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Last Cab to Darwin

Last Cab to Darwin

It's never too late to start living.Aug. 06, 2015 Australia124 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.8 919 votes

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Synopsis

Rex is a loner, and when he’s told he doesn’t have long to live, he embarks on an epic drive through the Australian outback from Broken Hill to Darwin to die on his own terms; but his journey reveals to him that before you can end your life, you have to live it, and to live it, you’ve got to share it.

Last Cab to Darwin
Last Cab to Darwin
Original titleLast Cab to Darwin
IMDb Rating7.2 2,399 votes
TMDb Rating7.1 17 votes

(28) comments

  • manders_steveAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Michael Caton and the Australian outback star in an uplifting tale

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • pelicanbarbaraAugust 11, 2015Reply

    uplifting with fantastic scenery

    I thought this one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time
    and up there with the Castle and the Dish. I thought the acting
    throughout good and especially Michael Caton and the actor who played
    Tilley who I found to be a lovable rogue. The story line was sad, but
    was very thought provoking when thinking about and discussion
    euthanasia. All in all I really enjoyed the story and especially loved
    seeing the outback of Australia. I cried a lot but I also laughed a lot
    and would recommend this movie to any age (except children of course)
    and hope that many people go to see it. I also hope that it is up there
    when the movie award come out.

  • Laura SeabrookAugust 15, 2015Reply

    An Australian Classic that will make you laugh and cry

    I saw this film yesterday, choosing it over both ”Fantastic Four” and
    ”The Man from UNCLE” and it was a good choice. The trailer – which I
    saw on tube – only gives you the basic scenario of the film, but NOT
    what it’s about. I have to admit I chose it because it featured Michael
    Caton, who was also in another classic Aussie film *The Castle*. He,
    and the other actors in this film have been cast really well. I
    particularly like Ningali Lawford-Wolf as Polly, and Mark Coles Smith
    as Tilley.

    The film made me laugh and cry, partly because it tapped into my own
    family history, But I loved the background to this story – the red and
    greens of the outback, the houses with tin roofs and rock fences – they
    remind me of Kalgoorlie where I lived at an early age . Also the film,
    which is based on a play by Reg Cribb, doesn’t shy away from social
    issues that won’t go away, but is ultimately uplifting in what it says.

  • fordmodelt FordAugust 16, 2015Reply

    Best Australian movie in years

    What a terrific film on all levels. It’s been released for a few weeks
    now, but drew a reasonable sized crowd on a Sunday night on the back of
    strong press reviews. I think it’s going to continue to pull in crowds
    on the strength of word of mouth recommendations. Including mine.

    Generally I’m not a fan of Australian films but this one is great.
    Starting with the cast. Michael Caton was excellent and had surprising
    depths in his performance that I never expected him to have. The only
    weak link in the cast is Jackie Weaver, despite having ”Academy Award
    Nominee” forever attached to her name now. Even though many of the
    support cast were not well known actors, only Weaver’s acting was poor.
    She looked like ”I’m acting this” with nearly every line she delivered.
    The young guy who played Tilly was fantastic – and surprisingly
    convincing in his one emotionally vulnerable scene.

    Secondly, the script. I heard one radio reviewer say that the dialogue
    by ‘blackfellas’ in movies is usually very obviously written by white
    writers, and rarely rings ‘true’. Similarly, writers who want to
    shoehorn Australian colloquialisms into a movie or stage play often do
    it in a very clumsy way. But in Last Cab to Darwin, the dialogue does
    ring true and the writers are to be congratulated.

    Next, the themes. This is not a 90 minute ‘quickie’ of a movie. It has
    real depth, not just on the issue of euthanasia, but also on
    black/white prejudices in country Australia, and the movie doesn’t
    skirt around indigenous social problems either.

    Then there’s the scenery. Spectacular. And I bet the places featured
    along Rex’s road trip enjoy an upturn in visitor numbers in the next
    year or so as a result of this film.

    Finally there’s the humour. It is quintessentially Australian dry
    humour and it’s quick and subtle and sprinkled throughout. The best
    line is the one about the dog’s name. Still making me chuckle even now
    – as much as anything because you didn’t see it coming at the time and
    Michael Caton’s delivery was perfect.

    As Molly Meldrum would say: do yourself a favour and go and see it.

