Flame & Citron (2008) Poster

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7/10
Neo-noirish WW2 drama about few Danish resistance fighters
Davor Blazevic25 December 2010
Another good movie, occasionally but steadily coming from Denmark, Flammen & Citronen (Flame and Citron, 2008), not necessarily belonging to the genre, but still shot in a good old film-noir style ("black-and-white" detective or other crime stories, a film genre with its hey-days back in 1940's and 1950's, nevertheless kept alive over the years, having its newer "offsprings" often related to as neo-noir, with the latest solid follower of the style, Shanghai (2010), American product directed by another filmmaker from Danish Scandinavian neighbourhood, Mikael Håfström from Sweden), based on the historically true story (with all the necessary fictional cinematic alternations) about the title hit-man and his driver, two among, apparently, very few but still existent resistance fighters in Nazi occupied Denmark, targeting at first only Danish collaborators, subsequently ordered to liquidate Germans, and, eventually, hit-man's girlfriend, getting themselves (and spectators along) ultimately confused in who their friends and foes are...
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8/10
Powerful, Intense & Disorienting
Howard Vause24 October 2008
Based on a true story, this twisting tale of two second world war folk heroes of the Danish resistance unfolds with noir-ish intrigue. Atmospherically photographed on a fat budget, the film looks stunning but retains a gritty period realism.

The performances are universally strong and there is a real chemistry between the two central characters; Mads Mikkelsens' quirky Citronen, a twitching, sweaty bundle of amphetamine-fuelled nervous energy and his sole ally, the flame-haired, but relatively cool-headed Flammen (Thure Lindhardt).

This is a war film - but the war we experience here has a dreamlike, claustrophobic quality. This is a world of lies, paranoia and spiralling violence which threatens to erode our heroes moral certainty and destroy their sanity.

A buddy movie with echoes of "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" (without the jokes); "Bonnie & Clyde" (but with swastikas). There's even a little "Naked Lunch" thrown into the mix.

The first film I've seen by director Madsen has left me intrigued, impressed and hungry for more. Recommended 8.5/10
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9/10
Exceptional...
MartinHafer29 March 2010
This film about the Danish resistance reminded me an awful lot of Jean-Pierre Melville's brilliant film "L'armée des Ombres" (Army of Shadows), as both were true stories about the resistance to Nazi occupation and were great because they were well acted and without a lot of frills. Good, crisp direction, exceptional tension and excellence throughout--that's how I'd describe both films.

The title of the film comes from nicknames given to two famous resistance fighters who specialized in assassinations--mostly of Danish collaborators but also, occasionally, Nazis. What made this all so interesting is that after a while, it really became uncertain whether the two were actually now killing the good guys instead of the bad. Who was an informer and who really deserved to die was tough for the audience to figure out--and it was also quite difficult for Flame and Citron. I liked this vague aspect of the film--as war isn't always 100% cut and dry.

Overall, I have no negative comments about the film. It was exceptionally well made but unfortunately practically none of my fellow Americans will ever see the film, as sadly, most feel that it's too much trouble reading subtitles and would rather see a remake of "Friday 13th part 178"!! As for me, it just confirmed that the Danes have made some exciting films--such as "The Celebration" and "Babette's Feast"--and the Danish-Swedish co-production "Evil".
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8/10
Turn a Blind Eye
gradyharp23 May 2010
FLAMMEN & CITRONEN (FLAME AND CITRON) is a dark long film that will prove to enlighten many about another aspect of WW II we know very little. Written (with Lars Andersen) and directed by Ole Christian Madsen it unfolds a true story about two 'heroes' of the Holger Danske resistance moment, a large group of Danish citizens who fought to kill not only the Nazi invaders but also the Danish supporters of Hitler's movement: the heroes are Flame (Thure Lindhardt) and Citron (Mads Mikkelsen) and the course of their lives is traced with brilliant use of sound, cinematography, a pervading darkness which serves the story well, and attention to minute details that makes the viewer almost involuntarily involved with their mission, their plight and the final results of their work.

