Mads Mikkelsen: His best movies and series


The talent of Mads mikkelsen It has made him one of the main references in contemporary Danish cinema. His histrionic qualities, coupled with the versatility shown in each of his roles, have propelled him to the top of the Hollywood industry. This has allowed him to build an extremely broad career that roams freely between European productions and the blockbuster. From Nordic dramas to faraway galaxies, we present the best Mads Mikkelsen movies and series.

10. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dir. Gareth Evans, 2016)

The first non-episodic film in the space franchise focused on the origins of the Death Star. Also in the efforts of the squad referred to in Episode IV Who stole the battle station blueprints. Mads Mikkelsen had a small but fundamental presence in this complement to the films. I play the person in charge of the weapon of mass destruction: Galen Erso. Contrary to what his creation might suggest, he is a complex and tormented character. He is forced to build the device. But that takes advantage of his knowledge to include an almost imperceptible weak point. This will be key to the rebel victory in the film known as Episode IV: A New Hope. Erso did not live to see his work destroyed, but his noble deeds made him one of the saga’s greatest heroes.

9. Hannibal (Bryan Fuller, 2013)

Matching the legacy of Anthony Hopkins to Hannibal Lecter seemed like an impossible task. However, Mads Mikkelsen achieved the feat as the protagonist of the series Hannibal. To do this, the actor left behind the character seen in The silence of the inocents (1991). He focused on the one described by the novels that tell of his life before meeting Clarice Starling.

This allowed him to meet the forensic psychiatrist in all his professional splendor, as well as his many collaborations with Detective Bill Graham. Originally, greater fidelity to the literary franchise was sought. But the properties of Show and the Danish’s good chemistry with his co-star Hugh Dancy – with whom he shared credits in King Arthur (2004) – resulted in a change of plans. And in an expansion of the bases of the serial killer. It was canceled after three seasons, but continued pressure from fans suggests that its revival it could come at any moment.

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8. Casino Royale (Dir. Martin Campbell, 2006)

Mads Mikkelsen ventured into the world of movies blockbuster with King Arthur (2004). But it was 007: Casino Royale the one that really made him known to global audiences. The Danish was a key piece for the second film adaptation of the novel written by Ian Fleming. Here it was Le Chiffre, a terrorist financier who must be stopped by the new agent who aspires to obtain his license to kill.

Despite the subtlety displayed by Mads Mikkelsen’s character throughout much of the film, her work was extremely challenging. He fused the archetypes of the antagonists in spy movies, with the realism of a franchise that built its own identity. This can be seen in his deadly actions and truly intimidating intellectual abilities that were a severe test for the British agent. All of this resulted in one of the most memorable villains, not just from Daniel Craig’s James Bond, but from the entire franchise.

7. Pusher / Pusher II (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 1996/2004)

Pusher It is not only one of the most important franchises in the Danish industry. It is also the vehicle through which we first met the director. Nicolas Winding Refn and Mads Mikkelsen himself. Its narrative bases may seem unoriginal: a trafficker forced to raise a large sum of money after a job that goes wrong. But he achieved cult status with his stupendous construction of the Danish underworld.

Mikkelsen served as a supporting actor in the original film, but his good work, together with the qualities of his character, gave him the stellar role for a much more mature sequel in its construction and that for many far exceeds the original. The most curious thing is that this project was not contemplated at the beginning, but was born by the demand of the public and a series of economic problems that afflicted Nicolas Winding Refn at that time. The actor would not return for the third and final installment, which did not prevent the joint project from ascending as a fundamental trilogy of contemporary European cinema.

You might also be interested in: The 10 best James Bond moments in movies.

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6. Valhalla Rising (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

This is the most ambitious of all the films Mads Mikkelsen and Nicolas Winding Refn have collaborated on. The film leaves behind the urban dyes that had predominated in the filmmaker’s career to focus on an 11th century Nordic warrior and his journey with a group of crusaders in an effort to find the Holy Land. However, the journey takes them into uncharted and dangerous territory. Its premise might suggest an adventure film like so many others and, although it definitely contains combat scenes endowed with high levels of violence, it really is a thought-provoking film.

