The top Swedish movies to stream right now: Netflix, Prime and more

It’s not exactly Hollywood, but Sweden has a long tradition of cinema and film-making. And Ingmar Bergman, one of the world’s most influential film directors, was from Sweden.

Classic Swedish films often feature moody shots and wild scenery.

Long meaningful pauses, beautiful scenery and heightened emotions are all features that you can expect to find in a classic Swedish movie.

But in more recent times, suspense, psychological thrillers and stylised violence have all become popular in Swedish cinema.

And while comedy doesn’t always translate, dark and black comedies such as Force Majeure and Triangle of Sadness have been greeted with great acclaim outside Sweden.

If you’re looking to explore the world of Swedish movies, there are plenty of streaming services where you can watch them. 

Amazon Prime tends to have the biggest choice, while the BFI Player is a good option for classic and award-winning films.

So, if you fancy a spot of Swedish scenery and psychological thrills, then check out some of these movies.

Midsummar combines horror with beautiful cinematography – a classic theme in Swedish films.

The best Swedish movies on Netflix

The Simple-Minded Murderer

Starring Stellan Skarsgård, Den Enfaldige Mördaren is the story of a man with a hare-lip who is considered stupid and unable to learn, and enslaved as a child by a Nazi land-owner.

He finally escapes and finds a home and somewhere he can be happy, but the evil landowner will not allow him his freedom.

Made in 1982, and set in Skane in the 1930s, this film won many awards when it was released and still stands the test of time, with legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman being a fan.

IMDb: 7.5

Red Dot

A psychological suspense movie set in the snowy forests of Sweden, Red Dot follows a pregnant wife and her husband on a hiking trip who end up fleeing for their lives from an unknown assassin.

This film divides viewers with some enjoying the unexpected twists and turns of the action and others considering it an unrealistic plot with unsympathetic characters.

Although it gets a low IMDb score, we think it’s worth a watch if you like thrillers and action movies, with a bit of mild gore. 

IMDb: 5.5

Ur Spår

A light-hearted comedy drama, Ur Spår (Off Track in English) is an entertaining look at overcoming adversity, set against the backdrop of the gruelling Vasaloppet race.

A man and his sister decide to enter the iconic 90km cross-country ski race. The man is a focussed, fitness fanatic who trains hard, while the sister is a single mother who likes a drink and is struggling to get her life together.

Unsurprisingly, the challenge of the race causes them to make some changes in their lives.

Our verdict: a fun and entertaining easy watch, but ultimately fairly forgettable.

IMDb: 6.2

The best Swedish movies on Amazon Prime

Sami Blood

This fascinating film from 2017 is set in 1930’s Lapland and gives an insight into the problems and prejudice faced by the nomadic Sami people. 

The award-winning Sami Blood is about a Sami girl in mainstream Sweden.
© European Union 2017 – European Parliament (CC)

It concerns a 14-year-old Sami girl who leaves her community and goes to boarding school to be educated. 

In order to deal with the racism she faces there and fit in with mainstream Swedish society, she has to abandon her Sami identity, and change everything about herself, including her name. 

IMDb: 7.3

Turist

Written and directed by the acclaimed director Ruben Östlund, Turist explores how people behave in a crisis and the effect of their actions on those around them.

Turist is about how a family reacts after an avalanche in the Alps

With a beautiful background of the French Alps, the film follows a family in the aftermath of an avalanche and the fall-out of the traumatic events on the family dynamics and their marriage.

Called Force Majeure in English, it’s billed as a comedy drama, and is an intelligent, compelling watch that starts with a dramatic opening and continues to grip throughout.

IMDb: 7.2

A Man Called Ove

Nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film, A Man called Ove is based on the book of the same by Fredrik Backman.

A black comedy, it’s about a grumpy old man who’s given up on life after the death of his wife, but rediscovers his purpose in life after a Persian family move in next door.

A more lighthearted US version of the film called A Man called Otto was set in Philadelphia with Tom Hanks in the starring role, but it’s generally considered to be not a patch on the original.

Also available on MUBI.

IMDb: 7.7

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The original (2009) Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie was a Swedish/Danish collaboration, starring Swedish actors Micheal Nyqvist and Naomi Rapace.

Naomi Rapace starred in the original Swedish Girl with a Dragon Tattoo
John E Branch (CC)

The gory crime thriller based on the book of the same name was filmed in Sweden and the locations play an integral part in the plot.

Its Swedish title is Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women), which reflects the film’s misogynistic and violent themes. 

Generally considered to be better than the 2011 US remake starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, it’s a rollercoaster ride of a film that provides thrills right up to the end – though the gore and violence mean it’s not an easy watch for the faint-hearted.

The two follow-up films The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med Elden; IMDb 7.1) and The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes; IMDb 7.3) are both also available on Amazon.

IMDb: 7.8

Let The Right One In

This fantasy horror film from 2008 is about a bullied and lonely young boy who is ignored by his peers and parents. 

He finally gets his revenge with the help of a beautiful but unusual girl, who turns out to be a vampire.

Låt den rätte komma in is a vampire movie, but it’s also a love story and a tale about how you can turn your life around with the right friends on your side.

IMDb: 7.8

What makes a Swedish movie?

Thrills, suspense, long-lingering shots on wild and wintry locations are all features of a classic Swedish film.

Ingmar Bergman is one of the world's most acclaimed directors

The hero or anti-hero is often an outsider or a loner, perhaps from a dysfunctional family, and with a flawed, but ultimately sympathetic, character.

Complex fast-moving plot lines, which take in the politic as well as the personal, are a common feature, and there’s often some violence and gore thrown in too.

But ultimately, it’s the scenery that is usually the star of the show, with the action shot against a wild, snowy and often remote backdrop that heightens the sense of emotion.

So, sit back and enjoy some classic examples of Swedish cinema.

Top 10 Swedish movies by IMDB rating

SeriesIMDB RatingWhere you can watch it
Örjan Lax9.4YouTube
Föraren9.3YouTube
Wild Strawberries8.1BFI Player
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo7.8Amazon Prime
Druk (Another round)7.7Amazon Prime
Show me Love7.5Amazon Prime
Triangle of Sadness7.3Amazon Prime
Turist (Force Majeure)7.2Amazon Prime and Apple TV
Sound of Noise7.2Amazon Prime and MUBI
Midsommar7.1Amazon Prime

New Swedish movies coming up

And if that whetted your appetite for some new Swedish films, here are some to watch out for:

  • Je m’appelle Agneta. A Netflix adaptation of the best-selling Swedish novel about a woman in her late 40s, who leaves her life behind to become an au pair in France.
  • Stolen (Stöld). An exploration of the issues facing a native Sami girl in the face of climate change, high suicide rates and racism.  On Netflix.
  • Let Go (Allt blir bra). A film about a struggling mother who takes a trip with her family to try and reset the dynamics and bring the family back together again.
  • Love Forever (Love Fårever). Set in picturesque Gotland, this fun rom-com is about a couple’s attempts  to plan the perfect rural wedding.

See also:
Scandinavia’s best film locations
The best Nordic Noir on Prime and Netflix

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