In addition to the outstanding performances of Lindhardt and Mikkelsen, there are excellent performances by Christian Berkel as Hoffman, leader of the Gestapo, Stine Stengade as the puzzling spy/counterspy/ love interest Ketty Selmer, and a cast of bit players that remain in mind's eye long after the film is over. Though produced as an epic (and the film is a very very long 130 minutes!) the interaction between the lead characters is clearly defined and they come across as credible resistance fighters whose plight is always one of duress and fear.

As in all stories about war that are honest, there is no clear line between right and wrong, between survival and heroism, and it is to Madsen's credit that he keeps us in the shadows with every encounter. War is war and it alters everyone who is touched by it.

Grady Harp
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8/10
Breathtaking
wetche31 March 2008
Im usually not a huge fan of Danish movies but this one, however, takes it beyond that regular crap with cheesy endings and bad obvious acting. This movie has soul. The little things really have their part in this one and by paying attention to the details you get something you've never seen before.

First of all, the acting. Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen manages to make their parts more natural than I've seen in years. And for once they're not talking with a rhythmic, obvious-acting kind of tone but a real and honest voice. And after watching this one I truly understand why they call Thure The Man With The Thousand Faces.

As for the directing, it is award-winning stuff. Ill be surprised if it doesn't win several prizes and important ones too.

So if you read this, which I assume you do, go watch Flammen og Citronen. I can promise you intensity, honesty, love, bravery, hate, jokes and friendship all-in-one. This movies doesn't have those cheesy, dumb, ridiculous scenes but gives you something honest and pure.

I would recommend this for movie of the year so far, if I have the power to do so. I love this movie and I admire it even more. 9/10
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7/10
Realpolitik and double-crossing in WW2 occupied Denmark
Joe20 March 2009
I don't know what to say about this movie. Original setting for many of us, Flame & Citron is based on the lives of two resistance fighters/assassins ("Citron & Flame") in occupied Denmark back in World War Two. The premise is that our leads are on order to do their killings but their own aim is to kill the leader of the local Gestapo unit. However, realpolitik, double crossing, self-preservation and a femme fatale all just get in the way of everything, so our lead duo have no option but to battle as much with their own as with the occupiers. Personal relationship problems for our duo helps to keep the film human, and the story never glamorises the pair, and in many ways does show them to be quite amateurish despite their legendary status even showing their botched jobs.

So how does it all go? Well, it's not an easy one to follow. Many a time not sure what to make of the storyline if we were to really learn much. The whole realpolitik aspect of the piece never seems to resolve and with so many sides in this film, it's hard to keep up. In fairness, that was likely the main point showing the true difficulty of war, as each group seems to play off of each other for their own ends, whatever they may be. This is a weakness overall, and with its length quite tiresome.

Acting in general is faultless and beautiful shots of the Scandanavian countryside plus panoramic views of the cities are great on the eye, but some bad camera work at times is just really amateurish and spoils things.

