User Reviews (230)

  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Snowman is a disaster. It's not only a disaster, it's an unfathomable disaster. This film had absolutely everything going for it. I've not read the source material, that the film is based on, but it's being hailed as one the best books in its genre here in Norway. The director, Tomas Alfredson, has made some great films in the past and the cast is great. Yet the film is a complete mess.

    The film actually looks unfinished. It looks like they had a version ready to go, but then some of the countless number of producers stepped in and told them to redo the whole film. Only that it wasn't enough time for them to actually make the new version comprehensible. There are scene transitions that are shockingly bad. Scenes that arrives and ends out of nowhere. Scenes that are included into the film for some reason that no one knows. Scenes that serves absolutely no pay-off, and are sort of just there for being there's sake. If one then takes a look at the trailer to the film, one can clearly see that huge parts of the dialogue and that some of the scenes from the trailer have been cut out of the film. This tells me that there are huge chunks of material left in some editing room out there, that probably would have caused the film to feel a lot more comprehensible.

    It wastes no time on character development. These type of films requires that audience manages to get inside the lead characters head. We need to be a part of the investigation. We need to feel the frustration and hopelessness of the characters. There's quite simply no emotion here. There's nothing to hold on to, and nothing to make you invested. Michael Fassbender's character features a lot of traits that ought to make him an interesting protagonist, but none of it is explored. It's actually quite baffling to see how neglected it all is. The Snowman got a wide range of characters, but none of them serve any other purpose than to serve the plot. Some of them doesn't even feel needed for that sake. Val Kilmer is one of the most useless characters I've seen in quite some time. For some reason, he was even dubbed.

    The whole film is entirely built around the plot, and leading up to the revelation of who the snowman killer is. Unfortunately, the film does a poor job of building up the suspense. It's quite frankly boring in huge parts and the revelation is predictable. Aside from the lack of character development and invested emotion (which is very much needed in order to care for a story), the film does a poor job in showcasing the investigation. Too many of the characters are doing things just because. Too much of the film is happening just because. There's very rarely given any reason for why things are happening. The overall plot is easy enough to follow, but in terms of logic it becomes a confusing mess.

    The Snowman is a mess. It's hard to understand how they managed to mess it up so badly, but they sure did. Aside from some neat visuals and a decent (if slightly forgettable) score, there's not much to enjoy here.
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    What happened to this movie ?

    That's a much more interesting question, than anything this destroyed artifact has to offer…

    Everything about this project looked so good: World class cast, director, cinematographer, editors, producers, writer, all based on a bestselling thriller: I couldn't wait to see it.

    Executive producer Martin Scorsese even wanted to direct it himself years ago, so it couldn't possibly be bad, because that man knows his stuff, right?

    I didn't read the novel and avoided any plot description because I wanted to enjoy a good thriller without knowing too much. But if anyone tells you, that he 'understood' the plot and character motivations of this mess, then you know he's lying or he's talking about the novel.

    The director Tomas Alfredson - who did such a fantastic job on "Tinker, Tailer, Soldier Spy", which was hard to follow sometimes, too, but did make sense - said in an interview, that 10-15 % of the screenplay were not shot. No joke. And these were pretty important pages, it seems, because the lead characters sometimes behave in incomprehensible ways. What the motivation of the killer was, is still an enigma to me.

    Because key scenes were missing, the producers probably thought: "Hey, we'll just hire the best editors and they'll solve the problem somehow!" Thelma Schoonmaker and Claire Simpson are indeed two of the best editors in the world, but if not even they could construct something like a story out of the footage, then something went deeply wrong during the shoot.

    The footage itself looks great. Oscar winner Dion Beebe is at the top of his game here and every shot is artfully composed and feels just right: Cold, sinister, grey, realistic, but still beautifully stylized. We are talking here about award-worthy cinematography, no less.

    The acting is good, too, especially the beautiful Rebecca Ferguson and Michael Fassbender, who is too young for this part, but gives a decent performance.

    Yes, there are some ridiculous scenes, especially the idiotic showdown, where Harry Hole survives and catches the killer by pure coincidence, but good producers could have fixed this through re-shoots. They didn't even try, it seems. They just gave up, because it was a lost cause.

    How could the producers, screenwriters and director destroy a project that had so much going for it ?

