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Headhunters (2011)

Hodejegerne (original title)
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An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.


Morten Tyldum


Ulf Ryberg (screenplay), Lars Gudmestad (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,476 ( 574)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aksel Hennie ... Roger
Synnøve Macody Lund ... Diana
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Clas Greve
Eivind Sander ... Ove Kjikerud
Julie R. Ølgaard ... Lotte (as Julie Ølgaard)
Kyrre Haugen Sydness ... Lander
Valentina Alexeeva ... Natasja
Reidar Sørensen ... Brede Sperre
Nils Jørgen Kaalstad ... Stig
Joachim Rafaelsen Joachim Rafaelsen ... Brugd
Mats Mogeland Mats Mogeland ... Sunded
Gunnar Skramstad Johnsen Gunnar Skramstad Johnsen ... Monsen 1
Lars Skramstad Johnsen Lars Skramstad Johnsen ... Monsen 2
Signe Tynning Signe Tynning ... TV-vertinne
Nils Gunnar Lie Nils Gunnar Lie ... TV-vert


Roger Brown an Executive Headhunter and a part-time high end painting thief finds himself embroiled in a cat and mouse game when he tries to destroy Clas Greve's career prospects. However, Clas is a former member of a special tactical military force and will stop at nothing to ensure Roger is out of the picture and the job is his. Written by Paddy McManus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the bestselling author of 'The Snowman' See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence including some grisly images, strong sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »


Norway | Sweden | Denmark | Germany


Norwegian | Danish | Russian | English

Release Date:

26 August 2011 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Headhunters See more »

Filming Locations:

Skøyen, Oslo, Norway See more »


Box Office


NOK 30,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,690,000 (Norway), 26 August 2011, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,013, 29 April 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,196,752, 12 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Casting for the twin police officers Monsen proved particularly difficult because the twins had to weigh over 220lbs and be identical. Lars Skramstad Johnsen and Gunnar Skramstad Johnsen fit the bill. See more »


When Roger Brown returns to Oslo after the car crash he is seen calling from a pay phone in Grønland Bussterminal, in the next shot he is seen walking over a bridge towards the bus station. See more »


[First lines]
Roger: Rule #1: Make sure you know everything about those you visit. 2: Never spend more than 10 minutes. Every extra minute increases the chance of someone returning home unexpectedly. 3: Do not leave DNA traces. 4: Don't waste time getting an expensive reproduction. Even a simple forgery will go unnoticed for weeks. 5: Sooner or later, one of two things will happen. You find a work of art so valuable that you never need to worry again, or... you'll get caught.
See more »


Spoofs The Road Warrior (1981) See more »


Performed by Weathervane (Jimmy Gnecco & Pål Waaktaar)
Lyrics by Pål Waaktaar
See more »

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User Reviews

A top-notch action-thriller
5 May 2012 | by FilmPulseSee all my reviews

Headhunters is the first in what I suspect will be a slew of Jo Nesbø film adaptations in the coming years and Morten Tyldum's cinematic rendering offers suspense, action and most notably intelligence, sometimes rare in the action-thriller genre. The film, based on the Edgar Award nominated Norwegian author's 2008 novel Hodejegerne (Headhunters), follows a highly successful corporate headhunter, who sidelines as an art thief, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) as he tries to obtain an extremely rare and valuable Peter Paul Rubens painting, lost since World War II, from former elite solider Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau).

Roger Brown has a borderline Napoleon complex that he is well aware of judging by the numerous times he mentions his height, 1.68m. The fact that his wife Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund) is much taller than him and supposedly prefers a certain luxurious lifestyle, forces him, in his mind, to steal and sell valuable art pieces in order to buy his wife expensive gifts and a support their lavish lifestyle. The viewer quickly learns that all Diana wants in her life is a child, something Roger is hesitant to consider.

Diana has recently opened a new art gallery in Oslo and it is here that Roger meets, not only the perfect target for his current corporate recruitment in Clas Greve, but also the answers to his financial woes when Clas mentions to Diana that he possesses a long-thought to be lost Reubens painting. Roger sets out to break into Clas's apartment with the help of his sleazy criminal partner Ove (Eivind Sander), but Roger finds a lot more than the painting and soon finds out that Clas is a headhunter in his own way.

Ove's job is to disable security systems so Roger can infiltrate the building and obtain the targeted art pieces and Ove is also responsible for selling the stolen property. When Ove tries to retrieve the stolen Reubens from Roger's car things goes awry and Roger is suddenly thrust into a brutal game of cat and mouse. And by brutal, I mean Tyldum doesn't shy away from capturing the violence, neither the present violence nor the effects of said violence. In one scene, Tyldum presents what is probably the most uncomfortable and immensely painful head shaving sequence captured on film. The story also contains what has to be one of the greatest tests of trust and if you were to pass this test you should be forgiven for any and all past transgressions.

Though the film does suffer from plot holes, as do most films in the thriller genre, they don't seem to be as egregious as others of its ilk. Aksel Hennie gives a great performance as the insecure art thief and Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau does equally well as the ruthless hunter. Hollywood may have just found their newest fountain of secondhand ideas in 'Scandi-crime' adaptations, akin to the Japanese horror remakes of the early to mid 2000s, but Headhunters is a must-see, a tremendous and enjoyable addition to the action-thriller genre.

Kevin FilmPulse.net

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