Australia may be on the path to recovery and lifting lockdowns nationwide, but we’re not out of the woods just yet. Many of us are still required to spend time at home, and while we may have to spend much of the day working on the computer, it certainly affords us more time tp spend in front of the TV.
But while many places and publications will recommend the best TV shows and movies to watch on the likes of Netflix and Stan, SBS On Demand has some infectious content of its own for your viewing pleasure. The publically-funded Australian TV network offers a number of TV shows and movies to watch completely free of charge, and the selection on offer is on constant rotation, so there’s always something new to find.
Content is specially curated too, so some decent thought has gone into what you’re presented with, so we suspect you’ll easily be able to find a new favourite (just make sure you sign up for a free account first).
There’s over 7,000 hours worth of content to choose from, but we’ve picked out some of the best movies that caught our eye, to take a little bit of stress away from this global situation.
Once Upon A Time In America
The final film to come from the mastermind of Spaghetti Westerns Sergio Leone, this epic crime drama starring Robert De Niro and James Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest gangster films ever made, with its plot spanning several decades as it plots the childhood of De Niro's character "Noodles" and his eventual rise to superiority within the world of New York City's organised crime.
A Private Function
Heading over to England now and A Private Function, a laugh-a-minute comedy starring Dame Maggie Smith and Michael Palin. The duo star as a husband and wife team who, in 1940s Yorkshire and strict food rationing, plot to steal a pig being raised for an illegal party in celebration of Princess Elizabeth's marriage to Prince Philip.
The Girl In The Fog
Based on the book of the same name, this thriller, set in an Italian mountain village, follows a detective sent to said village to investigate the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old girl. As the title suggests, she has been consumed by fog, and, as any great thriller story reveals, not everything is at it seems.
This 2010 winner of Best Film at the Asian Film Awards follows the story of a mother's quest to prove her mentally disabled son's innocence, after he is arrested for the murder of a young girl in South Korea.
This 1996 classic sees Woody Harrelson star as a highly accomplished bowler who, after participating in some illicit activities, is stripped of his fame. He then recruits a protege to help carry out his schemes instead.
IMDB: 6.9/10 6.9/10
For double the psychological thrills, treat your eyeballs to this 1988 movie starring Jeremy Irons in the role of identical twin gynaecologists who sleep with their patients, however, the female clients are unaware they are passed between both brothers. When the more sensitive twin begins to fall for one of the patients, it begins to sour his relationship with his brother.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of 2018, this South Korean psychological mystery drama follows a deliveryman, Jongsu, who is introduced to a friend, Ben, his childhood friend, Jun, met on a trip to Africa. The film then follows what happens after Ben tells Jongsu about his unusual hobby.
Set in the Australian outback in the 1880s, The Proposition sees a lawman captured and forced to kill his older brother, or risk having his younger brother killed instead.
This Icelandic comedy follows the story of two brothers who haven't spoken to each other in 40 years. Each has their own flock of sheep to tend to, but when an infection takes over their town, they need to decide between their longstanding feud or the survival of their flocks. This 2015 movie has since been remade in 2020, with New Zealand actor Sam Neil in a starring role.
For some laughs, why not check out this Spanish black comedy that follows a cabaret performer who must find refuge...and settles on a convent of nuns.
This British film unites Jude Law and Richard E. Grant as a pair of best friends, with the former heading out to seek payback for spending time in jail for his boss, Ivan Fontaine.
This 2011 drama features an all-star cast and focuses on how a Wall Street investment bank deals with the 2007-08 financial crisis, over a 24-hour period.
If you're a fan of period dramas, Anonymous could be for you. It's a fictionalised version of the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who claims to be the actual author of William Shakespeare's plays.
The Best Offer
This psychological thriller follows Geoffrey Rush's character Virgil Oldman, an antiques dealer, who falls in love with a young heiress, and has his art collection stolen in the process.
The Way Of The Dragon
SBS has added a few Bruce Lee movie's to its library recently, but it's The Way Of The Dragon that we've picked out. The only movie that Bruce Lee directed himself, this action-comedy also features legendary hard man Chuck Norris in his movie debut.
All Quiet On The Western Front
Based on the 1928 novel of the same name, this movie adaptation follows a young soldier as he's sent off to fight in WWI. It goes on to examine the mental stress he faces and the dissociation with regular life when he returns home.
The Running Man
Strongman Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this 1987 dystopian action movie, which sees his character given the chance of freedom from jail. He just needs to win a survival game show first.
Cloverfield was subject to a highly effective viral marketing campaign before its eventual release in 2008. It falls into the monster film genre, as it follows five NYC residents are their flee from a huge monster terrorising the city.