A War | Film review - Oscar-nominated Danish drama explores moral and physical perils of combat

A War Pilou Asbæk.jpg

Deservedly nominated for an Oscar, gripping Danish drama A War (Krigen) puts us in the combat boots of war-weary company commander Claus (Pilou Asbæk) as he is forced to make a life or death decision while under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan. Director Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking) uses hand-held cameras to ramp up the tension, but the film proves equally riveting away from the heat of battle back home in Denmark, where Claus’s embattled wife (Tuva Novotny) is struggling to raise their three young children on her own. There is no Hollywood heroism or sentimentality here, and the ethically ambiguous courtroom scenes that climax the film provide no easy resolution, either.

Certificate 15. Runtime 115 mins. Director Tobias Lindholm

A War is available to own on Digital Download from 2nd May and on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD from 9th May from StudioCanal.


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.