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Emotionally draining but truly moving "ripped from the headlines" story
larry-4113 October 2012
"The Hunt" is the latest unflinching drama from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg. Co-written with Tobias Lindholm, this is an ambitious star vehicle for legendary actor Mads Mikkelsen, an icon in Denmark and familiar face around the world as well. He plays Lucas, a small-town kindergarten teacher. At its heart the story is ultimately a powerful comment on prejudice, based on true incidents, that may leave you emotionally drained but truly moved.

To delve into the plot here would reveal too much. So I'll just say that the film is quite dark and deals with some very difficult subject matter that can be very hard to watch at times. I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to be more aware of the details by looking up a basic synopsis.

This is essentially a one-man show. While supporting cast members are all up to the challenge, Lucas is on on screen virtually every moment of the movie and its overall success rises or falls on his believability. Mikkelsen's delicately underplayed characterization of a man under fire likely won't be appreciated or understood by all viewers. His restrained performance is remarkable and does much to make The Hunt a haunting, memorable experience. Among the children, Annika Wedderkopp's portrayal of Klara is frighteningly brilliant. She steals every scene she's in.

The physical beauty of the production belies the ugliness beneath. Natural lighting is used to match the heights and depths of the kindergarten children's emotions. Their innocence is reflected in its intensity. When surrounded by love, they are glowing. The color palette is warm and inviting. As fear rises, they appear in shadow. The tableau turns increasingly darker as the narrative does.

This is a very quiet and thoughtful experience in many ways. Nikolaj Egelund's score is sparse. Editors Janus Billeskov Jansen and Anne Østerud keep the pace measured and deliberate. The focus is on the story. Long takes without dialogue are quite effective as so much is said in the eyes, in the faces, of Lucas, the kids, and townsfolk. Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen allows the lush landscape of the Danish countryside to lull the viewer into a sense of peace, in contrast with the turmoil just under the surface, ready to jump out like a demon in a horror film. But these are real life nightmares, not the product of a genre writer's imagination, which chill to the bone.

Hollywood could never touch this subject and have anywhere near the impact. Backed independently by Swedish and Danish production companies, director Vinterberg actually intended to set and shoot the picture in Canada but better tax incentives and financing led him back to his native country of Denmark. It doesn't matter, though. This is the kind of isolated little village that can be found anywhere in the world.

"The Hunt" was easily the saddest film I've seen all year but in a cathartic way that only a great work of art can accomplish. It's a gritty and hard-hitting statement on our judgmental society that pulls no punches in its recounting of a controversial ripped-from-the-headlines story, repeated all too often in recent history, that's both poignant and polarizing in its authenticity.

It was difficult for me to hold back tears during the screening. I broke down several times. Many will be touched by certain scenes more than others, but "The Hunt" is one of the most affecting and emotional films I've ever seen and one of the best of 2012.
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Excellent, moving film
Teaber7112 October 2012
I saw this movie yesterday. I agree with previous reviewers, this is an excellent, moving, wonderfully acted movie. It is impossible I think to go through it without being brought to tears at one point or another. You also feel like screaming at some characters sometimes - "what are you doing? Open your eyes! Listen!" But the great thing is you always understand where each character is coming from- you might not agree with their actions, but nothing they do feels forced or unrealistic. Mikkelsen is amazing in this. I had seen him in a few movies before, and always thought highly of him, but here he is just incredible. It's a tough subject matter, and the movie does not shy away from it, but at the same time it is not vulgar or "in your face", it's tactful. I really loved it.
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Finding His Way In The Forest
fonofanatical3 September 2013
Here in the small town where I reside, our local newspaper had a recent headline that a beloved teacher was suspected of improper contact with a student. The article was complete along with his picture and I felt that this teacher's life was over as he knew it whether the information was accurate or false. I felt that I would withhold judgement pending an accurate and a detailed investigation, but I know that others would not give the teacher this courtesy. Human nature is an interesting thing to observe and we often get trapped in our own snares with comments such as "I really can't tolerate judgemental people".

Recently I saw another Danish movie "The Hijacking" and was so impressed with it, that I sought out this movie as it was also a highly regarded project. I'm glad I did. The movie reflected the idea of a rush to judgement and all the implications of how society reacts when information is inaccurately reinforced.

