Even though he consistently puts out great work in European films, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is still best known to English-speaking audiences as the blood-weeping bad guy in 2006's Casino Royale. While his stock will no doubt rise via his role in the TV prequel, Hannibal, The Hunt is further evidence he is one of the finest leading men today. He plays Lucas, a charming single father in a small tightknit town who works part-time at the local kindergarten. When a girl there falsely accuses him of exposing himself to her, Lucas steadfastly maintains his innocence. But soon even his closest friends begin to doubt him, and Lucas' entire life begins to unravel. The sequence of events that lead to Lucas facing the horrific accusations play out with chilling plausibility here. Angry mobs make for great cinema, and the circle of distrust the surrounds Lucas in this film is scarier than the worst cinematic bogeyman. Mikkelsen's performance doesn't have hysterical theatrics, but the enormity of what he is up against can always be read on his face. Don't let the subject matter put you off - it's occasionally difficult, but wholly gripping.

Stars: 4/5
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp
Directors: Thomas Vinterberg
Rating: R16
Running time: 116 mins

The Hunt is out now.