    This is one of the worst films of the year & one of the strangest film artifacts ever released in cinemas. It could serve as an example for filmmakers how NOT to edit a film or how NOT to tell a story.

    I only gave it 2/10 because of the cinematography & I felt sorry for the actors.

    A crime against cinema.
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  • The snowy white landscapes of Oslo seemed like the perfect setting for chilling crime thriller The Snowman, a film based on Jo Nesbø's novel of the same name. The trailers promised so much and with a lead actor like Michael Fassbender on board, it had the potential to be one of the most intense films of the year.

    When Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is called to investigate a string of murders where the killer leaves snowmen as a calling card, he must delve into past cases to make a connection before the killer strikes again.

    For a crime thriller to work, it must grip the audience right through to the end. The first half of The Snowman had my full attention, unsure of where the story was going to go or what would be revealed however, as the film drew on and revelations were made, it utterly lost me due to how lazy it became. They storytelling that felt so strong in the first half was totally absent in the second, none of the revelations as impactful as they should have been and the ending coming so abruptly. I hate the fact the film didn't seem to wrap up this story properly before closing with such a sequel baiting final scene.

    As with Tomas Alfredson's previous films, the pacing is pretty slow however, unlike Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the consistence in quality isn't maintained throughout. Half an hour before the end I was ready for it to finish. Such a shame because this had such potential to be such a creepy thriller, instead the snowmen left as calling cards coming across as more comical than anything.

    Coming to the performances, The Snowman isn't exactly let down at all. It's just they feel a little uninspired considering some of the actors working in the film. Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors working today but even if he looks as if he's given up on the film towards the end. I'm still waiting for a Fassbender performance as good as Steve Jobs, and that was two years ago now. While I don't think anyone gave a bad performance, the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones and J. K. Simmons were left a little too underused for my liking.

    A film of two halves for me, starting so promisingly before fizzling out to such an unsatisfying finale, The Snowman is rather annoyingly one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
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  • How The Snowman became the film it ended up being will likely forever remain a great mystery of bad movie history.

    The Snowman's director Tomas Alfredson has publicly stated that his movie makes no sense, is missing a large percentage of its script due to filming time constraints and generally has stated that this is not the film he intended to make but that's no real excuse for the sleep inducing police thriller we get here.

    That The Snowman has been so universally panned and lamented is not surprising, as Alfredson is a filmmaker whose got run's on the board with brilliant vampire tale Let The Right One In and the great cold war thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but his not the only reason why so many were genuinely surprised by the downright blandness that was this adaptation of Jo Nesbø's famous series of book's.

    Starring Michael Fassbender (whose literally never been less charismatic or uninterested looking and is now officially in dire need of a hit) and such co-stars as J.K Simmons, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer and Rebecca Ferguson, produced by Martin Scorsese, scripted by competent screenwriters that includes Hossein Amini and even edited by Scorsese's long time editing master Thelma Schoonmaker, The Snowman has all the talent in the world and manages to squander it in a genuinely frustrating and uninvolving fashion as we slog through 2 hours of an indescribable mess of proceedings.

    The Snowman may not be the worst film of 2017 but it's clearly the biggest waste of potential and Alfredson's claims that some hugely important parts of the story weren't even filmed don't seem too far off the mark as characters come and disappear, important story strands are seemingly passed over, while the central story of a brutal killer building snowman with severed human heads whilst taunting Fassbender's alcoholic detective Harry Hole with letters and phone calls just never becomes even slightly thrilling or engaging against all the odds of it doing so.

    It's a bizarre experience witnessing a film with all the elements of being something of note and just never taking hold on any facet of its being, Alfredson ads no flair or imagination from behind the camera, Fassbender sleepwalks through his turn, Marco Beltrami's intrusive score annoys from the outset, even some badly computer generated seagulls look like they've been animated by Microsoft Paint.

    With everything and everyone in The Snowman failing to make a mark or even give off the vibe that they care, it makes you wonder if this was a case of no one really being truly invested in making a good film, or at the very least thinking that it would all just fall into place with the minimum effort exerted, proving that you can have all the talent assembled and still make a downright poor excuse for a feature.

