7.6/10
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92 user 207 critic

In a Better World (2010)

Hævnen (original title)
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2:02 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Susanne Bier

Writers:

Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay), Susanne Bier (story) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikael Persbrandt ... Anton
Wil Johnson ... Najeeb (as Will Johnson)
Eddy Kimani Eddy Kimani ... Patient (as Eddie Kimani)
Emily Mulaya Emily Mulaya ... Sygeplejerske
Gabriel Muli Gabriel Muli ... Læge
June Waweru June Waweru ... Sygeplejerske
Mary Ndoku Mbai Mary Ndoku Mbai ... Patient (as Mary Nduku Mbai)
Dynah Bereket Dynah Bereket ... Gammel dame
William Jøhnk Nielsen ... Christian (as William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen)
Ulrich Thomsen ... Claus
Elsebeth Steentoft Elsebeth Steentoft ... Signe
Satu Mikkelinen Satu Mikkelinen ... Hanna (as Satu Helena Mikkelinen)
Camilla Gottlieb ... Eva
Simon Maagaard Holm Simon Maagaard Holm ... Sofus
Emil Nicolai Helms Emil Nicolai Helms ... Sofus' skolekammerat
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Storyline

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 | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Danish | Swedish | English | Arabic

Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

In a Better World See more »

Filming Locations:

Fåborg, Fyn, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,058, 3 April 2011

Gross USA:

$1,008,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,629,826
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Elias: I've been sleeping for days but I'm still tired.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.11 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Where does it end?
3 September 2010 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

After his mother's death, Christian moves once again, and starts in a new school. He meets Elias, and defends him against bullies. The latter's father works as a doctor in Africa, with a sadistic crime lord nearby. And so we have the setting for a drama exploring revenge, as well as power struggles, loss and fear. The overall moral isn't going to surprise anyone(and it isn't entirely consistent), and this does occasionally stoop to a cliché. However, it remains a gripping and effective film, and it manages to interject a lot of insight and truth, seeing situations from multiple different perspectives. This is the second movie by Bier that I watch, and I am confirmed in my assertion that Things We Lost in The Fire was a fluke, and not representative of her level of talent(it should be noted that the main problem with that one was the script, and she had nothing to do with that). She abandons the eyeball shots, and there is much rejoicing. The camera is close at times, though no longer oppressively so. This has a cinematography similar to the show NCIS, with hand-held cameras. I didn't feel like the nature footage added anything, at least not that of Denmark. The editing puts you right there, without being annoying or particularly drawing attention to itself. This is written by the man behind Den Du Frygter, Mørke and Blinkende Lygter(and other famous ones, but those are the ones I've seen and liked), and his skill and credible, human characters(that are the focus) shines through. Everything is set up, and most of it pays off. The acting is excellent, without exception, the kids especially. Our half-way orphaned lead captures every look and movement to perfection, and they really did find someone who could be Thomsen's son. Bodnia returns to a typecast role for him, and delivers. The vast majority of the humor works, and nearly none of it detracts from the serious and important subject. Everyone can recognize the little brother in someone they do or have known. The music is appropriate and not distracting. Dialog is great. No soap opera moments, it all comes across as entirely genuine, and nothing comes out of the blue. The tone is mature and honest; we don't feel preached to, or lectured, this respects its audience and honestly understands what it has to say, it isn't merely repeating a mantra. There is gore(think ER) and disturbing content in this. I recommend it to anyone that this at all appeals to. 8/10


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