Best Danish Movies

Discover all of the best Danish movies on the big screen and streaming services

If you look at a map of the world, it’s pretty easy to forget that Denmark exists. But this tiny country of 5.8 million people has contributed a lot to the world, from toy bricks to cutting-edge design. And while the country isn’t well-known for its film industry, you will find some incredible Danish movies.

You’ve probably heard of Mads Mikkelsen, and even if you didn’t know his name beforehand, you would almost certainly recognize his face. Beyond that, though, Danish cinema has frequently gone under the radar. Many foreign films are imported into the country but with Danish subtitles.

Some Danish TV series have become immensely popular around the world, with Borgen being perhaps the most famous example. But when it comes to Danish-language films, the same isn’t necessarily true. As such, you’ll often only see them if you actively search for them.

This article will recommend a selection of Danish movies on various online streaming platforms. You’ll be introduced to some of the best Danish movies, plus a couple that didn’t hit the dizzy heights.

Are there any good Danish movies in Danish cinema?

While you might not have seen any Danish movies broadcast on TV where you live, you will find a selection of decent titles. The Danish film industry is centuries old, and much of the output you see today is funded by the state.

The term “good” is subjective, but you will find a wide selection of movies in several genres — including sports, romance, and drama. While you might like some of these, another person may have the opposite opinion — and vice versa.

The good news is that many Danish movies are widely available on streaming platforms, meaning that you don’t need to pay anything extra much of the time.

Why are Danish movies so good?

Again, the term “good” is subjective; while some people are big fans of Danish movies, others — including some Danes — would rather spend their time doing other things. Nonetheless, we can point to a couple of reasons why Denmark has a significant output in this area.

Many Danish films you see today were commissioned by the Danish Film Institute. This corner of the cultural sector receives funding from the Danish state, which in turn is funded by the country’s notoriously high tax rate.

If someone in Denmark wants to try their hand at acting, producing, or something similar, they will have the opportunity to do so at the very least.

Another reason that many people might consider Danish movies to be good is that Danes aren’t afraid to try new things. People in Denmark are, as a whole, encouraged to pursue things that interest them. So, if they want to try making a movie, they can do so with minimal risk involved.

Sure, the results are sometimes sub-optimal — but at least they gave it a go.

Where can I watch Danish movies?

If you’re unable to visit Denmark and go to a Danish cinema, or you simply don’t like visiting cinemas, don’t worry. Thanks to the widespread availability of high-speed internet, you can watch Danish movies in several countries.

Many of the most popular streaming platforms will have a selection of Danish movies that you can browse through. Netflix and Amazon are two of the biggest examples, and we’ll cover the films shown on these platforms in more depth later.

Elsewhere, you can also find some of the best Danish movies on the likes of HBO. You will find some on more than one platform, whereas others stick to just one. Availability will likely vary depending on where you live; if you’re in Denmark, you might find a bigger selection.

Danish movies on Netflix

Does Netflix have Danish movies? In short, yes — you will find a broad selection of Danish films on this particular platform. The sub-sections below will reveal some of the most popular titles.

Toscana

Movie title in Danish: Toscana

Year released: 2022

Running time: 1 h 30 m

Director: Medhi Avaz

Where to stream: Netflix

Toscana is one of the newest Danish films to feature on our list. The story follows a chef from Denmark whose father passes away, resulting in him needing to travel to Italy and sell the business he owned. Anders Matthesen plays the role of the chef in the movie.

While in Tuscany, the chef meets — in classic rom-com style — an Italian woman who he falls in love with. His romantic encounter shifts the mindset of the chef, known as Theo Dahl, in the movie. He rethinks how he views life in general, along with love.

Toscana was very popular when it was first released; in its first week, the movie was the fifth-most-watched around the world. It’s the first original film for Netflix that’s of Danish origin.

Summer of ‘92

Movie title in Danish: Sommeren ‘92

Year released: 2015

Running time: 1 h 33 m

Director: Kasper Bofoed

Where to stream: Netflix

1992 was a special summer in Denmark. Originally, the men’s national team had not qualified for that year’s European Championships tournament in Sweden. But when Yugoslavia was disqualified due to the war, the Danes were selected as their replacement.

Against all odds, and without star man Michael Laudrup, Denmark lifted the trophy.

Summer of ‘92 follows the story of Denmark’s national team that summer, focusing largely on the coach Richard Møller Nielsen. In the run-up to the tournament, Nielsen had received significant criticism domestically — before silencing his doubters in spectacular fashion.

The movie highlights the trials and tribulations that the team had to go through on the way to victory while also highlighting the stories of all the key people involved. Ulrich Thomsen plays the role of Nielsen in this classic Danish film.