    Final Say -

    Not 2017's worst film but certainly the most disappointing, The Snowman could've been (and really should've been) one of the year's best thriller's, that not only had audience's on the edge of their seats, but eagerly awaiting more Harry Hole adventures in what's clearly supposed to be a franchise set-up.

    What we get instead is a movie more likely to lull you into a sleep, than raise any form of interest or suspense.

    1 fork out of 5
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  • The original material the film is based on, "The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo, is a gripping thriller brilliantly composed with complex characters. However, this film adaption lacks everything. Frankly, there is very little left of the original story. The scriptwriters not only tampered with the plot, but altered characters as well. It is an entirely different story that is badly constructed with gaping holes in the plot.

    Without having read the book, I'd imagine it would be slightly better with decent performances from the actors. Shame that had such an awful script to work with.
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  • I just don't know where to begin...

    ...well lets start with the story, a films core. The Snowman's plot and its execution was all over the place. It's not just that it was nonsensical and just laughably stupid by the end, but the movie was filled with scenes and complete subplots that were completely inconsequential and unnecessary. Some characters and their whole storyline could easily have been cut out and it wouldn't have had any effect on the plot. Excuse me, did I write characters? There were none in this film, only famous and recognizable faces who were hired because of their name. Talking about this stellar cast full of fantastic actors, they just as easily could have been replaced by complete unknowns and it wouldn't have changed a thing. I feel bad for them, since Fassbender is in my opinion one of the best working actors today, along with Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons and Toby Jones who unfortunately just did not have anything to work with from the get go.

    Okay, lets talk about the execution of this mess. It starts out slow after a very odd opening and stays that way for more than half of the movie. Nothing important happens. Then we are introduced to some new "characters" and subplots, which also didn't add anything to the film. Then there's some effort to build Fassbender's "character", which had no payoff and was completely unconvincing anyway. Then by the time you get to the half-way point you're bored out of your mind and already know who done did the things that had been done, so there's no reveal or twist by the end. And that ending. It is just completely ridiculous and has a few unintentionally laugh out loud moments. So, there's that.

    I have to say that I haven't read the source material, so I don't know if it's as bad as the film (probably not), but the film is just bad. Really bad. It's extremely stale and bafflingly stupid, which caught me off guard, since there was a time where Scorsese was set to direct. I wonder if he could have made it work.

    The only good that's worth mentioning is that the setting is very pretty to look at, shot at times beautifully, which at least adds a certain atmosphere to the film and lastly there was some fun gore and unintentionally funny scenes.

    So don't go out of your way the see this one, it's a stinker.
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  • There doesn't seem to be a lot of love for The Snowman, which is a pity since most of the elements I love about Scandinavian crime drama are there: an overall unglamourous look; icy landscapes; a protagonist with emotional issues and difficulties connecting with other people; gruesome killings; dark family secrets, enough red herrings to fill a small sea, and a surprise twist at the end. In fact, had this been a Norwegian movie, then I think that most people would have praised it as pleasantly non-Hollywood, but now they don't now what to make of it so they give it a critical drubbing. Director Tomas Alfredson (of Tinker Tailer Sodier Spy fame) knows how to put the elements together in the best tradition of series like The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and The Bridge (Bron) and films like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Män Som Hatar Kvinnor), but, to be fair, The Snowman is also the lesser of this group.

    Much of that can be blamed on production issues. Apparently, Alfredson got involved late in the production, and large parts of the screenplay were not even filmed. Judging from scenes that are in the trailer and missing from the movie, editor Thelma Schoonmaaker (of Goodfellas fame) may have had a hard time to make a version that is at least coherent. Still, some sequences in the movie noticeably take their time for set-up, sometimes to little avail, as if essential parts are missing; other scenes, especially the climax and the epilogue, are too fast-paced to the point of feeling rushed. I haven't read the book but I have been told that Harry Hole is much more eccentric and complex than we get to see here. Michael Fassbender is an excellent actor, but I would have loved to see more of his troubles, other than his alcoholism and lack of remembering appointments.

