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In a Better World(Hævnen)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark, Sweden

2010

Rated R • 1h 58m

Director Susanne Bier

Starring Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, William Jøhnk Nielsen

Genre Drama

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The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Variety by

However didactic the film's final scenes, there's no denying the sheer dramatic intensity Bier achieves.
50

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Everything about In a Better World feels just a little too easy: a better movie might have let in more of the messiness of the world as it is. This one falls into cheap manipulation, winding up the audience with foreboding music and the spectacle of blond children in peril.
40

Time Out by David Fear

While Bier doesn't offer easy partisan answers, she still dilutes a social issue down to the level of soap-operatic background noise and back-patting platitudes. It-and we-deserve better.
50

Village Voice by Ella Taylor

Slick moralizing grows exponentially as the plot, wrapped in travelogue photography, transparently expository dialogue, and cheap thrills, drives home spurious parallels between the first and third worlds.
67

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Bier has done far more compelling work before, but the globe-spanning, life-affirming, morally upright trajectory of her latest accomplishment weakens its quality while sustaining its popularity. In a Better World is heavy, but it's also heavy-handed.
90

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

One of the places where In a Better World is especially successful is comparing and contrasting the moral worlds of children and adults, showing how difficult but essential it is for each group to learn from the other.
83

Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

A fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep.

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