Arctic (2018) Poster


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Borrowed my Stolen
juliawsc13 July 2018
This survival movie consisted of many many elements of other survival movies we've seen such as Cast Away and 127 hours but it felt new. I couldn't pin point why the movie didn't feel boring or overdone even though I'd seen some of the plot point before. It all lies in Mads Mikkleson's character. In every other movie we watch and cringe at the survivalist doing everything wrong but pushing on in spite of it. In Arctic, Mads does everything right. He clearly has survival training and is putting his knowledge to good use. He should be able to get help no problem, but despite all his efforts, it's the world that keeps tearing him down, not his ignorance as we see in so many other survival movies. We route for him and grieve when it doesn't go his way because we know he's doing absolutely everything by the book but it's just not going his way.

It's also incredible how Mads says the same few sentences over and over and it means something different every time he says it. There's so much emotion and meaning behind his few words.
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Being human
heromngmnt4 August 2018
I went to see Arctic for only one reason: Mads Mikkelsen. I could be called a fangirl, to be honest, I don't mind. He has an incredible skill and even better personality (or at least "public personality"). He is humble and gives his whole heart to each project he participates in. No matter if it's a small film by an unknown director or a huge blockbuster from Marvel or Star Wars franchise. And when you hear him talking about it, the perception changes completely.

I used to love Mads for his Hannibal, but my true appreciation came after The Hunt and knowing how much he differs from both of the characters. And what was very important to me, he decided not to go into method acting. He wanted to stay himself for his family. So no matter how he loves his job, he didn't want to make the choice between that and the life of a husband and a father. After the introduction, I feel obliged to say why I made this fangirl's ode. Arctic is a one-actor film. Apart from a very small role of an unknown Thai actress, Mads Mikkelsen was the only face we follow for over one and a half hour. I couldn't have thought of any better choice for that challenge. Mads' face can show volumes of feelings which I don't believe mine can. He can tell everything without words and this was the magic of Arctic.

The story focuses on a pilot whose plane crashed somewhere close to the North Pole. Through his routine, he wants to establish a connection with civilization. He clears his SOS sign, he catches fish and tries to charge a radio with the strength of his muscles. He spends every hour doing exactly what he planned to increase the chances of being rescued. But then his survival routine changes because of yet another plane crash. A Thai woman survived it but she got an ugly wound and is now sick. She can't leave the bed, she's barely conscious so he decides to save her by any means necessary.

The film itself couldn't differ much from any other survival one. Human survival in difficult habitat isn't a very broad subject and I strongly believe that cinema explored all of these emotions at least a thousand times. The art lies in expression and creating the atmosphere of empathy. Thoughts of what I would do in such a situation bugged me for the entire film and long afterwards. The reflection of humanity and our ethics was told by almost silent film and it stuck me with questions I believed I'd known answers to.

Meanwhile, it made me appreciate the beauty of the icy landscapes. The cinematography work was very thorough, especially since they were shooting while the snow was melting. All these icebergs were magnificent and mesmerizing. They composed perfectly with the music by Joseph Trapanesse (known from The Greatest Showman, Oblivion or Straight Outta Compton).

To be honest there's nothing more I could say that won't feel at least blunt. It is hard to describe feelings, especially the ones which are shown, not told. This film has the magic of the story about how to be true to oneself and how to love one another, no matter how hard the situation becomes.
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Stellar film-making with an outstanding performance by Mads Mikkelsen
TheTopDawgCritic15 April 2019
It's rare to find a film where the cast is only the one actor, and another that simply goes along for the ride - and pull it off.

YouTuber Joe Penna makes his full length feature film debut as producer, writer and director - an nailed it.

This is a simple film with a simple story, that effectively presents the battle of survival between man vs. nature.

The directing was perfection, the cinematography on point, the visuals absolutely stunning, and the score just right. Mads Mikkelsen gave an Oscar worthy performance - and that's with pretty much zero dialogue.

My only critique was the films 98 min length. Although the editing was good, and the pacing decent, the 'meat and bones' of the story didn't fit the length. This film should have been a little shorter, or more conflict added to the story.

