and Frank (Mel Gibson) are two young Australian sprinters who want to join the army to fulfill their sense of duty. Turned down because they are too young, the pair hop a freight train to Perth, where they are allowed to join up. They board a troop ship headed to Cairo and, after training in the shadows of the Great Pyramids, the boys are finally sent to the front line, where their speed makes them candidates for messengers in one of the war's bloodiest battles.

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  • Romper Stomper
    Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie
    55 votes
    • Released: 1992
    • Directed by: Geoffrey Wright
    Hando (Russell Crowe) and Davey (Daniel Pollock) are the leaders of a racist youth gang who spend their nights attacking Asian immigrants in a rough section of Melbourne. On the run after losing badly in a fight against the new Vietnamese owners of their local pub, the pair hook up with teenage junkie Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie), who suggests robbing the mansion of her rich and sexually abusive father (Alex Scott). But the girl's presence begins to drive a wedge between the longtime friends.
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence
    Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan
    48 votes
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Phillip Noyce
    Tells the true story of three aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken from their families in 1931 to be trained as domestic servants as part of an official Australian government policy. They make a daring escape and embark on an epic 1,500 mile journey to get back home - following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the Australian continent - with the authorities in hot pursuit.

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  • Dead Calm
    Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane
    27 votes
    • Released: 1989
    • Directed by: Phillip Noyce
    Rae Ingram (Nicole Kidman) and her husband, John (Sam Neill), struggle to overcome the sudden death of their young son. In an attempt to move past their loss, the couple take their yacht out for an extended vacation trip. While far out at sea, they come across a sinking schooner and rescue the ship's sole survivor, Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane). Hughie claims the crew of the ship died from food poisoning. Though Rae is empathetic towards Hughie, John is suspicious of his story.

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  • The Road Warrior
    33 votes
    • Released: 1981
    • Directed by: George Miller
    In Mad Max 2, the world has been ravaged by a catastrophic energy crisis, leaving society in shambles. Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), a former highway patrol officer turned survivalist, roams the desolate Australian wasteland. He reluctantly agrees to help a small, gasoline-rich community escape from a horde of bandits led by the merciless Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson). The film, brimming with high-octane action and post-apocalyptic imagery, won the Saturn Award for Best International Film in 1982. It's an adrenaline-fueled ride that explores themes of survival and sacrifice amidst chaos.