Perhaps the best actor in recent years, Mads Mikkelsen has proven his worth on whatever film he appears in, from Star Wars to Hannibal.
Mads Mikkelsen began his career as a gymnast and dancer, but later became a Danish and English-language film star thanks to his work as an actor. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale) and Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal) have made him one of the best foreign performers of the current era to have a successful Hollywood presence thanks to their nasty parts.
However, it is his filmography from his home Denmark that demonstrates his dramatic prowess to its fullest extent. Druk (Another Round) and Jagten (The Hunt) are examples of this.
1. Valhalla Rising (2009) – 73% (Tie)
Nicolas Winding Refn had previously directed Danish films such as the Pusher trilogy and Valhalla Rising, before becoming a household name with Drive. One-Eye, a Norse warrior played by Mikkelsen, is the protagonist of the film, which takes place around 1096 AD. Even though One-Eye encounters some Christians on his way to the “Holy Land,” they take him with them to an unexplored part of North America.
A sophisticated twist on the swords-and-sandals genre, Valhalla Rising is a visually stunning and frighteningly brutal video game.
2. The Salvation (2014) – 73% (Tie)
Mads Mikkelsen is an artist who works in a variety of media. He delves into the Western in The Salvation, a Danish film. It’s a well-known storyline themed on vengeance. Jon, a Danish immigrant to the United States in the 1800s, is portrayed by Mikkelsen. Following the death of his wife by a group of criminals, Jon swiftly exacts retribution, only to discover that one of the criminals is the brother of a town property lord.
Mikkelsen’s portrayal of a desperate and damaged man makes the film all the more worth viewing, despite the plot’s lack of innovation.
3. At Eternity’s Gate (2018) – 79%
Van Gogh, a painter who earned worldwide acclaim only after his death, is the subject of At Eternity’s Gate. When it comes to presenting the artist’s delicate personality and mental health difficulties, Willem Defoe gives it all (with a story largely sourced from the letters he wrote to his brother Theo).
As ‘The Priest,’ Mads Mikkelsen appears in a minor part. He portrays a fictional individual who assesses Van Gogh’s sanity following a hospital visit.
4. Pusher (1996) – 83%
Mads Mikkelsen made his debut in Danish cinema with Pusher. Pusher is the first film of a three-part series on Copenhagen’s criminal underworld. Frank (Mikelsen) is a drug dealer, while Mikkelsen portrays his associate, Tony (Pacino). To make up for what they’ve lost, they’ve each been given a one-week grace period.
Nicolas Winding Refn and Mikkelsen’s acting careers were both bolstered by Pusher.
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – 84%
Rogue One distinguishes out in a galaxy characterized by prequel and sequel trilogies. Prior to the events of Episode IV, a Resistance force is trying to enter Imperial HQ and steal the designs for the Death Star, an atomic bomb that can kill planets with a single blast.
Galen Erso, a research scientist kidnapped by the Empire and used to build the Death Star, is played by Mads Mikkelsen in a tiny but significant role. Felicity Jones portrays Jyn Erso, his daughter, who seeks to avenge her father’s death.
6. Doctor Strange (2016) – 89%
This isn’t the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a guest star. Doctor Strange featured him as Kaecillus, the major villain. An expert in magic, he has formed a cult of his own in defiance of the Ancient One. In exchange for endless life, he serves the entity known as Dormammu.
‘I didn’t hesitate.’ That’s what he said in an interview with EW. When Scott Derrickson was presenting the narrative to me on the phone, he stated something about the martial art of kung fu within five minutes, and I asked him to repeat it.
7. A Royal Affair (2012) – 90%
Danish historical drama En kongelig affre aka The Royal Affair depicts the court of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark as an affair between his wife and the royal physician grows. Both Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander star as the physician and queen in this film.
As a costume drama, the film was considered as an appropriate successor to several earlier costume dramas of the past. Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for A Royal Affair as best foreign language film followed.
8. Another Round (2020) – 92%
Filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round (Druk) is another black comedy, focusing on the buddies who aim to consume a small amount of alcohol every day as a way of improving their daily lives. As they try to escape their mid-life crisis, the experiment initially succeeds, but things quickly deteriorate when the intoxication level grows.
The film stars Mads Mikkelsen as a disillusioned history teacher who embarks on the aforementioned experiment in an attempt to enhance his teaching methods and family life. Mikkelsen isn’t just an actor in the film; he’s also a talented dancer!
9. The Hunt (2012) – 93%
The Hunt (Danish: Jagten), Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Vinterberg’s debut collaboration, is a thought-provoking drama set in a tiny Danish village at Christmas. During the film, Mikkelsen portrays a teacher who is falsely accused of molesting a student. The film documents the resulting mass hysteria from the viewpoints of both a youngster and an adult. There aren’t any easy solutions in The Hunt, and that’s part of what makes the movie feel more authentic.
The Best Actor prize at Cannes was given to Mikkelsen for his outstanding performance, widely considered to be the best of his career.
10. Casino Royale (2006) – 95%
Since then, Casino Royale has served as the starting point for many more high-octane, action-packed 007 flicks starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.
A terrorist financier known as Le Chiffre, Mads Mikkelsen plays him in the role of Le Chiffre. James Bond’s goal is to infiltrate and bankrupt the person behind the game. Mikkelsen’s portrayal of the clever, cunning genius in the part was well received by critics around the world.