Nevertheless, Arctic is the perfect example of old-school, straight-up stellar film-making. Don't go into this expecting any Hollywood action or dramatics.. this is simple and natural adventure and suspense.

A well deserved 8/10 from me.
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FrenchEddieFelson20 February 2019
Mads Mikkelsen is, as usual, excellent. The film is captivating: you will be cold, you will be hungry, you will be afraid, you will be exhausted, even in your movie theater!
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Fantastic Feature Debut From Joe Penna
BlurayAddictAU15 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Arctic is the debut feature from director Joe Penna, whom you might recognise as Mystery Guitar Man from the early days of YouTube. Here he has teamed up with the ever fantastic Mads Mikkelsen to create a story of survival in one of the harshest environments on earth, the Arctic tundra.

The film shows only what it needs to, starting with a cold open (no pun intended) where we are presented with Mads' character, a pilot who has already been stranded for a while after his plane went down in a snow covered valley. Using materials from his downed plane, Mads seems to have been getting by for a while, until for a certain reason he embarks on a perilous journey to find some kind of salvation.

Penna directs with restraint on location, and you can really tell how much poor Mads went through here. With a mostly silent performance, Mads' body language and the camera convey most of the story and works very very well.

Arctic feels very realistic all the way through, even when Mads' has the inevitable encounter with a Polar Bear none of it felt fake and we had a fair few gasps and jumps from the audience at Adelaide Film Festival.

With an uncompromising vision of the raw and desolate tundra, Arctic pulls everything together for a great story of survival and willpower with a beautiful performance by Mads Mikkelsen.

Arctic is out early next year, thanks to Adelaide Film Festival for the screening and passes used for this review!
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Fantastic Performance
watergunoutlaw3 February 2019
My kind of film. Doesn't spoon feed everything to you. Great acting, exciting, and unpredictable. And the setting was both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Great film!
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Brilliant storytelling and acting make for a mature compelling movie
ra_clothing1 May 2019
Brilliant storytelling and acting make for a mature compelling movie
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Great Survival Story
SantaCruzReviews12 March 2019
Fantastic movie. Very engaging from start to finish. Mads conveyed a wide range of emotions with such believability, it could've been a documentary. However, the writers were able to script such depth in reguards to the value of human connection, valuing life and fighting for survival with every ounce of the human spirit. Mads Mikkelson is a master at non-verbally displaying and conveying deep human emotion and intense suffering. The only question the viewer is left to ponder is.... did the characters ever go poo and pee?
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Very intense !
veerleameyaw3 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished watching arctic. It's a good movie Most of the scenes in the film is non-verbal but very intense. I missed some action , for example at a sudden moment in the movie the white bear made growling noises and threatened him. I wanted to see a fighting scene with the bear, or like some other kind of action.

The fact that Mads Mikkelsen sacrificed alot to make this movie, is something i really respect. He is a GREAT actor who acts brilljant and perfect in every movie. He was talking in a interview: during the shouting i walked for days in the extreme cold, with barely something to eat. I am sure that he also has fantastic survival skills in real life.

If i have 2 be honest, there were some boring scenes in the film, especially in the beginning from the movie. Perhaps if they would let the girl take more initiative and talk more it would be less boring. The ending was just so intense and at the same time sad. Wow very brilliant, emotional movie!
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Dramatic movie but ending could have been better
ginohagenaars20 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Okay first off I have to say this movie had my attention the entire movie. It was really good and dramatic in a way I really wanted to help this dude or that he got saved. The movie itself is all about survival and that's what makes this movie interesting because you can also learn from it and because hes doing stuff you didn't know yet. The ending is pretty good because it just ends there and it doesn't show how recovered from it , so it not that casual in that way, but the part that the helicopter came back to save them is just casual for me. But although this ending I really loved this movie. It deserves to be a minimum 7 on averaged
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TheDragonTrader16 April 2019
Quite suddenly we're dropped in the middle of nowhere in the snow with Mads Mikkelsen. Several meaningless minutes later the plot starts to unravel. A chance of survival, a tough journey ahead, the promise of a good movie. And it's not bad. But it never quite exceeds the level of mediocrity it starts on.

