The Netflix Survival Thriller That Will Leave You Breathless

By Britta DeVore | Published

Just in case you didn’t find yourself in a part of the world currently held hostage by the icy grasp of winter, Netflix has you covered. Join international action hero, Mads Mikkelsen (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), in a frosty Icelandic survival drama, Arctic before it leaves the platform on February 1. Directed by Joe Penna, the project sees Mikkelsen as not only the leading character but essentially the only character after a plane crash over the Arctic Circle wipes out almost everyone else on board.

Arctic Streaming On Netfflix


Diving directly into all-out chaos, Arctic wastes no time in depicting Overgård’s (Mikkelsen) incredibly bleak chances of survival. Forced to take up residency in the crashed aircraft’s hull, our leading man must decide whether he can make a break for survival or if he simply should wait for rescue, possibly succumbing to the elements in the process. While almost everyone else has been killed by the crash, including the airplane’s captain, there is one other survivor in critical condition.

Surviving Against All Odds


Not only is Mads Mikkelsen’s Arctic hero facing threats caused naturally by the frigid elements but, once a polar bear comes knocking, he discovers that he’s no longer the apex predator. Overgård soon realizes that if he has any hopes of survival, it means getting up and moving as fast as he can. In the only swing of luck he’s had since before the plane crash, the stubborn survivor finds a few supplies in the wreckage, giving him the hope that he’ll be able to make it across the tundra to safety.

Strapping the other survivor to a makeshift sled, Overgård sets out on his perilous mission of survival.

Struggle And Reward

Not only was the main character put to the ultimate test but so was Mads Mikkelsen. He refers to the 19-day shoot as the most difficult of his career. Arctic celebrated its premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival before its theatrical release on February 1, 2019. In the U.S., the survival thriller quickly climbed the charts following its premiere on February 1, 2023, and has remained a favorite for adventure and Mikkelsen enthusiasts during its year-long run. 

Remembering His Roots

Being a Danish native, Mads Mikkelsen has long teamed up with foreign countries on their projects, making his appearance in Arctic one of no surprise. While the actor has long appeared in American cinema, holding prominent roles in films such as Rogue One and the Fantastic Beasts franchise, the actor has never turned his back on his home country and has long uplifted the voices of those within its entertainment industry. Mikkelsen’s other recent contributions to Danish cinema include Nikolaj Arcel’s 2023 historical drama The Promised Land, and Anders Thomas Jensen’s 2020 action comedy film, Riders of Justice.

Upcoming Work

Never one to slow down, Mads Mikkelsen has more irons in the fire. First, the actor will appear opposite Aliens and Avatar franchise star Sigourney Weaver in Bryan Fuller’s directorial debut, the horror thriller Dust Bunny. That project is currently filming with the actor also set to star in The Black Kaiser and The Billion Dollar Spy. Be sure to check out Arctic before it goes on its own adventure and leaves Netflix on February 1.