  • AtomicAceAugust 17, 2015Reply

    Last Cab to Redemption

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • david-rector-85092September 18, 2015Reply

    A road movie with loads of heart and spirit. Another great Australian film

    Michael Caton has been a fixture on Australian screens since the 1970’s
    thanks to TV shows like ‘The Sullivans’ and ‘Packed to the Rafters’.
    His voice is quintessentially Aussie and his face and personality have
    made him a household name. His casting for this film is perfect and I
    can’t even imagine another actor as Rex; so perfect is Caton, and such
    a gift for an actor who has mostly been the family uncle or grandad.
    Here he is, front and centre; stoic, three dimensional and instantly
    likable. Director Jeremy Sims, himself a TV and film actor, has
    elicited an award worthy performance from the veteran, but also helps
    young actor Mark Coles Smith as Tilly, make one of the year’s best
    supporting turns. The camera just loves his wicked grin and his
    playful, easy charm. The film pulls no punches with some of the content
    surrounding both the indigenous characters such as Tilly, or the
    circumstances and realities of euthanasia. I was disappointed with
    Jacki Weaver here: she never looks or sounds comfortable with her
    character, and that is unfortunate as it is a linchpin to the film’s
    trajectory, but Caton’s ‘Rex’ is so unforgettable, that he carries even
    the weaker elements of the movie. Beautifully photographed and
    capturing the visceral parts of the landscape and the terrain, ‘Last
    Cab To Darwin’ is not a perfect film, but an enjoyable and significant
    one, and a rewarding one for its leading actor.

  • Tim JohnsonOctober 7, 2015Reply

    A brilliant, beautiful Australian film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • raven-64-833785November 8, 2015Reply

    Nearness to Death is Opportunity to Reassess Life

    ”Drink your beer and shut up” is the essence of male culture in
    Australia. ”Mateship” is the term for it. Rex, a 70 year old cab driver
    from Broken Hill in New South Wales, finds – as he must have already
    felt for a long time – that mateship is a double edged sword. He is
    diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and can’t bring himself to tell
    his friends or the woman he secretly loves. ”There’s no one else,” he
    tells his doctor. Instead he drives his cab 2,000 plus miles across the
    Australian outback to Darwin where there is a newly opened and
    experimental euthanasia clinic. ”Why,” asks the woman who might have
    been his wife ”did you not tell me?!” ”You never asked,” answers Rex,
    matter-of-factly. Rex has never seen the sea, among other things, and
    his eyes are opened to new scenery and people. His nearness to death is
    an opportunity to reassess his life and, like Odysseus, for adventure.

    While much of the film is drama and serious in nature, it is also
    light-hearted. A mechanic tells Rex to keep his fluids up while driving
    in the desert, and Rex promptly goes into the bar for beer. One theme
    is the plight of Australia’s aborigines. Whites took away much of their
    culture and stories, and as a result, who they are. The acting is
    really wonderful, especially the lead who is a veteran of Australian
    films and television and well-loved for such roles for his entire life.
    I love the ornate and wonderful arts and crafts homes as well as the
    scenery of Australia. The film is loosely based on a true story. The
    only real drawbacks are that it is somewhat predictable and short. Seen
    at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015.

  • rsm-71258December 11, 2015Reply

    Not for young people.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • eddie_bagginsDecember 13, 2015Reply

    A likable and unique Australian tinged road-trip through life and the dusty outback

    One of the great Australian success stories of a very profitable 2015
    for local films, Jeremy Sims Last Cab to Darwin scored over 7 million
    dollars in local box office receipts this year and garnered an equal
    share of critical and audience good will that will likely see it become
    a staple in collections of local film lovers for years to come.

    Adapting Reg Cribb’s successful stage play of the same name and casting
    Australian identity Michael Caton in the role that he portrayed in that
    very play, Sims has done a fine job at transplanting a play into a
    feature length film and his capturing of the dusty plains of outback
    Australia as Caton’s dying cab driver and lonely soul Rex heads off on
    a road trip from South Australia’s Broken Hill to Darwin is one of the
    films highlights.

    But it’s not all smooth sailing for Sim’s as he finds trouble
    maintaining momentum in the film which starts off particularly strong
    and engaging but through a misguided and cliché ridden final act loses
    stem, particularly with a bunch of side characters that feel slightly
    underdeveloped and also far to ”movie like” to feel real.