To the background of the gorgeous panoramic views of a desolate ice-cold landscape, plays a story that is everything but innovative, guided by a dull musical score that might as well have been left behind. We feel no connection with the characters, for we never get to know who they are, but on the other hand it ís a relief to notice that the makers chose not to include another hour of dragging background info. Only, now it felt a bit empty. Just a human having a hard time.

But Mads Mikkelsen! You have treated us on the performance of a lifetime! With only a handful of lines you damn near had me crying out your pain with you. A middle aged woman seated just a couple stools to my right even really did! And for a second there I thought she was having a heart attack after a jump scare.

So it does reach the audience through Mikkelsen's incredible performance, but overall... it's just a nicely made movie that's easy to forget.
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the great performance of the lead actor can't save the film.
theromanempire-121 March 2019
For what the film showed it was too long. ok I get what they wanted us to witness but to watch the same and the same stuff again and again for 1 hour and a half it was tiresome. there was virtually no scenario.....not any suspense if u exclude a few scenes especially at the end. in general excluding last like 10 minutes a scene with a polar bear and the scene in the beginning with that helicopter the movie was a repetition and a repetition of the same stuff. if this film had lasted half an hour then it would be a great film. for an hour and a half that it lasted it's not. it's average and tiresome.

for me it's a C- 4 out of 10
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Intensely Dramatic Survival Story
rannynm17 January 2019
This intense dramatic film about survival had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

The film takes place in the cold, icy mountains of Iceland. A man crash lands in the middle of nowhere, thanks to a snow blizzard. He is very resourceful and does well on his own. Finally, a rescue arrives, but things get out of control. Time is ticking and he needs medical help. He has more difficult times ahead battling mother nature and has to decide to either stay at his makeshift campsite or move to clearer ground in hopes of being rescued.

Written by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, the protagonist Overgard is played by Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor who has appeared in many American films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange. He makes you experience the physical and mental emotions of this painstaking survival of the fittest. His rescuer is played by Maria Thelma Smaradottir who does very little in the film because she is on her death bed.

The scenery is mostly snow-covered mountains and the landscape is beautiful. Overgard's costumes look suitable for his role. I enjoyed this film because it taught me about how unpredictable nature is and how to think through a difficult situation. The scenes with the bear scared me so much, I literary jumped in my seat!

I give this film 4 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. You should know that there is some adult language in it, including use of the F word. Talking is minimal and it's an excellent film, aside from the profanity. This film opens February 1, 2019 in select theaters so, look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.
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Maria Thelma Smáradóttir steals the show!
bigervin23 April 2019
While Mads provides a great performance as usual, Maria absolutely nails her role. It's like she was born to play this part. The scene where she opened her eyes a little and then closed them again had me on the edge of my seat. Not to get too far ahead of myself, but this may generate some award season buzz.

So sit back and enjoy the ride, just like Maria's character did.
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left feeling cold
realintheory22 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This film makes no sense

His plane has no transponder.. he has no radio... he didn't call in his last position as he crashed.. the helicopter crew that found him didn't tell anybody where they were.. all the helicopter's comms equipment similarly gave up ????

As if that's bad enough.. we get the most stupidly obvious ending .. he waves and sets off a flare but .. despite being obviously spottable the rescuers appear to have somehow missed him.. so he lays down to die.. as the rescuers land behind him

Films like this have to be more realistic.. this was just avoiding reality to make 'drama'
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Mikkelsen is mighty
twright-514021 May 2019
Laborious. Bleak. Sad. Colorless.

