Stockholm (2018) Poster

(I) (2018)

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9/10
a fun movie, dark subject matter
maxbryantx16 April 2019
Stockholm can be described as a fun and comedic film, covering a dark subject matter in order to show its audience how human beings cope with stressful, life threatening situations. The film is based on the Swedish bank heist, and hostage situation, that would later inspire the coining of the phrase "Stockholm syndrome," which describes the phenomenon of a hostage forming a bond with their captor. Of the many things the film does well, what stands above the rest is the films ability to make the audience realize how someone might actually succumb to Stockholm syndrome. The main anti-hero of the story, Lars (Ethan Hawke), shows early on that all he really wants is to get his buddy, Gunnar (Mark Strong), out of jail. You the audience member even find yourself sympathizing with him as over the course of the film he goes out of his way to care for his hostages including letting one of them, Bianca (Noomi Rapace), use the telephone to call her family. The comedy in the film comes across quite well, at some points I found myself audibly laughing, and allows the audience to establish a better connection with Lars. Apart from the story, the 70's aesthetics were executed perfectly with a very pleasing color pallet focusing on shades of orange and teal, wonderful b-roll of a 70's Stockholm, and a few Bob Dylan songs thrown in for good measure. It was very enjoyable to watch and had my interest peaked right from the get-go.
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A weird one
Phil_Chester5 March 2020
This is a strange film to discuss. It's not sure whether it's a comedy, a drama or possibly a thriller. There's not enough tension to make it a thriller, there are some comedic moments, but not enough to make you laugh, and the characters are too thinly portrayed to make you invest in them for the drama to work. But, despite that, it's as fascinating in some ways as a slow-motion car crash - you just can't avert your eyes. Bizarre.
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7/10
Good, but could have been better
TopDawgCritic17 June 2019
Writer and director Robert Budreau did a great job directing, but his writing needed more "oomph". Pacing was a little slow, and not much comedy - all of it pretty much shown in the trailer. The acting however, was outstanding, especially from Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace. Enjoyable film on how Stockholm Syndrome was recognized as a psychological diagnosis. A 7/10 from me.
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6/10
Remember the Alamo!?
ferguson-612 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. The film opens with a title card informing us that it is "based on an absurd but true story". In 1973 the Kreditbanken of Stockholm Sweden was held up by an armed man. The ordeal was unusual for low-crime Sweden and it was broadcast live on TV. It has also been credited as being the origin for the term "Stockholm Syndrome" - a term to describe the bonding that sometimes occurs between a hostage and their captor.

Writer-director Robert Budreau wisely wastes little time with setting the stage. Lars (Ethan Hawke) dons a disguise meant to trick the police, and storms the bank lobby armed with a sub-machine gun. Wearing a cowboy hat and a leather jacket with a Texas flag, he proclaims "Remember the Alamo" as he secures some hostages and presents himself as Kaj Hansson, a well-known criminal. Of course, Mr. Hawke is certainly an American, and the actual robbery/hostage event was conducted by a Swede.

Lars is loud and boisterous to the cops, while simultaneously being sympathetic and understanding to the hostages - especially Bianca (Noomi Rapace), a married woman with two kids. Christopher Heyerdahl plays Police Chief Mattison, and he employs some unexpected psychological gamesmanship with Lars that gets even more convoluted when Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme becomes involved. Lars' real goal here is to spring his buddy Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) from jail and have them both ride off to freedom in a mustang like the one Steve McQueen drove in BULLITT.

Yes, I should mention that although guns are fired and hostages are held, this is really an offbeat comedic bank heist. It focuses on how the hostages bond with their captors and how Bianca quickly realizes that not only is she smarter than Lars and Gunnar, but that the cops are more of a threat to her than the criminals. She strategizes better than either side, and Ms. Rapace (from the original Millennium Trilogy) is the standout performer in the film.

