A Hijacking

A Hijacking Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

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  • Summary: After hijacking the crew of a Danish cargo ship, Somali pirates engage in tense and lengthy negotiations with officials in Copenhagen.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    A Hijacking is Lindholm’s second feature as director; he’s also worked with such austere Danes as Thomas Vinterberg of Dogme 95 fame. What he’s learned, it seems, is how to strip away distractions, and let character become suspense, as well as destiny.
  2. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Mar 18, 2013
    100
    The film isn’t a white knuckle ride, and the pacing can be slow at times, but this is one of those cases where that’s sort of the point, and you certainly don’t begrudge it. A Hijacking is an absorbing, highly moving film.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 12, 2013
    88
    Director Lindholm is a graduate of the Dogma school, and he is able to maintain tension with a documentary camera technique, virtually no music and minimal on-screen theatrics.
  4. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    Hostage thrillers are all-too-often shrill affairs, with clock-watching screenwriters wringing maximum melodrama from spiraling disorder. Not so Tobias Lindholm’s superb A Hijacking, which actually grows more chillingly subdued as its nightmare scenario unfolds.
  5. 80
    It’s an unshowy, quietly intense drama with grace notes in every scene — and a hellish punch.
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    May 14, 2013
    80
    It’s actually a ruthlessly plausible thriller, stripped clean of music and melodrama, and all the more engrossing for it.
  7. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    May 14, 2013
    60
    A Hijacking’ is gripping in the way the best Danish TV is – in its no-frills authenticity.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Apr 17, 2016
    10
    I saw this in the cinema and it was sickeningly tense and felt very real. It shows the impact on the crew and the executives negotiating forI saw this in the cinema and it was sickeningly tense and felt very real. It shows the impact on the crew and the executives negotiating for their return, and it was fascinating seeing the business behind a hijacking, on both the hijackers' and the shipping company's sides. A very lean, well constructed film. Superior to the similar film Captain Phillips, which was also good but a little too cliched. Expand
  2. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    The suspense is not just carried out between the hijacked ship crew and their captors, but also back at shipping HQ where the CEO declinesThe suspense is not just carried out between the hijacked ship crew and their captors, but also back at shipping HQ where the CEO declines advice to use an outside negotiator and instead installs himself as the mouthpiece in direct talks with the "translator" of the Somali pirates. It's nail biting stuff. Expand
  3. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    Director Lindholm, a graduate of the Dogma school, creates such immense tension without the use of time-watching techniques and otherDirector Lindholm, a graduate of the Dogma school, creates such immense tension without the use of time-watching techniques and other on-screen antics prominent in other hijacking films, in an absorbing and carefully woven thriller that focuses on emotion as seen from the eyes of one victim (the chef) and the CEO of the shipping company. It must also be noted that the very same guy, in the capacity of a screenwriter penned two of my favourite films of 2013, this one and ‘The Hunt’. Expand
  4. Nov 4, 2013
    8
    A very well-acted film, thanks to its two leads. It avoids any action movie cliches, in favor of the drama and thriller of the negotiationA very well-acted film, thanks to its two leads. It avoids any action movie cliches, in favor of the drama and thriller of the negotiation process, and the toll it takes on everybody involved. Expand
  5. Jun 24, 2013
    8
    A Danish movie which is not an action movie as it's name might suggest but rather a suspense movie.

    A cargo ship is taken over by Somali
    A Danish movie which is not an action movie as it's name might suggest but rather a suspense movie.

    A cargo ship is taken over by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.
    Ransom negotiations between the pirates and the company owner are the focus of the movie.

    Acting of two leads is superb. I think it's another Oscar contender.
    Expand
  6. Nov 4, 2013
    8
    "A Hijacking" features excellent performances from two protagonists, delivered in an unflinching fashion that lays out the scenario, and"A Hijacking" features excellent performances from two protagonists, delivered in an unflinching fashion that lays out the scenario, and simply allows the raw emotions to transpire on their own. The timing of the release on Blu-Ray coincides with the theatrical release of "Captain Phillips," which stars Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass. The films both tell the same story of cargo freighters hijacked by Somali pirates who seek millions in ransom. Aside from the similar subject matter however, the two films could not be any more different. "Captain Phillips" is an appealing action thriller concerned with presenting a satisfying, pulse-pounding conclusion for its audience. "A Hijacking" is a tense, grounded-in-reality based drama without the sense of comfort of a predetermined finale.

    A Danish cargo ship named the "MV Rozen" is en route to Mumbai when Somali renegades gain control of the vessel and demand millions for the return of the ship’s seven-man crew. Negotiations ensue between the corporate office and the pirates that follow the give-and-take of everyday business deals, with one important difference. In this case, the goods are human beings. Shot with handheld cameras, the movie cross-cuts between two perspectives: the captured vessel’s cook Mikkel Hartmann (Pilou Asbæk), and the maritime company’s hands-on CEO Peter Ludvigsen (Søren Malling).

    At the outset, the two characters share a common interest, but as the bartering drags on for months, the uncertainty of an outcome takes these two men in very different directions. Danish director/writer Tobias Lindholm perfectly balances the dual psyche of the captive Mikkel and corporate CEO Peter, two psychologically exhausted protagonists in remarkably different ways. A tense, slowly unwinding ticking-clock drama this may be, but the film is as much a character study, both the powerful and the subordinate, existing under extreme duress with life or death consequences attached to their decisions.

    The film isn't a white knuckle ride and the pacing is slow at times, but this is one of the cases where that’s exactly the point. Lindholm's account of a contemporary piracy situation doesn't offer the commercial appeal of "Captain Phillips," but it is nonetheless completely engaging and riveting material. There could have been several predictable avenues taken by Lindholm when telling this harrowing tale of survival and perseverance, but instead he charts into unexpected territory, and delivers real drama.
    Expand
  7. Dec 4, 2013
    3
    A drama movie can be saved by a good cinematography, a good plot or even good acting, this movie is below average on all.
    I'm European and it
    A drama movie can be saved by a good cinematography, a good plot or even good acting, this movie is below average on all.
    I'm European and it doesn't hurt me to say our movies are quite inferior on many levels to the american ones. 'A Hijacking' is a perfect example.

    Plot/Story 3
    Fails completely to make the viewer empathize with the situation, the time passage is very poorly organized. If for some reason you are not paying much attention to the movie timeline, you will feel like a week as passed, when in fact it was months, and this is bad since this movie is essentially about the drama of time passage in a hijacking situation.
    The characters are like empty shells where "random" drama was inserted, they fail to make the viewer empathize with their problems.

    Acting 4
    Most of the time the acting was below average, sometimes with very bad acting.

    Cinematography 3
    Nothing interesting in it, it didn't gave a sense of anything, it added nothing to the movie.

    A drama that fails at being dramatic, a suspense that isn't suspenseful, it's just a story, its up to you if you want to hear it or not.
    Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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