headhunters-apr-11thUnlike the Jo Nesbø novel it is based on, Headhunters is a tense thriller
partly and successfully played for laughs. Diminutive Roger Brown is
a corporate headhunter with a beautiful willowy wife, high end living
habits and a lucrative sideline in art theft. When the ‘ultimate theft’
comes under the scrutiny of another type of headhunter, Roger’s
comfortable life starts to unravel. Nemesis for the alpha male! “an offbeat,
thoroughly gripping crime picture”, Kim Newman,
empireonline.com. (Cert 15)
Dir: Morten Tyldum 96 mins Norway 2011

Programme Notes

Headhunters (Hodejegerne)
Norway 2011 96 minutes Cert. 15

We have become accustomed to dark, grim slow-moving Scandinavian films and TV programmes with a remorseless focus on gritty reality. By contrast, Headhunters looks to have taken its view of reality and pace from the (original) The Italian Job, but it does stay dark and gritty. The central character, Roger Brown, appears to be a very successful “headhunter” with a talent for recruiting the right people for the top corporate jobs. His lavish lifestyle reflects this success, but all is not as it seems, as soon becomes apparent.

The film is based on a book of the same name by Jo Nesbø, who, as well as being a novelist, has been a footballer, journalist and stockbroker. The Director, Morten Tyldum, is Norwegian and has worked with television, music videos, commercials and short films. All of these influences are apparent in the film.

Roger Brown – Aksel Hennie
Clas Greve – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Diana Brown – Synnøve Macody Lund
Ove Kjikerud – Eivind Sander

Director – Morten Tyldum
Screenplay – Lars Gudmestad, Ulf Ryberg based on Hodejegerne by Jo Nesbø
Original Music – Trond Bjerknes, Jeppe Kaas
Cinematography – John Andreas Andersen
Producers – Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn

“The plot moves like a rocket, the despicable characters are marvellously sketched…” Tom Huddleston, Time Out.

“…Although inevitably indebted to American models, Headhunters is firmly rooted in the Scandinavian experience, and it moves with the speed of a demented lemming heading for the cliff-edge of a fjord.” Philip French, The Observer.


“Great film”

“A shit-hot film!”

“Great. Echoes of Reservoir Dogs and The Italian Job, complete with total Scandinavian cynicism.”

“One of the decade’s best thrillers, by a country mile. Had elements of Guy Ritchie, Danny Boyle and Park-chun Wok in the cinematic events but this was one helluva ride, filled with memorable set-pieces and twists, to keep us all on the edge of our seats.”

“Gripping, edge-of-the-seat stuff!”

“Gripping stuff, even if technically fanciful at times. Very entertaining!”

“Insane plot and full of suspense. I loved it!”

“Fascinating all the way through – although one hates to see a head-hunter triumph!”

“Good fun – suspense right through to the end.”

“Horror and happiness – fast and clever. Would recommend it to anyone.”

“Pacey, engaging and entertaining: both horrific and hilarious – that’s clever. More like this please!”

“Very different but very, very good. Best film yet!”

“At last, something completely different and gripping. More like this please!”

“Enjoyable but just a little confusing!! Who did what to whom, why and for what reason? (Confused.com)”

“‘All is not as it seems’ sums up my confusion about this film but it was brilliant and never boring.”

“Almost believable – except no one would steal a ‘priceless’ painting. You couldn’t sell it!”

“Whew! Noir? Yes. Scandinavian? Yes. Funny? Yes. Would I see it again? NO!!”

“Slick, entertaining rubbish!”

“It raised my blood pressure!”


A:21, B:8, C:2, D:1, E:2 to give 83%