Daybreak review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

It’s darkest before the dawn, a truism that feels apt in this gloomy drama from writer-director Bjorn Runge. The winner of three Swedish Oscars, it’s a Dogme-style potboiler that sees three unconnected families reach crisis point over the course of one eventful night.

In one strand, a philandering heart surgeon sees his middle-class world crumble around him. In another, a spurned wife takes her ex and his much younger new squeeze hostage. In the third and most bizarre plotline, a bricklayer is hired by an ageing racist and his wife to seal them inside their home.

Superlatively acted by a cast that includes Pernilla August, aka Darth Vader’s mum, this is potent, Bergman-esque stuff that leaves a strong and lasting impression. That said, you’ll also leave with a headache and a firm conviction never to visit Scandinavia for as long as you live.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.