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What to stream: Mad about Mikkelsen? Where to find Danish actor’s best films

Mads Mikkelsen stars in “Another Round.”  (Goldwyn Films)
By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service

With Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Arcel’s latest collaboration “The Promised Land” in theaters this week, it seems a good a time as any to take a spin through the distinctive Danish star’s illustrious career, which has moved seamlessly back and forth between his native country and more global Hollywood films, and features longstanding collaborations with many of Denmark’s finest auteurs.

The former professional dancer’s first feature film role came in 1996, with the gritty criminal underworld drama “Pusher,” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, playing Tonny, a drug dealing associate of the main character, Frank. The film ballooned into a trilogy, with Mikkelsen’s Tonny taking the lead in the 2004 sequel, “Pusher II.” Check these films out for an early look at Mikkelsen and Refn’s work (Refn would go on to direct “Drive,” “Only God Forgives,” “The Neon Demon” and more). Stream both films on Prime Video, Hulu and Kanopy.

While Mikkelsen started appearing in U.S. films in 2004, starting with Antoine Fuqua’s “King Arthur,” his real global breakthrough was in the 2006 James Bond film “Casino Royale,” playing the one-eyed villain Le Chiffre opposite Daniel Craig. Stream the Martin Campbell-directed “Casino Royale” on Prime Video or rent it elsewhere online.

He was similarly cyclopian playing the pagan warrior One Eye while reteaming with Refn in the 2009 Viking movie “Valhalla Rising.” This moody, visually stunning film is nearly silent, making use of Mikkelsen’s stoic presence, and it’s a tone poem of violence and sweeping landscapes. Stream it on AMC+, the Roku Channel, Tubi and Mubi.

His first film with Nikolaj Arcel was the 2012 film “A Royal Affair,” playing Dr. Johann Struensee, an adviser to King Christian VII, who engages in a romantic, sexual and indeed political affair with Queen Caroline Matilda, played by Alicia Vikander. Stream the historical romantic drama on Max or rent it elsewhere.

His collaboration with Thomas Vinterberg in 2012 for “The Hunt” resulted in an Oscar nomination, in this drama co-written by Tobias Lindholm about a teacher wrongly accused of child sexual abuse. Stream it on the Roku Channel, Tubi or Kanopy.

When this trio reunited for “Another Round” in 2020, they won the Oscar for best international feature, in this film about a group of teachers who decide to experiment with using alcohol in their everyday lives, to varying effects (word has it Chris Rock wants to remake it set in the U.S.). Stream “Another Round” on Hulu and Kanopy.

From 2013 to 2015, Mikkelsen took on the iconic role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the series “Hannibal,” created by Bryan Fuller, and earning him legions of “Fannibals.” Stream it on Prime Video, AMC+, Tubi, Shudder or the Roku Channel.

He’s also done time in the Marvel and Star Wars cinematic universes, co-starring in “Doctor Strange” and “Rogue One” in 2016. Stream both films on Disney+.

Mikkelsen was in the absurdist deadpan family comedy “Men & Chicken” in 2015, written and directed by Anders Thomas Jensen (stream it on Tubi, Kanopy or the Roku Channel), who also directed and co-wrote the 2020 action comedy “Riders of Justice,” collaborating on the script with Arcel, and later working on the script for Arcel’s “The Promised Land.” Stream “Riders of Justice” on Hulu and Kanopy.