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The Hunt

8.31 h 50 min2013X-Ray15
The Hunt unfolds in a small provincial town in the days leading up to Christmas. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a forty year old divorcee, is finally getting his life under control. Hes got himself a new girlfriend, a new job and is in the process of re-building his relationship with his teenage son, Marcus.
Thomas Vinterberg
Mads MikkelsenThomas Bo LarsenAnnika Wedderkopp
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Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum, Morten Kaufmann
Arrow Films
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

909 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

SHMReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 September 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A very authentic portrayal of modern schools.
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This was an extremely gripping story which held my attention from beginning to end. Commenting as a former teacher with decades of classroom experience, this film had such a ring of authenticity to it that it left me wondering if the director, or the story’s writer, had experience of working in schools.

With respect to authenticity:

First, belief: The accusations of child abuse made against Lucas, the main character, were believed by the adults. This belief was based on the ridiculous premise that children do not lie. I say "ridiculous" because children do lie. When I was a child, I lied. I lied to my parents and to my teachers, among others. Specifically, I lied to get myself out of trouble. My siblings also lied and for the same reason. Any experienced teacher or any parent knows that children lie. Despite this, the myth that "children do not lie" still has currency today. In fact, because their lies are taken seriously and acted upon, this false belief only encourages children to lie .

In the film, Klara starts lying about Lucas shortly after he tells her not to kiss him on the mouth. Was it being suggested that Klara started lying out of resentment at having been corrected by Lucas? Was she lying about him to get back at him? That behaviour would be very plausible.

When I was a teacher, children lied to me. They also lied about me. Things have become so bad in schools over the decades that, latterly, when any child lied about me, just as with Lucas in the film, the accusation/complaint was conveyed to me by my boss without any attempt by him/her to first get my side of the story. Indeed, I was the last person to hear about the complaint, my boss having questioned possible witnesses first. So, complaints were typically conveyed to me in the form of a reprimand i.e. shoot first and don’t bother to ask questions later. Indeed, when I became a supply teacher, within a few days of starting at a new school, it became routine for at least one pupil to go trotting off to my boss with a complaint. It was always a relief to get that little initiation ceremony over with so that I could get on with my job!

Schools are thus a breeding ground for informers. In fact, informing is encouraged. Teachers, pupils, parents and other staff are all encouraged to inform on each other. For example, before a school inspection, pupils are asked to complete questionnaires about their teachers. Complaints are investigated very aggressively. I did not experience this personally, but was witness to several such investigations.

Second, secrecy:
When I was a full-time permanent teacher, I was once told by my boss that s/he had received complaints about me from 6 different people. As happened to Lucas in the film, my boss refused to reveal the names of my accusers. Nor would s/he tell me what I had been accused of!!! I can only assume that I was eventually deemed innocent because not only did I not lose my job, but I also heard nothing more about the complaints. However, like Lucas, I was kept in the dark, never knowing what was going on. In fact, this secrecy is a godsend to informers. Secrecy is also a godsend to unscrupulous bosses/employers. For example, in the absence of any facts, how did I know my boss was telling the truth? For all I knew, s/he could have been lying to me. In this way, secrecy is used to generate fear and thus to manipulate.

Third, ostracising by the community: in the film, Lucas is ostracised by the community. This treatment also happens in schools. When a colleague of mine was attacked i.e. was complained about, the other teachers, far from supporting this person, behaved toward their "fallen" colleague like sharks at a feeding frenzy. Unlike with Lucas, this abuse did not include physical violence. In fact, it was worse, for the abuse was entirely psychological. It was truly shocking to witness.

To conclude, a very authentic view of modern schools is portrayed in this film. I will just add that I have not been in the classroom for many years. Schools were going downhill then, and will have become much worse with every passing year.
22 people found this helpful
ChatterboxReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 October 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A truly scary story
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I don't know why some reviewers consider this story to be unrealistic. It's perfectly realistic, and I frankly can't imagine any tiny community anywhere in Europe dealing with the idea of real or imaginary child abuse any differently than how it was portrayed in this film.