Overall a good film that is interesting and a new-ish angle for WW2 films. Some very good points and most will like it, but not as special as it possibly could have been.
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8/10
Light years ahead of Hollywood: unsurprising from the home of refreshing "dogma" films.
rowmorg26 November 2009
It's almost impossible to get involved in a movie while flying over the North Pole in an Airbus. The personal screen is small, the ambient noise of the jet engines great, and the viewer's disorientation complete. Flame & Citron, a Danish subtitled movie, had no difficulty grabbing me anyway. It begins with one of the heroes vomiting in the street as a result of watching victorious Nazi troops rolling into the capital city of his small European nation. Almost immediately, we are swept up into the heroes' terror as they perform grotesque cold-blooded murders in the name of national insurgency. Brilliant performances by Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen involve us in the personal crises of honest citizens who are forced by war into the roles of brutal hit-men. As the action proceeds, their predicament becomes only worse as they doubt the validity of their orders, and ultimately, the integrity of the order-givers. The 'third reel' of the film is an ongoing crisis, and the outcome is not pretty. The only survivors are the sociopaths who sold out in their various charming ways. The story depicts the multi-layered nature of an occupied society, and the different commitments of its members --- to their country, to their offshore bank balances, and to their own skins. Even Flame & Citron, selfless insurgent heroes, are compromised, no one comes out of the Third Reich smelling of roses. Congratulations to writer Lars Andersen and to writer/director Ole Christian Madsen on producing a grown-up war movie that has nothing to do with the Pentagon or its suck-hole clients in Hollywood.
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7/10
The making of brutal Danish heroes, one death at a time, lovingly filmed...
secondtake12 August 2010
Flame and Citron (2008)

An intensely intense film. It has great intentions, and the protagonists go around shooting Danish Nazi types in the head, which was probably a pretty good things to do during the war, at least in movie terms. It's gritty and moody, it has tension and good music and great dramatic filming (the light and the camera-work are both very clean and yet provocative).

But this cinematic prowess gets in the way of the movie a little, and the plot is slow enough that you begin to watch the surfaces of things as you go. In fact, some of the scenes (eating around large tables, meeting in broad, gloomy, almost beautiful basements) are just too pretty to support the ugly events at hand. Or so it seems. It's a vivid film, and unique, and it is a must see for World War II film buffs, just because it's so honest and so different. There are not that many Danish films about the war to start with, compared to British and American (and German) efforts.

This one is very bloody, and ruthless in both its actions and in the telling of them. Kudos for that, but warnings, too. As pretty as the filming is, it isn't always easy to watch. But that's part of the point, getting to what rises above the mere action--is it okay to kill bad people without a trial, without warning, without knowing even if they are bad at all. What is okay in war? What do we come to justify later, or at the time?
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8/10
Masterful
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews5 April 2008
I am very impressed, and pleasantly surprised. I do not know any of the other work of the director, but I will have to consider anything else I see his name attached to. My opinion of what we Danes manage to put together in the medium of film is hardly a secret... I tend to find myself underwhelmed. Before tonight, I only really considered two such recent features truly great(the more notable of those, in my view, being Murk), and, well... as cliché as it is, that number is now three. The plot is magnificent, and the twists so marvelous and unexpected. There is maybe one thread that I found unsatisfying, perhaps especially because of how much attention was paid to it, but that's it. The acting is excellent... the one bad performance was had by a kid, and it didn't need to be better than it was. Lindhardt and Mikkelsen haven't a single weak moment between them, and Mygind... thumbs up. The cinematography is spectacular, though I did find the, all in all relatively few, zooms a bit distracting, save for one or two(these may be a Scandinavian thing, something similar appeared in Show Me Love). The editing is effective... the action(do note that this is not a straight-on piece within that genre) works, the drama likewise, and the only real criticism I can come with in this area is that there are a handful of places where things could be clearer. The writing there is infinitely little to complain about, and a long line of positives about, including the psychology, the complexity, the characters(the consistency of which is almost entirely flawless, and the only real problem within that is really how at least one major character disappears from the movie) and the incredibly accurate depiction of the time, the environment, the types of people. This is remarkably engaging. There is a little sexuality, and some language, as well as a measure of violence, but I wouldn't call any of it gratuitous. You do need a basic knowledge about the period, the place and the people, before watching this, but hey, nowhere near as much is required as for Der Untergang/Downfall. I don't know if this is entirely historically accurate, but little, heck, hardly any, is Hollywoodized, and it's undeniably entertaining and strong. I recommend this to any fan of drama, and anyone who wants a visual representation of the situation this revolves around. 8/10
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10/10
A very good historical drama about resistance in ww2 Denmark
Poul Nielsen31 March 2008
It is one of the movies I simply wanted too see. And i was not disappointed. The actors are good, the feeling is like you live in the 40'es, and lot of things that really happened is in the movie, (and some is left out, but the result is dramatically OK).

