By Jennifer Green,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Giant troll reaps violence on Norway; language, legends.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Don't label people as crazy or shun them as outcasts just because they're different or "eccentric." Women can be leaders in every field. Sometimes the obvious solution isn't the answer. History and the progress of civilization have lasting impacts on the natural world.
Positive Role Models
Nora is wise, intuitive, educated, and not afraid to speak her mind. She's willing to take risks and she cares about nature and its creatures, even trolls. Andreas is wiser than his employers give him credit for. Other characters disobey orders to do what they think is right, and in some cases, the orders are coming from leaders who are obviously out of their depth and making bad decisions.
The film is set in Norway and shot mostly in Norwegian. There is minimal racial diversity. One character speaks Arabic. Women hold leading political, scientific, and intelligence roles.
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Violence & Scariness
A troll rages through the countryside, striking fear into the hearts of Norwegians. There's not a lot of explicitly gruesome detail, though the troll does eat one soldier (because he "smelled blood"), down some manned helicopters, walk through homes, destroy city buildings, threaten a child-heavy amusement park, and kill others accidentally with his largeness. The military deploys its strongest weapons against the troll, lighting him on fire, only angering him further. A cavern of troll skeletons is revealed. A main character is killed. Another main character lost her mother when she was young. An early scene shows her as a girl nearly falling while climbing a steep mountainside.
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"S--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "hell," "ass," "heck," "screw," "piss off," "schmuck," "bonehead," "idiot," "old fossil." The film was reviewed in the original Norwegian with English subtitles.
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Products & Purchases
Sites in Oslo and elsewhere. Two characters share an inside joke involving Star Trek.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink champagne at a celebration, and there's mention of "drunk" trolls.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Troll features an enormous troll who threatens the nation of Norway and destroys everything in its path. It's unclear for much of the film what the Troll's intentions are, but the government and military are unsuccessful in combatting him with their most powerful weapons. While there isn't a lot of explicitly gruesome detail, the troll does eat one soldier (after smelling blood), down some manned helicopters, walk through homes, destroy city buildings, threaten an amusement park full of families, and kill others accidentally with his largeness, including a main character. Women hold leading political, scientific, and intelligence roles in this Norwegian-language film. Swear words in the subtitles include "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "hell," "ass," "heck," "screw," and "piss off."
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Based on 3 parent reviews
Great but clean movie
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Trolls rise to rid Norway of Christians and brave scientists get in their way.
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What's the Story?
Nora Tidemann (Ine Marie Wilmann) grew up in the countryside hearing legends from her father Tobias (Gard B. Eidsvold) about the trolls who were turned to stone by sunshine in TROLL. Her dad went on to become so obsessed with the story of the demise of the trolls in Norway that he was eventually sent to a mental institution. Nora grew up to become a respected archaeologist. When a giant creature emerges out of a mountain, the government calls Nora in to consult. Slowly she realizes the creature may well be a troll, and she pulls her father in for help. She forges a fast bond with the Prime Minister's right-hand man Andreas (Kim Falck) and a soldier known as Captain Kris (Mads Sjogard Pettersen). She'll need their support as she comes up with increasingly creative ideas to counter the troll, who is forging a destructive path straight toward the capital city of Oslo.
Is It Any Good?
This Hollywood-style Norwegian monster movie rips along at breakneck speed and features likable characters and a fairy tale-inspired plot. Troll is the King Kong of Scandinavia, a ginormous creature that comes alive out of the rocks and earth of the mountainside and can crush tiny humans in his fist and throw helicopters around like toys. The film throws in some themes about sins committed in the name of Christianizing Norway and nature "pushing back" on human encroachments. But don't go looking for serious commentary in this movie (not that you would in a film called Troll).
Characters are mostly archetypes -- the crazy believer, the savior scientist, the macho military man, the good folks who stand up to authority, etc. -- but you care about them. Wilmann is particularly strong at the film's center, infusing her character with pathos -- never overacting, she contributes to making the tale somehow believable. It's refreshing to see women in the lead roles, right up to the country's Prime Minister, and wielding the most power. Some pieces of the storytelling feel especially formulaic yet add nothing to the film as a whole, like forgettable Bourne-style datelines to set up locations and a rousing victory speech by a rogue captain towards the end. Troll is surprisingly fun, and that's enough.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the tales behind the legendary creature of Troll. What information did you gather about the Norwegian fairy tales and history behind trolls? Where could you find more details?
How did you feel about the special effects in this film? Did the troll look realistic? Did it remind you of any other on-screen creatures?
What happened to Tobias that made him feel so threatened when his daughter appeared at his house with strangers? Why was Tobias treated the way he was?
Nora isn't afraid to speak her mind, even in a meeting with top military and political leaders. Why do you think she has this confidence and/or lack of fear (or respect) for authorities? Is this shown to be a good thing or not? Why?
If Norwegian isn't your native language, how does watching a film with subtitles or dubbed affect your experience? Which do you prefer, and why?
- On DVD or streaming: December 1, 2022
- Cast: Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim Falck, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen
- Director: Roar Uthaug
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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