Max Manus: Man of War


Action / Biography / Drama / History / War


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Aksel Hennie as Max Manus
Jakob Oftebro as Lars Emil Erichsen
Ken Duken as Kriminolrot Siegfried Fehmer
Nicolai Cleve Broch as Gregers Gram

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by OJT 10 / 10

Great and balanced about Norwegian resistance heroes

The film evolves around Max Manus as one of the central heroes of the young Norwegian resistance during the World War II. Together with Gunnar Kjakan Sønsteby, Gregers Gram and the other brave youngsters not willing to see the free Norway become a part of the German Nazi empire The Third Reich.

After the fun flick "Bandidas" no one expected Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg to be able to do such a correct and true told story of one the Norwegian resistance heroes. But they have managed to make a great film, without messing up in any way.

We get the feeling that the heroism was not just a one-sided thing. For every action the resistance made, more civilians had to die. Max Manus, brilliantly played by Aksel Hennie, was an adventurer, and very lucky to be one of the survivors, more than once thanks to the cold-minded Gunnar Kjakan Sønsteby, warning him about the reality of it all.

The film also shows the psychological effects on the adventurer, who got to be a heavy drinker during the war, and after. Being a hero is just a part of the whole story.

A strong part of this film is the human relations. The boyish ways and friendships. The love-story is beautifully made. One can really relate to the persons. That's good acting as well! Some find Fehmers girlfriend as unnecessary. I don't agree. This is to show that the Nazis had both charm and feelings too. This gives balance as well.

Some have been criticizing the Norwegian resistance for being young silly adventurers. Some of this might be a little bit true, but what they did, and what the sacrificed, is impressive. Most of us would not even think of trying, or dare, to do anything as to stop an invasion of a big and threatening force. Thank God for the likes of Max Manus. He never stopped believing that the Germans could be beaten, even though he was far down after losing his friends one by one in the battle for freedom.

A solid mark is given for true storytelling of brave young spirits, making Norway what the country is today.

Reviewed by Renaldo Matlin 10 / 10

A candidate for the title "best Norwegian film ever made"?

I'm not sure where to start but my anticipations for this film were sky-high, and boy were my prayers answered! I have difficulty seeing how the story of Norwegian resistance fighter Max Manus could be told in any other way. The friendship in the tight-knit group of saboteurs and resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Oslo is portrayed with great warmth, comedy and boyish charm (most of these guys were basically just kids!), and the original and very special relationship between Max and his future wife Tikken is both credible and beautiful. Together with some intense action-scenes this all makes for a great WW2-film that takes you through every emotion.

Almost refreshingly it's told in a straightforward manner, none of those new fashionable gimmicks where a storyline is suddenly turned on its head just for cheap effect. The fact that this film is very close to reality - according to both Manus' widow Tikken and Gunnar Sønsteby, one of the legendary resistance fighters portrayed in the film - makes this even more fascinating.

An honest sweeping war drama deeply rooted in reality and history, that should interest any fan of WW2-stories, anywhere in the world.

And why watch fictional heroes like gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius when you can enjoy real life ones like Maximo Guillermo Manus? :)

Reviewed by Alexander Pastukh 10 / 10

Going to become one of the most outstanding Norwegian movie

I was always interested in the movies about World War II directed in different countries, to inquire more about the national heroes who struggled against fascism during the occupation. This one is from Norway about Max Manus who was one of the leaders of Norwegian anti-fascist resistance. When I saw the trailer I promptly noticed that it's gonna be an interesting film. And after I've seen the whole movie I can conclude that my anticipations were completely justified.

It would be fair enough to say that foreigner won't apprehend this movie as a native Norwegian, because it's a national film and above all has a particular significance for Norwegians. At the same time I dare to say that I've understood it the same and my tears can prove it. This movie is about the cruelest war ever, and my country was the most suffered in this war. Therefore I appreciate any contribution made in defeating Hitler and his surrounding and I entirely understand what feel people under the invasion and when they are on the brink of the complete elimination of their country, their culture, their language and history.

The film has greatly conveyed story. It isn't overstrained or dejected like many war-dramas. Two hours just passing like ten minutes leaving you excited and satisfied by what you've just seen. Plethora of action mixed with the dramatic moments imbued by Norwegian spirit which delivered here incredibly good. The emotional and acting part are also great I'm taking off my hand to all actors especially Aksel Hennie who showed himself as a very skilled and talented actor, when I've seen him in the Lønsj I couldn't imagine that this guy can play a soldier.

My mark will be 10, because this type of movies unites people throughout the entire country so you can't deny their necessity. Every country needs such movies. Every nation ought to know, remember and proud of their history and their heroes who against all odds constantly fought for the saving of their country and people. Their tremendous feats will never be forgotten.

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