Filmmaker Budreau and Mr. Hawke previously collaborated on an intimate look at jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in BORN TO BE BLUE (2015), and they prove again that they work well together. The other two hostages are played by Bea Santos as Clara and Mark Rendall as Elov. When Prime Minister Palme refuses to negotiate or allow Lars to leave with hostages, we can sense the emotional tide turn as Clara, Elov and Bianca realize they are safest remaining with the hostages.

Of course there are some liberties with history taken for cinematic reasons, and since most of the filming takes place within the confines of the bank, we do get to know each of the participants pretty well. The similarities to Sidney Lumet's DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975) are unmistakable, and one of the reporters covering the story even comments that it's "almost like watching an American movie." The odd ending works for the film, and thanks to Ms. Rapace, there is enough heft to the characters to prevent the humor for taking over.
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4/10
Just Not Impressed
Foutainoflife3 July 2019
Yeah. I was expecting more I guess. You get to watch Ethan Hawke run around with a porn stache but that's kinda all that happens. There's no real drama taking place and the comedic aspect leaves a lot to be desired.

I would suggest that if you are looking for a true biopic this is not really gonna give all you would expect. It isn't awful. It's just a bit dull and like I said, unimpressive.
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5/10
Why???!!!
love_tina9031 May 2019
I'm so confused. I was expecting a biopic, it is not! Why? It's an interesting story on it's own. And if you wanted to do it all Hollywood, why would you hire so many nordic actors and then do the entire movie in broken english. What a missed opportunity.
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9/10
Fun and exciting film!
sarahdrewry19 April 2019
There's something so amazing about a film that can keep you on your toes with it's fast-paced action and consistently funny antics as "Stockholm" does. Despite being a known true story of the origin of Stockholm Syndrome, the film was able to make me excited to see what happened next as it captivated me through well-written dialogue and incredible characterization of the few main characters. After watching this film and mediating on it for a while, I was struck by the fact that director Robert Budreau was able to perfectly capture the essence of the syndrome, even making me root for the captor, Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke), as the film progressed. I found it so interesting that the Budreau was able to do this with every detail, right down to the music. The music was easy to listen to being upbeat and chill, completely counteractive to the action on the screen but perfectly fitting to the character of Nystrom. The cinematography used in the film also helped develop this reaction as each scene was filmed to masterfully capture the emotion meant to be felt using dark versus light lighting and muted versus bright colors as they developed throughout the film, paralleling the unfolding character of Nystrom. This film was interesting and all in all wonderful to watch; I highly suggest you take the time to see it.
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2/10
Comedy?
andersojeklint3 June 2019
It was like a bad comedy. It could have been made with heart and add some thrilling moments. It was just bad.
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7/10
Well-executed dark comedy/hostage thriller, just needed a little more depth
joelwatchesmovies10 May 2019
Strikes a great balance between high-stakes hostage thrills and quirky character comedy, led by Hawke's notable turn as the volatile and eccentric "(just call me) The Outlaw", who clashes with straight-laced cops and forms an odd bond with his captors (see the excellent Dylan-backed montage of pear-eating in the vault). A barely-there epilogue makes you wish more time was spent on his background and motivations though, as well as on the event's aftermath for Rapace's enigmatic Bianca.
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Funny and serious--just the way I like my heist films. And it's true.
jdesando23 April 2019
"Their resistance to outside help and their loyalty toward their captors was puzzling, and psychologists began to study the phenomenon in this and other hostage situations." Rachel Lloyd

It doesn't pay to second guess Bianca Lind's (Noomi Rapace) falling for her abductor, Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke), in the real life 1973 heist/abduction that originated the descriptor, Stockholm Syndrome. Even as romantic as writer/director Robert Budreau makes the situation, no matter how crazy-charming he makes Lars, the situation, close to life or death, strains credulity.

Although the scene has been regularly described as "absurd" by officials and the media, Budreau and his first-rate actors create a reality that at the very least reminds me of Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. Dog is another hostage situation at a bank with Sonny (Al Pacino) seeking funds for a sex change for his lover. Sounds absurd until you feel the human emotions involved; in Stockholm the sympathy flows between mother Bianca, with a weak husband, and the defiant but "soft" Lars.