The film’s realistic foundations serve as a starting point for a deep mythological exploration. The actor performs an outstanding job, because beyond the physical prowess of his role, he plays a silent warrior who must express everything from his gestures. It is not surprising that today it is considered among his most challenging jobs.

5. Adam’s apples (Dir. Anders Thomas Jensen, 2005)

The film that marked Mads Mikkelsen’s histrionic consolidation in Danish cinema and, as such, was instrumental in attracting the attention of other industries. In large part, this was because the actor played a completely different role than what he had previously done: a priest who commands a rehabilitation program and whose hard life has not dampened his hopes in God or in the innate goodness of man. What he sees as a series of divine trials will hit its peak with the arrival of a defiant neo-Nazi who seizes every opportunity to scoff at redemption. Contrary to what its premise may suggest, the film is not limited to drama, but includes peculiar overtones of Danish humor that were not well received on the international scene, hindering the success of the project globally.

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4. The unfaithful queen (Dir. Nicolaj Arcel, 2012)

One of the most acclaimed historical dramas of its time delved into the 18th century Danish royal family to show an affair between the queen and the king’s personal physician. The unfaithful queen received countless critical acclaim, many of which were directed at Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelsen’s terrific performances as the lovers in question. It competed in some of the most prestigious competitions in the world, including the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, in both cases in the category of Best Foreign Film. Won few accolades by coinciding with Amour –Which was practically unbeatable–, but its high quality was decisive for its star actors not only to make the leap to the Hollywood industry, but also for both to establish themselves among the great talents of their generation.

3. After the wedding (Dir. Susanne Bier, 2006)

Mads Mikkelsen Movies

The film tells the story of a European who owns a decaying orphanage in India and whose desire to move forward leads him to an unexpected reencounter with his past and the most difficult decision of his life. The stellar role is in charge of Mads Mikkelsen, who took advantage of his talent to configure a character loaded with the countless dualities that characterize the human being and that go from disinterested efforts to pure selfishness.

It went down in the history of Danish cinema by being the first film from the Nordic country to be nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Film. His victories in this and other awards were limited by crossing several occasions with Other people’s lives and The Pan’s Labyrinth, but this has not stopped him from being considered one of the great titles of his year for his mix of drama, social exploration and unexpected twists. Its international success resulted in a remake (2019) starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams.

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2. Another Round (Dir. Thomas Vinterberg, 2020)

Mads Mikkelsen Movies

Mads Mikkelsen’s success in Hollywood has not stopped her from returning to her native Denmark to work on high-caliber films. Such is the case of Druk, better known internationally as Another Round. As its name implies, the film revolves around alcohol, but not in the way that many other films have done. Instead, it focuses on four friends who work as high school teachers and who, unmotivated by the continuous indifference shown by their students, as well as by their respective dilemmas, decide to try a peculiar strategy: continuously drink a certain amount to guarantee a creative attitude and relaxed to help them solve their problems. An ingenious tragicomedy that links the midlife crisis with alcoholism and whose qualities have placed it among the most acclaimed international titles of the year.

1. Jagten (Dir. Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)

Mads Mikkelsen Movies

There are not many films that explore pedophilia and, even less, those that delve into those who are falsely accused of committing these abuses. Such is the case of Jatgen, with Mads Mikkelsen as a preschool teacher who becomes suspicious in the eyes of his director for a drawing and a statement as confusing as it is erratic, and whose innocence in the face of investigations takes second place in front of a society that does not hesitate to point it out as guilty.

A harsh criticism of a world that has been blinded by anger countless times to unleash countless witch hunts that end innocent lives. Its raw message was accentuated thanks to the histrionic talent of its protagonist, who plays such a complex subject whose situation allows the audience to identify, but without fully gaining their empathy. It was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Film and is considered – along with The unfaithful queen (2012) – as the one largely responsible for propelling Mads Mikkelsen’s career to the top.

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The entry Mads Mikkelsen: His best films and series was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.



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