Top Nordic Noir films and TV series

Winter keeps its grip, lockdown is still highly relevant and we seem to be shut indoors for yet some more weeks. So why not escape the boredom by watching an exciting crime fiction TV series set in a Scandinavian country?

When it comes to Nordic Noir most people probably think of books, but there are a whole lot of really good crime fiction television dramas too. I have started to compile a list of Nordic Noir films and TV-series, but I would like to highlight some favourites:

All the Sins

A Finnish crime fiction drama (2 seasons) set in a deeply religious Laestadian Lutheran community in Varjakka, northern Finland.
In the first season a detective is forced to dig deep into the secrets and rivalries in the ultra-conservative society, as well as to confront difficult truths about his own past, while on the trail of a serial killer.
In season two the local police has to investigate a mysterious death, at the same time as his wife discloses a troubling secret and the Millennium movement lands in town. Read more…

Greyzone

A Danish/Swedish character-driven drama and thriller series in 10 episodes about Victoria, who works as an engineer specializing in drones. She is taken hostage in the home of terrorists, while the security police in Sweden, led by SÄPO agent Eva, and the Danish colleagues at PET are trying to prevent an imminent terrorist attack. The destiny of the two women is intertwined in a gray zone where morality and responsibility are put at risk. Read more…

Modus

A Swedish television psychological thriller series (2 seasons), based upon novels by the Norwegian author Anne Holt. The series follows criminal profiler Inger Johanne Vik, who has previously assisted both the Swedish police and the FBI.
In the first season Inger Johanne’s daughter, Stina, who is autistic, unwittingly witnesses a contract killing when the family attend a wedding at a local hotel.
In the second season the first female president of the United States goes missing on the first night during a state visit to Stockholm and the Swedish police has to work together with the FBI in order to find her before it is too late. Read more…

Rebecka Martinsson

A Swedish crime fiction drama (2 seasons) set in the far north of Sweden and based on novels and characters created by Swedish author Åsa Larsson. The series focuses on former prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson, who has returned to her hometown Kiruna, after building a career for herself in Stockholm.
In the first season, she has to reacquaint  with old family friends and the wild, natural setting – and help the local police solve four murders.
In the second season she has become a member of the region’s police force. She is continuing with frontline detective work, but at the same time discovering secrets about her own background and upbringing. Read more…

Trapped

An Icelandic television mystery drama series (2 seasons), created by Baltasar Kormákur and filmed on location in Iceland. 
The first season is set against a dramatic and snowy backdrop  and has a great plot with many different threads to follow. The lead characters are captivating, especially the stoic and teddy-bear like chief of police, Andri Ólafsson, who will have to use all his strength, when the whole town is isolated and dead bodies pile up.
In the second season Detective Andri is working in Reykjavik, but a shocking attempt to assassinate a politician leads him back to the northern town of Siglufjörður. There is a very tense atmosphere in town, where the local farmers organize violent protests against the mayor – and soon there are more killings. Set in a desolate but magnificent Icelandic autumn landscape, it is a fascinating and atmospheric story with an exceptional number of subplots and themes. Read more…