The title of the movie, "The Hunt" is symbolic of Lucas's hunt for justice, but also feeling like the hunted. It begins with friends at a hunting camp drinking & celebrating but this hunt is all a metaphor for Lucas's life. Perhaps it was best expressed when his son got a family heirloom hunting rifle and it was said that now he was old enough to find his way in the forest. "The Hunt" is really about such a journey and the forest was thick with assumptions, accusations, hatred, betrayal, and a host of other thorns, briars, branches and such things to trip up the journey. Having felt like he was being hunted through a community's narrow rifle scope of understanding, Lucas's idea of hunting is ultimately altered....and believably so.

Vinterberg does a masterful job of story telling and in such a way that we hear a morality tale. Yes, many times the information we are told in the news is correct. But what if it isn't? What price is paid by the victim and his/her family? If you want to watch a movie that is different from the typical Hollywood variety and gives you reason to search more deeply before believing what you see and hear, watch "The Hunt" and see if you would find your way through the same forest that Lucas traveled. Few of us would be able to do so....
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This is a Film with a capital "F"
ovidiu-moisescu24 March 2013
I've been an IMDb user for several years. Still, this is my first review.

After watching this Film, I just felt the urge to praise it. So here it is: thanks to the writer, director, actors and all those who created this masterpiece. It really has the power to convey real feelings to the watcher. Even though I kept telling to myself it was just a movie, it still made me care for the characters.

It's a shame that such Films are not promoted as they should be. I am so sorry I had no idea about Danish cinematography until now. This movie will make stay alert for any new Danish production and look for older ones in a desperate try to recover what you could've experienced instead of all the commercial movie offer of Hollywood.
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It's like a really messed up episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things.
ArmyOfSickness25 July 2012
I just saw The Hunt at the New Zealand International Film Festival and I walked out speechless. The Hunt has such a difficult story to tell but the film makers never go too far with little exposition. The film doesn't take one side over another, making the point that there isn't really any "bad guys" in the film, just people on opposite sides of one coin. The script is shocking, tragic and at times funny. The film is very intimately shot with an almost documentary approach. The film is mostly shot hand-held, giving you the feeling of realism. The camera likes to get in close and hold on the actors eyes and it is the eyes that tell the story. Most of the story is told through what was not being said, but instead with looks and pauses. Mads Mikkelsen is stunning as always as the man accused of sexual abuse. He plays the role with such sensitivity to the character but always keeps you guessing throughout the film. Annika Wedderkopp plays the role of the innocent young girl to perfection, again always keeping you guessing. Their relationship being one of the most interesting I've seen on film this year. If I had one complaint it would be that the main plot ends quite abruptly, not leaving me fully satisfied before it goes into the epilogue. The Hunt is drama at its best with beautiful performances from the entire cast. It is hard to explain how great this film is without giving away spoilers but the film gives no clear answers for such a difficult subject and it makes you ask yourself, what would I do?
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Who would have thought a Danish Art House film could be so thoroughly gripping?
Hawkensian6 March 2013
'The Hunt' is a truly accomplished film, its simple premise and themes are executed perfectly. The film is hugely engrossing and completely and utterly infuriating, which is a testament to the merits of its acting, direction, script and hyper-realism.

The film follows Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a lonely primary school teacher who relishes his job and is popular with both the children and the local community. Just as he meets Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) and begins a relationship with her, his relationship with another woman, 5-year-old Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), lands him in immeasurable trouble. What happens is a completely innocuous misunderstanding, but the community, the 'adults' who are supposed to be rational and fair, turn into a lynch mob.

The film is about the danger of mass-hysteria, ignorance and subsequently the frightening power of numbers. It teaches the importance of measure and consideration; it's a much needed anecdote to the sensational vilification, general ignorance and trashy media that permeates our lives.

It's the scare-mongering, amoral tabloids that help in empowering the dangerously ignorant lynch-mobs that arise whenever someone screams 'paedophile!' or 'woman beater!' These lynch-mobs normally consist of pugnacious, dreadful people who enjoy drama and violence rather than actually care about their cause.

The film is intelligently and thoughtfully written. The girl is by no means vindictive; as much as you want to vent your anger, she's clearly far too young to understand what is happening. It's the 'adults' who display their stupidity, their total lack of reasoning and fairness left me indignant for the entirety of the running time and subsequently the whole evening – the film really works.

There is a palpable sense of danger throughout the film, you genuinely fear for Lucas' life; seldom have I empathised with a character so dearly. Who would've thought a Danish Art House film could be so thoroughly gripping?

