Pioneer (2014)



Critic Consensus: Pioneer boasts strong acting and a throwback conspiracy thriller vibe, but fails to take it far enough -- and is very slow about not getting there.

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This conspiracy thriller is set in the early 80's, the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and the authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline from depths of 500 meters. A professional diver, Petter, obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world's most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who's pulling the strings. Gradually he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake. (C) Magnolia
R (for language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Stephen Lang
as Ferris
Aksel Hennie
as Petter
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Critic Reviews for Pioneer

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (12)

Director Erik Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia) makes excellent use of the high-tech, low-glamour world he depicts, and manages an ending that is happy without being farcically so.

Full Review… | December 26, 2014
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

Skjoldbjaerg is unable to make us care as much as we should, and gives the film a kind of muddy look that translates directly into the viewer's mood.

Full Review… | December 18, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

"Pioneer" has the necessary parts for a finger-pointing thriller that could boil the blood if handled well. Alas, this story of workers wounded by corrupt oil industrialists and politicians sinks from drawn-out scenes and too few surprises.

Full Review… | December 5, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Remember this name: Aksel Hennie. If "Pioneer," a mixed bag of a conspiracy thriller, works at all, it largely does so because of him.

Full Review… | December 4, 2014
Top Critic

A brooding psychological drama where everything that happens is open to multiple interpretations and figuring out who if anyone is on your side gets harder and harder to do.

Full Review… | December 4, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Mr. Skjoldbjaerg, who also tapped Norwegian history with his bank robbery re-enactment "Nokas," doesn't convey a creeping atmosphere of moral rot so much as an irksome glumness.

Full Review… | December 4, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pioneer


Conspiracy story from the early Norwegian oil-adventure. Enormous money at stake, foul play in motion. Young divers pushed to the edge and beyond of what a human can manage in order to dive into the abyss.

Anders Ask
Anders Ask

Decent story, plot, locations, and cast- just kinda felt it didnt really resolve anything that was setup nor did it produce any results in the process.

Jason Kraynek
Jason Kraynek

Despite Lang and Bentley being in the film, be forewarned -- the film is at least 75% in Norwegian with English language lines thrown in for atmosphere. This is not even close to Bentley's best work, although he's not really given an opportunity to shine. The acting is a bit above average, but nothing is noteworthy. The premise of the film should have spawned a more suspenseful story, and it likely would have in the hands of a different director. As it is, the film is only marginally more exciting than a slow-burn LeCarre film. The film's good, but its potential has been squandered.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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