7.6/10
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93 user 203 critic

In a Better World (2010)

Hævnen (original title)
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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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 August 2010 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

In a Better World  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,058, 3 April 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,008,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,004,198
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Danish title 'Hævnen' translates into English as 'Revenge'. Susanne Bier mentioned that she prefers the English title 'In a Better World' which emphasizes the hopefulness of the film while the Danish title emphasizes the severeness of the film (at 1:52:49 in the Blu-ray director's commentary). 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.
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
The problem of vengeance
7 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Is there any subject more mistreated in movies than retaliation? No, I don't think so. There's a dishonourable and long history about it and calling some of the stuff redneck and primitive is being unfair to the whole redneck movement.

Susanna Bier puts other dimensions to it. The boy being bullied at school is also an old subject, but here the real painful questions about so called pay-back are thrown in our faces. A revenge is seldom just a revenge; it brings other consequences too. That sounds like a cliché, but Susanne Bier says it in a way which concerns us. Like vengeance movies seldom do.

Great performance by Mikael Persbrandt, well known for misusing his talent too many times. But not here.


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