Narvik: What To Know About Netflix's Norwegian War Drama Before You Watch

Narvik cast
(Image credit: Netflix)

While many audiences have experienced newfound interest in the new adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front since the 2023 Academy Award nominations were announced, there is another recent European war drama on Netflix that has proven to be even more popular on the platform lately, named Narvik. If you enjoy stories about one of history’s most treacherous conflicts and featuring compelling themes about loyalty in the face of adversity, this new Netflix original movie might be perfect for you. First, however, take a look some of the most essential facts you should know about Narvik before preparing for battle. 

Narvik Is A Norwegian Drama Set During World War II

Directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg from a screenplay by Christopher Grøndahl, Narvik — also known as Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat or Kampen om Narvik in its native country — is a dramatization of the German invasion of Norway during the Second World War. Specifically, it depicts the events of the Battles of Narvik, which lasted from April to June 1940, and the traumatic effects it would have on the dedicated troops and fearful civilians of this once neutral territory.

Narvik Is Available Dubbed Or With Subtitles

As often tends to be the case with some of the best war movies, Narvik is told in a few different languages — sometimes characters speak German and you even hear English in a few scenes, but most of the dialogue is -- as you could probably imagine --  Norwegian. Of course, viewers unfamiliar with the language need not to worry as the film is available to watch dubbed in English, French, Spanish, and other languages. You can also choose to hear it in the original Norwegian, but with subtitles.

Told Through The Eyes Of One Norwegian Family

While the events that Narvik is inspired by are true, it is told from the perspective of fictional characters. Carl Martin Eggesbø plays Korporal Gunnar Tofte, whose obligation to the cause forces him to become separated from his wife, Ingrid (Kristine Hartgen), during the battles. Meanwhile, Ingrid, a hotel staff employee, suddenly finds herself embroiled in the conflict as well, by less violent means — not that she manages to completely avoid violence, however — while desperately struggling to protect her and Gunnar’s son, Ole (Christoph Gelfert Mathiesen). 

It Has A Dark And Intense But Sometimes Uplifting Tone

As an action film, Narvik is, arguably, one of the most expertly crafted and thrilling movies released on Netflix as of late. However, where the film really succeeds is its depiction of the effect war has on families — not just in how it tears them apart physically, but also the conflict it can invoke between loved ones and even with oneself when faced with insurmountable personal challenges. Yet, overall, it promotes an inspiring message of remembering what is most important to us as the rest of the world is in chaos. 

Narvik Is 108 Minutes Long

There are many war films — including the aforementioned All Quiet on the Western Front — that really take their time with their story, resulting in a runtime that surpasses two hours. However, Narvik is one of the shorter movies on Netflix of the like, employing a refreshingly brisk pace that equals to just one hour and 48 minutes.

Narvik Is Rated TV-14

While Narvik is not one to shy away from the perils of war, it never depicts violence in a needlessly brutal way and the use of foul language is minimal. Probably the worst offense that leads to the film’s TV-14 rating is the pervasive use of tobacco products.

Narvik Is Now Streaming On Netflix

Originally released in Norway in December 2022, Narvik became exclusively available to audiences elsewhere with a Netflix subscription as of January 23, 2023. It has proven to be a surprisingly successful hit on the platform’s trending page in the days since.

Stream Narvik on Netflix (opens in new tab).

Jason Wiese
SEO Team Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.