|Directed By||:||Joe Penna||Written By||:||Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison (XII)||Runtime||:||98 minutes||Studio||:||Bleecker Street||Starring||:||Mads Mikkelsen , Maria Thelma Smáradóttir|
A man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown in hopes of making it out alive.
For movies meant to put a character through a gauntlet of death and hopelessness, survival stories are abundant with dramatic potential: here’s someone just like you, he's stranded in the middle of nowhere, now let’s watch him try not to die. It’s almost more exciting to think of the writers figuring out such a precise situation than the unfortunate characters themselves. But the best ones (like Robert Redford’s yachting adventure gone wrong “All is Lost”) have a poetry to their physical tales of hope, and the worst play out like a survivor’s manual of what to do and not do, or an endurance test. “Arctic,” directed by newcomer Joe Penna, is stuck somewhere in the middle of those qualifications, its drama largely subsisting on the on-screen muscle of Mads Mikkelsen.