Pioneer (2014)

This conspiracy thriller is set in the early 80's, the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and the authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline from depths of… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 5, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2015
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Critic Score: 53% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Pioneer boasts strong acting and a throwback conspiracy thriller vibe, but fails to take it far enough -- and is very slow about not getting there.

Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader

Director Erik Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia) makes excellent use of the high-tech, low-glamour world he depicts, and manages an ending that is happy without being farcically so.

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Glenn Kenny

Remember this name: Aksel Hennie. If "Pioneer," a mixed bag of a conspiracy thriller, works at all, it largely does so because of him.

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Alex Heeney
Seventh Row

It's an edge-of-your-seat film, with some stunning footage deep underwaterIt's an edge-of-your-seat film, with some stunning footage deep underwater, but the basic suspense plot frequently strains

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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

Skjoldbjaerg is unable to make us care as much as we should, and gives the film a kind of muddy look that translates directly into the viewer's mood.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

A brooding psychological drama where everything that happens is open to multiple interpretations and figuring out who if anyone is on your side gets harder and harder to do.

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Jason Best
Movie Talk

With his ratty moustache and balding head, Hennie makes an unlikely leading man (if this were Hollywood, the chiselled Bentley would surely fit the bill), but he suits the film's dour, downbeat mood, reminiscent of 1970s paranoid conspiracy thrillers.

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Jordan Hoffman
New York Daily News

"Pioneer" has the necessary parts for a finger-pointing thriller that could boil the blood if handled well. Alas, this story of workers wounded by corrupt oil industrialists and politicians sinks from drawn-out scenes and too few surprises.

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Nicolas Rapold
New York Times

Mr. Skjoldbjaerg, who also tapped Norwegian history with his bank robbery re-enactment "Nokas," doesn't convey a creeping atmosphere of moral rot so much as an irksome glumness.

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Paul Chambers
Movie Chambers

Certainly, the diving scenes look authentic and this is a world that needs exploring. But, the thriller angle is less than effective. Some niftier writing and staging could have made this a much scarier affair.

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More reviews for Pioneer

Flixster Audience Score: 31% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
Despite Lang and Bentley being in the film, be forewarned -- the film is at least 75% in Norwegian with English language lines thrown in for atmosphere. This… More
Nicki Marie
Strange how a movie can be good, but still bore the freaking crap out of you. Well made, well acted, ugly to look at.