'The Hunt' is a thought provoking, tactful and important film that should be seen by as many people as possible. It's one of the best films of 2012.
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How to destroy a person
Pierre_Lacroix4 June 2020
A story about how to destroy a good person on the count of three; and the child is not even to blame. adults themselves have grown a huge fruit of evil, like wizards - from nothing
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Classy and disturbing tale of small town injustice.
jdesando19 August 2013
In Thomas Vinterberg's superb psychological thriller, The Hunt, a town turns on its kindergarten teacher, Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), from the erroneous testimony of a little girl, Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), who accuses him of molesting her. She's also the daughter of his best friend, Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen), who believes along with the town that Lucas is guilty because children, especially his daughter, don't lie. Although Klara claims throughout she said a stupid thing and Lucas did nothing, his parents are convinced she is just reacting to the gravity and changing her story. Tragic blindness is not just the province of Oedipus.

The film's title, with bookending male hunting rituals, is obviously figurative for the hunt by the town's people for Lucas's well being. Only too swift is their condemnation, their righteous indignation, blinded by Salem-witch like certainty that he is guilty. The town's vigilante-like attitude is reminiscent of Frankenstein's townsfolk, hounding the monster without even trying to understand.

Beyond the figurative display of crowd wrong-headed mentality is the disturbing suggestion that at any time a life can be turned upside down without even being responsible. It also suggests that the only antidote is to keep believing in yourself.

Maybe more powerful is a sense of humor, which occurs occasionally in the film and is best exemplified when a friend, upon Lucas's return from police headquarters, shouts as Lucas embraces his son, "Hey! If you fondle your kid, you'll go back to jail." It's gallows humor, but it is effective. Just as effective as the ironic humor is the low-key, natural lighting, consistent close-ups, and ubiquitous hand-held camera work. It is an intimate business that closes in on everyone in the town, not just the innocent victim.

Having witnessed through this intense work of art the vulnerability all have in the face of a crowd mentality, we should remember the Chorus's final warning in Oedipus Rex: "Therefore wait to see life's ending ere thou count one mortal blest; Wait till free from pain and sorrow he has gained his final rest."
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excellent drama that is tough to watch
Quinoa198421 May 2015
The thing about Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt that you should know is that there's no "twist" or big revelation. There's no real ambiguity about whether or not Lucas touched or 'showed' himself to little Klara, the daughter of Lucas' best friend. If there were, this might be a very different movie - perhaps even one that leaned on being dishonest with the audience about the 'did he or didn't he' intentions. It's clear enough early on that Klara isn't telling the whole truth when she mentions to one of the other Kindergarten workers about the "rod" that stands up (meaning the penis), but it doesn't mean she's exactly lying either, just confused in that way that little kids who don't know anything about sex might be if, say, shown a very brief image of a "rod". So there's that. But what The Hunt is really about is perception and how quickly people can turn on someone with a target on them - guilt or no guilt, but especially in the case of not guilty - like with Lucas.

Vinterberg expertly sets up this problem by first showing life as (relatively) normal - Lucas is a father in the process of a divorce, has a great group of guy friends (the kind of Denmark/Sweden/etc who come together, sometimes swim naked in the cold, and drink a lot and sing), and is a teacher at a Kindergarten school. Nothing is shown with any heightened drama, all the cuts to someone in a moment are to show the progression of a moment or a scene - closer to documentary than anything, at least at first - and this helps make the mood past any melodrama for what's to come. Or, if there may be melodrama ahead, it won't be circumspect for the audience: real families in a small town, really close-knit, Church-going, loving, pleasant... and underneath is a whole lot of fear, which can switch to anger, resentment, and horror.

Mikkelson is great in the role, and he may be surprising for those who haven't seen him as a villain in other films (he was a Bond villain once, or if he wasn't he will be someday), as well as the title role of Hannibal Lector on the recent TV series. I haven't seen that show yet, but even if I had it wouldn't change how he works in this film. Could there be any hint in his performance of any evil or misdeeds capable of him? Not far as we can see, though there is that scene where Lucas is first brought in to his superior's office and told of the accusation made. Watch his body language, how his face looks and reacts to this. It could look either way - for the person looking for it, he smacks his lips, he quivers just slightly, he doesn't come out and say 'I didn't do it', but we should know that he didn't. But does the other character know? With something like child molestation?