    The best treatment for The Snowman probably would have been an entire miniseries, preferably with Norwegian actors. It would have given ample exposure to Harry's character, his interactions with suspects, and time to explore the subplots that are now only touched upon, especially the ones involving Val Kilmer, Toby Jones and J.K. Simmons, who get way too little to do. It kind of feels as if the makers tried to cut 10 hours worth of top television into a 2-hr feature. That said, I do not recognize some of the criticism that the film is utterly incomprehensible and its characters all over the place. Undoubtedly, many people are only familiar with heavily Americanized remakes of Scandinavian crime dramas where everything tends to be clear and everyone is rather normal. I would advise those people to watch a genuine one from Scandinavia, with subtitles, made by local actors and crew. Enigmatic, ambiguous characters who cannot be defined by a single character trait, and a measure of ambiguity in the plot should be part of the deal.

    A final plus is that the makers used their budget for some breathtaking shots of Norway's scenery, something that would have been difficult to realize on a television budget. This movie is certainly not perfect, but it has some great tense moments, and it saves you a ticket for a holiday to Norway.
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  • I made the mistake of reading the book again before watching the movie So had high expectations. It was The Snowman that got me hooked on Jo Nesbo and was excited when I saw the trailer. I walked out of it at the end feeling very disappointed.

    Characters were stripped down to being almost irrelevant. They should have stuck more closely to the book for Katrine Bratt, such an important part. Ave Stop did not come across as the charismatic media guru. Instead, he appeared to be somewhat impotent. ldar Vetlesen may as well have been cut right out of it. The script very loosely followed the book. The twists in the plot were poorly handled. The opening Scene faded to frame the plot and I won't say anymore about that. Val Kilmer as Gert Rafto?? At least the harsh, bleak atmosphere was captured and Fassbender did a pretty good job.

    This movie Should be shown to film students on how not to do it.
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  • As I read many reviews the two things people hate this movie for is: It's a crime-thriller and not a horror story like the book was. Because I haven't read the book I can't say on what level they differ, but the movie is still very interesting and exciting. And the other thing is the ending. I agree that it comes a bit fast and leaves you kinda hanging, BUT it fits the whole frosty northern scenery well and makes the story line a full circle.

    I really enjoyed it, can't really understand why it gets so much hate.
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  • mshavzin14 October 2017
    Differs from the typical fare with a nice steady build up of suspense, gives satisfying clues, and in the end wraps up the mystery. If you are looking for Jigsaw, then this is not the film for you. I realize that some of the disappointed reviews were from folks who were hoping to be frightened. I personally have no love for shock value, and am never frightened by films. If i wanted to be scared, I would go watch Oprah or the Kardashians to be properly terrified at how absurdly stupid and inane the human race has become. Otherwise there isn't much a screen can do to terrify me. This isn't trying. It has the same goals as Wind River, but it fulfills them better. Probably because Detective Harry isn't a blundering idiot. I am unwilling to give up the plot like some others. I can say; nice pace, good story, not particularly original, but very well done. Exactly as it should be. Its not an art house film. Its a thriller mystery, and a engaging one.
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  • OJT13 October 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    The Snowman was right from the start panned with bad reviews. But I found this film was way better on the second viewing, just like Tomas Alfredsons Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy was. Exactly the same way! And that says a lot. Alfredson likes to do some subtle moves.

    When I saw this at a large outdoor pre-screening at the film's location Rjukan two days before the world premiere, I must admit I agreed to the rather bad reviews saying it's a 3 or 4/10. There were too many strange things which didn't make sense to me. Whatæs up with coffee bean thing? Why snowmen? Why this and that seemingly unmotivated scene?

    Well, I saw it again tonight, at peace with myself in a complete packed cinema, and everything was clear right from the start, though this film is in fact a murder mystery, and not a horror movie.

    I even found the drunken police man Val Kilmer's role quite decent the second time, and much of the acting was superb. I must admin I found Charlotte Gainsbourg over-playing a couple of times, and so with young Michael Yates as Oleg, but probably something they were asked to do.

    The photo is exquisite, the locations are interesting and beautiful, the cold and the feel is chilling, though i guess the film has been cut to much in the start. It's really difficult to follow what's happening in the first 1/3. More than this being a bad script or bad directing, I think it's but cut to pieces. Some parts makes no sense, before you the mystery bricks fell into place at the second view.

    So i really recommend those of you who have questions after the first viewing to go see it, or more likely put it on, once more. It's really not that bad at all. It's actually a quite decent serial murder mystery thriller.

