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Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Headhunters stars the talented Aksel Hennie as Roger, a charming scoundrel and Norway's most accomplished headhunter. Roger is living a life of luxury well beyond his means, and stealing art to subsidize his expensive lifestyle. When his beautiful gallery owner wife introduces him to a former mercenary in the possession of an extremely valuable painting, he decides to risk it all to get his hands on it, and in doing so discovers something which makes him a hunted man. [Magnolia Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 26, 2012
    90
    Headhunters is a dark adult entertainment, a wild and bloody adrenaline rush of a movie that deals in gleeful grotesqueness and over-the-top implausibilities.
  2. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Apr 27, 2012
    85
    The film has some fairly grisly violence, but also considerable humor and the sort of intricate, thought-through storytelling you'd expect from Hitchcock or the Coen brothers.
  3. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    May 4, 2012
    80
    Headhunters is admirably swift in style, and dangerously silly in what it begs us to swallow, but at its heart is a consummate depiction of a permanent type - the proud and prickly male, thrown back on his desperate wits. Small may not be beautiful, but it lives.
  4. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    May 3, 2012
    75
    My main quibble is that the ending is a bit softer than I might have hoped for, but don't let that dissuade you. Headhunters is a well-oiled, nasty machine.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    May 11, 2012
    75
    Headhunters has less in common with the somber, brooding tone of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" than the cheeky black comedy "In Bruges."
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 10, 2012
    63
    It's crisp entertainment even as plot absurdities gum up the works.
  7. Reviewed by: Paul MacInnes
    Apr 9, 2012
    40
    The film doesn't merit chinstroking: it's stuffed with Troma-style riffs around schlock, gore and human effluvia, bookended by Shallow Grave-like sections full of cynical machinations. The parts barely relate, never mind work together.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. May 8, 2012
    10
    Definitely the most entertaining movie I have seen this year. It was an edge-of-your-seat, roller coaster ride of a movie. Thrilling and funny in an OMG - I can't believe this is happening kind of way, I highly recommend this movie. Expand
  2. Jul 22, 2012
    10
    What a great movie. I guess this will be the Norwegian entry for the Academy Awards. Very good story, fast, intelligent, very good lead actor, wonderful performances in general. Sure it's all about that special thing in the motion picture industry, I guess this Director has just built his ..., it starts with an 'r' ;) Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2012
    9
    Movie makes you care about main character with great cast, thrilling story and intense moments and then delivers a satisfying conclusion. Recommended for the fans of recent Girl with the dragon tattoo Expand
  4. Apr 28, 2012
    9
    A must-see pulpy film with a great story, extreme violence, and lively comedy. If you're a fan of Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones, you'll love his role in Headhunters. I won't spoil the plot here, but I'll say that I could hear half the audience whispering with their partners about the plot machinations as the film progressed. Lots going on, and great fun. But again, if you're not ready for extremely graphic violence (bloody mayhem, etc.), you might need to take a pass. Expand
  5. Aug 31, 2012
    8
    A very well made European film that was made on a small budget, with some very impressive cinematography, good written story by Jo nesbo and top notch casting make this a must watch. Expand
  6. Jun 23, 2012
    8
    A Scandinavian shade of dark carefully panned thriller, with a number of ever escalating and unimaginable twists and turns, keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Unless you are averse to films with subtitles, watch it before you are faced with the dilemma of choosing the unavoidable glossy Hollywood remake. Expand
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    7
    A slick Norwegian thriller from director Morten Tyldum, HEADHUNTERS is a thoroughly gripping and spanking high-octane cat-mouse game (magnificent suspense enhancer), which is goodly on a par with any of its qualified Hollywood counterparts (a US remake is already on the process). An obnoxiously premise always forebodes something ominous is looming in the air, a vertically challenged headhunter (the same height as mine, I feel so blessed I’m not living in Scandinavian region) whose clandestine identity is a painting thieve, lives an (almost) perfect life, the ostensible glitch is the reluctance to have a baby with his tall and sultry wife (who is a gallery owner), so what is the purpose to find a towering wife if he doesn’t want any offspring to offset his genetic shortcoming? The prompt reason is fertility malfunction, which actually is not the case at all. In fact, a probable financial quandary is the latent menace which will overturn his plush lifestyle so when an opportunity arrives unwittingly, he decides to make his final job, which could set him free of his past and guarantee an opulent future, against an intimidating alpha-male (ex marine and tracking expert), then of course things will slide down to a nightmare he has never imagined, after the travails of narrow escapes from death, remarkably he is able to shift from the victim to a plotter and eventually defeats his enemy, gets away with the law and revitalize his relationship with his wife, an overtly optimistic happy-ending. The film consistently registers the fast-paced rhythm running around an over-manipulated plot, including many shock-value stunts which craftily exerted (an unexpected come-back-from-the-dead upset, the cesspit hiding, and the gruesome aftermath of a police vehicle careening off the cliff, etc.), but in order to pull off a thorny come-clean turnabout, if giving a considerable amount of time to muse on after the viewing, many plot-holes will betray (not everything can be pigeonholed as a fluke in the spiderweb of meticulous criminal activities), and unexplained loopholes are glaring enough to an extent which would categorically diminish the frisson which one could apprehend first-hand. Leading man Aksel Hennie delivers a dynamic momentum in his physically-racked bullet-avoiding incubus, and confidently evokes an anti-hero aura which would otherwise be running against the audience’s conscience. The Hollywood-struggling Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (from GAME OF THRONES series and Jessica Chastain-vehicled horror feature MAMA 2013) is ill-starred as the villain, largely sidelined except his virile extravaganza (the final face-off is a major let-down). Two female characters are ambivalently written here, one is to keep the scheme as misty as possible and another is simply garnished as an additional action gadget to the main course.

    So, although the film may feel tainted after a second viewing (which I may politely bypass), there is some genuine novelty and sufficient workmanship in the making, and inasmuch as there are two things we cannot defy, one is the gravity and another is a writer’s block, let’s overlook the elephant in the room and cherish an adrenalin-driven adventure.
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See all 19 User Reviews

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