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O' Horten (2007)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 85
Fresh: 76 | Rotten: 9

Bent Hamer's latest is a droll, deadpan comedy filled with strange touches and melancholy charm.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 2

Bent Hamer's latest is a droll, deadpan comedy filled with strange touches and melancholy charm.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 22,040

My Rating

Movie Info

A septuagenarian taking his penultimate voyage from Oslo to Bergen begins to mentally prepare for his final trip, but finds that sometimes things don't turn out as expected when he misses the last departure for the first time in 40 years. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Bent Hamer

Jun 19, 2009


Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (86) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (9)

It's a film whose pleasures come slowly, as we, like the title character, discover the joys he's missed. Best of all, we, like Odd the Norwegian bachelor, figure out it is never too late to start living.

September 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comments (2)
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hamer creates a quirky, beguiling, and very funny mood piece that reflects on age, adventure, uncertainty, and humanity. Owe gives the character of Horten an off-center dignity that will suggest comparisons to Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton

August 23, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The whimsy is never overplayed. The peculiar isn't teased at any character's expense.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comment (1)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This yarn about a train conductor whose life goes off track is Nordic to its bones: efficient, humane and droll in small measures.

June 26, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Comments (2)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks to the consistent deadpan tone that Hamer and Owe establish, it's oddly satisfying.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Comment (1)
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pointedly strange and whimsical, O'Horten mixes the surreal with the mundane in its depiction of the retirement and eventual rebirth of a train engineer.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It entertains from start to finish and tells a story that is not just fun but in its inimitably gentle way has something to teach us all as well.

March 1, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

If you can settle into [Baard Owe's] playful deadpan rhythms, a bittersweetly funny, existential mystery -- or call it a modest adventure, if that's not too oxymoronic -- awaits.

November 17, 2009 Full Review Source: GreenCine | Comment (1)

O'Horten won't be for everyone, but if you enjoy character-driven films that also treat the landscape as a character, this one has a certain charm and appeal.

October 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

O' Horten moves slowly, sometimes excruciatingly so, but its thematic center is strong: How do you run out the clock of life?

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly | Comments (2)
Orlando Weekly

...a fable that relies less on fantastical transport than the defrosting of cool faculties; less on the titillation of the senses than the thawing of frozen hearts.

September 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comment (1)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The decidedly Nordic -- though not at all glacial -- O'Horten is a mixture of sweetness and deadpan that proves the Kaurismäki/Andersson school of filmmaking still has new delights in store.

August 16, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

As an old man, Horten is a rare movie hero, but the director reminds us that other things are more ancient; in one scene, Horten hefts a meteorite that predates the sun, and in another scene, Strindberg is quoted: 'In due time, even the stars must fall.'

August 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comment (1)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It's not conventional at all.

August 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Comments (2)
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A spare and perfectly droll kinda-sorta comedy.

August 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Comment (1)
Austin Chronicle

Episodic ... (but) reflective of life and the fluidity with which it passes.

August 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Charlotte Weekly | Comment (1)

This unremarkable fellow finds himself in some strange circumstances, thanks to the imagination of writer/director Bent Hamer.

July 24, 2009 | Comment (1)
Kansas City Star

Director Bent Hamer keeps things drily amusing throughout.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian | Comment (1)

Quiet and lovely, its subtle pleasures reminded me of Erik Satie's 'Gymnopedie.'

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Comment (1)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for O' Horten

I thought it would be a funny little story about a guy having a hard time settling in to retirement. But not so much. It wasn't funny, aside from one scene with an adorable little boy and for the most part it was boring. It had the potential, it just let me down in a really slow, painful way.
October 11, 2010

Super Reviewer

Typically melancholic meditation on retirement encased in a meandering plot where the lead bumps into a host of eccentrics who aid his introspection. Slight but not without charm.
September 26, 2009
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

The retirement of a train driver provides more philosophical musings from Scandinavia with a touch of dry humour. Some nice cinematography and scenes of Norwegian life, but this isn't really an attention grabbing movie, just slow, light entertainment.
May 9, 2009

Super Reviewer

"O'Horten" is an odd little movie about an unassuming man named Odd(Baard Owe). Living alone, the only person he feels a connection to is his mother(Kari Loland). Turning 67, he is retiring from his job as a railway engineer. His plan is to fly back after his last run but oversleeps in a room not his own.(Long story, trust me.) Even after that, he continues to wear his uniform. And after watching life pass him by for so many decades, he has not decided what to do next which leads him on a series of low key adventures, shot in a deadpan style.

In the end, "O'Horten" has little else to say on the subject of retirement and growing older except the light at the end of the tunnel may not be an oncoming train. However, the film does have a well-crafted message about how women should be allowed to compete in ski jumping. If you have the cojonoes to perform in this sport, then gender is totally irrelevant.
August 24, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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