Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has great charisma—and great taste, as he turns up in one exceptional film after another. Another Round reunites him with writer-director Thomas Vinterberg and co-writer Tobias Lindholm, who collaborated so memorably on The Hunt. Once again their combined efforts give us a provocative film about a subject many people can relate to: drinking.

Mikkelsen plays a high school teacher whose life has become dull: he no longer communicates with his wife and bores his history students in school. Then he and three colleagues read about a scientific theory that man is born with a blood-alcohol deficiency. It posits that if one can maintain a 0.5% alcohol level one will function more “normally” and successfully.

Because they are schoolteachers they decide to chart their progress, to give legitimacy to this whimsical experiment, but it doesn’t take long for them to see tangible results. Mikkelsen becomes energized and focused in his classroom—to the surprise and delight of his students—and reaches out to his wife for the first time in years. All four men benefit from having a little buzz as they start their day.

The challenge, of course, is maintaining the scientific aspect of this investigation. Each of the friends follows a different course of action, with wildly varying results. Yet Vinterberg and Lindholm never lose their grip: the story takes surprising turns both humorous and sad.

Another Round is a breath of fresh air for anyone who has been starving for intelligent entertainment. It’s invigorating and completely credible, thanks to Vinterberg’s approach (in collaboration with cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen) and the performances of his leading actors: Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe. Here’s a toast to them all.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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February 2024