    I also think this film is poised to be a box office success, though panned with the bad reviews, and so the makers, investors and actors will all laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe the film even will be labeled underrated in a few years. It wouldn't surprise me, now after my second view.

    Go see it again! And if you only saw Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy one, make sure you also watch that one also a second time. You might say with some right that a film isn't good enough if you have to watch it twice to really appreciate it, but then again that's what some might say is a mystery.
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Snowman could honestly be a contender for worst thriller of the year. It's dull, boring, confusingly plotted, drearily acted, lazily edited and poses more questions than it can ever be bothered to answer. Why are all the Norwegians in the film British? Why is it set in Oslo? Why does the killer use snowmen as a calling card? What is the purpose of J.K. Simmons character, other than to effectively walk on screen and pronounce, "And I'm J.K. Simmons"? Who are these women getting their pictures taken with a camera-phone? And finally, how could a film with such a strong ensemble cast and effective cinematography end up being such an unmitigated disaster? I know not one of the answers and, frankly, the time it took me to watch the film and write this review is about as much attention as I'm prepared to give this shoddy work. The most thrilling moment of the film was the end credits, as I could finally leave the cinema. Avoid like the plague.
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  • The movie has a rapid pace from the first 2 minutes. You start to have ideas of who can be the snowman and with each scene you will change your mind. Loved the fact that it's not that easy to understand the action with back and forth pieces of the puzzle.

    Not many will understand it! But those who will will appreciate how stunning the scenes where created.
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  • other reviews critique based on Hollywood tropes and complain because they are missing. Instead the film strives, successfully, to evoke the atmosphere of Scandinavian Noire, while employing the story telling techniques of Knut Hamsun - no character development, no exposition, and entering the story mid-crisis. I wish it had been recorded in Norwegian so we could appreciate the conflict between Bergen and Oslo, so integral to the books. it's a mood film, not simply a whodunit. bringing in familiar USA actors was a clever red herring, but probably won't be appreciated, and instead some will complain these actors didn't get more screen time. finally, the anti-tourism photography of winter instead served the story and was worth the price of admission to the big screen view. Overall a needed antidote to the last 20 years of execrable USA superhero fare.
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  • Szabó Szilárd21 October 2017
    8/10
    Funny
    Kinda tired of people giving low score for a movie because they don't understand or they don't like these kinda movies yet they watch it or they compare it to a book.

    First of all a book is a book. A movie is a movie. Don't watch these type of movies if you don't like them. If you don't understand it or the connections or whatever it is that you don't understand, then it is a problem in your head. Not in the movie.

    Anyway. Usual crime story. OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY AND SCORES!

    In the end that WIDE SHOT on the lake was INCREDIBLE!
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  • shawnylover31 October 2017
    It's a real bummer that some people saw this and didn't like it. It's a bummer for them since this was one of the best movies I've seen in 2017. This a truly unique film and was a breath of fresh air in a climate of super hero flicks and overdone remakes. The score and the scenes were intoxicatingly beautiful.
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  • For a start, my way into this is without having read any of the Harry Hole novels (which all the critics seems to have). So I can look at this movie from a somewhat more objective view and, I conclude, it's not bad. To me this feels like more of a super hero movie in genre in that the characters, both the likable and the less likable characters are a bit flat, I admit that but I think it works out well (this is why it reminds me of a classic super hero movie).

    Especially I like the secondary story told flashbacks about Rafto, the drunken police man, intriguingly played by Val Kilmer. Also Rebecca Ferguson and J.K. Simmons do good appearances. Michael Fassbender obviously the key performer, doing an excellent and trustworthy appearance. Although not as good as "Tinker, Solder, Sailor, Spy" (reg: Tomas Alfredson) or "The Dark Knight" (reg: Christopher Nolan), I think Alfredson this time is somehow within range of these movies on certain elements (such as scenery, pace, intriguing social milieu).

    I hear the novels are fast and direct, while I think the movie is a mix between an action and slow paced movie. Therefor I think you should not watch this as 1) a direct comparison to the books, or 2) towards a book (which you haven't read) but heard excellent things about, and as bad comparisons between the book and the movie.
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  • The Snowman is a psychological thriller based upon Jo Nesbo's critically acclaimed novel of the same name. This film received mixed to negative critics but I have to disagree. Despite a few flaws, this film is overall above average in my book. Let's take a look at what several critics had to say and compare their points to my personal experience.