Love Is All You Need

Movie title in Danish: Den Skaldede Frisør

Year released: 2012

Running time: 1 h 52 m

Director: Susanne Bier

Where to stream: Netflix

Den Skaldede Frisør is one of the most famous Danish movies in the romantic comedy genre, and it has a longer running time than many that we’ve mentioned so far.

The main character is known as Ida, played by the Danish actress Trine Dyrholm. She’s a hairdresser in the movie, hence the film’s title — “frisør” means “hairdresser” in Danish.

The movie starts with Ida finding out that her husband is having an affair, resulting in their breakup. The rest of the film follows her romantic encounter with another individual, along with a troubled relationship when she gets back with her ex-husband.

In addition to Danish, the movie also features sections in English and Italian. It was filmed in both Denmark and Italy. The movie features various Danish actors, such as Kim Bodnia — who also plays the role of the Danish detective in the iconic crime drama The Bridge.

Klown Forever

Movie title in Danish: Klovn Forever

Year released: 2015

Running time: 1 h 39 m

Director: Mikkel Nørgaard  

Where to stream: Netflix

Klovn Forever is the second movie in the Klovn series, the first of which we will talk about later in this article. The film follows a friendship duo, with one of them moving to the bright lights of Los Angeles.

It takes place five years after the end of the first film, and the friendship becomes strained after Casper’s move.

The movie is a comedy film and received popular acclaim throughout Denmark. It was broadcasted on national television, and you can also find the movie on streaming services in the country.

The two friends — Frank and Casper — have an eventful trip, to say the least. While both had fewer obligations in the first movie, Frank comes into this one with two children to now look after.

April 9th

Movie title in Danish: 9. April

Year released: 2015

Running time: 1 h 28 m

Director: Roni Ezra  

Where to stream: Netflix

Denmark’s strategic position to the north of Germany and east of the UK meant that it played a crucial role in World War II. The movie is named after 9th April 1940, which was the first day that the Germans began to invade Denmark during the conflict.

The movie follows a bicycle infantry business in Denmark that is given the unenviable task of trying to hold off Nazi forces. Much of the filming is in the south of Jutland, and the municipality of Haderslev — one of the most important towns in that part of the country – contributed to the funding for the film.

9. April features Lars Mikkelsen, who is one of the most famous Danish film actors and the brother of Mads Mikkelsen. The screenwriter, Tobias Lindholm, has also written some of Denmark’s other most popular entertainment exports — including Borgen.

The Exception

Movie title in Danish: Undtagelsen

Year released: 2020

Running time: 1 h 57 m

Director: Jesper W. Nielsen  

Where to stream: Netflix

Undtagelsen is one of the newer Danish movies on our list, having originally launched in 2020. The film was based on a novel that goes by the same name, which was published in 2004 and written by Christian Jungersen. It follows a group of women that work for a non-governmental organization (NGO).

The NGO works to help tackle genocide, and in the movie, it begins receiving threats. While the workers initially suspect external forces, they soon start to wonder whether one another is responsible instead.

The movie was filmed in Copenhagen, which is also where the NGO that all of the women work for is based.

The Bombardment/Shadow in My Eye

Movie title in Danish: Skyggen i Mit Øje

Year released: 2021

Running time: 1 h 47 m

Director: Ole Bornedal  

Where to stream: Netflix

Another of the best Danish movies with a war theme is the Bombardment, which you might also have heard referred to as “The Shadow in My Eye”. Released in 2021, the movie focuses on a school that is accidentally believed to be a target for British air forces during World War II.

The setting for the movie is a school in Frederiksberg and is based on a true story.

The movie follows the events of the World War II period in Denmark, during which the country was occupied by German forces. It took place in 1945, toward the end of the conflict.

Several things take place in the film, with part of the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s mission being to free Danes that had shown resistance to the Nazis.

Parts of the movie are in Danish, with others in English and German. It was released in Denmark and internationally, with the international version being known as the Bombardment.

Against the Ice

Movie title in Danish: Against the Ice

Year released: 2022

Running time: 1 h 43 m

Director: Peter Flinth

Where to stream: Netflix

Mainland Denmark is nowhere near the arctic, which makes it a little unique from its Nordic siblings. However, Greenland is the kingdom’s largest territory by size; the island has long been a Danish colony, though it is autonomous.

Against the Ice tells the tale of a Danish explorer that went to the island in the 20th century, and it’s an excellent opportunity to watch how humans test their limits in some of the world’s harshest environments.

The main explorer in the movie is Ejnar Mikkelsen, who is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldnau. You can also read about the expedition that happened in real life; it’s been published as a book known as Two Against the Ice.

Against the Ice features another explorer that becomes close with Mikkelsen, along with numerous other individuals that played some kind of role in the expedition — which was the second attempt. In real life, Mikkelsen has a range of mountains named after him in Greenland.

Danish movies on Amazon Prime

Does Amazon Prime have Danish movies? Like Netflix, the answer is yes. Amazon’s selection of films is perhaps not as impressive, but you will find a good variety to keep you entertained for at least a little while.

