Dogme signatory Kristian Levring has crafted a gripping and stylish revenge western with a decidedly dark bent, taking genre staples and imbuing them with a Scandinavian sensibility to enormously entertaining effect.

Set in 1871, the film stars Mads Mikkelsen (A Royal Affair – JDIFF 2013) as Jon, a Danish ex-pat and former soldier who has spent the past seven years in America, hoping to build a life for his family. However, when his wife and young son are brutally murdered, Jon exacts violent and bloody vengeance, which puts him on a collision course with vicious land baron Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Jon finds an unexpected ally in his victim’s widow (Eva Green), a scarred mute whose tongue was cut out by Indians.

Mikkelsen is on terrific form as Jon and Morgan is moustache-twirlingly despicable as Delarue, while Green steals the film without uttering a single line. Levring’s direction impresses throughout. He clearly knows his way around a shoot-out, delivering a superbly orchestrated and genuinely thrilling finale.

Matthew Turner
The List


Please note that the festival is over 18s only