Lars had been known to save a heart-attack victim at a heist and shows care for the hostages in the Stockholm bank. The two actors are so good, you can forgive his larceny and understand her attraction to him. It is by no means to exculpate Lars or to condemn the police for using gas-what else could they do?

No one would think that the cinematic setups of this heist are an accurate rendition of the Norrmalmstorg robbery, yet the heightened passions; Lars' motive to spring his bank robbery buddy, Gunnar (Mark Strong); and the imperfect strategies of Chief Mattsson (Christopher Heyerdahl) ring true in any situation. Stockholm is a stock situation riddled with humanity, and some light humor (see the bumbling husband), to make an eccentric spin on an old formula.

Enjoy the characters, and let your reality demands take a sideline.
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8/10
Mostly Accurate
westsideschl11 February 2020
From what I've read this retelling of the 1973 robbery/hostage taking of the Kreditbanken bank in Stockholm is fairly accurate, although, obviously dramatized for a movie. Seems that the hostages, to some extent, had more faith in their well being from the captors than from the government & police. Thus our first widely discussed incident of hostages having some sympathy w/their captors. Both robbers continued, in minor ways, their history of crime after either serving their time or court hearings. Amusingly well acted.
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9/10
We love a dark comedy
madiimcc15 April 2019
Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace are a team to beat! They make an incredible team, and both give amazing performances in scenes both together and apart. One of my favorite scenes is toward the beginning of the film when Bianca, played by Noomi, is speaking to her husband and is simply telling him how to make fish for her kids. It's a touching scene that's so simple, yet, to me, brought much more meaning, and Noomi definitely did not disappoint. While the performances are one of the many things that made Stockholm so exquisite, the soundtrack and choice of color palette add to the beauty of the film. The soundtrack brings a lighthearted feel to scenes, with there being plenty of nods to the time period of the film, and the colors add to the vibrant feel while allowing more serious, somber scened to happen in some darker settings. Overall, Stockholm is a terrific film that I could watch again and again.
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9/10
Serious yet humorous
rachelrkanter15 April 2019
Disturbing, intriguing, and comical, are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe Stockholm, and although they all mean different things, they all come together to make the perfect movie. Stockholm is disturbing in the sense that the story line is based upon a woman catching feelings and likings toward her captor who has kept her hostage in a bank for multiple days. It is intriguing to watch as she develops these feelings for him, and it is comical because the bank robber himself, played by the marvelous Ethan Hawke, likes to try to make light of the situation even though he is the one committing the crime. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie for all its twists and turns and for that I highly recommend it.
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Original
tessfutch22 May 2019
There's a lot of positive things I could say about the new movie "Stockholm", but my favorite genre Robert Budreau decided to include in the film is the romance. Its originality of having a hostage fall in love with her kidnapper, made it stand out from any other movie I have seen. No regular movie would show the sensitive side of both the kidnapper and an individual being held hostage. The powerful scenes of Lars Nystrom, the bank robber, and his hostage Bianca, showed how high the sexual tension was. It's a twisted dynamic that unfolds in an unexpected way. The way the movie was written almost had me siding with Lars. The romance flowed so well with the story line. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to watch a movie that will stand out among others.
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6/10
More laughs than learning in this fictional spin on the events that gave shrinks a new diagnosis
lotekguy-118 April 2019
Did you ever wonder about the origin of the psychological condition known as "Stockholm Syndrome"? The title of this rather comical account of a bank robbery turning into a hostage situation telegraphs the answer. Although the script is fictional, it is based on the actual 1973 events that added one term to our vernacular, and one section in pertinent psych texts. Good thing. As this ordeal plays out, it would have been too absurd to make up from whole cloth and successfully pitch to any studio.

Ethan Hawke is the solo robber at the beginning. But instead of grabbing the cash, he keeps a few hostages and demands the release of a prisoner (Mark Strong), among other terms. This goes on for a couple of days with more ups and downs and zany mishaps than one finds in any of Elmore Leonard's delightful comic caper novels or the movies they spawned. Not easy to do, unless you're the Marx Brothers. True to the premise, one of the hostages (Noomi Rapace, looking more prim and uptight than her norm) becomes the first to develop the symptoms. Another novelty is seeing the invariably-bald Strong sport a full head of lanky hair. Not his best look.

