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The Candidate (2008)

Kandidaten (original title)
Not Rated | | Thriller | 29 August 2008 (Denmark)
1:37 | Trailer
Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of ... See full summary »


Kasper Barfoed


Stefan Jaworski
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolaj Lie Kaas ... Jonas Bechmann
Ulf Pilgaard Ulf Pilgaard ... Martin Schiller
Laura Christensen ... Louise
Tuva Novotny ... Camilla
David Dencik ... Michael
Kim Bodnia ... Claes Kiehlert
Henning Jensen ... Peter Bechmann
Jesper Langberg Jesper Langberg ... Jørgen Hammel
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen ... Sarah
Henning Valin Jakobsen ... Afpresser 1
Claus Riis Østergaard ... Afpresser 2
Peter Plaugborg Peter Plaugborg ... Den Tynde Mand
Henrik Prip Henrik Prip ... Henrik Linde
Marijana Jankovic ... Kathrine Malling
Iben Dorner ... Schillers Assistent (as Iben Amelieh Emine Dorner)


Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of blackmailers who threaten to expose him as the killer. But nothing is what it appears to be, and the blackmail links back to his father's death under mysterious circumstances a year and a half earlier. Written by Danish Film Institute

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Guilty... until proven otherwise.




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

29 August 2008 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

72時間 See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miso Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jonas Bechmann: You spiked my drink, didn't you? Didn't you?
Louise: Yes, with a rape drug. I was told to get you into the room, until you passed out.
See more »


Featured in Smagsdommerne: Episode #8.2 (2008) See more »


Do You Wanna Dance
Written by Thomas Troelsen
Performed by Thomas Troelsen (as Superheroes)
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User Reviews

Interesting idea, but irritatingly flawed
13 February 2013 | by OJTSee all my reviews

The successful defence lawyer Johan is obsessed with getting back on the men that he thinks killed his father, which also was a lawyer, which lost a case he should have won, just before he was driven off the road. He tries to get his father's old job, which we really don't understand why. He's not getting this job, because the seniors in the company are against it. Why is later revealed.

The plot takes off nicely, and you're well into the film when you think it's exciting and well written, when the first irritating stupidity puts you a bit baffled. Johan acts not reasonable several times, like when talking to his girlfriend, choosing to follow a friend, out in the woods, when meeting a convict and when getting answers. A pity, because the plot is good! And without these it could be excellent.

It seems our protagonist Johan has big problems in communicating. This is only understandable when talking to his girlfriend, because we've seen that they really don't communicate. Is it possible to be a top lawyer without being able to communicate better!? Not in my book... And then he's not acting rationally. This makes it difficult to really like him. He's not not likable. And all in all the film has in a way a strange and unnatural dialog.

If this is the manuscript, or the direction, I don't know. But Arcel has later proved to be an excellent writer in later films and when directing them himself. And then he is really too well under surveillance. And when he understands, he does nothing about it. Over and over he acts stupid. It's OK being afraid, but he does always react like he's not afraid just afterwards. And then he proves to be a master shooter when getting hands on a gun!

The film is kept in dark and bleak colors, making it realistic and "lawyerish". Very Scandinavian crime-like. The actors are the best, but they have too little to act upon. And in the end they realize this, and starts acting bad. The last minutes are unbearable to watch.

Everything here could have been great, but it isn't. And twist and turns should make it exciting as can be. You'll only enjoy this if you don't expect too much. I did, due to knowing Danish film was at it's very best some years earlier. Instead, pick up "Headhunters" which is really built the same way, but is everything this film isn't. This tries to be exciting, but is just better avoided.

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