Entertainment

15 Shows to Watch on Netflix That Highlight Indigenous Australians

Settle in.

Netflix have released their NAIDOC Week Watchlist and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Seeing mainstream representation for Aboriginal culture is fantastic, and it’s honestly about time.

Netflix have added some incredible films and television shows that follow Aboriginal stories, celebrate Aboriginal actors and filmmakers and tackle some of the issues that have existed in our country for so long.

Here are 15 must-see titles to watch this NAIDOC Week.

Beneath Clouds | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Beneath Clouds

Lena, who grew up in a dysfunctional family, runs away from her isolated life and befriends a Murri teenager.

Bran Nue Dae | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Bran Nue Day

After running away from Catholic boarding school, an Australian teenager embarks on a life-changing musical road-trip.

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

A biracial man struggles to find a place in colonial Australia, but after he’s rebuffed by white society he decides to retaliate.

Goldstone | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Goldstone

In the Australian outback, an Indigenous cop on a missing persons case unearths a trafficking ring and runs afoul of political-industrial interests.

In My Blood it Runs | Movie session times & tickets, reviews, trailers |  Flicks.com.au
Photo: Netflix

In My Blood It Runs

A bright Arrernte boy struggles in his Western-style school, where teachers mock his culture. This documentary follows his family’s fight for his future.

Mad Bastards | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Mad Bastards

Tough men try to do right by their families when TJ travels across northwestern Australia to the Kimberley region to track down his son Bullet.

Netflix Acquires Groundbreaking Western Australian Indigenous Documentary, Our  Law - Accessreel.com
Photo: Netflix

Our Law

At a police station run by indigenous people in Australia, two officers try to learn the local language and culture to effectively patrol the community.

The Sapphires | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

The Sapphires

Sisters Gail, Cynthia and Julie have talent, but their career takes off when promoter Dave convinces them to tour for the U.S troops in Vietnam.

Satellite Boy | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Satellite Boy

When Pete learns that developers plan to buy the land where he lives, he and a friend set off on an epic journey in the hopes of saving his home.

Sweet Country | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Sweet Country

In 1920’s Australia, an aboriginal farmland kills a white man in self-defence, then flees into the Outback, where he is pursued by a determined lawman.

Toomelah | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Toomelah

A boy longs to stand out in his economically depressed community. But when the man he emulates is challenged by a rival, he must reevaluate his life.

The Tracker: The Movie Show Review | SBS Movies
Photos: Netflix

The Tracker

A mysterious tracker must find a fugitive on the run, with three mounted white policemen following closely behind.

Walkabout | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Walkabout

Horrific consequences strand two siblings in the Australian Outback, where they’re found by a local boy who helps them return to their city.

Wrong Kind of Black | Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Wrong Kind of Black

In 1970s Melbourne, a DJ named Boori Monty Pryor and his brother Paul navigate racial tensions and police encounters amid disco and discrimination.

Yolngu Boy - Where to Watch and Stream - TV Guide
Photo: Netflix

Yolngu Boy

Two Aboriginal teenagers risk their own future to save their troubled childhood friend by joining him on a 300-mile journey through Australia.

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Entertainment

'Top Gun: Maverick' Is the Perfect Adrenaline Rush

Tom Cruise's sequel brings the charms of the original classic into the modern era.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

What does it take to make a great action drama? Fighter jets. Kenny Loggins music. Tom Cruise. In 1986, Top Gun, perhaps the ultimate “guys being dudes” action movie set within a training school for the Navy’s best fighter pilots, patented this formula, and added in a bunch of sweaty guys playing beach volleyball and an iconic love scene to seal the deal. Top Gun‘s massive popularity made the announcement of a sequel seem the most natural thing in the world, if not the most exciting: an elder Tom Cruise handing the reins off to a new generation of elite actors. If that’s what you’re expecting, you’re in for a surprise. Top Gun is a classic. Top Gun: Maverick does everything Top Gun did and more.

It’s been thirty-six years since Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) completed his TOPGUN program, but he’s far from the decorated officer he was destined to become by the end of the first movie. He’s dodged every promotion he could dodge, working as a test pilot flying hypersonic stealth jets for the military, but the specter of unmanned drones looms ever closer, spelling the end for an entire era of warfare. Not so fast, though-Maverick is called back to a certain fighter training school as an instructor, tasked with putting together a team of the best of the best to complete a bombing run involving some absurdly complex flying maneuvers at high speed much too close to the ground in enemy territory. If you will, an impossible mission.

The new crop of airmen, now flying F/A-18 Hornets instead of F-14 Tomcats, are kids in Maverick’s eyes, and he shows up to teach them what’s what, inventing training exercises to test their mettle and teach them how to fly as a team. It’s not going to be easy, with the egos of pilots like “Hangman” (Glen Powell), “Fanboy” (Danny Ramirez), “Coyote” (Greg Tarzan Davis) and “Phoenix” (Monica Barbaro) repeatedly clashing as they struggle to work together. And there are two more problems: He only has a few weeks to train these kiddos up to fly a mission from which they might not all return, and one of his students, sullen Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), is the son of Maverick’s old flying partner Goose, who tragically died in the first movie. Not to mention reconnecting with an old flame, single mother Penny (Jennifer Connelly), who manages the local bar and is not about to fall yet again for a guy who’s left her more than once. You see where this is going.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The movie begins with a collection of the greatest hits of its predecessor, including but not limited to a montage of jets landing on an aircraft carrier lit by the golden light of the sun, Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” and Maverick defying orders to do something with an aircraft that nobody’s ever done before. This is, after all, a movie that will have more than a few similarities to the one that came before. After that, though, the engines kick into gear (I apologize if this car metaphor doesn’t also work for planes), and Top Gun: Maverick starts to try out a few new tricks.

The interpersonal relationships between the characters are fun and fully realized (Maverick’s perpetual battle of egos with his commanding officer, a Vice Admiral known as “Cyclone” (Jon Hamm) is a highlight) and there’s just enough downtime between white-knuckle action to really get to know everyone. The sweaty beach game returns, but the macho posturing is toned down, given that we live in a new millennium and one of the main pilots is a woman. Val Kilmer reprises his “Iceman” for a touching scene. All of this is complemented by unbelievable flying sequences that will genuinely leave you breathless, each lightning-fast dogfight game and training simulation grander and faster than the last. This is the type of film to see as big and loud as possible.

But, as the original was, Top Gun: Maverick is also simply a straight-up great time at the movies. It makes the act of being a good movie look like the easiest thing in the world, with director Joseph Kosinski showing off everything he’s got. (Yes, you should give Tron: Legacy another shot.) Because “the enemy” is never named, as in the first movie, it is comfortably apolitical (if you disregard the fact that the jets Maverick eventually goes up against are Russian, and what a boon the original Top Gun was for U.S. military recruitment programs), and even though the whole movie is working towards a life-or-death wartime mission, it never forgets that its purpose is to thrill and excite. Great action movies aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Like a good wingman, Top Gun: Maverick swoops in to save the day.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

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