Mads Mikkelsen’s Best Movies and How to Watch Them
Despite the circumstances leading up to it, it’s still pretty exciting to see Mads Mikkelsen join the cast of Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets as the Harry Potter the new Gellert Grindelwald from the prequel franchise. The reason is: the Danish actor can play a villainous villain, as also seen in almost every major franchise he’s been in so far, including the Bond movies and the MCU.
However, his mastery of menace is far from his only valuable tool as a performer, having also played a few heroic badass in his time and flexed his comedic muscles as characters you never expected to. him. Let’s take a look at the actor’s many nuances with our picks for the best Mads Mikkelsen movies, plus tips on where to find them to stream, rent digitally, or buy on physical media, starting by his first film and its sequel.
Pusher and Pusher II (1996, 2004)
A low-level drug dealer (Kim Bodnia) becomes the target of his ruthless employers after a bust leaves him with no proceeds or profits and, years later, his friend and former business partner (Mads Mikkelsen) struggles desperately to change his life after being released from prison for the second time.
Why are they among Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: After making his film debut in Pusher – also the debut of screenwriter and director Nicolas Winding Refn of Conduct fame – Mikkelsen would reprise his role as Tonny eight years later in Pusher II – the second installment of this audaciously brutal trilogy set in the underworld of Denmark.
Valhalla Rising (2009)
An undefeated pagan warrior prisoner (Mads Mikkelsen) and a fellow teenage slave (Maarten Stevenson) manage to escape together, only to join a crew of Vikings on an ill-fated quest by boat into the unknown in 1000 AD.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: In his first collaboration with screenwriter and director Nicolas Winding Refn after the Pusher Trilogy, Mikkelsen proves he can still pull off a lasting feat even with the use of one eye and without saying a word, in Rise of Valhalla – one of Refn’s most unique experiences, but not without its signature brutality, inspired by Norse mythology.
Casino Royale (2006)
Shortly after being promoted to “double-0” status, a maverick MI-6 agent (Daniel Craig) is tasked with putting his remarkable poker skills to good use in a high-stakes international tournament against a banker. notorious (Mikkelsen) known for his financing. The Terrorists.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: Mikkelsen first showcased his knack for villainy to the American mainstream with his thrilling face-off against debuting 007 actor Craig as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale – director Martin Campbell’s gritty reimagining of the James Bond saga.
Doctor Strange (2016)
After suffering a devastating car accident that leaves him unable to continue his work, a once renowned surgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) is driven by his desperate search for a cure to discover the mystical arts, which he must use to defend his dimension. of an imminent threat. .
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: Perhaps Mads Mikkelsen’s second best-known villain role is the power-hungry wizard Kaecilius in strange doctor – horror director Scott Derrickson’s first foray into the comic book genre and one of the most visually stunning installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
A disillusioned loner (Felicity Jones) joins a ragtag group of resistance fighters on a mission to steal the plans for a moon-sized planet-destroying weapon from the Galactic Empire.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: For his second appearance in a Disney-owned franchise in 2016, Mads Mikkelsen joined the star wars universe as the designer of the Death Star, but is still, surprisingly, not the villain of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – an exciting direct prequel to the original 1977 film that looks more like the real thing war movie than most franchise installments.
After losing his wife and son to murderous kidnappers, a Danish settler (Mads Mikkelsen) kills them out of revenge and comes to terms with their brother, a ruthless land baron (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and the citizens of ‘a small town too scared to stand up to him in 1870s America.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: Mikkelsen would find Casino RoyaleBond girl, Eva Green, but, this time, would play the heroic badass opposite another well-regarded actor for some naughty performances (Morgan) in The Salvation – an old school revenge western from Danish filmmaker Kristian Levring.
After suffering a crash landing in the Arctic Circle, a man (Mads Mikkelsen) must brave the bitter cold and unforgivable rugged terrain in hopes of finding safe haven for him an injured young woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttiir).
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: Mikkelsen, once again, gives a magnificent performance as the heroic badass in co-writer and director Joe Penna’s feature debut, Arctic – a gripping survival thriller in which the villain is nature itself.
The Hunt (2014)
After losing his wife to divorce and trying to win custody of his son, a kindergarten teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) struggles to prove his innocence to his colleagues and close friends after one of his students accused him, wrongly and without reason. of sexual abuse.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: Not to be confused with a 2020 action-horror film of the same title, The hunt is an intense drama that sees Mikkelsen give one of the most stunning performances of his career and earned Danish co-writer, director and producer Thomas Vinterberg an Oscar nomination for Best International Feature Film (when he was still called best foreign language film).
Another Round (2020)
After discussing a theory that humans are, in fact, born with too low a natural blood alcohol level, four high school teachers and close friends decide to test how drinking more regularly could improve their lives – an experiment that ultimately turns out to be substantial.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: In his first collaboration with co-writer and director Thomas Vinterberg after The huntMads Mikkelsen strikes a superb balance of humor and drama rooted in another round – an inventive dramedy (with an English-language remake in the works) that also earned Vinterberg an Oscar nomination for directing and a win for Best International Feature Film that year.
Men and Chicken (2015)
After learning that their father was not their biological parent after his death, a disillusioned college professor (David Dencik) and his trivial-minded brother (Mads Mikkelsen) travel to a remote island to make contact with their eccentric real parent, which leads to a startling surprise. self-discovery.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best films: In one of his weirder collaborations with writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen (which is saying something, believe me), Mikkelsen once again delivers a superb balance of humor, but with a drama a little less anchored, in Men & Chicken – a very unique and sometimes disconcerting black comedy.
BONUS: Hannibal (2013-2015)
Despite gifts that make him a leading expert in the field of investigations, a young FBI criminal profiler (Hugh Dancy) enlists the professional and personal consultation of a mysteriously attractive forensic psychiatrist (Mads Mikkelson), who happens to have some disturbing secrets of her own.
Why this is one of Mads Mikkelsen’s best TV shows: This may be a list of the best Mads Mikkelsen moviesbut we think we have some obligation to pay some attention to what is, arguably, his most chilling and definitive performance as the title role on NBC’s Hannibal – a short-lived, but highly regarded and visually captivating crime drama based on the Thomas Harris series of novels.
Mads Mikkelsen said he would return for another season as Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in a heartbeat. For now, watching him bring madness to the wizarding world in Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets – in theaters April 15 – is quite splendid.