Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter

Malin Crépin as Annika Bengtzon

Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter is a series of six films in Swedish with English subtitles. They are based on Liza Marklund’s best-selling crime novels.

Annika Bengtzon movie poster
Annika Bengtzon movie poster

The six films (with descriptions from Amazon) are:

  • Nobel’s Last Will: While covering the annual Nobel Prize Banquet, Annika witnesses the spectacular murder of two prestigious individuals right in front of her. She’s a key witness, so she’s bound by the police not to disclose anything. It’s the story of a lifetime, and she can’t write a word.
  • Prime Time: On her way to a family gathering, Annika has to leave her two children in the care of her boyfriend so she can report on the murder of a famous TV host. The ten people who’d just spent the night at a mansion where the host’s program is taped are under suspicion; Annika learns that her best friend is among them.
  • Studio Sex: When a stripper from a club called Studio Sex is killed, the case becomes political dynamite after the police find out that the Minister of Trade visited the club on the night of the murder. Working the story also brings up bad memories for Annika and she finds herself taking it all personally.
  • The Red Wolf: In the dark winter of northern Sweden, a journalist is murdered. Annika senses that the killing is linked to a terrorist attack 40 years ago, about which the journalist knew too much. Her investigation brings her into a world of old loyalties that began with the 1960s leftists and extends into the liberal government of today.
  • Lifetime: Lonely and divorced, Annika spends most of her time at work to forget her private misfortunes. She reports on the strange case of a young female police officer who’s accused of killing her policeman husband and hiding their young son. She also suspects that there’s more to this story than an enraged wife.
  • A Place in the Sun: Annika travels to Costa del Sol, Spain, to cover a story about a Swedish family who was killed during a burglary. As she investigates, it becomes clear that the murders are connected to a drug trade that reaches from the hashish farms of Morocco to the streets of Sweden.
Annika Bengtzon movie poster
Annika Bengtzon movie poster

The films star Swedish actress Malin Crépin as the workaholic crime reporter Annika Bengtzon. She works at a newspaper on a crime beat and is friends with a number of police sources.

She has two beautiful kids at home, and a husband who whines if she isn’t home being wifely for him whenever he wants a meal or the children picked up. You might guess that the husband doesn’t last through every film in the series. Yep, he gets the boot. Since Annika tends to get very involved in the cases she’s writing about, it’s a constant source of conflict between her work life and home life.

I enjoy a number of things about this series. The acting is very good. The character Annika is brilliant at solving – not just reporting on – crime and often has it figured out before the police do. She’s awesome like that.

Malin Crépin
Malin Crépin image by Frankie Fouganthin via Wikipedia

The crimes Annika reports on are fascinating – big complex mysteries with important implications and often dangerous for the intrepid reporter.

You can see all six of the films on Netflix streaming instantly. Amazon has them in two box sets: Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter: Epsiodes 1-3 and Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter: Epsides 4-6. Amazon doesn’t seem to have them available for streaming with Amazon Prime – sorry.

I hope you’ll give these films a try. I watched the first and couldn’t wait to see the rest of them.

21 thoughts on “Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter”

  1. I just renewed a contract with Netflix after a two year hiatus and this series made it all worthwhile. I have no idea why anyone would watch an American mainstream series rather than something like this one. After the first half hour, I did not even realized that I was watching with subtitled translation. I read a snotty American interview that said that nothing was in this that hasn’t been on a past episode of Law & Order — maybe, maybe not, but this series is done with far more sophistication and character development. The acting is, to my mind superior, and the settings new and far more interesting than New York (a city that I love, but can see in my sleep.)
    I love the length, depth and complexity of the story lines. Annika is beautiful, smart and tenacious, but not too slick. She has flaws and the producers show her as a real woman with real personal life complications.
    Don’t miss it.

  2. Could not agree more with Jim.
    Just watched the last episode of season 1. WOW….I’m left with wanting more Annka. How long will it take before we (americans) get to view season 2?

    Any suggestions on which swedish TV shows to watch next?

    I have to say that streaming it from Netflix on my new Roku was absolutely crazy making-watch 5-15min, not available for 10min, or it would freeze up requiring me to leave Netfilx and go back in, select film, repeat over & over.

    1. Netflix shouldn’t be acting like that. Can you get support from somewhere for your Roku?

      There were six Annika Bengtzon movies in the series that I know about. If there are more, I’d love to know.

      Have you seen the Swedish versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and two more)? I enjoyed them. IMDB has a list of Swedish movies you might look over for ideas.

  3. I agree with Jim I love Netflix because I loved this series and want more, really like Malin Crepin in the role. I watched the 3 part Swedish series The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I love the English Poirot there are so many more I watch on Netflix with a Roku on my old 32 in. TV and my 32 in. flatscreen thru my tablet isn’t technology great.

  4. I really loved these episodes so far. I’m a sucker for European dramas like this one.

    One question I have, maybe the books would answer – how old is Annika supposed to be in the films? She’s 35ish in real life but in the files she seems like she’s mid-20’s.

    She acts like a child a lot of the time. Spiteful, selfish, ignorant, flashy, generally immature. I love the line by the Editor in Chief – “for someone who is so smart, you’re so dumb!!!” in Lifetime I think it was. I have to agree. I love the series but Annika just makes me wince at times with how stupid she behaves. I guess its part of the ‘charm’.

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  6. I started watching this after I ran through all the Wallander series (both BBC and Swedish versions) on Netflix. This show is a lot different, but still pretty well done and (so far) much less gore.

    I love how much she reminds me of Nancy Drew.

    Thanks for the review…no thanks for the semi-spoiler! (Although yes, only by the 2nd story I can already tell they have some serious issues!) 🙂

      1. In the episode, Nobel’s Last Will, the woman that is shot is mouthing something, as she lay dying. The dying scene is replayed in the movie, but are we ever told what this woman’s last word or words were?

    1. Two are two earlier films based on Annika Bengtzon novels, The Bomber and Paradise. Both were filmed in Swedish by the English director Colin Nutley. The actress Helena Bergström starred in the role as Annika Bengtzon in both movies. They premiered in 2001 and 2003.

      The 6 films starring Malin Crépin were completed in 2012.

      Author Lisa Marklund wrote The Postcard Killers (with James Patterson, 2010) and Amazon lists some novels even more recent. (http://www.amazon.com/Liza-Marklund/e/B001HCVFS6)

  7. Just try and find this series to watch now. Like finding hen’s teeth! Amazon is selling the dvd’s for way too much money. Ugh.

  8. The series is available to stream if you have a subscription to MHZChoice in the US (worth the $8/month). You can access it on your computer, iPhone or Android, as well as the app if you have a Roku Player, which I highly recommend. There are tons of other Scandinavian Crime Dramas available as well.

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