Pusher (film series)

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Directed by
Written by
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (1–3)
  • Jens Dahl (1)
  • Assad Raja (2010 remake)
  • Matthew Read (2012 remake)
Music byPeter Peter
Release dates
  • 30 August 1996 (1996-08-30)
  • (Pusher)
  • 25 December 2004 (2004-12-25)
  • (Pusher II)
  • 22 August 2005 (2005-08-22)
  • (Pusher 3)

The Pusher film trilogy by the Danish film director Nicolas Winding Refn illustrates and explores the violent criminal underworld of Copenhagen in gritty realism. The films hold respective scores of 83%, 100% and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.[1]

Each film is led by a different lead character; Frank (Kim Bodnia), a mid-level drug dealer in the first, his friend and associate Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen), in the second, and their boss Milo (Zlatko Burić), a Serbian gang leader, in the third. Milo is the only character to appear in all three films, with Burić also reprising his role in the British 2012 remake.


Original series[edit]

Pusher (1996)[edit]

The first film follows Frank for a week, a mid-level drug dealer who becomes indebted to his supplier, Milo. It depicts his depravity and how his actions force him further and further out on thin ice while revealing the bittersweet relationship he has with his girlfriend, Vic.[2]

The film was a success, not only in Denmark, but internationally, and launched both Refn's and Mads Mikkelsen's careers.[3]

Pusher II (2004)[edit]

The second film follows Frank's low-level criminal sidekick, Tonny. It illustrates how Tonny is rooted in a spiral of crime and drugs, his relationship towards his notorious, cynical father and how he adapts to the consequence of becoming a father himself.[4] According to film critic Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times "in Refn's skilled street-realist hands, the child becomes a potent, wailing metaphor for Tonny's own dilemma of rudderless need".[5]

Pusher 3 (2005)[edit]

The third film depicts a day in the life of Serbian drug lord Milo. Milo, who was a feared and respected man in the first two films, has since aged. He does not have the same grip on the underworld that he used to and is now slowly losing the battle against a younger generation of immigrants, who now want a piece of the action. The film shows Milo's downfall and his desperate attempt to reclaim the throne.[6]


Pusher (2010)[edit]

A Hindi remake of the same name, starring, written and directed by Assad Raja, was released in 2010.[7]

Pusher (2012)[edit]

An English-language remake of the same name, starring Richard Coyle, was released in 2012, with Zlatko Burić reprising his role as Milo from the original trilogy.[8]

Main characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • A dark gray cell indicates that the character was not in the film or that the character's presence in the film has yet to be announced.
  • An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or stills.
  • A C indicates a cameo role.
  • A U indicates an uncredited role.
Character Original series Remakes
Pusher Pusher II:
With Blood on My Hands
Pusher 3:
I'm the Angel of Death
Pusher Pusher
1996 2004 2005 2010 2012
Milo Zlatko Burić Zlatko Burić
Tonny / Tony Mads Mikkelsen Bronson Webb
Radovan / Hakan Slavko Labović Slavko Labović Mem Ferda
Branko (Vanja) Vasilije Bojičić (as Vanja Bajičić) Vasilije Bojičić Vasilije Bojičić (as Vanja Bajičić)
Mike Levino Jensen Levino Jensen
Frank / Salim Kim Bodnia Assad Raja Richard Coyle
Vic / Flo Laura Drasbæk Agyness Deyn
Brian / Fitz Nicolas Winding Refn Paul Kaye
Hasse Peter Andersson
Rita Lisbeth Rasmussen
Drug addict Thomas Bo Larsen
Officer Lars Bom
Scorpion Gordon Kennedy
Mikkel Jesper Lohmann
Kurt the Cunt Kurt Nielsen
Red (Røde) Karsten Schrøder
Muhammed Ilyas Agac
Jeanette Linse Kessler
Smeden / The Duke Leif Sylvester
Charlotte Anne Sørensen
Ø Øyvind Hagen-Traberg
Gry Maria Erwolter
Svend Sven Erik Eskeland Larsen
Prostitute #1 Maya Ababadjani
Milena Marinela Dekić
Luan Kujtim Loki
Rexho Ramadan Hyseni
Ali Hakan Turan


Writing for The New York Times, critic Nathan Lee said of the trilogy: "From the mean streets of Copenhagen—they evidently exist—comes the Pusher trilogy, a pungent dose of Denmark rot. Written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, this tough trio of underworld thrillers sticks so close to its rogues' gallery of gangsters, suckers and murderous megalomaniacs that you can almost taste the hate and smell the stomach wounds. Given an appetite for grisly crime flicks, they make for a delectably nasty epic".[9]


  1. ^ "Pusher 3". Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Pusher (1996)". AllMovie. Retrieved 30 January 2021
  3. ^ Nestingen, Andrew K. (1 April 2008). Crime and fantasy in Scandinavia: fiction, film, and social change. University of Washington Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-295-98803-0. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ Schager, Nick. "Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands (2004): B+". nickschager.com, 9 June 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2021
  5. ^ Abele, Robert. Review: Pusher II. Los Angeles Times, 2 November 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2021
  6. ^ "Pusher 3". Rotten Tomatoes.
  7. ^ Raja, Assad (15 October 2010). "Pusher". Knightsbridge Media.
  8. ^ Fischer, Russ (28 August 2010). "Movie Trailer: The Hindi Remake of 'Pusher'". /FILM. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  9. ^ Lee, Nathan (18 August 2006). "Film in Review; The Pusher Trilogy". The New York Times.

External links[edit]