    Caton delivers what could well be his finest ever moment as Rex a man
    we come to care for in a short period of time and Caton’s experience
    with both comedy and drama serve him well as he balances a nice line
    between humour and pathos. Rex’s journey (which is supposedly based
    around some true events) feels real and emotion filled but with the
    film itself set up for a 2 hour long trip, Rex’s ride to be euthanized
    before cancer slowly kills him gets filled with Mark Coles Smith’s (who
    sadly overplays) lost young man Tilly and Emma Hamilton’s English
    ex-pat Julie’s loving nurse and both these characters while at moments
    help the film along also take a little too much away from the film and
    it would’ve been nice to have seen them play smaller roles and Sims to
    have had more faith in Caton to carry the film along as he was
    seemingly more than up to the task.

    One of the better feel good (and sad) Australian movies in some time,
    The Last Cab to Darwin would be an incredibly hard films to dislike and
    while it never breaks out into being an undeniably standout classic,
    its deserving of its warm reception and likely long standing place in
    the hearts of Australian movie goers that found themselves investing in
    this likable tale of one man’s journey to find himself in world that
    seemingly passed him by.

    3 ½ cat trees out of 5

  • adrossanJanuary 1, 2016Reply

    Give me back my fare…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • David CombsJanuary 3, 2016Reply

    Deeply moving journey through a taboo topic

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • synaptecJanuary 5, 2016Reply

    Boring drawn out politically correct attempted PR for Aussie tourism industry

    This movie is absolute complete and utter garbage.

    Us Aussies, are such great magnanimous, liberal, egalitarian,
    multicultural heroes.

    What can you say when you’re so damn awesome. The main (caucasian)
    character has an aboriginal girlfriend/wife. Wow! How cool is that? But
    that’s not enough here folks. No, no, no .. let’s add a guess what? A
    young male aboriginal, hip talking, almost picked for AFL footy player,
    road trip pal. The casting here is just blowing me away. And just to
    make sure its ”real Aussie”, let’s chuck in Caton and the obligatory
    Weaver. I thought they were both dead already. Oh no, that was the
    referenced Northern Territory euthanasia legislation, 20 somewhat years
    ago. Nothing like a current and topical story. Let’s not forget another
    critical casting component for potential UK tourist appeal; a beer
    pulling babe from London who just happens to be a nurse. Perfect.

    After reading the film’s blurb I was ready for an ”epic journey” where
    Caton ”does things and meets people who force him to re-evaluate his
    life”.

    Having personally suffered for more than 2 hours without morphine, I
    just need to share that I’m going to re-evaluate my life. I’m off to
    contact Lifeline and BeyondBlue, concurrently, via conference call,
    just to be sure. If anything in this review raises similar concerns
    with you or a loved one, please do likewise on 13 11 14 or 1300 22
    4636. And always see your doctor, if pain continues.

  • thenekassyniJanuary 12, 2016Reply

    Good movie

    I’ve read the negative reviews of the movie and it appears they have
    little sympathy for the harsh reality of the film LMAO. If I wanted to
    see a beautiful Australia or doing right to Aborigines I go watch
    nature channel or Crocodile Dundee. The unwillingness to accept the
    fate the movie has bestow to the viewer at front is astonishing mind
    boggling they deserve their own Darwin award.

    The movie is sad, it’s depressing. It’s not going to make you feel good
    aside from the few moments. So if you’re expecting something entirely
    different than what it’s going to give you then you’re going to have to
    join the negative reviewers and grab yourself a Darwin award.

    Whether Rex lives or dies is inconsequential. It’s his denial of his
    life and the people around him that is in question.

    Enjoy the movie. It’s not a great movie but it’s a good movie worth
    watching.

  • christiank7January 12, 2016Reply

    Definitely worth seeing

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ccorral419January 12, 2016Reply

    Working out the issue on a road trip

    Last Cab to Darwin. Making ”The Best of Fest” list at the Palm Spring
    International Film Festival, this touching film out of Australia
    follows Broken Hill taxi driver (Rex – Michael Caton) who spends his
    days in transporting locals to and from, his nights drinking beers with
    his buddies (excellent character actors John Howard, David Field and
    Alan Dukes), and occasionally ending his evenings with his aboriginal
    neighbor Polly (star is born: Nignali Lawford). When he learns he has
    terminal cancer, he leaves everything behind and embarks on 1,865 mile
    road trip to meet a doctor (the always terrific Jacki Weaver – Silver
    Linings Playbook) who has an euthanasia machine. Ready to face the end
    on his own, his road trip forces him to live outside of his box, as he
    picks up a cheery hitchhiker (the very funny Tilly – Mark Coles Smith)
    and bar maid/nurse (Julie – Emma Hamilton). Director Jeremy Sims, along
    with cinematographer Steve Arnold, beautifully capture the outbacks
    appeal and desolation. While Caton, Lawford, Smith and Hamilton are
    relative unknowns in the US, if this film obtains distribution they
    will quickly gain stateside recognition. This road trip movie covers
    plenty of issues, and what better place to work things out then on the
    road.