The topic is so hot-button, whether it's more in the United States or over in Denmark I can't tell, but the safety (and reliability) of a child is such a crucial thing in daily life that it makes for such powerful, potent stuff for The Hunt, as the accusation spirals out - are there other kids(!) just by nightmares and headaches who can tell - and ruins his life, whether he's found guilty or (especially) not. The last act especially is tough to watch as morality is questioned and the mob mentality of a town takes over (not to extreme heights, this isn't Fritz Lang or something, but close enough, realistically enough, just with all those faces).

Quiet scenes punctuate a lot of this film, as much as the brutal ones where rage and bewilderment overflow, like shots of someone having to do something tragic in the rain, and it all builds up to something that is hard to watch. I mean that as a compliment, though it should be said that this is the kind of film I'm not sure I can watch very soon again: it strikes such resonant chords and presents its characters so honestly, the ones looking for grace and those who just cannot, that it's hard not to feel shaken up after it.
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Best drama I've watched in ages
feryazbeer19 January 2018
All the negative reviews here fail to understand the point of this movie. It is not about if children lie, how to find out if it really happened or how the villagers react but to put you in the head of a falsely accused person and to understand the helplessness such a tragedy comes with. How these accusations can never be taken back and will haunt you forever. And it does that perfectly.
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The scary thing is that this could happen to almost anyone...
MartinHafer18 January 2014
One of my favorite foreign language films it Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" ("Festen"). It's an absorbing tale about sexual abuse--abuse that comes out during a birthday party for a beloved family patriarch. Now, with "The Hunt" ("Jagten"), Vinterberg directs a film where quite the opposite happens--a man is accused of sexual abuse but who is 100% innocent. Had the director always done films denying sexual abuse, folks might have thought him strange but here the brave director allows himself to go in a completely different direction with his movie.

In his film, Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a divorced father who works at a kindergarten. He seems like a genuinely nice man and is trying to get his life together. He has a new girlfriend, his son wants to come live with him and he has no reason to expect what happens. A very young girl is shown some pornographic material by some older boys and later in passing she tells another teacher that she has seen Lucas' penis when she actually didn't. Some folks investigate and ask leading questions--and suddenly there is a bit of hysteria as the community assumes Lucas is guilty--even his so-called friends. And, no matter what he does, he cannot PROVE he never did anything.

So is the film any good? Well, based on it now being on IMDb's Top 250 list (at number 133), it's obvious a lot of folks loved the film. With a current score of 8.3, it's not at all surprising it would be nominated for the Oscar. As for me, I thought the film was terrific and thought-provoking. It made its point very well by using VERY vivid scenes involving the community literally tormenting Lucas. You can't help but feel affected by the drama--thanks to the script by Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg himself.

I did have one problem with the film--and this is why I didn't score it a 10. Although I think such a theme is great stuff for older kids and teens to watch with their folks, there are a few graphic scenes that were unnecessary for the film and which would probably make many of these parents not show the movie to their families. I think the kids need to see the violence against Lucas but the sex scene and photo weren't really needed in the film. A very light trimming would have made this a great film for ages 12 and older. Now, because it's rated R in the US, it's unlikely these younger viewers would get to see it. This film needs to be seen by a wide audience as it's very, very well made and worth seeing.

By the way, in many ways, this film is like a dramatization of what occurred in the very famous McMartin Pre-School case here in America. Apparently, some very unqualified interviewers screwed up a case and soon had half the school accused of sexual abuse. Some of the stories they reported were downright insane (such as their victimizers being able to fly). Many folks were prosecuted and only later did folks realize what had occurred--a serious rush to judgment. And, as there was no real proof, the accused were all acquitted--but only after years and years of investigations and trials. And, in one case, one of the accused spent five years in jail despite no ultimate conviction.

