Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (1)
Mads gets to show an intense vulnerability for once. That's worth seeing, though one wishes Arctic complicated its life-and-death ordeal a little more, or at least varied its obstacles.
It's broad stuff, and well-trod terrain for a movie that takes place in uncharted territory, but it cuts straight to the difference between endurance and survival.
Arctic is elegantly shot, crisp and unfussy, and seamless in its near-invisible use of digital effects, creating a persuasive you-are-there feeling that's rare in these days of flashy CG thrills.
There are no cut corners, no overly blatant only-in-the-movies gambits. Mikkelsen's stranded pilot has little to rely on beyond his will, so we feel at every step that he could truly be us.
I guess most survivor thrillers are kinda torture porn and Arctic is one in which the torture is dealt out by nature.
A harrowing tale of survival, Arctic relies on visuals of crisp white snow and vast landscapes to lure us into the reality in which Mads Mikkelsen's pilot is stranded.
...apart from most films of this ilk, akin to a Robert Bresson film in its stark minimalism and use of purely visual cinematic storytelling.
The simplicity of the film is commendable, but it's only in the last act where things finally come together and any kind of visceral thrills arrive far too late.
Arctic is a gruelling survival thriller that isn't for the faint-hearted, but Mads Mikkelsen is magnetic in this ice-cold and bare-bones tale.
A slew of survival films rely on thin backstories and forced drama to eek out emotion - Arctic is the polar opposite.
This is Penna's debut feature, and he has set himself a high bar which he just about scrapes over, with Mikkelsen giving the entire project a super-strength leg up.
Mikkelsen takes commanding centre stage in a guilty-pleasure survival drama with global ambitions.
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