The Hunt - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunt Reviews

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February 19, 2017
Mads Mikkelson is brilliant (as usual) in a tight, well scripted tale of a witch hunt, and the consequences for its innocent victim.
February 16, 2017
Superbly acted, but not one I'll ever watch again.
February 11, 2017
Wow! Comes close to "Festen".
February 8, 2017
It's a pity that the deserving case always not win the prime crown. This movie is so brilliant that perhaps the Jury of the academic awards was flabbergasted?
January 27, 2017
I'm not sure why I subjected myself to this film again so soon after watching it for the first time. That's not to say it's a bad film ... it's really quite brilliant. Mads Mikkelsen turns in an incredibly subtle and nuanced performance as a man who's life is destroyed by an incorrect accusation of pedophilia. The film is so successful that it alternately infuriates and depresses me. It's quite devastating. It's more than an "issue" film. It doesn't really set out to convince anyone that what happens is wrong so much as lead you to meditate how thin the line between happiness and devastation can be.
½ January 16, 2017
A psychological thriller that can prove to be scarier than your average horror movie.
½ December 25, 2016
Low-key film, realistic yet awful story, takes place in Denmark and in Danish
December 21, 2016
The interview with the young girl seemed utterly contrived. What the hell kinda social service worker interviews a child like that? I felt like that was a weird device that breaks every rule on how to interview a child about something like this. That departure from how social workers and therapists actually interview children made the whole movie seemed contrived. It made me think that this was one of those films that is supposed to make you doubt real life victims.
½ November 19, 2016
Its sheer realism adds to its constant sense of dread. Mikkelsen is truly at his best in this film. This stellar film simply wouldn't be stellar without him.
½ November 8, 2016
An honest depiction of the behavior of children and adults.
October 14, 2016
Painful to watch, but impossible to ignore. Mads is incredible.
October 2, 2016
Every now and then I delve into some world cinema. Today it is The Hunt from 2012. A Danish film from director Thomas Vinterburg starring Mads Mikkelson (who most people may remember as the villain Le Chiffre in the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale).
I must say this film was one of the best I have seen in a lacklustre 2016 hence watching old releases.
Mikkelson plays a kindergarten teacher Lucas. Lucas enjoys being popular amongst his young scholars so is shattered one day when he is falsely accused of child abuse.
He loses his job, faces police investigation and is treat like a lepper by previous friends and members of the community. All because of someone's over active imagination.
The witchunt includes physical violence, shunning by the local grocers and the killing of his pet dog Fanny.
Vinterburg makes the viewer intensely frustrated by the actions of Lucas' close friends. The film is very emotive.
The Danish language/English subtitles are quickly forgotten by the intensity of the screenplay.
Interwoven with the witchunt is Lucas membership of a deer hunting group. Hence the hunter becomes the hunted.
The cinematography is very autumnal/woody given the Danish filming location.
½ September 29, 2016
"The Hunt" is disturbing and effective, as it should be. Watch it.
½ September 28, 2016
The direction, story, acting everything is truly brilliant. This movie puts up some very good questions about society and leaves the viewer in the end wondering where to find the answers. This is pure treasure.
September 24, 2016
A film's statements on modern life, psychology, religion, etc. can only be as good as the story and the characters that deliver the message. The Hunt delivers on all fronts. The lead performance from Mads Mikkelsen is the best I've seen of him yet. His performance is what sucks you into the story and his life from the start. This is an excellent film and I recommend it to anyone.
½ September 19, 2016
Very well-crafted and tense but some will find it hard to get through.
½ September 1, 2016
I thought this is really good.
Maybe you will think so too?
½ September 1, 2016
Emotionally draining, intense Danish drama that stays with you long after you are done watching this. Highly recommend if serious human cinema is your thing.
½ August 22, 2016
The Hunt is the first none English spoken film I've ever watched and I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout the whole of the film. After about 25 minutes into the film I'd actually forgotten I was watching a Danish film with subtitles as the words on the screen just read themselves to me. Very good film with Mads Mikkelsen's great acting.
August 15, 2016
Being a male primary school teacher must be a difficult job these days. You would have to have an extremely thick skin to be able to handle the whispers and gossip that invariably goes around a community. "Can we trust him with our children?" "Why isn't he teaching older children?" And if the teacher is unmarried or divorced, the chatter can only grow larger and more malevolent, especially when the teacher is accused of sexual misconduct. That's what the Danish film, THE HUNT (or JAGTEN, in Danish) is about.

High school teacher Lucas is forced to take a job at a local kindergarten when the school where his teenage son attends closes due to budget cutbacks. He is slowly getting his life back together after his bitter divorce. He has begun a relationship with a colleague at the kindergarten, and he is committed to getting joint custody of his son. He has a good group of friends in his small Danish community, and now he gets to teach some of his friends' young children. But Lucas' life takes a drastic turn when one of his little charges falsely accuses him of sexual misconduct.

This is an incredibly harrowing film. On the surface, this seems like an idyllic community. The men go hunting together, families are close knit and traditions are kept up. But what is shocking is how quickly all that can change. When the alleged victim - a 5-year old girl - can't get her story straight, the school principal calls in an expert (either a child psychologist or the school superintendent, we're not sure). He then helps the little girl craft her story, which is absolutely unconscionable. (Don't these people watch LAW & ORDER: SVU? Perhaps they don't.) Fortunately, the police are able to pick apart her and her classmates' stories - the allegations grow in number as all the kids and their parents start talking - and the charges against Lucas are dropped. But the damage has already been done and Lucas has become a pariah. Like the deer that he and his friends hunt each fall, Lucas finds himself in the townspeople's crosshairs and they don't hesitate for a half a second to take aim.

As I was watching the film, I assumed that, at some point, truth and justice would win out. (Truth does but justice less so.) But how does one turn back the clock after going through an experience like this? How do you forgive and how do you forget? The wounds are far too deep and the scars will be there for the rest of your life. These questions are answered at the film's thought-provoking ending.

THE HUNT is directed by Thomas Vinterberg, who also directed THE CELEBRATION in 1998. This earlier film also deals with the accusation of sexual abuse but, in this case, the community does not believe the accuser. Both films, however, come to the same conclusion that the cooler heads rarely prevail.

The film stars Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in the James Bond film, CASINO ROYALE. He can currently be seen on the TV series HANNIBAL as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Mikkelsen's face is like a blank canvas, which director Vinterberg uses to full advantage. There is a scene in the film where he confronts his former best friend to tell him to look into his eyes. "There is nothing there," he says. His anguish seems so real that it will break your heart. Mikkelsen was awarded with the Best Actor prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for this work and THE HUNT was nominated for an Oscar (R) for Best Foreign Language Film earlier this year. (It lost to THE GREAT BEAUTY from Italy.)

This is one of the best films I've seen this year - and I don't dish out such high praise lightly. Go get yourself a copy and watch it.
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