  • sianydahlingJanuary 22, 2016Reply

    Beautiful heart wrenching film

    I actually signed up to IMDb just to write this review. Having stumbled
    upon this film by accident, I couldn’t have been more moved. Michael
    Caton delivers an Oscar worthy performance that had me in tears
    throughout. In fact the entire cast deliver a completely immersive
    experience that transported me to the Australian outback, in particular
    the actors who played Polly and Tilly.

    And there is no doubt the performances would have shone so brightly
    without an incredible script. The story is one of both joy and sadness
    and despite the fact I hate to cry I just could not stop watching.

    I am a huge fan of the film Australia because of the incredible
    scenery, which is partly why I decided to give this (which I heard
    nothing about) a try. I was not disappointed. Everything about this
    film is beautiful.

  • diggus doggusJanuary 25, 2016Reply

    the trailer cheated me

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Sam DuncanJanuary 30, 2016Reply

    Too long, too boring – Do not watch

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • eladale-90211February 5, 2016Reply

    A very touching slice of life

    Every now and again, a movie strikes home for me. We all suffer loss
    and have fears of the unknown. A movie like Last Cab to Darwin finds a
    way to address both in a palatable, but in a touching, oh-so human way.

    Kudos to the ensemble for the fine acting, wonderful cinematography,
    directing, and imagery invoked in scene after scene. This is an
    intelligent, deeply moving story. The film’s two dimensional
    representations of rural Australia and it’s inhabitants belie the depth
    of this story. These were artfully used as the canvas upon which
    complicated characters and rich allegorical reflections on life were
    illustrated. Any time there seemed to be a cliché developing, it was
    spun into an important insight or revelation.

    Michael Caton’s portrayal of Rex was simply amazing. A good actor’s
    work will be described as believable…realistic. But a performance
    like this one goes beyond believable. You feel like you have always
    known this character personally. He is the workaday everyman. He could
    be your neighbor, an old friend, or a mate from work that you have
    beers with on payday. You are comfortable around him. When he hurts,
    you feel real compassion for him. You share in his feelings of
    fulfillment when he triumphs. Caton takes you along on this ride, not
    by force, but because you don’t want to leave him. He asks for nothing,
    yet the grip of this character is so powerful you can’t turn away from
    him. He is quietly deserving. We want to give to him. He is us, after
    all. We give to him as we would like to give to ourselves.

    See this movie. It’s a gem.

  • RichardAlaba-CineMuseFebruary 11, 2016Reply

    A funny film that can mess with your head about assisted dying

    A widely recognised characteristic of Australian film is our capacity
    to find humour in almost any subject. When people from other places try
    to describe our national character, they use words like larrikin,
    irreverent, or iconoclastic, meaning we like to laugh at ourselves and
    the sacred cows in our patch. So how do you laugh at dying, let alone
    make an Aussie comedy out of a road film that has euthanasia as its
    destination?

    Aussie icons Michael Caton and Jackie Weaver provide the larrikin mix
    of gravitas and humour needed to make a deadly serious issue bearable
    as we share the journey and the end-of-life issues facing the
    terminally ill cab driver Rex. He has never been outside Broken Hill
    and must drive 3,000 kms to Darwin to be the first person who is
    legally assisted to die by Weaver who plays a feminine version of Dr
    Death (as euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke was called). Like in all
    road films, he crosses iconic landscapes and encounters bad things. He
    also meets some beautiful characters like the Pommie backpacker Julie
    who becomes his nurse, a mischievous Aboriginal Peter Pan-type called
    Tilly, and Polly, the Aboriginal neighbour and secret lover he left
    behind but calls regularly. The back story of our nation’s inept
    relationship with the traditional owners of our land frames much of
    Rex’s journey, just as it continues to frame our evolving national
    identity.

