Ned Kelly
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In the latter part of the 19th century, Australia is still largely untamed. The former penal colony's first-generation Irish immigrant population lives in poverty. Having already experienced police brutality and the death of his father, bushranger Ned Kelly is wrongfully imprisoned on the trumped-up charge of stealing a horse. Emerging a few years later, in 1874, Ned is hardened but vows to stay straight. Rejoining his widowed mother and younger siblings, he makes money for his family as a champion bare-knuckle boxer. He also toils as a farmhand on the estate of an English landowner--with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ultimately, Jordan's vision is so murky that Ned Kelly remains as foreign to us as wombat stew."
‑ Janice Page, Boston Globe
"A leaden retelling of the legend of Australia's Jesse James that has understandably been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Much as late 19th century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly was a charismatic figure who won the adulation of the Irish immigrant masses there, Heath Ledger as that romantic revolutionary of the film's title breathes astonishing vigor into the role."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
"[A] tricky film, punctuated by bursts of staccato surrealism and bitter humor..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"A ride that doesn't take us far enough."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"If Ned Kelly is supposed to be an anti-hero to root for, his speeches border on parody and his cause is really unclear."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"A handsome, action-packed biographical drama with a credibility gap wider than the screen."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"Director Jordan fails to deliver a film worthy of such mythical figure."
‑ Dragan Antulov, Draxblog Movie Reviews
"Rises above its own shortcomings through Heath Ledger's electric embodiment of Ned."
‑ Erica Abeel, Film Journal International
"Details such as the film's stark Victoria locations and the clunky suits of steel armor the Kellys fashion for the climactic showdown root things in a distinctive time and place, allowing viewers to experience the familiar storyline in a fresh way."
‑ Michael Tunison, Boxoffice Magazine
"Offers a couple of well-filmed showdowns and lots of pretty landscapes, but you need more than scenic views and stylish action to chronicle a life, especially one as controversial as Kelly's."
‑ Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger
"Ledger, talking into his chest for much of the film in an apparent effort to lend gravity to his performance, is pretty stiff, but so is Jordan's direction."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"The story might have more resonance with Australians, since compared to American folk heroes Ledger's Ned Kelly comes off as a bit square and self-serious."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Ned Kelly suggests that not only do you not need anything of interest to watch, but you don't even need to see it at all."
‑ David Cornelius,
"A hefty dose of Australian history and legend, magnificently enhanced by a landscape that serves as more than just travelogue."
‑ Susan Michals,
More reviews for Ned Kelly on Rotten Tomatoes