***/**** Image A- Sound B Extras C
starring Nikolaj Waldau, Sofie Graaboel, Kim Bodnia, Lotte Andersen
written and directed by Ole Bornedal
by Walter Chaw Dark and moody with a dash of post-modern relational philosophy, Ole Bornedal's Nightwatch (Nattevagten) is a taut and unusual thriller that has been remade by the same director into the English-language Nightwatch, starring Ewan McGregor, Nick Nolte, and Patricia Arquette. In its original Dutch-language incarnation (seen by over 15% of the entire Dane population), Nattevagten is lent a good deal of weight by a satisfying subplot involving the nature of love and the rites of passage young men endure to become men in one another's eyes. It sounds a little heady for what boils down to fairly typical serial-killer intrigue, but the uniformly fine performances, the uncompromising though tasteful direction, and the sharp screenplay (by Bornedal) combine to make the film something a little finer than what its barest plot synopsis would indicate. It reminds most of another foreign thriller largely ignored on American shores released in the same year, Anthony Waller's Mute Witness.