Movie Review: The Guilty (2018)

I don’t envy those doing police work. I salute them for doing it, but I don’t envy them.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Guilty”.

Asger (Jakob Cedergren) is a police officer who’s been assigned to alarm dispatch duty. However, things get a bit extra complicated when he gets a call from a woman who has been kidnapped. So it’s up to Asger to try to find a way to save this woman before something bad happens to her (you know, other than being kidnapped). And I can already hear some of you saying “Gee willikers, Mr. Markus, this sure sounds an awful lot like a Halle Berry movie from a few years back”. And to that I say, that is a fair comparison on a surface level. But digging deeper, this is a different kind of flick. This is a thriller that builds its suspense from its limitations. All we get is Asger in his office, talking on the phone, and occasionally reacting to them. It has kind of a Hitchcockian vibe to it. And I think it’s all handled wonderfully.

Jakob Cedergren plays Asger Holm, the policeman at the center of the story who’s been assigned alarm dispatch duty. He has kind of a working class man kinda vibe that instantly made me somewhat feel for him, as he didn’t feel like the typical movie protagonist. And seeing him go through the troubles of trying to help this woman, without being able to really leave his desk, it is absolutely riveting. And Cedergren is fantastic in the role. The people he talks to on the phone too does very well in their roles.

What is interesting about the music in this movie is that there is pretty much none. There is a bit of a droning track at the credits, but throughout the movie, there is nothing. And I commend the filmmakers for showing such restraint. You guys know me, I love me a good musical score in a movie. But here I felt like it wouldn’t work as well. It would’ve taken something away from the situation if you had suspenseful brass and jumpy strings playing the background. But yeah, the lack of music here I think worked wonderfully.

This movie was written by Gustav Möller and Emil Nygaard Albertsen, with Möller also serving as director. And holy fucking shit, did they knock it out of the park. As I mentioned, the plot in itself is handled in a really solid way, so there’s the writing aspect dealt with. But Möller’s direction here i tight as all hell, increasing the unease and tension with every scene, without resorting to stupid cliches. We’re always stuck in the room with Asger, so building the suspense wasn’t an easy task… but god damn, did they pull it off. And Jasper Spanning’s cinematography was suitably claustrophobic, adding to the experience.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. And on it has a score of 7,5/10.

You’d think someone sitting at a desk for 80 minutes wouldn’t make for a compelling movie… but “The Guilty” proves that wrong. It has a great plot, a really good character, some great performances, and some fantastic writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Guilty” is a 9,90/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Guilty” is now completed.

Sometimes less is more.

Movie Review: Flame & Citron (2008)

Vive la resistance? I don’t fucking know.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Flame & Citron”.

The story follows two Danish resistance fighters known as Flame (Thure Lindhardt) and Citron (Mads Mikkelsen) as they battle nazis in Denmark during the second world war. But as they do their mission(s) of taking out nazi targets, they soon find themselves doubting their mission and who their allies/enemies might be. So now we have a pseudo-spy-drama set in WW2 Denmark. And it’s actually quite an enthralling plot, taking several interesting twists and turns while still keeping it fairly simple and straightforward. My only flaw with the plot is that the pacing drags a little bit at times. It’s not often it happens and it’s not a total deal-breaker, but it does bring it down a little bit. But overall it is a really good plot.

The characters here are flawed, layered, and quite interesting. Thure Lindhardt plays Flame, the titular resistance fighter whose mission it is to kill nazis. He goes through a lot of shit in this movie, portraying all kinds of emotions. And Lindhardt is great in the role. Mads Mikkelsen plays the other title character, Citron (AKA Lemon, but shut up), and as you would expect, he’s great in the role… he’s Mads Mikkelsen, he’s always great. Stine Stengade plays a woman that Flame meets and gets to know throughout the movie, and she’s great in the role. Christian Berkel plays a very important nazi here, and he’s great in the role. Overall it is a very well acted movie filled with solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Karsten Fundal and it is great. It’s dramatic, tense, slightly haunting, and just really beautiful. It really helped elevate a lot of scenes in the movie, whether it was adding tension or making something a little more emotional. Truly great stuff.

This movie was directed by Ole Christian Madsen and I think he did a great job here. His direction is surprisingly stylish for this type of movie, but it never takes away from more quiet and serious moments. And it does look really good, showing that there’s a good eye behind the camera. The movie also has a couple of action scenes throughout, and while they’re stylized in some ways, they aren’t the overly flashy things that you often see in Hollywood movies. They’re really exciting and badass, with the final big action scene being especially riveting.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Flame & Citron” is a pretty damn good historical thriller. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Like I said earlier, my only flaw with it is that the pacing slightly drags at one or two points. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Flame & Citron” is a 9,33/10. So while slightly flawed, it is still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Flame & Citron” is now completed.

We’re going to be doing one thing, and one thing only… killing nazis!