“Who else would celebrate three assassinations in a liquor store with Germans… Then you’re cool.” -Bent

Flammen & Citronen is a movie that oozes style, is filmed with the cream of Danish actors, and is simply one of the best WW2 movies ever made. The large battles of WW2 have been done to death (no pun intended) and it’s refreshing to see a film take on the far less well known Danish resistance. Flammen & Citron follows two assassins in the resistance who kill high value Gestapo and German collaborators spreading fear among the German Army. They receive their orders from Aksel Winther, a police lawyer with connections to the English. After a hit gone bad, Flammen begins to question Winther’s loyalties and everything enters a world of murky grey. Unlike almost all WW2 films, there are no clear lines between good and evil. Have Flammen and Citronen been killing innocent Germans, is Winther using them to settle old scores, are the two assassin’s becoming corrupted by power? Flammen & Citronen explores all these issues with intelligent dialogue and an impeccable visual style.

Written and directed by Ole Christian Madsden, the film does an amazing job of setting the tone and atmosphere of 1940s Copenhagen. Classic cars drive on cobblestone streets through German checkpoints and the great visual quality of the BluRay makes the overall grey palette of the movie really pop. Don’t expect bright scenes with over-saturated colours, the video is film noir in the best sense: sharp and understated. The audio is a very solid Dolby 5.1 mix and uses the surrounds well when appropriate. Though overall the audio could have been a bit more immersive, the sharp retorts of gunfire come across very effectively in a movie that mainly relies on dialogue to build tension.

The acting of the eponymous title characters deserves special mention as Thure Lindehardt and Mads Mikkelsen completely take over their respective characters. Mikkelsen is especially convincing as the quiet and nervous Citronen, while Lindehardt successfully pulls off a very subtle performance as Flammen. Flammen & Citronen is certainly the best Danish film I’ve ever seen (short list though it may be) and is in all honesty one of my favourite films of all time. Taking a well known subject in WW2 and giving it a film noir twist works so well that I’m amazed more films of its kind don’t exist. Above all though, the twisting story and intelligent conversation lend an extra tension to the fantastic action sequences. This isn’t a WW2 movie that relies on million dollar action stunts to pull itself through. Instead, Flammen & Citronen relies on subtlety and its amazing cast to become one of the greatest examples of the genre.