It is a movie fit for the big screen, it is delicious to watch in every way, and i give it a big 10, love the twist about the front figures versus their leaders pulling strings in the back. Thure Lindhardt is very convincing as the flame, he matches the picture i have of him since i first read about Flammen. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job, and Stine Stengade is lovely. Peter Mygind is often casted as a comic figure, nice to see him in a more semi dark role.
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10/10
Not a professional review
boirep24 July 2010
I thank the previous reviewers for their excellent comments but simply wanted to express my great appreciation for one of the finest movies I have seen in a long time. It is a gripping film not to be missed reminding us what film can be and so seldom are, not so much because the movie makers are so bad, but because we are. The acting is not apparent, invisible and the setting and while I am not competent to speak much of other technical aspects,the production values as I understand them were everything they had to be for an excellent envelope for the message. It is in most ways an economical film, not indulgent or pandering allowing for the complexity we live and seldom see on film. I thank all who participated in this excellent and moving film.
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10/10
Great movie.
ultimatew28 March 2008
Great acting from all in this movie and a little bit of history told on the big screen, combined with great scenery and good locations to give that 40's feeling.

What makes this a very good movie and worth to watch, is the character of Thure Lindhardt as narrator and the flame, who does a sublime job doing the whole movie. The rest of the actors also makes this a very believable movie.

How close the storyline is to the real one, I do not know, but I was entertained and captured for the entire length of the movie, never once did I think ooh come on, move this along, the flow and the feel is just great.

This is one to watch, good story, better Scenografi and sublime acting.
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10/10
Tiny Denmark Launches a Just Thunderbolt at Former Nazi Occupiers
nzallblacks_121 March 2012
It's not often that I laud a film revolving around Nazis.

With 'Flame and Citron', a Danish film, I've made notable exception. Everything felt good, right from the steel gray sky on down: the script, props, costumes, even the major 'watering' holes.

The plot moved forward almost as fast as that sordid period lasted in Denmark. The actors especially those who portrayed the two main characters were plausible. Even the Nazi occupiers gave good support though as fierce opposition; better make that as brutal suppressors of the Danish 'resistance'.

One prominent Nazi, Herr Hoffman, even as the Copenhagen SS chief at times appeared almost, well, human. Maybe that wasn't the director's intent. However, from where I sat, that was the impression Hoffman gave.

On the other hand, the wiry rimmed Gestapo chief's many speeches/soliloquies added little to the plot's progression. Often Hoffman's own words revealed his dark nature. That was expected given who is employers were, no?

Not well versed in Danish history, especially concerning that turbulent WW II period, my instincts scream that this film 'told the truth'. And as macabre as many scenes were, my sympathies still lay with the Danes. My guess is the period's experts would share my opinion.

Even against daunting odds, brave little Denmark put up a dogged, albeit costly fight. The Big Nazi War Machine though won, (I think); that's no surprise. No doubt that the two main protagonists, Flame and Citron, as the Resistance's crack enforcers played a most pivotal even momentum changing role.

And the film's producers/director gave much credence to that perspective, right to the sad end. My wish is that more films of this genre were produced in the same excellent 9mm caliber.

Alas, in that same regard, there's a conspicuous absence of these true 'gems' in the cinema trade. Moreover, Hollywood studios could learn much from the Danish film industry.

And you can take that to the Krone bank.
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7/10
A Revisionist Resistance Drama
James Hitchcock15 February 2012
British film buffs are often critical of Americans for their supposed indifference to foreign-language moves, but there are signs that the transatlantic phobia about subtitles has now spread to our own shores. Films from continental Europe were once fairly common on British television, but they have now all but disappeared from terrestrial channels, and even on specialist movie channels like Sky Movies, TCM and Film 4 they are few and far between.