Also, if you are curious about me, I used to work with sexual abuse victims and perpetrators as a therapist. I am NOT minimizing sexual abuse claims in my review of the film. Too many women are ignored or treated like dirt when they are victims--I've seen this myself. It's just the unqualified and irresponsible interviews with very small children that bothers me. I've worked with many folks in the field and saw that most interviewers (at least back in the 1980s and 90s) were woefully untrained and potentially dangerous because of this.
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simply wonderful...
milica-vukoje3 March 2013
what can i say?

this movie is simply a masterpiece. this movie is what i hope to see every time i enter a cinema.

this movie is warm, engaging, natural, simple, cruel, human... it is everything at once.

i cried my soul out, it is unbelievable how danish directors (lars von trier and thomas vinterberg) are able to move me with their movies.

story is superb. casting is superb. acting is superb. directing is superb.

they say danish people are cold and detached, denmark being a northern country. no one ever takes me to such an emotional journey as danish directors... i think i should marry a danish guy ;)

let me sum it up with what i already said before: this movie is the reason why i go to the cinema in the first place. not for the entertainment, but for the art. for that feeling that i just read a wonderful book. that feeling of satisfaction that i just did something great for my soul. purging, cleansing of my soul, if i may say it that way.


thank you, thomas vinterberg... and thanks to the rest of the crew.
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Once Again: The Children's Hour
Hitchcoc30 January 2014
Having worked as a teacher for some forty years, I knew deep down inside that a vindictive lie from one student (out of thousands that I had) could take me down in a minute. People are so protective of their children (as they should be) that sometimes they fail to see that they are children with an underdeveloped moral code and a tendency toward impulsiveness and peer pressure. They are sometimes motivated by their own interests and by temper. Unfortunately, parents tend to give them credence when they tell outlandish things. I even felt that tug with my own children, but learned to investigate the story before reacting. Often a simple comment meant a teacher "hated" them, or some series events was made to seem much more than it was. Of course, I believe we must be very careful to keep our children's trust and support them when necessary. The people in this movie don't do this and send a man to hell and back. A dear friend of mine spent six months in jail, accused by his daughter of molestation. She finally admitted that she got made because he wouldn't allow her to go out on a school night with her boyfriend. This movie is gut wrenching and real and it happens all the time. Maybe we need to learn patience and to that end, it works very well.
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Brilliantly Made, Intense, Disturbing, Heartbreaking
dashtag123416 January 2021
"The Hunt" from Thomas Vinterberg is an extremely intense movie about how lies and gossip can turn into a major crisis. It also shows how in a situation like this people always believe the victim, and try to manipulate them. Mads Mikkelsen is brilliant in this movie. Overall, this movie is super intense, and there isn't even any music most of the time. It is beautifully shot and perfectly put together. This is a masterpiece, and one of the best movies I have ever seen.
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Heart Wrenching
GholamSlayer12 July 2018
I see why Mads Mikkelsen doesn't emote a whole lot in his films. When he does, the emotions he evokes are overwhelmingly tumultuous. Hannibal inspires genuine fear, but here, his vulnerability and agony will tear your soul open, forcing you to look no matter the pain. A worthy movie if only for Mikkelsen, but there's plenty else there too.
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Oh my word. This is a masterpiece. This is legit a masterpiece.
almosalami25 July 2015
(Before I start, anyone reminded of The Crucible watching this?) The thing most viewers loved about the film was how great the story was. But something I would like to point out and why I say this film is masterful is because you can analyze this film to its core and it gets better and better - not the other way around - and that is something that you can almost never do with most films. That alone is a sign of great writing and directing, and that is of great credit to Thomas Vintenberg and Tobias Lindholm for crafting a consistent tightly-knit story revolving around such a touchy subject, and to those wondering about the name, it very nicely reflects the phrase "witch-hunt", which is what people are doing in the film.

As you've probably read/heard by now, the story is about a teacher who is falsely accused of a horrendous act. Now, even though that is the key point, what the story is really about is how something as simple as the belief in a child's innocence and a few words can get people to completely turn on a person, no matter how irrational or unfair or evil they are being in doing so, in this fit of mass hysteria and paranoia. It's about how terrible social justice and opinion is, and even worse, how terrible it can be to be on the bad side of it. The film also touches on the relationships between people, especially friendships, and how situations like this put these things to the test. It presents how events like these reveal a certain disgustingly maddening aspect of human nature that you would never really imagine to be there, and in that sense, it becomes a fascinating study on human behavior, and from this spawn the debates of many many viewers attempting to make sense of everything. And all of this is gradually built and developed, immersing you more and more, which is crazy because you already start off very well immersed. Multiple times during the film, you feel like you have reached an ultimate low view of humanity and the peak of passionate rage, and then it keeps going and going! You will be on the verge of tears! Now this cannot be achieved without near-perfect acting performances from everyone in the cast, not just the main characters. Mads Mikkelson pulls off one of the greatest performances I've ever seen from this type of character. Every line of dialogue he says not only is so well written but is so well reflected in the performance. I can recall many moments during the film wherein the way he acted is exactly how I've seen people in somewhat similar circumstances. And what's so great about both the acting and character of Mads Mikkelson is that he's not just some clichéd utterly vulnerable guy. No, he actually has some strength and pride to him, and he won't just take all the bull!@#$ that comes to him. I loved it! There were so many satisfying moments that came of that. Thomas Bo Larson also completely encompasses a best friend who is being internally pulled apart by the situation, and by the time we see him complete his arc, his character is imprinted in the minds of the viewers as one of the great aspects of the film. And as honorable mentions, I have to say that all the child actors felt refreshingly real and EVEN THE DOG! There was especially one scene where you are not even sure if the dog is legit doing what is being seen or is some kind of movie magic being pulled off here.

