AGAINST THE ICE on Netflix is a new movie starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Cole. Based on a true story about two men surviving in the ice-covered Greenland for several years on their own. Read our full Against the Ice movie review here!

AGAINST THE ICE is a new Netflix movie based on a true story. The genres are drama (of course), but also adventure, history, and thriller. This is very much a story about survival and it focuses on the friendship between two very different men, who have only each other for company for years.


Our review of The 12th Man which is also a survival movie >

The two explorers, Ejnar Mikkelsen and Iver Iversen, end up stranded on the ice-covered Greenland for years. The movie is based on the book written by Ejnar Mikkelsen about the experience. Obviously, this fact is a bit of a spoiler, but it doesn’t make the story any less relevant or boring.

Continue reading our Against the Ice movie review below and find it on Netflix.

Excellent casting

The movie stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Cole as the real-life explorers, Ejnar Mikkelsen and Iver Iversen. In 1909, they go on an expedition and end up left behind in the ice-covered Greenland. They always knew the risks but never expected to be left there for several years.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) are perfect in the two lead roles. The two men are extremely different which comes across in many ways.

Ejnar Mikkelsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is an experienced explorer while Iver Iversen (Joe Cole) isn’t really an explorer. He is, however, brave and hopeful even in the worst situations. Interestingly, I still always think of Joe Cole’s performance in The Secret in Their Eyes, when I see him, so I’m always distrustful of him at first.

Also seen in supporting roles, are familiar faces such as Charles Dance (Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters), Sam Redford (The Stranger), Ed Speleers (Zoo), and Gísli Örn Garðarsson (the Netflix series Ragnarok).

Against the Ice – Review | Netflix Survival Movie

A piece of Danish history

This movie covers a piece of Danish history, but even as a Dane myself, I wasn’t familiar with all the details. And actually, the movie is rather true to the facts, so you will learn a lot from watching this.

Of course, there is the issue of everybody speaking English, which I am just not a fan of. I mean, I get it in the sense that it will draw in more viewers, but it always feels off. The names are Danish, anything we see written is in Danish, but the language spoken is English. It just feels off.

It’s not as bad as with Brian de Palma’s Domino which was an all-time low for me. Incidentally, that movie also starred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, but that’s where the comparisons stop.

Also, Against the Ice is much more about the setting and the struggle against (and cooperation with) the powers of mother nature. So while the dialogue being in English irked and irritated me, I can absolutely accept it for the sake of getting more people familiar with the story.

Watch Against the Ice on Netflix!

Danish director, Peter Flinth directed Against the Ice. He has directed several movies based on famous novels. The screenplay is, as already mentioned, based on the novel by Ejnar Mikkelsen, and it was written by the star of this movie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Joe Derrick.

This is only the second time Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has worked on a produced screenplay. The first time was for the Danish movie Vildspor in 1998. In that movie, he co-starred with Mads Mikkelsen and Nukâka, who married Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that same year.

Just to set the stage, I want to remind you of the fact that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s wife, Nukâka, is from Greenland and has been traveling to Greenland since he was a small child. He also made sure that the premiere took place in Greenland. In other words, Against the Ice is very much a tribute to Greenland.

I loved this movie for its tribute to Greenland and Mother Nature but did feel it lost some momentum in the final third. This was a shame since it could have been even better, in my opinion. Still, it is very much worth watching!

Against the Ice is out on Netflix from March 2, 2022.


Director: Peter Flinth
Writers: Joe Derrick & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed, Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Charles Dance


In 1909, Denmark’s Arctic Expedition led by Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was attempting to disprove the United States’ claim to Northeast Greenland. This claim was based on the assumption that Greenland was broken up into two different pieces of land.

Leaving his crew behind with the ship, Mikkelsen embarks on a journey across the ice with his inexperienced crew member, Iver Iversen (Joe Cole). The two men succeed in finding the proof that Greenland is one island, but returning to the ship takes longer and is much harder than expected. Battling extreme hunger, fatigue and a polar bear attack, they finally arrive to find their ship crushed in the ice and the camp abandoned.

Hoping to be rescued, they now must fight to stay alive. As the days grow longer, their mental hold on reality starts to fade, breeding mistrust and paranoia, a dangerous cocktail in their fight for survival. Against the Ice is a true story of friendship, love and the awe-inspiring power of companionship.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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