    While it is an entertaining Aussie yarn, that’s not its only purpose.
    Superb acting by Caton in particular brings you up close and very
    personal to the emotional and practical challenges of picking a time
    and place to die with dignity. The film can get heavy-handed in the way
    it loads political and moral messages into the story; for example, when
    Tilly yells at Rex ”You think its brave to let someone else do your
    dying for you?” we are confronted with different ways of looking at
    assisted dying. Rex makes it to Darwin only to find medical and legal
    confusion, so things do not turn out as expected. For some, it’s a
    distracting edit to have Rex back home in minutes when it took half the
    film to get there, but perhaps this reflects the truncation of time
    when the time has come. Be warned: this is a film that can mess with
    your head about the complex issue of assisted dying, but it’s an Aussie
    gem well worth the effort.

  • Reno RanganFebruary 14, 2016Reply

    Some discoveries come at the last hours of the life.

    When a movie is based on the play, setting wise it will be a tight
    narration. But the advantage is, movies can expand its screenplay in
    the natural world where stage plays has a limitation with the fake
    backgrounds. And obviously movies can reach any corner of the earth in
    the todays digital world while plays are for a limited live audience.
    So I think that is how this play turned into a motion picture,
    importantly, it was funded by the government and all the above it won a
    couple of Australian Academy Awards.

    It was a cancer themed thin comedy-drama with a little road adventure
    in the backdrop. A story that follows a 70-year-old cab driver Rex from
    Broken Hill. He has never been outside his town until he finds he has a
    cancer, so he takes a 3000 kilometer drive to Darwin looking for a
    doctor who can help him with his suffering. At the dusk hours of his
    life, he encounters some strangers and many stuffs for the first time.
    So this film is all about his final and best experience in the end of
    the life journey.

    I like sentimental films, I chose it because I haven’t felt the
    emotions through my heart for a movie in the recent time. I expected it
    to fulfill my desire, but it only fell short. To me it was a decent
    movie in the first half, but it got better in the next half. The
    opening was kind of slow and dry, the cast was totally unfamiliar to
    me. I needed time to get used to a sudden change of accent after
    watching so many Hollywood flicks. Because you know we don’t watch
    Aussie movies everyday and so the style of comedies differs with the
    different region.

    ”You want everything to be black and white, but it’s not. It’s gray.”

    The best thing ever happened was the introduction of the characters
    Tilly and Julie. One is an aboriginal and the other is a British who
    joins Rex, the Aussie. They are the main source for the story to grow
    in the right direction. Because of them the narration had a subplot to
    focus their perspectives as well. Without them definitely it would have
    been a worthless flick.

    The end was not at its best. It hat many options, but they decided to
    finish it in an uncertain manner. Since it was a road movie, I also
    anticipated exhibition of beautiful Australian landscapes, that never
    came. I understand they don’t want distraction from the main plot,
    because this was one of those films that took time for the characters
    to settle down. Even though it approaches the conclusion, the
    characters had kept deepening in its development.

    My upset with the movie was, it was a quite different from the usual
    cancer films. Precisely to say, it was very weak in the exhibition of
    character feelings. Certainly it won’t make you weep. Just like one of
    the lines at the beginning that says ‘everyone gets cancer’, the movie
    was too casual like this is a regular thing. But the scenario where the
    story sets in and takes us with it was exceptional. I have a hesitation
    to recommend it, but it is a good movie if you’re okay with the thing I
    expressed which are lacking.

    6½/10

  • dracherMarch 9, 2016Reply

    A masterpiece

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • indiekeMay 7, 2016Reply

    A human tale where everybody seems real… except the doctor.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • tomsviewSeptember 17, 2016Reply

    All roads lead to Darwin

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Patrick DoyleOctober 15, 2016Reply

    Lost Me

    This was probably a wonderful film, but when he walked out with his dog
    and the rifle, the assumption was he shot his dog. I was done,
    finished. I quit watching. I can’t support a film that does this. I
    don’t see the point. It does not move the story along, nor does it did
    not contribute to the emotional feel of the movie. 7It was simply a
    pointless exercise. The solution could have been to give it to his
    neighbor. He would have still had an emotional loss. Instead he comes
    across as heartless and selfish. Poor directorial choice. I also feel
    his anger could have been better expressed instead of lashing out at
    his neighbor friend, but that could be the writer. It started well, it
    it a speed bump and left me empty, angry. I took another cab.

  • jmvscotlandDecember 23, 2016Reply

    I had hoped for so much more. Very disappointing

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Sachiel ParadzikApril 2, 2017Reply

    Year 11 English Literature Reflective Review

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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