User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32

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  1. Jan 17, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers. Just a great film. Emotional, dramatic story about two different worlds (Denmark and Africa) and how violence exists in both of them. Great performances, great cinematography, well deserved Oscar (best foreign 2011). One thing that confuses me is the difference between the original title meaning revenge, and the English one. The later makes more sense and gives depth to the story as it opens a different perspective from the obvious one. With it in mind I thought of the movie as a fairy-tale of sort happening in a better world than the one we live in. No matter the dramatic events the film ends with a surprising happy end (just like in a Hollywood movie some would say, hence the Oscar win). In our harsh reality i'm sure the doctor would've been slayed by the warlord when he made demands on him. I mean these are people that butcher pregnant women for fun. Elias would've died - he was just so close to the car when it exploded, Christian would've jumped from the silos roof (cause there wouldn't be Elias's dad, the doc, to save him). Collapse
  2. Aug 20, 2011
    9
    This is beautifully shot film full of talented actors. The core of the story is about revenge: that act of a man which is highly valued in tribal societies but can be also seen as an universal way of coping with rage and honor. Even in so called better world, in quite safe Denmark, sometimes you d think the easiest way is to answer violence with violence, to injustice with injustice. This film can be also seen as essay on masculinity considering the physical power and the ideals of a man as a protector. There are cultures which are focused to maintain a man ´s honor in showing aggression and, in the other hand, there are also cultures which embrace self-confidence and controlling one ´s anger as a sign of strength and high social status. As you can see, individuals raised in those two cultures grown up to be totally different in the way they see the world. And when those cultures face each other there are some questions you should ask: how far you can go with your pacifism in a culture that doesn ´t appreciate that kind of response but see it as a sign of losing ones honor and sometimes, losing one s life? How a man, who has been taught to control his weakness trough destructive behavior which initially leads to the complete destruction of his manhood and humanity, can be seen in a western culture which at least on some level appreciate very much the idea of all men being equal? Are those cultures and societies that emprace that kind of destructive behavior also equal? To put it anohter way: Why should you save the life of a mass murderer? We are living in the time of globalisation and people are truly dealing with those questions when meeting people with different world views and moral responses -it is not just a matter of individual free choice between fear and love, but most importantly: how our children should be raised in this world in order to make it better? How we embrace the culture that makes it easier to forgive, to face one ´s weaknesses and feel empathy to one another? This movie asks hard question and to in order to be able to answer those questions you have to put down your weapons and face your fear, and face the death. If that means to you the same thing as surrending, then you are in the middle of loosing it. Expand
  3. Jun 7, 2011
    9
    movie with an excellent message, touching, inspiring, with a dramatic plot and shows what is currently happening and how hard life is in some places and how to move forward, overcoming problems and people. amazing
  4. Apr 6, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Truly an excellent film which deals with so many important issues (bullying, a child's reaction to a parent's death, infidelity, tribal feuds, medical ethics) in such an artful way. The young male actors are terrific, and all three parents play their roles with such skill and compassion. The visuals in this movie are also outstanding. Several shots took my breath away. Expand
  5. Apr 1, 2011
    10
    I enjoy watching this film, it was amazing story. violence, friendship, love, happiness. great actors, this movie is such Oscar worthy! I love European movies!
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 12, 2011
    88
    Anton has a sad, gentle detachment that allows him to turn the other cheek literally through a series of slaps.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 6, 2011
    75
    Although it starts slowly, the accumulated tension and thematic resonance leaves us breathless.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    May 4, 2011
    88
    A most deserving Oscar winner and a film that could provoke discussion anywhere it is shown, anywhere people of any age are being bullied.