BBC4 is something of an exception. Following "The Killing" and "Borgen" that channel is currently having a love-affair with all things Danish, and it was there that I recently caught "Flame & Citron". It is said to be one of the most expensive Danish language movies ever, although the budget was only around six million pounds, peanuts by Hollywood standards. (Most Hollywood producers these days would pay out considerably more than that figure to meet the salary demands of just one of their film's stars). It is loosely based on actual events and deals with the Danish resistance movement during the latter part of World War II. The title refers to the code names of two members of the Holger Danske resistance group, Bent Faurschou-Hviid (known as Flame because of his red hair) and Jørgen Haagen Schmith (known as Citron, Danish for lemon, because he once worked for the Citroen car company).

The film opens in 1943 when the tide of war is starting to turn against Germany, Hitherto the Resistance has largely confined itself to sabotage and assassinations of Danish collaborators. Flame and Citron now receive instructions from their controller, Aksel Winther, to pursue a campaign of attacks against the Nazi occupiers themselves, something the Resistance has previously avoided.

Films about European Resistance movements made during the war or in the years immediately following it invariably had a simple moral structure. (I cannot recall any such movies actually set in Denmark, but there were numerous examples about other occupied countries, such as "The Day Will Dawn" and "The Heroes of Telemark", both about Norway, "One of Our Aircraft is Missing" about the Netherlands and "The Guns of Navarone" about Greece). The Resistance fighters are invariably shown as unambiguously heroic, as are their British or American allies, the Germans are unambiguously evil, and the local collaborators totally despicable. The film generally ends with our heroes having successfully performed some gallant feat of arms which will render invaluable assistance to the Allied war effort.

"Flame and Citron" is quite different. Despite its World War Two setting, it bears more resemblance to a modern spy movie or to a neo- noir crime drama than a traditional "heroic Resistance" film. One might call it, on the analogy of the revisionist Western, a revisionist Resistance drama. There are no British or American commandos on hand to lend assistance. The attacks which Bent and Jørgen carry out are only of doubtful value to the overall Allied cause. Most importantly, the moral boundaries are more blurred. Flame and Citron suffer pangs of conscience over the killings they carry out and never know whom they can trust. Is Winther in league with the Germans, or is he in fact pursuing his own personal agenda by settling private scores? Is Ketty, the glamorous woman with whom Flame falls in love, actually a double agent? Will the attacks on the Germans contribute to the liberation of Denmark, or will they simply provoke German reprisals against Danish civilians? Are the Germans in fact all villains? One high-ranking German officer claims to be part of his country's own anti-Nazi movement, and even if he is lying this claim does at least draw attention to the fact that by no means all Germans were pro-Hitler.

The atmosphere of the film is, despite occasional action sequences, subdued, with a muted colour scheme, symbolic of the dark shadows which Nazi rule had cast over occupied Europe. Although it does, I think, finally reach the conclusion that the Resistance effort was worthwhile in that the self-sacrifice involved played a vital role in enabling Denmark to preserve its sense of national honour, it does at least dramatise some of the moral dilemmas involved in active resistance to a brutal occupying force. Modern dramas from continental Europe about the war are not particularly common, but this is one well worth watching. 7/10
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10/10
"They came out of the night..."
poe42630 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Uncompromising filmmaking that puts to shame big budget American-made World War Two movies, FLAME AND CITRON delves into the sometimes unglamorous side of wartime intrigue by focusing on two heretofore unsung heroes. Their tactics are understandably brutal: "Hate seduces you into doing things you never thought yourself capable of." Personal relationships become suspect. "We have to move on," Citron is told just after learning of his wife's infidelity; and it's all part of the TRUE cost of waging war. The best line in the movie is one of the most telling: "I don't think there is an 'after.'" Outstanding filmmaking deserving of a look.
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9/10
Flamenn Awesome.
jjnoahjames6 February 2011
The first thing I noticed when watching Flame and Citron was the directing, more precisely the camera angels, and acting. The main character, Flame (played by Thure Lindhardt), looked awesome in almost every shot and his partner Citron (Mads Mikkelsen) did an amazing job acting as well. This movie has a lot of good life lessons, and moral warnings.

