The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Arctic proves that a good survival thriller doesn't need much in the way of dialogue to get by -- especially when Mads Mikkelsen is the one doing the surviving.
The movie doesn't seem to be playing near you.
All Critics (103)
| Top Critics (26)
| Fresh (91)
| Rotten (12)
Mikkelsen gives a strong performance, of course. He has to carry the movie on his shoulders, but that's probably why he did it.
This film makes for a compelling hour and a half; you know where it's going, but you never quite believe it'll actually get there.
Though the journey is well executed and the tension sustained, the obstacles are so familiar to the genre - inclement weather, tricky rock formations, grumpy bears - they can feel ordinary.
The actor offers an incredibly committed and determined performance, but by the film's end, you wish he'd be able to get back to doing what he does best: eating.
It would be easier to count the words spoken in Joe Penna's survival thriller Arctic than the number of beats your heart skips while watching it.
"Arctic" is a film for all seasons.
By the standards of the survival genre, it's certain not at all bad, and the confidence of execution arguably makes it much better than average.
While the film is not quite a nail-biter, there is enough of an engine driving interest in the story...
Mads Mikkelsen turns in a great performance in riveting 'Arctic.'
Mikkelsen gives Overgård a kind and occasionally faltering humanity - his pain, frustration and the freezing conditions are conveyed with captivating committal.
A well-realized but standard survival tale.
The ending is a disappointment, so arbitrary that it seems to come simply because the film has gone on for as long as [director Joe] Penna cared for it to last.
Mads Mikkelsen is stranded in the Arctic and that's about all you need to know plot-wise about the film, a thrilling and immersive survival thriller. Right away the film lets us in on the routine of this survivor of a plane crash and how resilient and resourceful he had become. Then it introduces a new sense of urgency, a critically injured pilot in another aircraft, that pushes him into leaving the safety of his homemade confines. The movie relies so heavily on elemental, visual storytelling that I think any person on the planet could easily understand and appreciate the pared-down storytelling. The visuals are so immersive and accessible that every item bears import or sets up critical information to be relied upon later. The harsh Arctic landscape and unique dangers push our hero to the extreme in order to save another life. It's enough to inure us to this relatively silent man. Mikkelsen (Polar) uses every physical muscle of acting to communicate the struggle his character is undergoing. You believe every moment. There's not much in the way of story beyond stubborn survival against brutal conditions. We don't get any flashbacks. We don't get any monologues. It's one man against the full force of nature and it's enough for a brisk, simple, straightforward focused 97-minute survival story with Mads persevering amongst the beautiful and terrifying wasteland.
Nate's Grade: B
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