Pioneer Reviews

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December 26, 2014
Director Erik Skjoldbjrg (Insomnia) makes excellent use of the high-tech, low-glamour world he depicts, and manages an ending that is happy without being farcically so.
December 18, 2014
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.
December 5, 2014
"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.
December 5, 2014
Remember this name: Aksel Hennie. If "Pioneer," a mixed bag of a conspiracy thriller, works at all, it largely does so because of him.
December 4, 2014
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.
December 4, 2014
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.
August 15, 2017
It's an edge-of-your-seat film, with some stunning footage deep underwaterIt's an edge-of-your-seat film, with some stunning footage deep underwater, but the basic suspense plot frequently strains
November 12, 2016
With his ratty moustache and balding head, Hennie makes an unlikely leading man (if this were Hollywood, the chiselled Bentley would surely fit the bill), but he suits the film's dour, downbeat mood, reminiscent of 1970s paranoid conspiracy thrillers.
March 17, 2015
Certainly, the diving scenes look authentic and this is a world that needs exploring. But, the thriller angle is less than effective. Some niftier writing and staging could have made this a much scarier affair.
January 9, 2015
... manages to generate consistent tension even as it gradually loses narrative credibility.
December 26, 2014
An intense, moody conspiracy thriller set just before Norway's oil boom in the early 1980s.
December 12, 2014
It attempts to capture the feel of a 1970s-era paranoid conspiracy movie, and it succeeds in tone, even if the plot isn't quite so air-tight.
December 11, 2014
It's to Pioneer's credit that it is able to take something as clinical-sounding as "decompression sickness" and successfully turn it into a tension-ratcheting plot point.
December 5, 2014
Pioneer is a conspiracy thriller that mostly illustrates how comparatively tedious real-world corporate conspiracies are.
December 5, 2014
Director Erik Skjoldbjrg's film offers an amazing opportunity to experience the dark depths of the ocean, while paying homage to 1980s filmmaking.
December 4, 2014
Director Erik Skjolbjrg knows how to create a claustrophobic setting and he gets first class performances from his cast. The physical discomfort shown by the crew is palpable. Despite some plotholes it holds interest until just before the ending.
Top Critic
December 4, 2014
The underwater sequences stun and terrify - nothing says claustrophobia quite like two weeks in a pressurized diving bell with someone you can't necessarily trust - and there's almost as much moisture and terror on land to drive Petter round the bend.
December 4, 2014
In a cast that includes Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang and Jonathan LaPaglia, it's Mr. Hennie who makes "Pioneer" worth watching ...
December 4, 2014
Very low-intensity and derivative.
December 4, 2014
Pioneer is a successful bit of anti-American propaganda, but as a conspiracy thriller, there's not much worth diving into.
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