The latest slab of Nordic noir adapted for the screen, The Keeper of Lost Causes is drawn from the first in the series of novels by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen.

It's exactly what you'd expect; a well-paced, entertaining and well-crafted film filled with bleak landscapes, eerie photography and grim subject matter.

With a screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel, who also wrote the screenplay for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and directed by Mikkel Norgaard (Klown), this thriller follows Police Inspector Carl Morck (Kaas). Recently demoted to Department Q, Morck spends his time in a basement office where he files cold cases.

Much like Mankell's troubled Wallander and Nesbo's alcoholic Harry Hole, Carl Morck has his issues. Moody, anti social and not interested in following rules, Morck decides to re-open rather than file these cases, starting with the mysterious disappearance of Danish politician Merete Lynggaard (Richter) five years earlier.

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Through Morck's investigation we return to the events of Merete's disappearance, through flashbacks that give the story a nice flow. Though the damsel-in-distress story isn't an original narrative there's enough sadistic behaviour and suspense to keep you on edge, and a touch of humour thanks to the relationship between Morck and his assistant Assad, also an outsider.

For all its familiarity and brooding Scandinavian characters, The Keeper of Lost Causes is still a well-presented good yarn. Just as these Scandi-crime thrillers make for great holiday reads, The Keeper of Lost Causes makes for pretty good movie escapism.

Cast:

Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Sonja Richter

Director:

Mikkel Norgaard

Running Time:

93 mins

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Rating:

R16 -- Violence, offensive language, sex scenes & content that may disturb

Verdict:

Moody and suspenseful Scandi-noir

- TimeOut