An entire town turns on one of its own when little Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) makes unwarranted accusations of sexual molestation against a teacher (Mads Mikkelsen). Though it is made clear from the outset that Lucas (Mikkelsen) is innocent, one can easily understand why the tyke picked the gawky divorcee as a target. Not since Peter Lorre has a more convincing-looking actor been cast to play the part of a short eyes, alleged or otherwise. But what moves with near documentary-like precision for its first half begins tobogganing towards labored, To Catch a Predator histrionics, until it finally abandons all sense of reason for an obvious, symbolism-laced Christmas Eve climax. One kept hoping that writer, director Thomas Vinterberg would insert a fade-in that would allow us to skip forward and see how life had changed in the town once innocence had been established. With Thomas Bo Larsen, Lasse Fogelstrøm, and Anne Louise Hassing. 2012.

2.0 stars

— Scott Marks

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