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Valhalla Rising (2010)

Action/Adventure Rated NR

Pure Danish craziness. Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson) offers a Viking picture that’s like a Terrence Malick film on steroids. It’s brutal and terrifying, yet every frame drips with beauty. (The clouds are so imposing in these ancient skies, they almost count as characters.) In 1,000 A.D., a mute warrior with one eye (Mads Mikkelsen) traverses the Nordic landscape encountering sadistic chieftains, rampaging Christian soldiers and a vessel that eventually leads to the new world, hell or both. All of the influences here are lofty ones – Akira Kurosawa, Werner Herzog – and Refn lives up to each of them. A mad meditation on the primeval nature of man, faith and survival, this is Apocalypse Then, and then some.