O' Horten


O' Horten

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 86


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,109
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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.


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Critic Reviews for O' Horten

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (8)

  • 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.

    Sep 23, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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

    Aug 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The whimsy is never overplayed. The peculiar isn't teased at any character's expense.

    Jul 24, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This yarn about a train conductor whose life goes off track is Nordic to its bones: efficient, humane and droll in small measures.

    Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • Thanks to the consistent deadpan tone that Hamer and Owe establish, it's oddly satisfying.

    Jun 19, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Jun 19, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for O' Horten

  • Oct 11, 2010
    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.
    Alexis N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2010
    "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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2010
    Off-beat tale that moves very slowly. Odd Horten (Baard Owe) is forced into retirement from his long-time job as a passenger train engineer and finds a host of small adventures to fill his days and nights. He seems to operate without any clear sense of what he wants to do with the rest of his life, but reacts to each improbable situation as it confronts him. There are many scenes that defy explanation and are almost surreal. In the end, it seems to say that the journey is more important than the destination and that sometimes there simply is no destination. And that is alright, too. Quirky characters, a loose script that seems at times to have no clear sense of direction, and the frigid, stark scenery of winter in Norway combine to give the film an almost dream-like quality at times. Each item taken by itself would doom most films but work together here to create a tapestry, revealing a man seeking to break out of the strict routine of his former life.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2010
    Odd Horten is a just-retired Norwegian train driver coming to grips with a life that was mostly filled with, well, being a train driver mostly. A slow paced film (if you've seen KITCHEN STORIES by the same director you'll know how fast it moves) but even if nothing much happens, it glows iwith a reassuring demonstration that yes, there is life after 67 (should you be lucky enough to reach it) and gentle solitary lives too have their merits.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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