I liked the fact that it was based on true events. This makes it possible to look at the movie from a more realistic point of view. Flame and Citron encourages one to question life and reason in general from a realistic view rather than question the movie it's self. This all in accordance with war time events of course, and resistance fighters.

I looked into the history behind the movie and it's neat to know that they have statues built in Denmark to commemorate these brave underground soldiers.
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8/10
Resistance
jotix10031 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film that cries to be seen by a wider audience. The Danish production directed by Ole Christian Madsen, who adapted the material with Lars Andersen, based their film in a real wartime incident that involved a lot of courage to carry out.

Denmark was invaded in 1940 by Germany. A lot of Danish citizens collaborated with the invaders, shamelessly. The resistance movement, recruited loyal men and women to fight the odious Nazi force that settled in their country against their best wishes. It was not an easy task to do, but among the fighters that came to oppose the Germans were Bent Faurschou-Hviid, whose war name was Flame, named so because of his bright red hair, and the taciturn Jorgen Haagen Schmidt, known as Citron, his comrade in arms.

The two friends were recruited to be trigger men for the elimination of their fellow Danish who were collaborating openly with the enemy, as well as the hated Nazis themselves. It proved to be quite a job to be able to fool the Gestapo, that controlled everything in the country. Complicating matters, Flame falls for Ketty Selmer, a woman that was a double spy. Flame and Citron gave the enemy a run for their money in spite of the odds against the success of their enterprise.

The film has a dark look that was enhanced by the camera work of Jorgen Johansson. The Copenhagen of that period is shown in muted colors as befitting the terrible times the country was living under the Nazi rule. The strength of the film lies in what director Madsen was able to create and the ensemble work he got from the cast.

One must single out the two principals, Thure Lindhardt, and Mads Mikklesen, who are seen as Flame and Citron, respectively. The two men give a credible account of what their characters were going through at the time where the action takes place. Both actors compliment one another in ways that one cannot think of others being cast in their roles. Equally good is Stine Stengade, who plays Ketty Selmer, the enigmatic woman who inspired a passion in Flame. The rest of the supporting players made an impression with us.

Ole Christian Madsen shows talent to spare in this exciting retelling of a WWII episode.
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6/10
A bit of a disappointment
Jens-ar30 March 2008
Flammen ("The Flame" because of his red hair) and Citronen (Worked for Citroën) are two of the most legendary figures in Denmark during the war, where they were members of the Danish resistance group Holger Danske, participating in spectacular sabotage actions and liquidating stitches. The movie is the most expensive Danish movie ever, and the 10 million $ budget also helps creating nice action scenes when the pair has showdowns with Gestapo officers. However, the movie seems to be made without inspiration. Even though the intrigues in the grey zone of contacts and unreliable agents and messages are well written, the story never gets really gripping or intense. It would have made the movie better if the casting had been done more thoughtfully. Thure Lindhardt lacks charisma as the hardcore red-haired main person, and Mads Mikkelsen turns Citronen into a clone of all other characters he's played. Their nemesis, Gestapo leader Hoffmann, is played well by Christian Berkel (the bald doctor from Der Untergang), as well as many other supporting roles are satisfactorily played. Besides, the movie isn't filmed in Copenhagen, where the story takes place, which makes the atmosphere even less authentic. Apart from that the plot works o.k, but the movie never catches the viewer's feelings. It's a fascinating subject, and it's therefore a disappointment that the movie isn't more moving than this
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6/10
Tihi and Prle in Denmark
dusan-2215 August 2009
Nice and interesting war story, pretty enjoyable movie. Well known Danish film school, one of the best if not the best. Mads Mikkelsen interesting and excellent as always, but probably not for the roll he played. Also not the best casting when it comes to main role, even though Thure Lindhardt is a good actor. What I liked especially speaking of this film is superb recreation of Copenhagen during WWII and very authentic scenes of street fights and assassinations (well, maybe the word "like" is not proper for the last one). Very convincing. The story of two war heroes is very unique, makes no glorifications or suggestions who will you like or dislike. Good art work. The only bigger problem this film has if you ask me are very often too long shots and extended scenes more proper for the theater than film.
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6/10
Great acting, intriguing story, mediocre movie handiwork
Sverre H. Huseby6 February 2009
Note: I saw the blue ray version sold in Norway. Don't know if it's the same production that everyone else has seen.

