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Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (2013)

Kvinden i buret (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 17 June 2016 (USA)
1:39 | Trailer
Police inspector Carl Mørck is put in charge of a department of cold cases, joined only by his assistant, Assad. They dig into a case about a disappeared woman.


Mikkel Nørgaard
3 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolaj Lie Kaas ... Carl Mørck
Per Scheel Krüger Per Scheel Krüger ... Anker
Troels Lyby ... Hardy Henningsen
Øyvind B. Fabricius Holm Øyvind B. Fabricius Holm ... Død mand
Søren Pilmark ... Marcus Jacobsen
Divya Das Divya Das ... Nyhedsvært
Anne Bærskog Hauger Anne Bærskog Hauger ... Viggas Rasmussen (voice) (as Anne Hauger)
Fares Fares ... Assad
Sonja Richter ... Merete Lynggaard
Rasmus Botoft ... Tage Baggesen
Patricia Schumann ... Søs Norup
Marie Mondrup Marie Mondrup ... Helle Andersen
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard ... Uffe Lynggaard
Kenneth Carmohn Kenneth Carmohn ... Mand på færge
Michael Brostrup Michael Brostrup ... Børge Bak


Chief detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad become involved in a five-year-old case concerning the mystery of politician Merete Lynggaard's disappearance - a journey that takes them deep into the undercurrent of abuse and malice that lurks beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia. Written by Zentropa Productions

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the First Department Q Best Selling Novel See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares both signed a four-picture contract, matching the number of Department Q novels that had been published at the time of filming. See more »


The main villain, Lars, is sent to the orphanage in 1991. Before this he set in the care of foster parents. In the living room these foster parents there is a combination VHS-DVD machine, which did not appear at least 15 years later. See more »


Assad: [Holding up a file] This man swears Merete entered the men's room.
Carl Mørck: His statemen't useless.
Assad: Why?
Carl Mørck: Because he was drunk.
Assad: A pretty girl enters while you're holding your dick: you remember that drunk or not.
See more »


Followed by Department Q: The Absent One (2014) See more »


5 Om Morgenen
Written by Nicholas Westwood Kidd (as Kidd) and Eloq (as Eloq)
Performed by Nicholas Westwood Kidd (as Kidd)
See more »

User Reviews

Taut, Danish cop thriller that demands sequels.
28 August 2014 | by TheSquissSee all my reviews

The latest in a long (endless?) line of fine Scandinavian police thrillers, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden I buret to give it its Danish title) is a taut, thrilling cop drama that compels and seizes the interest for the duration of its 97 minute running time.

In the aftermath of an ill-fated mission that leaves one colleague dead and another seriously injured, police inspector Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is bumped from his department and tasked with setting up Department Q, a dead-end desk job that requires him to spend the next few years ensconced in a dusty basement with a new partner, Assad (Fares Fares), tying up the loose ends on old cases. Instructed to close three cases per week, Mørck and Assad begin with the investigation of a politician, Merete Lynggaard (Sonja Richter) who disappeared five years previously. Written off as a suicide, Mørck is determined to prove there is more to the case and delves into a murky case of abuse, murder and kidnapping.

With both Kaas and Richter alumni of the original series of The Killing, and Fares a star of both Easy Money and Zero Dark Thirty, the central trio makes for a very solid human triptych, even if displayed as separate components (he wrote carefully, determined not to lead or hint or give anything away). The relationship between Mørck and Assad, particularly, is a sufficient variation of the 'cop buddies' partnership to make it feel new. Both policemen have their foibles, their differences and their similarities; Mørck is out of favour, Assad has been trusted with something vaguely resembling a promotion, Mørck is silent and brooding, Assad celebrates his new found 'freedom' with ear-bleeding music, Mørck is a battering ram, Assad invests time to achieve his results…

As an aside, The Keeper of Lost Causes succeeds magnificently in portraying a Muslim character in a positive light in a film that isn't about that issue. Assad could be anyone; he just happens to be a Muslim.

Though The Keeper of Lost Causes will invariably be compared to The Killing, it is closer in tone to the thoughtfulness of Wallander and the cynicism of French series Spiral and is spiced with the dark violence of Larsson's Millennium trilogy. There is humour within the gloomy folds of this thriller but it is cold and cynical as befits a yarn of kidnap and murder.

I saw much of the outcome in the first fifteen minutes of The Keeper of Lost Causes but it was a still an electrifying journey that has a great deal to celebrate, not least of all a sublime accident sequence. Think 'ballet with cars' and you're getting close.

Like all good thrillers, The Keeper of Lost Causes works on the terror factor that it could happen. We don't tend to believe in zombies and vampires, although I'm up for a short-term zombocalypse armed with a crossbow and a katana, but humans with a vindictive streak and a penchant for malevolent revenge? Yep, they're far too real to ignore.

The Keeper of Lost Causes is a rare treat for another reason: it clearly sets itself up for a sequel and director Mikkel Nørgaard has duly obliged with the second adaptation of author Juss Adler-Olsen's novels, The Absent One (Fasandræberne), released in Denmark this autumn.

Roll on the end of the summer!

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Denmark | Germany | Sweden | Norway


Danish | Swedish | Arabic

Release Date:

17 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes See more »


Box Office


EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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