Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (1)
Mads gets to show an intense vulnerability for once. That's worth seeing, though one wishes Arctic complicated its life-and-death ordeal a little more, or at least varied its obstacles.
It's broad stuff, and well-trod terrain for a movie that takes place in uncharted territory, but it cuts straight to the difference between endurance and survival.
Arctic is elegantly shot, crisp and unfussy, and seamless in its near-invisible use of digital effects, creating a persuasive you-are-there feeling that's rare in these days of flashy CG thrills.
There are no cut corners, no overly blatant only-in-the-movies gambits. Mikkelsen's stranded pilot has little to rely on beyond his will, so we feel at every step that he could truly be us.
The simplicity of the film is commendable, but it's only in the last act where things finally come together and any kind of visceral thrills arrive far too late.
Arctic is a gruelling survival thriller that isn't for the faint-hearted, but Mads Mikkelsen is magnetic in this ice-cold and bare-bones tale.
A slew of survival films rely on thin backstories and forced drama to eek out emotion - Arctic is the polar opposite.
This is Penna's debut feature, and he has set himself a high bar which he just about scrapes over, with Mikkelsen giving the entire project a super-strength leg up.
Mikkelsen takes commanding centre stage in a guilty-pleasure survival drama with global ambitions.
Arctic is stark and visceral, stripped of any distracting elements, and for the survival movie purist, it's an artful entry into the genre.
Here is a gripping and efficient addition to the rugged survivalist thriller genre, a realm where men are men and howling lamentations at the unforgiving sky is seen as entirely acceptable behaviour.
One man's struggle for survival is served straight-up and well-chilled in Brazilian YouTube phenomenon Joe Penna's debut feature.
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