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Pusher

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark

1996

1h 45m

Director Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring Kim Bodnia, Mads Mikkelsen, Laura Drasbæk, Zlatko Burić

Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

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A drug pusher botches a deal leaving him in debt to a ruthless drug lord. He becomes increasingly desperate, and he and his partner try to come up with the money while other drug movers sabotage their operations.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

Empire by

Despite the gritty subject matter, combined with some clichéd set pieces, interest is retained right through to the bleak end, largely due to the direction and Refn's handling of the excellent cast.
70

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Pusher begins as a fairly standard ’90s crime saga, almost an open imitation of Quentin Tarantino... But something happens on the way to the film’s haunting and ambiguous conclusion.
50

The New York Times by Anita Gates

Mr. Refn may yet have justification for boasting about his natural talent. There is one magnificent scene in Pusher... Maybe Mr. Refn's next film will take us into that emotional territory.
80

Village Voice by Dennis Lim

As botched-drug-deal tales go, Pusher digs surprisingly deep— its surface clichés give way to an existential despair that finally swallows the movie whole.
83

The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

As Refn counts down the days and ratchets up the tension, Pusher shifts from a subdued lowlife sketch, with lots of raunchy conversation between Buric and his horndog ex-con buddy Mads Mikkelsen, to a nail-biting look at a man running out of options.
80

Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

The film practically vibrates with youthful aggression, sly humor and gathering tension, hurling itself forward like a junkie toward the next fix.
75

New York Post by V.A. Musetto

[Refn] mixes jittery hand-held camerawork, improvised dialogue and available light to create a nightmarish world of sex, drugs and horrific brutality that will turn off many viewers while delighting others.

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