Barely a word is spoken. Mikkelsen is rarely out of your sight, and his skill is on full display. Stay for the well-earned payoff. One of my favorite movies so far this year.
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Incredibly disappointed
vickygarbett17 February 2019
I am a huge fan of Mads, so was really sad not to have enjoyed this film. It was the opening film for our outdoor cinema in Western Australia so I had invited everyone. Superficially it's ok but I just spent the whole time picking fault with it. Snow blindness, wound infection, hypothermia, normal bodily functions ignored. I'm afraid it was all to neat and clean for me. Goerge Orwell said the one thing that lingered in his mind about the Spanish Civil War was the overwhelming smell of human waste. Well the film didn't have to descend too low but not real enough for me.
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robsoer7 February 2019
An indeed excellent edge-of-your seat movie which will completely absorbs you. Very good acting and script
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Arctic - Simple story about survival
meepfacejohn2 February 2019
Lost in the desolate arctic, because of a aircraft-accident, pilot Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) tries to survive in through steady routines and pure willpower. How long he will make it alone, is uncertain, and how long he has already survived is vague, but he holds on to hope for good or for bad. On a hill, not far from the downed aeroplane, Overgård sits for hours every day hoping to get in touch with airtrafic. One day, finally, after many months there appears a helicopter, but of course due to bad weather, it ends in one more wreck. Now he is in charge of not only his own, but an additional human life. Realising that the little ruin of an aeroplane he calls home isn't permament, Overgård decides to defy nature in a trip for civilisation. The windblown, snowfilled world in which Overgård resides is competently shown, through beautiful and splendid natureportrayals, of the kind you see in a "Planet Earth"-type documentary. Throughout the film the 'man versus nature' theme precides, and the main conflict (along a cute polar-bear) is the effect nature can have on humans. Much of the films imagery is therefore based around the overwhelming nature, that slowly, but surely, is killing the characters. Even if its via frostbite, og a lack of provisions, it becomes clear that nature is about to prevail. The film is competently put together, with a tone that feels very appropriate. Together with the music, somewhat reminicent of a Hans Zimmer-score, the films gets a realistic and somwhat tradig appearance. Mads Mikkelsen is in a way the entire movie. He sits as a mainstay through the film, carrying it with a presentation of a rough survivor. Even though most of the film is visual, his acting stand out throughout the films runtime. The only thing i found strange in the film was how his monolouge kept switching between english and danish. Despite this, it was very easy to picture Mikkelsen as Overgård, his performance was strong and convincing. Overall it is a simple story of man versus nature, but the potensial of something elementary always has a high potential. "Less is more" applies to this film well. With good visual narration you always have a good idea of what is about to happen in a film with very limited speech.
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Keeps You Engaged
itsbobr6 May 2019
Overgard (Mads Mikkelsen) has crashed his plane in the Artic and the question is to either stay in the safety of his plane or make the uncertain trek to civilization.

The movie opens and we see the crashed plane, and Overgard had scraped away snow to show an SOS sign in the dirt; he is able to catch fish and uses a radio beacon to signal anyone in the area and he is protected from the elements in the plane. Life isn't bad......... sort of.

A helicopter is spied and seems to come in for the rescue, but the winds cause the helicopter to crash. Overgard sees that the pilot is dead, and the passenger is a girl hurt and has lost consciousness. Overgard takes the girl to his plane and attends to her wounds, but she doesn't regain consciousness.

Overgard decides to leave his plane and takes the girl with him on a make-shift sleigh. He has a map and has an idea which way to go. Would a compass have helped him? We didn't see one. Probably be useless anyway.

Overgard does say a few words in English but mostly he is silent; we do see subtitles occasionally when he mutters to himself in another language.

The rest of the film is Overgard pulling the sleigh with the girl and feeding her water and keeping an eye on her wounds. Apparently, he is in very good shape and is able to do the job. The girl never regains consciousness for the longest time. He gets her to squeeze his hand and she complies and blacks out time and time again. Getting her up a hill was quite a job after the sleigh falling back several times. He has an episode with a polar bear and falls into a hole and his foot is caught with no wiggle room. Oh, oh.

At one point he sees the girl has passed away and he leaves her.

Notables: Maria Thelma Smaradottir as the young woman; Tintrinai Thikhasuk as the Helicopter pilot.