A good handful of continuity problems and a small dash of out-of-time props made me score this one at 6/10 rather than higher. I don't like people leaning forwards when I see then from one angle and leaning back when I see them from the other angle, at least not when they do it consistently between each angle change. I think it's strange for people to wash blood off their hands when the blood is still there afterwards, and then gone again seconds later. I don't think they had laser printed contracts back then. And I thought glass-based cyanide capsules would look a tad different than the gel-based medicine we use today.

But I'm a movie geek; my wife didn't even notice the stuff I rant about above. All in all, the movie is absolutely worth watching! All central actors give a really, really good performance. And since the story is, to my knowledge, deeply rooted in real events, it makes it even more exciting.

If you like this movie, you will probably also like the Norwegian (I'm a Norwegian) "Max Manus" (7/10 from me), based on books written by one of Norway's most well known saboteurs from WWII. (His name is Max Manus, and his two books from 1945/46 are absolutely worth a read.)
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6/10
A boys-own resistance
paul2001sw-11 February 2012
It's a convenient myth that in any war, people are just the unfortunate casualties of the pursuit of military objectives. But often, the military objective is the killing of people. 'Flame and Citron' tells the story of two fighters in the Danish resistance, who systematically kill collaborators with the occupying Nazis. Potentially, it's a rich subject, and it also explores themes of loyalty and trust. But there's something of a boys-own adventure feel to it, with improbable escapes, an endless succession of slayings, fairly thin motivation and the relative moral ease with which it's possible to endorse the resistance over the Germans. It's an entertaining yarn, but it didn't quite convince me that this is exactly what being in the resistance would have been like; while I've seen deeper explorations of collaboration and treachery elsewhere.
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2/10
A very poor effort
Steve Crook30 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Reputedly based on a true story. I want to take nothing from any resistance worker but I query a lot about what was in this particular film.

Was Denmark the only country in occupied Europe where assassinations weren't followed by swift and brutal reprisals? There is no mention of them until a small example later in the film. The strange example of throwing a grenade into a tram sounds very untypical as an act of reprisal.

Was Denmark the only country in occupied Europe where there weren't regular identity checks from the police and Gestapo? We only see two. The rest of the time these two people are allowed to travel around the city wherever they like. Even when the police arrive at the café where they've just had a gun battle and drive off in sight of the arriving police, but nobody stops them or follows them So they went around assassinating whoever they liked, even though most of them turned out to be innocent, and they still got rewarded with medals? Citron seemed to be surviving on pills, Flame refused to dye his trade-mark red hair. Did they want to be caught? With some decent direction and a story that made us care about, or even be interested in a few more of the characters, this could have been a good film - but sadly, it isn't
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9/10
A fiery tale
robert-temple-118 December 2011
This is one of those Danish films which are attracting so much attention these days, and the actor Lars Mikkelsen who played Troels in season one of THE KILLING a year earlier (2007, see my review) even appears in it. It is a harrowing and ultimately sad tale, 'based on a true story'. It depicts the attempts by the Danish Resistance (all two of them, Flammen og Citronen) to struggle against the Nazi Occupation of Denmark. In that respect, it offers a view of a familiar subject in an unfamiliar setting, and is of considerable interest. The action is exciting but the film has a downbeat quality, because the Resistance keeps getting betrayed and whacked. The character called Flame has red hair, hence his nick-name, and is too brave to bother covering it up most of the time, though once in a while he is persuaded to wear a beret in the hope that at least his flame-red head will be a bit less obvious on his Resistance missions. He goes around murdering collaborators but is under strict orders not to murder Nazis themselves. It is a pity he didn't get more collaborators, but then there are always so many of such vermin whenever a country is occupied. There is a very pleasant large café where Flame and Citron and their friends foregather, with Nazi officers often sitting very near them. Considering how well known Flame was meant to be as a 'terrorist', I can't understand why he was never arrested in the café. But then that's the movies, I guess. The film is extremely well made, with a great deal of tension and suspense. The director, Ole Madsen, is highly talented. The performances by Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen as Flame and Citron are very good. Lindhardt has appeared in 57 titles despite his youth, and Mikkelsen in 41. We have to remember that all these Danish people who are largely unknown to us are really highly experienced pros in their field, and that Denmark has produced more than just the film director Carl Dreyer whose work we all know and love. Other people have made films there too since the silent days, and because we find it difficult to distinguish between Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes (they have no such problems distinguishing between each other, and indeed do nothing but grumble about one another the whole time and ridicule each other's accents), we have often not realized who was really a Dane. For instance, the director Henning Carlsen who filmed Knut Hamsun's HUNGER (1966) was not a Norwegian at all, but a Dane, strange as that may seem. (And Per Oscarsson the actor who played Hamsun was a Swede.) One day we may get all of our Scandinavians sorted out and differentiate between all their broad vowel sounds, pinpointing the origin of each. (Swedes seem to be the broadest, Danes the most clipped and they use '-sen' endings on names instead of '-son'.) But until that day comes, we should keep an eye on those Danes, because they seem to be up to things. And this Danish film is well worth watching.
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7/10
Very good war time thriller is best seen on as big a screen as possible
dbborroughs4 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Mostly true (I've read there has been some changes) of two men known as Flame (because of his red hair or because he smokes constantly?) and Cintron (I'm guessing because of his car) who worked in the Resistance in Denmark during the Second World War. They developed a reputation for killing collaborators and spies. their activities have placed them high on the Gestapo wanted list and yet the manage to breeze through to the point that they often celebrate their success in bars that the Nazi's hang out in. As 1944 goes on things begin to turn dark. Their friends are being caught and killed, and they are getting mixed signals from above. The British want them to continue the operation but the Danish government in exile wants them to stop because their activities are causing reprisals. More dangerously Flame has has become interested in a woman who he's been warned to stay away from.

Beautiful war film is at times haunting and heart breaking. It has sequences that turn your stomach at the prospect of being in a similar situation. It has the look and feel of an old style Hollywood film mixed with the brutality of todays films. The film reminded me of the look of Ang Lee's Lust Caution which had an unbeatable sense of place and time and style. Its also a little brother to Melville's heart rending masterpiece Army of Shadows. Wonderfully acted this is a film where you really like the characters and feel that even the small parts have a sense of weight.

As good as the film is, the film never quite achieves the greatness the film seems destined for in the early going. As much as I like the feel of the film, there are times when it seems a bit too Hollywood. The femme fatale story line is too cliché for a film that for the most part not cliché. There are also some odd moments that seems to speak more of being great on screen rather than true to the events as depicted in the film (in particular the end of two of the characters). The little bits don't destroy the film they just take what starts as a great film and make it something thats in the end very good.

I recommend it. Between 7 and 8 out of 10 (I saw this on IFC in Theater's pay per view service and kind of regret doing so. The look of the film is so good that I kind of wished I had seen this on a truly big screen.)
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