The film drags on a bit too long for the claustrophobic setting, as nearly every shot we see occurs within the bank. That cost it one of the potential stars, above. Hawke's edginess is amusing for a while, but grows tedious as he loses his cool over so many setbacks and complications. Even so, it's a generally amusing and entertaining diversion. Expect a fairly farcical variation on Dog Day Afternoon to watch it in the right frame of mind.
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2/10
Sorry, but this movie was soo bad...
mr-akita30 May 2019
The only fun part of this was to see it filmed in Stockholm were I live, the rest was crap.
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9/10
Great Psychological Thriller!
This movie did an incredible job of being both lighthearted but also meaningful. "Stockholm" is a fast-paced, exhilarating film with a sarcastic bite. This movie comically illustrates the psychology behind Stockholm syndrome, a psychosomatic condition that occurs when a hostage develops a bond with their capture as a means of survival. Based on a true story, "Stockholm" follows an ex-con as he robs a bank, taking 3 people hostage in an attempt to free his old partner in crime. This is the first film in a long time that made me both laugh and feel emotionally invested. While the plot sounds simple, it was unlike any crime drama I've ever watched. Check it out if you'd enjoy an original thriller.
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9/10
Fun, dark, and incredibly funny!
zieglerstephen15 April 2019
Based in 1973, this period piece and true story from director Robert Budreau tells the origins of the Stockholm syndrome condition. In Sweden, we see this crime drama meets comedy explode with entertainment from the cast which besides Ethan Hawke as the bank robber, we receive a phenomenal role from Noomi Rapace who plays one of the bank employee hostages. There is incredible pacing and craft in relaying this 6-day event which transpired in Europe during this time. Music selections such as Bob Dylan and Margaret Lewis give an added aesthetic from the 70's that really ties the films authenticity together.
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about loneliness
Kirpianuscus2 May 2020
The basic virtues are the performances of Noomi Rapace and Ethan Hawke. And the wise way to say an absurde, ridicule real story in fair manner. A film about love in different manners and with a lot of nuances. And, off course, a film about loneliness. A good one, no doubts and a smart definition of the Stockholm syndrome.
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7/10
Strange but true. Worth seeing
julianrosser-440-78783929 January 2020
Actually quite a good film as it's largely based on a true story and has historic psychological significance because of the relationship that developed between hostages and captors. Anyway with Noomi Rapace, Ethan Hawke and Mark Strong in it it couldn't be bad could it ?!

Quirky and amusing in places I thought it was worth seeing and don't really agree with the panning that some have given it on IMDb
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9/10
Compelling Dark Comedy, Hawke is Amazing
jordanthom29 April 2019
Stockholm is thoughtful in its human moments, but thoroughly entertaining at the same time. Its premise warrants insanely hilarious scenes with Ethan Hawke's character Lars, but at its core it's about the unusual circumstances that relationships form- in a way that is both moving and a little messed up. This film isn't short of highly tense, stressful moments that have you completely hooked. The weird balance of absurd comedy and human drama is perfectly matched with Hawke's performance. You buy the motivations behind his character and shortly realize that he is just someone pretending to know what the hell he is doing, and it's really incredible to see someone as good as Hawke portray a character that has such a big personality.
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8/10
Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace shine in the "Stockholm Syndrome" origin story
paul-allaer27 April 2019
"Stockholm" (2018 release; 92 min.) opens with the reminder that this is "Based on an absurd but true story". We are in "Stockholm, Sweden, 1973" as we see Kaj (later we learn his real name is Lars) walking into the Kredietenbank, and open a salvo of gunfire. He quickly takes several people hostage, releasing everyone else, and demands that a good buddy of his, Gunnar, be released from prison promptly, or otherwise he will kill one of the hostages. This sets in motion a confrontation with the police chief, who wants to negotiate, rather than give in to Kaj's demands... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: the term "Stockholm Syndrome" is well-known as referring to a situation where hostages become friendly to the hostage taker(s), but do you know the facts of the underlying hostage case? This movie seeks to finally give us the full story of what happened in Stockholm back in 1973. The movie is by Canadian writer-director Robert Budreau, who previously gave us the excellent Chet Baker bio-pic "Born To Be Blue", starring Ethan Hawke. They must've liked their collaboration as Budreau and Hawke reunite for this film, and to great effect. Hawke is outstanding as Kaj/Lars, with just the right amount of swagger and charm. Check out his obsessiveness over Bob Dylan (4 or 5 Dylan songs play throughout the movie). But even better is Noomi Rapace, who stars as Bianca, the bank staff person who comes across as the mousy wife/mother of two young children, but underestimate her at your own peril, as she is determined to live through this. (Even though the movie is set in Stockholm, and Rapace is a Swedish actress, she speaks English for this role.) Christopher Heyerdahl plays the police chief with great restraint and confidence in his negotiating skills. I frankly was transfixed throughout the movie, and yes, there are some absurd aspects to the real-life story, but by no means is the movie a "comedy" or even "comedy-drama" as billed on IMDb: this is a hostage drama, nothing less, nothing more.