The film deals with extremely sensitive and difficult matters to resolve and there are never any easy answers and nothing black and white in any of these situations. However, given what's happened to so many men on the back of Harvey Weinstein story, I really think everyone should watch this film and learn to gather and analyse all facts before jumping to any conclusions whatsoever. It's easy to ruin lives. It's not so easy to get them back. We must remember that.
40 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A lesson in how 'jumping to conclusions' can have tragic consequences.
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I chose to watch 'The Hunt' as I admire Mads Mikkelsen and I thought that based on the plot synopsis it would be worth a look, I was not disappointed.
The entire cast were outstanding, I was particularly impressed with Mikkelsen, his on screen son, best friend and the little girl that 'lit the flame'.
The director/co writer Thomas Vinterberg enabled the hatred and disgust directed towards the accused; to molest the heart and soul of the audience, which I found to be profoundly disturbing, I hope to view more of Vinterberg's work.
The only problem, if at all, is that the film is subtitled, however, Danish is so similar to English that the dialogue does not lose anything in translation.
A thoroughly entertaining movie and not without humour. I would recommend 'The Hunt' to anyone whom is looking for something other than CGI and explosions.
I would also like to add that most of the people that gave the film one star missed the point of the movie entirely!
16 people found this helpful
LBehanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unnerving and well acted
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The story of a divorced man, who has been living alone with his dog and with some shared custody of his son, who is accused of sexually abusing children at a nursery he is moved to work there having been a teacher beforehand. It is made clear from the start that he is is a normal, quiet man just starting a new relationship with a more assertive woman at the nursery. The film is not about children lying about, something that it's important to emphasise. It is about adults/parents in the modern world having full knowledge of, and fears about, child sexual abuse, who this can cause pre-conceptions and suspicions, misunderstandings and suggestibility. The little girl in the film is shown a brief clip of a pornographic film by her teenage brother and his friends behaving inappropriately but in a youthful boisterous, thoughtless, slightly bullying way rather than a sinister motive. The girl thus sees and hears comments of an adult sexual nature and about mens ''willies sticking up''. Homelife is a bit chaotic, with rows between her parents, and the teacher offering to walk her to school as he is her dad's best friend. As he is nice and funny with all the kids, she develops a platonic ''crush'' and makes him a heart, putting it in his pocket. As he is playing rough and tumble with the boys, innocently, she joins in and gives him a kiss on the mouth. He withdraws, also finds the heart, and says only to kiss parents on the mouth and to give the heart she made to one of the boys (her young peers). She (Klara) feels embarrassed and pretends she didn't make it, even though it has her name signed on it. Later she is seen sitting quietly in the dark by the female nursery lead, who asks if she is ok. She says she doesn't like the teacher as he is ''ugly and stupid'', still feeling embarressed and a bit rejected (in a childlike way). She says he has a willy too, all boys do, and that it sticks out (clearly representing the disgust she felt at seeing men with erections in the pornographic clip her sibling had briefly shown her). She tried to later say ''it was just a stupid thing to say'' on several occassions, however, the teacher was concerned by the comments. She calls in an ''expert'' as she ''doesn't really know how to deal with it'' who uses heavily leading questions after she says nothing happened. He says it's ok to say something did and asks directly if she has seen his willy etc to which she then does not know what to say, as she had already said the truth - that nothing happened - and this did not seem to be accepted. Suggestibility is the key them, with adults fearing the worst and failing to recognise how their own leading questions have influenced the reaction. She then ''obeys authority'' so to speak and hesitantly nods. Parents are then told that there is evidence of sexual abuse and to look out for signs in their own children - these are generic and could also be explained by other things e.g. nightmares, bedwetting. Parents fears again take over and they come in, some crying, to report their children have showed these ''signs''. We are led to believe the same leading questions and suggestibility follows along with parents sharing these fears with each other and this shaping their questions. Several children were also suggestible thus similar ''abuse '' stories emanated, securing the firm belief the teacher was a paedophile. His persecution by the adults then follows. He is released when all new reports describe his basement and the same details, despite his house not having one but the stigma sticks. The ''truth'' is eventually accepted and is depicted in interesting character studies. No character is a ''baddie''', all are well intentioned or just innocent children blurting out sulky ''silly'' comments that are misinterpreted by somewhat paranoid adults. At the end, we see his hesitancy at normal interaction with the child which he overcomes. The ending can be interpreted by the viewer. I won't spoil it here but the viewer is left to consider the toll it has taken on the man accused and/or whether or not some members of the community still consider a person guilty as ''mud sticks'' or ''no smoke is without fire''. This is brilliantly acted, somewhat a masterpiece - but it's really important to look at the themes, adult fears over abuse, the need to interview with open questions and avoid suggestibility, stigma. This is most definitely NOT about children ''lying'' about abuse, or any other matter.
2 people found this helpful
kironReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
With emotional "friends" who needs enemies
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Why would a guy stay put in a community after the hell they put him through? He only has one true friend.
Either the girls dad doesn't know his own daughter or his friend!
So basically the townspeople are saying they would rather not exercise their own judgement, and weigh the pros and cons, but judge and conform because that way they can slap themselves on the back for sticking together! Not to mention resort to violence!
As for the school just how qualified is the professional? After all the child claims to have seen it, in which case why not ask for more details?
As for the other kids claiming to have been abused in a non existent basement...
3 people found this helpful
James BReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 September 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
tense, distant, sensitive, sparse
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I can't decide to what extent this film is brilliant. It obviously respects the viewer and there's a lot going on here. I think the film does very well to make every character seem important and let the watcher work things out. I like the way the film tackles a sensitive subject with a careful eye. It doesn’t go in for much emotion and pay-off it always holds back. The main characters are not instantly likeable and the character study is very subtle because there’s nothing Lucas character does which is so obviously wrong. I people's reactions to this film might show a lot about how they view parenting and behavior around children. In the end, perhaps the fact that there's so much to say about it suggests to me that it might be very good indeed.
4 people found this helpful
James BReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 October 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A troubling but excellent film
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Fine, fine acting by the whole cast including the children delicately weaves a simple but chilling tale of how the smallest and simplest of sequence of unfortunate events can undermine lives in a small community with brutal force. It's a tour de force of a movie and a great antidote to the formulaic trash served up by the big studios!
7 people found this helpful
SJBReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 November 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Lesson in consequences
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Good film which I won't spoil by details but what stood out to me if the seeminglack of consequences for the person who started the whole thing, the child. Yes there different rules applying to children to adults of course but children also have responsibilities or consequences of their actions.

Not to spoil for people who haven't watched it yet but I was left wondering what consequences there were for the child who struck the match. Something like this happened in reality this year in the UK and the alleged perprator of the abuse was killed after being raped with an iron rod. Rare and extreme occurence I suspect but it can happen.

It has echo's of women who falsely accuse alleged perpetrators of rape. There should for adults be an equal sentence for false allegations as there are real crimes to deter this sort of dangerous conduct.
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