Slate’s Dana Stevens, tearing apart “Australia”:
It’s a mystery to me how Baz Luhrmann continues to be regarded as a director worth following. A long time has passed since I’ve regarded his lush, loud, defiantly unsubtle output with anything but dread… Audiences without a vast appetite for racial condescension, CGI cattle, and backlit smooches will sit through Australia with all the enthusiasm of the British convicts who were shipped to that continent against their will in the late 18th century.
Over the course of its 165 minutes, the movie plods through at least three apparent endings. (The first one comes one hour and 15 minutes short of the actual conclusion.) Had I been included in that focus-group audience, I could have voted on my favorite ending before the screening was even through. I’d have cast my ballot for whichever one came sooner.