The subsections below will give you a couple of suggestions to start with.

And if you don’t have a Prime subscription, you can sign up here.

A Royal Affair

Movie title in Danish: En Kongelige Affære

Year released: 2012

Running time: 2 h 17 m

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Where to watch: Amazon | Netflix

A Royal Affair is one of the most famous Danish films that you can find on Amazon, and it features Mads Mikkelsen as a leading role player. The movie is set in 18th-century Denmark, and it features King Christian VII and his lover — a British woman known as Caroline Matilda of Great Britain.

Well, that’s his lover, to begin with, anyway. Over time, the two drift apart from one another — despite Caroline Matilda being pregnant with their son. She eventually falls in love with a German physician, played in the film by Mikkelsen, who happens to be working for King Christian VII.

The two have an affair, which is where the name of the movie comes from.

The story evolves into more than we shall reveal here, as we don’t want to give away too many spoilers. But our simple advice to you is this: Watch it.

Klovn

Movie title in Danish: Klovn

Year released: 2010

Running time: 1 h 30 m

Director: Mikkel Nørgaard

Where to watch: Amazon

We spoke about the second movie in the Klovn series earlier, so it only makes sense that we touch upon the first one as well. Klovn is one of the most popular Danish export movies to enjoy success in international markets, and it features the same two characters as the second one — Casper and Frank.

Both of these are fictional versions of the film’s two writers: Casper Christensen and Fran Hvam.

In the first Klovn movie, Frank is in a relationship and has impregnated his girlfriend. But he needs to show his fathering capabilities, which results in him going on a canoe trip with Casper that also involves him taking a 12-year-old.

The two Klovn movies have a third version that was released in 2020, which involves the duo going on a trip to Iceland together.

Food Club

Movie title in Danish: Madklubben

Year released: 2020

Running time: 1 h 39 m

Director: Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg

Where to watch: Amazon

Madklubben is a Danish comedy movie that was released in 2020. It follows three friends who decide to visit Italy and participate in a cooking course. The three have endured difficult periods in their lives, from challenges with partners to difficult relationships with their children.

On the trip to Italy, the trio discovers a newfound enjoyment for life — and they have a shift in focus about what is essential to them. The movie is set in Puglia, a region in the southern part of the Italian mainland.

Another Round

Movie title in Danish: Druk

Year released: 2020

Running time: 1 h 55 m

Director: Barbara Thomas Vinterberg

Where to watch: Amazon

Another Danish movie to feature Mads Mikkelsen is Another Round, the Danish title of which — Druk — effectively means “binge drinking”. And that’s pretty much what you’re getting when you watch this movie.

Released in 2020, it covers comedy but is much darker than some of the other titles listed in this article.

During the movie, a group of friends find out about blood alcohol content and seek to put the theory into practice. It works, to an extent — but they end up drinking for weeks on end, and it causes more harm than good.

The movie takes various twists and turns, which include the death of one of the main characters — along with a breakup. In addition to airing in Denmark, it was also broadcasted in multiple countries across the world.

Riders of Justice

Movie title in Danish: Retfærdighedens Ryttere

Year released: 2020

Running time: 1 h 56 m

Director: Barbara Anders Thomas Jensen

Where to watch: Amazon

To wrap up our list of Danish language movies, we’ll cover Riders of Justice. Released in 2020, the movie features several big actors – including Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas. The film is set in multiple locations, including Estonia, Afghanistan, and Denmark.

It involves one of the individuals suspecting that his wife was murdered, which — as he begins to grow these suspicions — results in him thinking about seeking revenge.

The character, known in the movie as “Markus”, comes back from his deployment in Afghanistan after his wife dies. It was initially believed to be an accident, and he returned to the country to look after his daughter.

Riders of Justice has won several awards since it was released. These include some of the cast winning best actress and supporting actor accolades domestically, with the producers also receiving recognition. The movie has also received recognition in the US and the UK.

Watch the best Danish movies from the comfort of your sofa

Danish movies might not be as popular as films from other countries, and not many can claim to have the same level of status as many Danish television series. But if you’re willing to be curious and dig a little deeper, you’ll find some hidden gems that are well worth your time.

The best Danish movies cover multiple genres, with drama and sports fans covered — as well as those more interested in cheesy rom-coms. And if you plan to move to Denmark, watching these films is an excellent way to learn the language and grow your vocabulary.

Speaking of which: if you plan to move to Denmark, you should consider several things before making a move. Getting your immigration documents can take a little time, and it’s a good idea to figure out which set of rules you need to follow.

Luckily, we’ve written a guide on how to move to Denmark.

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. Stay tuned and we’ll bring the essence of Scandinavia to you.

Advertising enquiries

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. To advertise your brand to a global audience, contact our advertising team below.

advertising@scandification.com