I would have though this might be boring, but it wasn't. We see Overgard knows what to do and does everything in good fashion. We don't know anything about him or the girl. The music was good with dread types of tunes.

The film keeps you engaged to find out what Overgard will do next. (7/10)

Violence: Not really. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Humor: No. Language: 2 F-bombs only. Rating: B
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Very good movie.
magicbymiketurner5 May 2019
Great survival movie starring Mikkelson who is literally a one man show. He is challenged with taking on not only the responsibility of self survival but also saving a young woman who was in a helicopter crash while trying to rescue him. Amazing.
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Brilliant film
okluge-738382 May 2019
Absolutely loved this movie! Mads Mikkelsen is amazing as always. As a survival buff, and lover of the video game The Long Dark, this movie really spoke to me.
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tvanpoucke1 May 2019
I will be brief, as is life. And I shall not venture into the details of the movie. I happen to be a big fan of Mads, since Flammen & Citronen and Adam's Apples. Polar is good too and he is great in it, maybe some of the rest in that movie not so. In my opinion of course.

This was not boring to me at all. This is about life, where it happens to choose to take you, regardless of all your well-kept calendars and schedules, and then see how you deal with it.

About making or having to make a call on the spot. Improvisation is what life ultimately or originally was all about.

And it's rendered beautifully in this film. These few lines of "are you kidding me?". Haven't we all had them at one point or another? For the bored ones, I'm not talking about having just missed the subway which will re-emerge in 2 minutes.

I might not watch it again, because it made me sad. But it's a good one, and that's what's counts to me.

It's about fighting. And struggling. Last time I looked we all deal with that.
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Mikkelsen towers over the rather basic script, adds a memorable layer to his character! [+70%]
arungeorge1325 April 2019
Arctic is for a good part, a solo survival thriller centered around the character of Overgård who has been trying to make it out of the frozen Arctic after his plane crashed. This is one of those movies that focuses almost entirely on a single character with minimal dialogue. Much is conveyed through the body language and facial expressions of Overgård, played by the brilliant Mads Mikkelsen.

It's a grim but stunningly icy atmosphere that Joe Penna chooses to set his protagonist in, and we clearly know that it's not going to be easy to sit through. Overgård has been surviving on Arctic fish, trying his best to send out signals to any possible rescuers, and he doesn't know of an escape route (yet!). When supposed help does arrive, it only worsens the situation (watch the movie to know more!). Joe Penna wants us to witness the perseverance of his lead character by putting him through scenarios that get increasingly difficult each time. By doing so, he creates a spectacle that's minimalist but superbly effective.

Overgård's struggles make us want to forget our own for a good 90 minutes, and Mikkelsen, the fantastic performer that he is, ensures that his efforts remain worth the discussion later on. The dramatics are barely there; it all plays out so real that when Mikkelsen heaves 'essential baggage' up a snowy hill, we heave along with him. When he sheds a tear, we shed a tear along with him. And when an actor achieves this feat by getting to mouth barely any lines, that speaks volumes of his performance.

While watching 'Arctic', one cannot help but recall other popular survival drama/thrillers such as 'Cast Away', 'All Is Lost', and '127 Hours' and how each of these movies has had strong protagonists who we wanted to root for. Overgård can be added to this list without question. The cinematic hook here is how he decides not to let go of his humanity while making his way through the frosty surroundings. That said, the film does rely a little too much on the machismo of Mikkelsen and never rises above its basic, straightforward screenplay (there's no solid backstory attributed to Overgård and how he ended up there in the first place).

Nonetheless, Arctic is one of the better survival films that you'll have come across in recent memory. It'll make you want to stay off a diet that has fish in it; maybe even keep you away from air-conditioning for a little while. Arctic is, by all means, essential viewing!
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What A great Performance by Mads!!
Zainab-Saeed29 April 2019
I have always been a big fan of survival movies but this movie carries with it a great humanitarian message ."Even in your most difficult times don't forget to help others."

A big applause to Mads Mikkelsen
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