    Many people complained that the movie didn't do the novel any justice and was missing several elements. I have to disagree because a movie can never be fully faithful to the original novel. That would also be quite unimaginative as you could simply stick to reading the novel if the movie had the very same characters, contents and dialogues. Overall, I think the movie portrayed the most important characters, events and locations and had a very appropriate length around two hours. If the movie had been longer, it would have overstayed its welcome and lost the audience's attention.

    Several critics say that the movie has a confusing timeline and feels incoherent. This isn't the case at all. The movie starts with an obvious and important flashback that introduces us to the serial killer and why he has become such a monster. The only other flashback shows us a police officer and later on detective in Bergen who was investigating a case related to what would turn out to be the serial killer's crimes. The content of the flashback as well as the portrayed investigator are very important for the film and add some crucial depth to it. Aside of these two flashbacks, the film has a perfectly coherent chronological order with a strong exposition, an elaborate rising action, an intense climax, a gloomy falling action and a very short resolution that doesn't overstay its welcome.

    I have read in many reviews that the potential of the actresses and actors isn't fully exploited. I have to disagree once more. Michael Fassbender was convincing as desperate police officer who was struggling with his alcohol addiction, his complicated family situation and the complex case. He performed this character with its credible flaws and strengths in a very authentic way. Rebecca Ferguson was just as convincing as young, energetic and dynamic officer with a mysterious hidden agenda. This actress also portrayed a credible character with amazing strengths and complex weaknesses. The supporting actresses and actors also did an excellent job from the pervert businessman to the disillusioned teenager. I would even go as far to say that this psychological thriller had some of the greatest acting performance and most interesting characters in recent memory.

    Add a constantly gloomy atmosphere, stunning landscapes in and around Bergen and Oslo and twisted finale and you have a very well- made genre movie.

    The only reasons why this movie didn't get an even better rating are the fact that the first third of the movie overstays its welcome and takes too much time to introduce characters and get the actual story started and that the story itself isn't the most original one and at times quite predictable if you are familiar with other genre movies and novels. Obviously, the source material has to be blamed for the latter downside and not the script.

    That being said, The Snowman is an overall enjoyable thriller with a gloomy atmosphere, stunning landscapes and great acting performances. While it might not be among this year's greatest film, one should ignore overtly harsh and biased critics and give this movie a fair chance. Genre fans should at least appreciate it.
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  • karlo55623 October 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Seen a lot of negativity in the reviews. Here's an explanation. 1. It is a 5th book from the Jo Nesbø, Harry Hole series.

    All the cool and fairly ,let's say important, characters you meet in The Redbreast and so on. Those characters in the police force are in all of the book series. You only meet Katrine Bratt, which is a new character in the book also. There is no explanation on Rakel or her son in the movie because it is explained in the previous books.

    Blame the directors of whoever thought it would pass as a good movie when people who haven't read the book don't know who is who and what it what. It looks like a mess, but it all has a story and explanation. Every single character

    If it was made from the Redbreast, Nemesis and Devil's Star (trilogy), Redeemer and the comes Snowman... Leopard, Phantom, Police, The Thirst. Then you'd have a lot ot positive reviews.

    Before you watch the MOVIE read the books from the beginning (including the Snowman) and you'll find the movie awesome. Because movie as a movie looks like The Snowman movie is based on a poorly written novel.

    Meet the characters in the book and watch the movie. You'll see how much better it becomes.