"Stockholm" premiered at last year's Tribeca film festival, yes exactly a year ago. It finally received a limited theater release, and opened at my local theater the very same weekend as "Avengers Endgame" (which I have zero interest in seeing). Talk about counter-programming! The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended just so-so (about 10 people), which is a darn shame. Hopefully this movie will find a wider audience as it is released on other platforms. Meanwhile if you are in the mood for a tense hostage drama or have always been curious about the underlying hostage case that provides the origin for the term "Stockholm Syndrome", or if you are simply a fan of Ethan Hawke or Noomi Rapace, you could do a lot worse than this movie. I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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9/10
High Risk, High Reward
BrendenElliot17 April 2019
Stockholm fires on all cylinders, from its witty dialogue to its exceptional acting, but its character development is definitively the film's high point. In a story about a sympathetic captor, it would be easy to have him fully transform from villain to hero and have audiences satisfied that good prevails. However, Lars (Ethan Hawke) never loses his edge despite the development of a caring relationship with his hostage. The decision to develop a character that doesn't come full circle in his arc is a risky move, but it reaped a great reward for Dir. Robert Burdeau. The depth that he brings to Lars makes this film the perfect blend of style and character, ultimately creating the perfect cross between crime drama and dark comedy, which is guaranteed to appeal to any film buff.
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9/10
Great Movie!
ecsd-4183925 April 2019
Stockholm tells the true story of a hostage situation in a supremely entertaining way, while bringing light to the origin of the term Stockholm Syndrome. This film gives us a look at how people interact when isolated and portrays how connection and empathy can emerge in places that seem illogical. My favorite part of the movie was the characters and cast in this film. According to Matthew Passantino from FilmThreat, "Hawke is a blast as Lars, playing it big and broad but registering as a man on a mission, even when he doesn't seem to have anything resembling a plan. Hawke has always been an underrated actor, creating a simple, everyday realism in projects like The Before Trilogy or Boyhood and playing loud and fun as he does here. He and Rapace have a great captor-captee relationship, playing off each other with a mix of irrational behavior from Lars and a more rational way of thinking from Bianca". Hawk's character also comes off as very sensitive at times which lends to him being a well-rounded and intriguing character. This is a bittersweet story that I highly suggest to heist movie fans, or those who want to know the origin of Stockholm Syndrome. This is a great movie, especially for psychology fans, as it touches on the surprising ways that can connect when in stressful situations.
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1/10
1 hour & 32 min of CONTINUOUS SCREAMING!
theroux-563062 June 2019
If you like to get your eardrums raped for 1 hour & 32 min of CONTINUOUS SCREAMING, then you'll appreciate this movie! And this movie doesn't tell the real story of what happened during the robbery. In fact, there's hardly anything that relates to the true story, it's just pure fiction!
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