Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)

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Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN writer Stuart Beattie takes to the director’s chair for this Australian action spectacular that is thematically similar to Jo...

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70% positive

4 reviews from the community

Review of "Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)"

published 31/12/2017 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
Reviews : 2558
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About me :
Ciao made $2,200 profit last year, about $37 bucks a day.
Pro Its OK for young teens
Cons Better off as an American show on Netflix
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"Tomorrow, when the sequel never arrived..."

Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)

Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)

Star – Australia
Genre – Drama.
Run Time – 1 hr 20 minutes
Certificate – 12
Country – Australia
Amazon – £4.79 DVD
Awards – 8 Wins & 14 Nominations
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So based on the first of 7 books in a young adult series of the same name, ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ originally supposed to turn into a film trilogy, but did not as the production company could no longer afford to do a second film due to a loss of revenue in other projects, and the fact this film pretty much tanked. Its ambitious $27m action Oz dollar budget did $26m back and killed the trilogy stone dead. It later resurfaced as a TV series on Aussie telly but was panned after just 6 episodes. America does these TV shows a whole lot better with a whole lot more money and that’s the only way they work. Australian TV does not have that money. Stick to quirky movies like Strictly Ballroom and Muriel’s Wedding, is the lesson…


Caitlin Stasey ... Ellie Linton
Rachel Hurd-Wood ... Corrie Mackenzie
Lincoln Lewis ... Kevin Holmes
Deniz Akdeniz ... Homer Yannos
Phoebe Tonkin ... Fiona Maxwell
Chris Pang ... Lee Takkam
Ashleigh Cummings ... Robyn Mathers
Andrew Ryan ... Chris Lang


Country and cute teen high school kid Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) and childhood friend Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood), Corrie's boyfriend Kevin, Ellie's next-door neighbor Homer, school crush Lee (Chris Pang) and friends Robyn (Ashleigh Cummings) and Fiona(Phoebe Tonkin) set off into the bush for some weekend camping on the New South Wales coast. Packing into Ellie's parents' Land Rover they arrive in the Blue Mountains and then hike down into a remote valley by a waterfall from some innocent teenage independence and partying.

During their second night camping after some snogging, marshmallows around the campfire and seeing off a stray snake, Ellie wakes in the middle of the night to a sky full of military aircraft but thinks nothing of it.

Packing up and back on the outskirts of town after an enjoyable weekend something is wrong. The group finds their homes abandoned, without power, internet and telephone lines down and stinking rotten food and dead pets in their houses. No one is around. From the hill overlooking Robyn's house as dusk sets, the kids sees that the only lights on in town are at the hospital and showground. Investigating the showground, they find that the citizens of the town are being detained by an Asian looking foreign military force. When Ellie witnesses a prisoner being executed its clear they are here to stay. They are soon under fire when they give away their position as they flee back to the outskirts in a hail of bullets. On a LW radio they discover that an invading force has taken the east of Australia and allied forces are massing in Western Australia. The question now is should they surrender to a superior force or be a teenage militia fighting back…?


Ellie Linton: Good book?
Corrie Mackenzie: Better than the movie.
Ellie Linton: Yeah, books usually are.

That quote in the film sums it up. It just doesn’t work as a film, sort of in limbo as a film that’s sets up the TV series when it should have just been a TV series of the book, and maybe a film at the end of it. Netflix would be a better home. Apart from Mad Max Aussies don’t really do action movie as the budget needs to be big these days to add excitement and grandeur to off the shelf CGI effects every filmmaker can use these days. For a war movie this film barely covers ten square miles and absurd at times. It clearly doesn’t have the budget to make the film it’s supposed to be and so ends up half-assed forgotten. You can’t really have a noble try with this type of movie.

The cast is very teen and clean and you expect them to turn into vampires at any minute, they are that generic and familiar TV high school clones. They do their best to build tension and all perfectly fine but not as gnarly freedom fighters when they get a gun in their hands. The invading army is pretty hopeless for an elite force as they can’t seem to get the better of six teenager sin Gap clothing.

The soundtrack is very Australian and pop so a plus there as I have always liked their distinctive beach rock sound. The dialect gets pretty grim second half with some dreadful moralizing and chunky dialogue as the film and characters try to set up the next two films, perhaps not realizing they are about to be sunk in the edit room. It’s no Red Dawn that’s for sure.

RATINGS – 6.2/10.0 (28,234votes) –64 % critic’s approval – 54% critic’s approval

Special Features



Daily Telegraph –‘It passes the time innocuously enough, but the ingredients for global success are missing’.

Timeout –‘There's a vein of thoughtfulness running beneath the brazenly explosive action highlights and fist-pumping soundtrack, though the suspense does fall prey to some debilitating credibility issues’.

The Mail...despite the R-rating, this isn't really a movie for grown-ups, Tomorrow When the War Began can't be completely dismissed as a teen movie either. It's a curious thing, with sleek, fluid action set pieces and moments that approach - then bungle – grace’.

The Melbourne Age –‘Just fast-moving fun, enough so to gloss over its shortcomings’.

The Sydney Herald –‘"Tomorrow" is less realistic than "Red Dawn," if you can wrap your head around that without making it pop off’.


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Comments on this review

  • RICHADA published 11/01/2018
    Another group of young ladies rather easy on the eye in this one I note. R.
  • Secre published 04/01/2018
    Sharen't bother
  • siberian-queen published 01/01/2018
    happy new year!
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Product Information : Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN writer Stuart Beattie takes to the director’s chair for this Australian action spectacular that is thematically similar to John Milius’s camp Commie basher RED DAWN. In TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN a group of teenagers finds their jovial camping holiday come to a premature end when they discover their country is under from an unknown enemy. In an attempt to thwart what could be an imminent invasion the kids decide to fight back...


Listed on Ciao since: 11/02/2011