    I find the movie surprisingly awesome!!! But I know who is who and what's their story. The beginning is done different than in the book. In the book the kid from the movie is responsible for hia mothers death. He pulled the steering wheel so they would crash and both die. Bit the kid survives and hia mother dies...
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  • temrok915 October 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Obviously we have seen different movies. Alfredson's The snowman is an excellent piece of modern cinema, built not on the conventions of a thriller, like Nesbo's book(although of course it works as a thriller), but on the tensions between the unfolding images, the mesmerizing effect of a hypnotic pace that encloses us in a dark and cold vision, the glorious revelations of landscapes(city landscapes, physical landscapes and human ones)that reveal themselves at certain points filling our regard with a sense of beauty. As the film went on, I felt immersed in its charm, building to an ending that creates not so much the tension one hopes to meet in a thriller, but a dark feeling, first as the killer sinks helplessly in the icy water(in a glimpse,as the film's narrative economy is extraordinary all the way through, in contrast with some other film that met glorious critical applause these days but needed 2.45 minutes of boring storytelling to make everything explicit), and second in the short epilogue, which is filmed in a way that creates a very strong impression, stressed by the music,leaving me shocked and thoughtful on the way out. I'll take it! .The snowman is an absolute masterpiece that deserves to be rediscovered in the far future, like many movies of the past have at some point been.
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  • The opening snow scene depicts an isolated hut where a kid's "Uncle Jarnis" drops in unexpectedly to grill his kid on Norwegian history. When the boy doesn't know the answer, the "uncle" takes it out on the mom, i.e. the uncle's mistress. When the couple repair to a private room, the kid builds a snow­man out­side. It's fitting as in the quiz the Norwegian head of state resumed his position on June 7, 1945, and a snow­man gets its head put on it, too. Amidst some grinding gears the visit ends in separation. The movie picks up years later when some­body has been dismembering women, mothers whose care for their young left some­thing to be desired.

    The Oslo police have assigned a couple incompetents ("the drunk and the half­wit") to one case. A raw recruit Katherine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) investigates another one in Bergen. The official indifference is a seeming indictment against loser moms. In a way it reminds me of an anecdotal story of the Crusades: Opposing armies were set in array when a Muslim rider showed himself trailing a pennant reading "Ave Maria" and dipped in blood. A Christian knight courteously asked the queen for permission to fight him in order to defend the Virgin Mother's honor. Permission was granted, and they had a vigorous fight resulting in them being de-horsed, grappling on the ground, the Christian ending up pinned by the Mohammedan who is just about to administer the coup de grace when suddenly he rolls over dead. The Christian had shortened his sword now using it to stab his opponent in the heart. It was taken as a miracle.

    Professionally burned out Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) on a leave of absence asks the new recruit to look into her case. He's got enough cachet to be accepted. He makes progress, but he's out­matched by his opponent both in smarts and equipment. Just as chivalry prevented the armies from interfering with the contest of champions above, there doesn't seem to be any cavalry to come to the rescue. But he's fighting for sacred mother­hood, so who knows what will happen?

    There is a concurrent story running about Norway's quest for the World Cup, which seems some­how tied into "values that make Norway great." Norway is competing with many other countries. If it's child rearing values, the Jews (whom Hitler slaughtered) held of their law that, (Deut. 6:6-7) "thou shalt teach these words diligently unto thy children, and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up." The "uncle " in a way was attempting this when the film opens.

    This command would be modernized by Christianized nations, as per, say, the historical fiction of Rev. William Ware (1797–1852) in his *Julian*: Jesus, "preaching the truths which he conceives to be most essential, and in which the differences are to be discerned between what he holds to be best, and the ancient Law of Moses. … he seems to be rather a restorer of the Law to its true significance, and a rebuker of prevailing corruptions and abuses of it, than one who would over­throw and destroy it." Or in this case (Eph. 6:4), "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I've just supplied my own take on the best child-rearing practice that would take the cake on the values scale; the movie doesn't tell us. It just suggests that it must be some­thing better than what was portrayed in the first scene. The viewer is free to supply his own nominee. The movie does, how­ever, suggest that the mothers did have viable matronly instincts but were rail­roaded by their men into impossible situations with their children. But then again, the women made poor decisions on which men to mate with in the first place. And Norwegian culture does seem to be depicted as too permissive to embody the best family values.

    The scenery in "Snowman" is ultra-simple. The snowmen are basic, and so are the notes. The snow scenes are typically white all over. The back­ground colors are basic solids, lots of prime colors. The music is a succession of single tones, no chords or harmonics. The detectives if they muse on their cases, keep it pretty much to them­selves. If this is a psychological thriller—and it is—then it's basic psychology. Anybody can see it. The effect is a stark depiction of the bleak life of the orphan or neglected child. I mean, the movie never becomes maudlin, nor does it preach, but it leaves one in total sympathy with the children, and even some­what sympathetic to the neglectful moms.