Now, in this kind of story, the ending is something that writers must do well to avoid being either too unsatisfactory for the viewer or too good to be true. And I'm glad to say that the ending is probably as good as the rest of the film. Part of the genius of the ending is that not only does it leave you thinking about it, but it forces you to reflect back on the entire film, which aside from adding to the mastery of the film, further helps to promote the film as a whole. One can say that the way the ending skipped over a period of time was a bit lazy in writing, and it maybe got a bit sappy, but if you think about what happens at the very end, all of that is very well justified because it was to conveys a certain message which you, the viewer, may interpret different than others (do not mistake this, though, as one of those open-endings some films do, not that that is necessarily bad but is usually done out of laziness and lacks thought and effort).

Another thing worthy of note is the cinematography and shot composition. While there were a few moments where the camera wobbled and took the viewer slightly out of the world, the rest of the film is brilliantly filmed and shot. Certain shots are held static and focused on the subject of the shot to add onto the emotion of the scene, and along with the way they are composed, whether the character is being filmed in nature or in a house, fits perfectly in this world set up by the film.

I never expected to be so immersed, so riveted, so emotionally hit by this film, but I was. I was actually nearly in tears at one point. This film will take you through an emotional roller-coaster and will leave you exhausted! I salute Thomas Vintenberg, Tobias Lindholm, and the entire cast for their excellence in this film. What a great film.
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One of the few films that actually frustrated me
costantis13 June 2015
I certainly don't find myself in the category of movie watchers who think that something is gonna change in the plot if they talk to the characters. I actually find it really annoying when other people keep commenting during the film.

However this time I totally felt like I was in the movie, like I needed to change what's gonna happen, like make the girl "tell the truth" or make the main character "insist about being innocent".

In fact the movie was so powerful it made you wonder what you could possibly do in a similar situation being the main character, his son or one of the family friends.

It indicated in the best way how our society still remains medieval, how from one moment to another civilized people can become animals hunting for blood , seeking revenge, actually wanting to "burn the witches". Definitely one of the best films I've watched.
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If you want proof that Mads Mikkelsen is one of the finest actors around look no further.
azanti00293 April 2013
I would easily rate this film as the best I saw in 2012. Not an easy watch by any means, the story revolves around a Danish Primary School Teacher who is accused of molesting a child from his class. In circumstances that are as believable as they are positively frightening paranoia becomes evidence as the wrong questions are asked by the wrong people and poor Lucas finds himself suspended from his job and becomes the town pariah in a very small community. As the hate and abuse begins to mount and with his own girlfriend doubting him, Lucas wonders if his life will ever be the same as he struggles to try and prove his innocence.

As besets the calm manner of the Danes, the acting here is beautifully observed and subtly explored in a range of superb performances by the whole cast. Special mention must go to the younger members of the cast who are simply outstanding and credit too, to the director for being able to guide them through what must have been very tricky scenes.

A superb watch for anyone who wants to see either a dam good thriller or some fine actors at work, this simply is first rate. The social dichotomy at work in the script and the uncomfortable issues explores are so relevant in todays society, that this really is a film that every Sun and Daily Mail reader should be forced to watch. Outstanding all round.
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Sometimes we're too quick to see men as monsters
Deathstryke19 December 2012
This film comes right after the hysteria generated by the Jimmy Saville abuse scandals and the revelations about pedophilia within the Catholic Church.

