True History of the Kelly Gang

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Hero to some, outlaw to others, Kelly (George MacKay) throws a long shadow over a specific period of Australian history. Spanning his life from his younger years to the time leading up to his death, the film explores the story behind this legendary figure. Nurtured by the notorious bushranger Harry Power (Russell Crowe) and fuelled by the unfair arrest of his mother (Essie Davis), Kelly recruits a wild bunch of warriors to plot a campaign of anarchy and rebellion that will grip the entire country. Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and son.


  • George MacKay
  • Ben Corbett
  • Orlando Schwerdt
  • Charlie Hunnam
  • Essie Davis
  • Claerwen Brown
  • Asmara Feik
  • Mo Scott
  • Winona Keegan
  • Brett Peachey

Did You Know?


  • Heath Ledger and Mick Jagger have played previous incarnations of the Ned Kelly historical figure in Australian movie adaptations.
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  • The film depicts Kelly being apprenticed to Harry Power at age eleven. In real life Kelly was fifteen when he began working with Power.
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    • Ned Kelly: We're the Kelly gang now!
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Atom User Reviews

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Apr 24, 2020

The script has enough sexual pathology humming under the hood to stoke sufficient curiosity about the depths of Kelly‘s strangeness. It doesn’t exploit these ideas nearly enough, though it makes up for that lack with a carnival of likable faces: Hunnam, McKay, Nicholas Hoult, the rising star Thomasin McKenzie.

K. Austin Collins
Vanity Fair
Sep 10, 2019

The Robin Hood-like renegade hero of the Antipodean common man, Ned Kelly gets a ripping reinvention in director Justin Kurzel's feverish punk Western, a raw rebel yell of a movie that combines visceral violence with a kind of delirious, scrappy poetry.

Metacritic review by David Rooney
David Rooney
The Hollywood Reporter
Sep 10, 2019

While the emotional intensity and somewhat protracted narrative can be exhausting, in visual terms the film is a tour de force, steeped in blood, dust and squalor.

Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily