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In a Better World (2010)
"Hævnen" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  26 August 2010 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 31,288 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 88 user | 200 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.



(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Najeeb (as Will Johnson)
Eddy Kimani ...
Patient (as Eddie Kimani)
Emily Mulaya ...
Gabriel Muli ...
June Waweru ...
Mary Ndoku Mbai ...
Patient (as Mary Nduku Mbai)
Dynah Bereket ...
Gammel dame
Christian (as William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen)
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Satu Helena Mikkelinen ...
Simon Maagaard Holm ...
Emil Nicolai Helms ...
Sofus' skolekammerat


Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. Written by Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing content some involving preteens, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

In a Better World  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,058 (USA) (1 April 2011)


$1,007,908 (USA) (2 September 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 1h 27 mins) One of the medical staff mentions Elias is 12 years old. At around 13 mins, their teacher notes that Christian and Elias have the same birthday, so Christian is also 12 (the same age that William Jøhnk Nielsen was during "filming"). See more »


In the first minutes of the movie, the white T-Shirt that Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) is wearing during the surgery of the little girl gets blood stained (at around 24 mins). When finished and outside the tent, the stain is much smaller and misplaced (at around 20 mins). When leaving on the small truck, the blood stain has moved once more (at around 50 mins). See more »


Christian: If you hit them hard enough the first time they won't dare to hit you again.
See more »


Featured in DR2 Premiere: Episode #4.1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

28 August 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I went to see this movie with no expectations what so ever. When we arrived to the theater i saw people leaving (who just saw the movie) with tears streaming down their face. Inside the theater people was talking and laughing but after a few minutes their was a deadly silence all around us. The story is so well-written and the actors play just marvelous. Even the child actors, who often ruin most movies, were casted and performed perfectly. The camera setting is some of the best i've seen in a long time. There are so many beautiful scenes from Denmark aswel in some African country.

I highly recommend every one to go see this movie. The story is well written, and not full of the usual clichés film these days are full off. Susanne Bier has truly pulled of a masterpiece.

I heard a rumor after wards that this movie might be nominated for an Oscar, which i really hope for. Everyone should watch this emotional movie.

And for you who are wondering if i left the theater crying no i didn't, but my eyes got wet 3 or 4 times during the movie. That happens extremely rarely for me.

96 of 126 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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