Suffice to say it is refreshing and pertinent to see a story about the damage that can be caused to an innocent man, by a false report. We live in a society that is increasingly insecure and paranoid about pedophilia, rape and abuse. Virgin Airlines won't allow a man to sit next to a child who is traveling alone. Men are given funny looks in playgrounds. Mothers are reported to social workers when they give their screaming kids a slap in public.

This film demonstrates the danger that comes from that hysteria and reminds us all that children, for whatever reason, do not always tell the truth. The consequences are brutal and made all the more realistic by a stellar cast of actors. I give props to the young actress playing Klara, the girl who makes the false accusation, she was fantastic.

Distressing, highly emotional, but unlike an American movie, never over-bearing in its sentimentality, minus one or two slightly cliché metaphors in the dialogue. It makes you empathize with all the characters, not just the protagonist and really makes you think about what you would do if you found yourself, or someone you loved, in that situation.
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Human stupidity and hysteria strike again
crazyworld-997123 February 2021
I guess I didn't have as much of a shocked reaction to this movie as many others have, as I have seen many lives destroyed by ignorant and evil people in real life, but this was nevertheless a very worthwhile and well-made film. The plot has been discussed in other reviews already. so I won't recap it again. Basically, the movie highlights the damage that ignorance, unfounded assumptions, and the resulting hysteria can do. As I write this in the time of the COVID, we are currently witnessing how entire societies can be brought to their knees when ignorance and hysteria override logic and common sense. The movie shows that at their core, humans as a whole are still very primitive, operating not on logic and reason, but on fear, hysteria, and pack mentality. The whole hunting theme that runs through the movie serves as a metaphor for this. Even when the lead character does finally get his life back on track after having it destroyed by hysterical fools, including his so-called friends, the ending proves that these primitive emotions and behaviors are still ever-present. Until we evolve as a species, this will continue to be the case, and many good people will continue to pay the ultimate price as a result.
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Disturbing Tale.
andrewchristianjr17 December 2019
Disturbing tale, very uncomfortable film, to watch what happens to this man. Simple and one-sided, but still a good portrayal of a tragedy that feels very real.
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Incredibly disheartening...
ronakkotian19 April 2020
There are very few movies that have been able to make me this emotionally drained by the end of it. The Hunt is one of those few.

The Hunt tells the story of Lucas, a kindergarten teacher whose life gets ruined by an innocent little lie.

This film broke me. It deals with a subject matter that is very dark and the way director Thomas Vinterberg executes this subject is extremely realistic. Majority of this film is very quiet. The background score is kept minimal which I felt made the movie all the more intense. The premise is handled with immense care. All the characters shown feel like real people and it's scary to think how everything shown in this movie can happen in real life.

Lucas is by far the most sympathetic character I've ever seen. I really cared about him and felt really disheartened by the way he was treated despite not doing anything wrong. A huge amount of credit goes to Mads Mikkelsen who gives his best performance here. He is on-screen for majority of the film and conveys a lot of emotion just through his eyes alone. He is simply outstanding here. It's also really hard to blame the other characters for their reactions because of the situation. It goes to show how lies, big or small, can essentially ruin one's livelihood. It shows the general ignorance and mass hysteria prevalent in our society and the tendency to believe anything someone says without going deeper into it.

The Hunt is one of the most depressing films I've seen and can be difficult to sit through. Mads Mikkelsen gives a truly memorable performance and Thomas Vinterberg presents us a remarkable film that says a lot despite its quiet personality.
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Gossip kills
stensson12 May 2013
Vinterberg has made many disturbing movies in the good sense. This is no exception. The 42-year-old male assistant at a daycare center is falsely accused by a child for sexual abuse. Since children don't lie about such thing, he's doomed. But he's innocent.

A Via Dolorosa starts for Mads Mikkelsen in this little Danish village. There's no smoke without fire and it doesn't matter if the prosecution turns the whole thing down.

It's not that gossip necessarily kills you physically, but it kills your soul. Great drama by Vinterberg, including the interesting subject of friendship between men. What is it worth?
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bhwm-1652621 January 2021
Mads Mikkelsen is heartwrenching in this beautifully told story. Vinterberg has a phenomal eye for cinema, and every shot captures the most emotion it can. An absolute must watch.
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Mads Mikkelsen is great as always
angeles594 April 2020
I cannot help but compare this piece with Atonement, this one delivers much better though. I could feel the sadness and desperation through the screen. Very frustrating but very well produced movie. Again Mads' acting is incredible as always.
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