Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, starring Anders W Berthelsen, Søren Pilmark, Nicolas Bro, Nastja Arcel and Lars Mikkelsen.

Fans of the likes of 'State of Play', 'House of Cards' or 'The West Wing' who grumble that there just aren't enough political dramas on the big screen would be well advised to find time for this Danish film - a stylish study of the power of spin and its aftermath.

Having only worked for a national newspaper for a few months, young reporter Ulrik Torp (Berthelsen) finds himself moving up the ladder with a transfer to the parliamentary unit. His big break coincides with a serious road crash involving the leader of the Centre Party, who was leading the polls until his accident. With the party in some state of disarray and various members readying their leadership bids, Torp is fed a story about dodgy financial dealings involving the husband of the main contender, Lone Kjeldsen (Arcel).

The story gives Torp his first front page but also sets off a series of events which the rookie was too filled with pride and inexperience to see coming. A man commits suicide, a new leader for the Centre Party emerges and, with just days to the election, Torp becomes locked in a battle of wits and race against time with the shadowy and not-so-shadowy forces who have made him their pawn.

With its urgent feel, multiple twists and corridors as dark as the motives of some of the characters, 'King's Game' is taut and gripping from the outset, and leaves you cursing the strokes and counter-strokes which ensue as Torp tries to get to the truth. It paints as poor a picture of journalists as it does of politicians, with ego and ambition taking priority over the people both sides are supposed to be representing. With all the performances suitably subdued, director Arcel gives the film the weight of a documentary and devoid of car chases, gunmen and happy ever afters, the story has the feel of real life. 

If you've ever wondered why some questions just aren't asked often enough or hard enough, perhaps this film will give you an answer.

Harry Guerin