Mýrin (Jar City)

2006

Mýrin (Jar City)

Critics Consensus

A sublimely directed thriller, Jar City combines murder mystery, family drama and ample bits of Icelandic culture into a fascinating cinematic experience.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 37

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,846
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Movie Info

In 1974, a young Icelandic girl met a grim fate at the hands of a murderer -- and the crime was never solved. So begins celebrated director Baltasar Kormákur's procedural thriller Jar City (or Mýrin), adapted from Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indridason's 2000 best-seller, Tainted Blood. In the present day, the jaded and exhausted detective Erlendur (Ingvar E. Sigurdsson) begins to investigate a link between that notorious unsolved crime and the homicide of a local thug, Holberg (Thorsteinn Gunnarsson). Erlendur also struggles in his private life with an overwhelming problem: the drug addiction of his own pregnant daughter, Eva Lind (Agusta Eva Erlendsdottir). Meanwhile, Örn (Atli Rafn Sigurdarson), an employee at a DNA-mapping lab, reels from the death of his own daughter, who suffered from a brain tumor. In time, the two men's lives will intersect in a myriad of ways that neither can even begin to foresee -- and the motivation for Holberg's original crime will become resoundingly clear. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Mýrin (Jar City)

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

  • Kormákur, who made the highly original 101 Reykjavik, is clearly saying something pessimistic about his homeland and, as a film-maker, has the means to do so to some effect.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's an intriguing puzzle that held me gripped until the very end.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a terrific piece of direction from Kormákur. Everything, from the look of the film, to the brilliantly unsettling use of food as a recurring motif, is judged perfectly.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A satisfying, altogether distinctive piece of filmmaking.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • Tremendously acted and shot with memorable confidence, Jar City deserves a much wider release than it's apparently going to get.

    Jul 9, 2008
  • Terrifically acted, expertly shot and painstakingly paced, Jar City investigates deeper, darker themes. And Erlendur is a reminder that homicide detectives don't save lives so much as exhume the meanings of violence.

    Jun 6, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Mýrin (Jar City)

  • Apr 12, 2012
    .Awesome Icelandic film, with English subtitles. About a murder case that opens past cases and the disappearances of others. Over all a good thriller. Enjoyed seeing the many different parts of Iceland I remember from living there for 3 years. Story line and film worth 5 stars.
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2012
    An intense thriller that scores low on acting of one of the significant characters, and suffers a bit due to it. Otherwise, it's a well-packed product worth a watch.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    Although it takes advantage of some unoriginal plot twists, "Jar City" isn't just another one of your generic, everyday police procedurals. Baltasar Kormakur's distant and gritty direction is one of the film's biggest strengths. None of these characters are immensely likable, and this goes quite well with the rugged Icelandic surroundings. The acting and camerawork are usually above par, and even though there are situations that are a little hard to believe, there were few times where I was bored. This is a riveting thriller.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2011
    In "Jar City," the body of Holberg, a middle-aged truck driver, has been discovered in a basement apartment by two children, two days after he has been brutally murdered. Erlendur(Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson), the lead detectrive, discovers a photo of a tombstone. This leads him to a forlorn cemetery near the sea where a recalcitrant witness tells him about the death of a child thirty years previously. This is not his only headache as his junkie daughter Eva(Agusta Eva Erlendsdottir) is asking him for money. When he refuses, he finds out that she is pregnant and is going to get his revenge on him by making him a grandfather. No matter where you are, "Jar City" is pretty much a routine police procedural, where the murder is not so much solved, as the killer revealed. What separates it from the ordinary is a wickedly morbid sense of humor, the highlight of which being the foot chase.(Apparently, police in Iceland do not carry guns.) That sits in contrast to the dourness of the material which is mostly concerned with lost children, starting with Orn's(Atli Rafn Sigurdsson), even before the credits roll. And I think that is meant as part of a bitter critique of the state of current day Iceland where in a country so small everybody seems to know everybody else and where you can buy sheep's head in a drive thru. Contrary to the handful of movies I've seen from there, this is not told from an outsider's perspective. No matter the country, no leap of logic can lead one from pornography and "Lolita" straight to rape.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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