    "The Snowman" was directed by Tomas Alfred. It is too sedate and unpretentious to compete with American detective thrillers for the action-addicted aficionado, but it will surely appeal to the European taste in more mellow fare, and for those who enjoy foreign films. European actors tend to be trained and experienced. Those here were spot-on in their roles and not at all ostentatious. The (important) conversation is all in English, so there's no translation distraction. It's a well done film, but one must have a taste for this kind of detective film to appreciate it.
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  • It is a class thriller and gripping till the end. It is one of the finest in the class of thriller movies in terms of screenplay, photography and last but not least the story telling mechanism is stylish. Mystery is held tight and never could be revealed.

    Worth for the money. I think the world of movie review must lay out certain key indicators to be fair and honest and give true review The only shock was the general review I saw about this movie but what I saw was pretty cool. Coolest scenic beauty of European cities and cold winter snow added to the mystery value including some lifestyle and culture exposure for the audience.

    There is still room for improvements but the catch is deliberate subtleties pumped in the screenplay to confuse and keep biting the nails till end with some release of pressure from time to time to introduce new complexities.

    Overall a refreshing movie for thrill seekers..
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  • Who would ever name their son Harry Hole? That is one of the many questions that crossed my mind as I watched The Snowman, which I suppose is technically a movie, but fails miserably to deliver on many of the standard qualifications that 99.9% of all other movies meet.

    For one, most movies have an A plot and a B plot (sometimes more, but two a minimum of story lines is a reasonable minimum). The A plot is primary focus, while the B plot offers its own characters and conflicts who in some way tie into the A plot. This is usually the case because it makes sense that if two story lines are going to exist in the same movie they should be at least somewhat related. It makes less sense if the two story lines are completely unrelated.

    In The snowman, the two story lines are completely unrelated. Plot A involves the unfortunately named Harry Hole trying to solve a series of grisly murders. Plot B involves a powerful politician and the city of Oslo's bid for the "Winter Sports Cup." There's also a drunken detective who is in the movie sometimes. I have absolutely no idea what any of these three stories had to do with one another. This is a problem.

    One half of the movie does not connect to the other half of the movie. Does Harry know the politician? Is he a big "Winter Sports Cup" fan? I have no idea. This would be like if Silence of the Lambs was exactly the same except it added a side story about Chicago's mayoral election. Everyone would think, "Yeah Hannibal Lecter is terrifying and interesting, but what does he have to do with the new mayor of Chicago?" They had no consequence on each other.

    The two side plots of this movie had no consequence on much of anything. Neither really ended in a clear way. They only ended because they were not shown in the movie any longer, as if someone quit halfway through writing them. This is also a problem.

    For real tho, Harry Hole? The movie makes no acknowledgment of how ridiculous this name is, as if his name is Tom Johnson. We first see the name on an envelope addressed to him and I legitimately thought it was a gag, some inside joke from his pen pal or something.

    The whole movie feels like an inside joke that we're not a part of. The stories don't connect, the cuts between scenes appear random, and the "surprise reveal" of the killer surprises no one. The Snowman is a tremendous waste of your time. I suggest you watch something else. Anything else.
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  • My, my, there is some hate for this movie. I did not read the book, and it seems that most of the disappointed reviews are coming from those who did read it and are unhappy with the film version. Putting that issue aside, there are not enough good murder mysteries being made, like Wind River. Nice bonus is that the scenery is spectacular, and the movie is filmed beautifully. It's the story of two detectives from different backgrounds, working together to track down a serial killer in Norway. The pace is slow, but not boring, though I was admittedly ready for the pace to pick up about half way through. The revelation of the killer is not an OMG moment, in spite of the director's attempts to lead us down different paths. This film reminded me of The Crimson Rivers, with Jean Reno. If Frosty the Snowman had an evil twin brother...
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  • marialveiby4 November 2017
    10/10
    Why?
    Why is everyone hating on this movie?

    It was incredibly well shot in beautiful scenery

    Yes a lot of the acting was weird but isn't horror a kind of weird genre anyways? I think a lot of people has misjudged overanalized and critizised this because it is not perfect. It a part of art you know and the actors especially Harry Holy really stayed in his character the whole time.

    It was a good movie!

    Thats why 10/10 thumbs up
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