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Terribly Happy (Frygtelig lykkelig) (2010)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 5

Led by Henrik Ruben Ganz's assured direction, this knotty Danish noir thriller steers audiences into some nicely unexpected territory.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

Led by Henrik Ruben Ganz's assured direction, this knotty Danish noir thriller steers audiences into some nicely unexpected territory.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,250

My Rating

Movie Info

Robert has a number of skeletons in his cupboard, which he is determined to bury. Although, hardly his dream job, Robert sees the position of temporary village constable as a necessary stage on the road to rehabilitation. He just needs to do well and generally behave by the book. However, village life and the macabre provincial order turn out to be difficult to fit into Robert's plans. Nothing is ever straightforward, and certainly not when you are way out in the countryside.

Jul 13, 2010


Oscilloscope Pictures

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (5) | DVD (4)

Lurid and stylish, this 2008 Danish feature plays like a cross between The Postman Always Rings Twice and High Noon, with a dash of Gothic thriller.

January 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Entertaining and full of surprising twists, this highly cinematic tale of a Copenhagen policeman working punishment duty in the provinces plays with genre in a manner that can be compared with the Coen brothers or David Lynch.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terribly Happy must surely be the greatest Danish Western ever made.

April 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters are intended to be slightly stupid, but the writing isn't necessarily smarter.

March 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Genz creates a distinctive look and feel in the film. The town is drab, the people wrung out, and the moments of passion are smoothed back down into the tired routine.

March 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Terribly Happy" is a little light on the plotting, going on narrative autopilot for the last third of the film instead of giving us a few extra turns of the screw for good measure.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin State Journal

Not quite a comedy but as darkly comic a crime drama as you'll find, this offbeat modern noir... is a weirdly compelling portrait of a town that has its own sense of justice...

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source:

The setting is stark and simple - a semi-deserted, two-street town amid long, flat marshland - but Director Henrik Ruben Genz infuses it all with a dark, twisted beauty.

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

It has been aptly compared to the Coen Brothers and films like Blood Simple (1984).

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A nearly surreal Scandinavian crime thriller with noirish shades of a Stockholm syndrome kicking in, this creepy delight unfolds on the border somewhere between the Nordic boondocks and the Twilight Zone.

June 27, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

Terribly Happy is a comedy of misdirection of the blackest hue...

April 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

Obviously, the dark nature of the story will turn off some audiences. But the film will appeal to those who love the thriller genre...

April 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

With its fascinating story, perfect pacing and superbly moody camera work by cinematographer Jorgen Johansson, Terribly Happy takes you by a slow, purposeful surprise.

April 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online
Indie Movies Online

Ganz cooks up a compelling paranoid mood,but there's not enough to sustain the tone, and eventually the movie burns itself out.

March 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia City Paper
Philadelphia City Paper

Terribly Happy is a gripping morality tale, one that uses macabre humor and sudden reversals to show how seemingly little mistakes can become life-changing disasters.

March 26, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

No noirish yarn this good stays obscure long

March 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

An American remake is said to be in the works; see the original before someone lesser than Genz -- or the Coens -- gets their mitts on it.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Genz and Erling have constructed a story so clever that the pleasure of following its twists is enough in itself.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

...a mystery thriller from start to finish that goes in unexpected directions and it is an enjoyable ride all the way through.

March 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Genz's amoral, sadistic black comedy recalls the Coen Brothers in Blood Simple mode; it's fascinating to watch as the hapless characters are sucked into a morass of diabolical fate and their own vice and folly.

March 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for Terribly Happy (Frygtelig lykkelig)

not a happy film. not a terrible one either. but it does have a cop with a big moustache and a gun that he never uses. people have flashy show-offy names and speak words that don't make a lick of sense. i don't know. i wish they could just speak american. if i made this movie there would be more shooting and he would have a shiny golden gun but it would have fuzzy pink dice hanging from the bottom to symbolize his masculinity in a time of conflict and consequently his need for eliminating figures who threaten his character in turn threatens his own sanity while stimulating his ego... err umm i mean i would get him to fuck that blond chick and shoot guys with his fuzzy dice gun at the same time and they would be covered in foreign blood after fucking and it would be sweet and win some non-american awards or something.
September 30, 2011

Super Reviewer

Terribly Happy is a Danish film about small town paranoia with echoes of The Coen Bros. film, Blood Simple. Although based on a true story, it also borrows a tiny bit from other films here and there. However, Terribly Happy still delivers and is clever and entertaining. Not a lot happens during the course of the film, but that lends to noirish feeling it gives off while the central character, Robert, tries to make sense of it all.

The acting is pretty good and the damp country-side setting reminds you that real help is far away. It was cool to see Kim Bodnia (Pusher) in a different, yet, very tense role.

August 19, 2011
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

A very well written story that seems to move slow but unfolds nicely into a story that only could have happened in the small town that it did. It merges murder, coverup, brutal husband, love smitten marshall, and a beautiful woman into a scenario that you could never expect. Gritty. Suspenseful. Quirky. All the things that I love in a movie. :)
October 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Politimester: Mojn. That's what we say here. It means both hello and goodbye.
    – Submitted by Kata P (21 months ago)
    1. Helmuth: Here, the earth rocks when you walk. The water table's high here, you see. When it rains, the fields turn into a giant swamp. That's when the cattle sink in and have to be hauled out with chains. Once a cow sank so deep into the mud, it vanished. Six months later it turned up again, inflated like a balloon. It gave birth to a two-headed calf with a calf's head and a human head. You've got to keep such a freak out of sight. Everyone knows that. Still, the farmer kept it. Soon after the cattle got mad cow disease - - and the women lost their unborn children and their minds. The men gathered at the bar, - - and one early morning they dumped the beast in the bog - - where it sank with a wretched roar. Since then, there hasn't been any fuss with neither cattle nor women.
    – Submitted by Kata P (21 months ago)
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