Gripping and deliciously refreshing, Nokas will grab you by the fucking neck and won’t let go for the next ninety minutes. And you will love every minute of it. This is a phenomenal Norwegian thriller detailing the infamous 2004 heist of Norsk Kontantservice AS. The biggest one in the history of Norway. For now, let’s focus on this masterpiece. It’s a different type of a heist or bank robbery movie, focusing on not only the protagonists but also witnesses and how things looked from their perspective. It also successfully avoids all the usual cliches and melodrama, choosing a very realistic approach. You simply cannot tell what’s going to happen next and this makes everything really intense.
The cinematography rivals any big Hollywood movies, so don’t think this is some television movie. Because it most certainly isn’t. It’s one of those movies you will mention any time someone starts talking about suspenseful or engaging thrillers. And it’s based on fucking real events. I just loved Erik Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia, Prozak Nation) storytelling here. He carefully picked certain facts about the robbery, showing them in the opening scene fully knowing that you will go what the fuck happened then? And by the way, the entire movie was filmed on actual locations of the robbery.
It’s a cold morning in the small town of Stavanger. There are no signs that it will be different than any other. Employees of the Nokas Cash Handling are slowly coming to work, making plans for the weekend. The police have received a tip that there might be a robbery, but they’re not sure where. And the rest of the citizens are going about their lives as they always did. None of them know that eleven heavily armed men are already on their way to the Nokas building. They plan to commit a quick in-and-out robbery. Above all else, they must be fast and be on their way in just eight minutes.
Incredibly immersive and unfolding in real-time, Nokas will make all other bank robbery movies look timid and cliched. You will feel like you’re actually there, in Stavanger, Norway, witnessing everything that’s going on. And the events you’re about to see can only be described as surreal. This is not surprising because the movie is based on a lot of interviews of witnesses and active players in the heist. I don’t want to give away any of the details because they make this movie that much better. In the end, you’ll find out what happened complete with real footage of the robbery. I will also leave the link for the actual robbery below but try to read up on it after the movie.
If you’re looking for movies like Nokas, I recommend you check the classic Heat and less-known movie 44 Minutes. Also based on true events it features some of the elements we see here although it’s much more action-oriented. Finally, I have to comment on something that totally surprised me and it concerns the actions of a certain individual. Despite the fact that he had the right to do it, I still think it was the wrong thing to do. And definitely not part of a standard operating procedure.
Wikipedia page: NOKAS Robbery
Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg
Writer: Christopher Grøndahl
Cast: Hege Kristin Kjærvoll Sunde, André Eriksen, Francis Gamble, Tov Sletta, Geir Høiseth, Morten Larsen, Marit Synnøve Berg
Fun Facts: For the heist sequences, real bank notes, real money was used. Because of this police officers were present during the filming to secure the loot.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1337366/