Baltasar Kormákur – Mýrin aka Jar City (2006)


Mýrin is based on a best-selling novel by Arnaldur Indriðason.
While a desperate, young father tries to find out what led to the death of his five year old girl, Inspector Erlendur investigates the murder of an elderly loner in a run-down basement flat. The investigation takes an unexpected turn when forensic evidence leads him on a trail of the past. Continue reading

Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen – Izzat (2005)


Izzat paints an image of Oslo, Norway’s capital, and its crime-environment in the mid-90’s. We follow Wasim and his involvement in Eastside Crew, the crime-gang mostly consisting of second-generation Pakistanis in Norway. What makes this movie extra special, is the realness of it all. Based on actual events, the film marks a flashy debut for Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, the director. Continue reading

Morten Tyldum – Hodejegerne aka Headhunters (2011)


Plot / Synopsis

Roger Brown is Norway’s most successful headhunter. The unscrupulous Brown leads a life of excess and finances his extravagance by way of dangerous art thefts. When he meets the Dutchman Clas Greve he sees the chance to become financially independent and starts planning his biggest hit ever. But soon he runs into trouble–and it’s not financial problems that are threatening to bring him down this time.
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Niels Arden Oplev – Män som hatar kvinnor AKA Men Who Hate Women AKA The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)


Engaging, suspenseful, well-acted, atmospheric, and technically well-made Swedish thriller, based on the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (which I have not read; Clichés and little originality notwithstanding, there is a certain freshness to the proceedings, and the film is one of the better Swedish entries in the genre. The movie contains a couple of very disturbing and intense scenes that linger in the mind. While the ending makes the film feel slightly too long, it also ties up a few loose ends quite nicely. Michael Nyqvist convincingly portrays Mikael Blomkvist, but his character is underdeveloped; Noomi Rapace is excellent and memorable as Lisbeth Salander; in a smaller role, Peter Andersson is appropriately disgusting and slimy as Nils Bjurman. Sure-handed direction by Niels Arden Oplev.
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Thomas Vinterberg – Submarino (2010)



Two siblings who grew up in a dysfunctional household pass their damage along to those around them in this drama from Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg. Nick (Jacob Cedergren) was raised by a mother with serious drinking problems who inflicted physical and emotional cruelty on her children. Now in his early thirties, Nick is an ex-con who has his own problems with alcohol and little sense of direction in his life. Back on the streets after a stay in jail, Nick lives in a shabby hostel, has an on-again, off-again relationship with Sofie (Patricia Schumann), whose alcoholism has cost her custody of her children, lifts weights and sometimes looks in on Ivan (Morten Rose), the troubled brother of a girl he one loved. Meanwhile, Nick’s younger brother (Peter Plaugborg) has his own demons; he’s a heroin addict who is running out of ways to finance his habit, and while he loves his young son Martin (Gustav Fischer Kjaerulff), managing his habit and looking after his child are more than he can manage at the same time. Adapted from the novel by Jonas T. Bengtsson, Submarino was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.allmovie Continue reading

Erik Poppe – Schpaaa aka Bunch of Five (1998)

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Jonas and Emir are members of a criminal gang of 14-15 year-olds in Oslo. Emir has slight brain-damage after being beaten by his father as a 5-year-old, and Jonas’ biggest problem is stopping Emir from hitting people on the head. One day, they are offered a job by a gang of drug-dealers: Deliver a packet of heroin to one guy and beat up another. This is the start of a chain of events that sends their lives spiraling out of control. Continue reading

Agneta Fagerström-Olsson – Studio Sex (2012)


Annika Bengtzon is working as a summer intern at the newspaper Kvällspressen. Assigned to screening crank phone calls on the tip line in hopes of getting an occasional valid news break, Annika receives an anonymous tip about the nude corpse of a young girl in a public park. The girl has been raped and killed. Annika provides a strong story that earns her accolades from her boss.As the plot develops, the focus of the investigation shifts from the victim’s lover, the owner of the upscale sex club where she worked, to an important government minister who keeps a secret apartment near the park. Delving into the bureaucrat’s alibi, Annika discovers that he is somehow involved in the cover up of the reappearance of a missing archive that could shake the foundation of the ruling Social Democrats, concerning an illegal espionage operation long since disbanded. Continue reading