Netflix’s Swedish drama “Stolen” will educate and thrill viewers.

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“Stolen” Plot Summary

“Stolen” depicts a world viewers may not be familiar with and invests our time into a gripping, grisly drama. Based on “Stolen” by Ann-Helén Laestadius, writer Peter Birro and director Elle Eira adapt a story that makes you feel the cold and injustice deep in your bones. The Netflix Swedish drama shows us a look into Sámi life and one woman’s quest to defend her community. 

Set in rural Sweden, where the woods and mountains are more plentiful than the people, a young Elsa is eager to help her father mark the ears of her first reindeer. The practice requires the young girl to cut a calf’s ears and is seen as a rite of passage. Elsa chooses a small calf, and her father, Nils Johan (Magnus Kuhmunen), is proud of her. But everything is not right in the world of reindeer herding. An unknown assailant continues to kill reindeer amongst the different herds. Unexpectedly, Elsa gets a view of this assailant as he kills her calf in front of her and threatens her to be quiet. 

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A young Elsa (Risten Alida Siri-Skum) sees a reindeer die in “Stolen” (directed by Elle Márjá Eira, Netflix, 2024)

For ten years, Elsa has kept this secret. But now, as an adult, Elsa (Elin Kristina Oskal) is filled with guilt and regret over not acting as a child. Her Sámi community faces prejudice and neglect from the local law and townspeople every day, and Elsa sees Robert (Martin Wallström), the man who kills reindeer, walk around her town without fear of being punished. While her father and brother (Lars-Ante Wasara) are fearing the future of reindeer herding in their community, Elsa is tired of people’s silence, complicity, and xenophobia against Sámi people. Elsa starts to speak up and become more adamant about change, but as she does, she risks the safety of herself and her loved ones. 

“Stolen” doesn’t shy away from the gruesome depiction of murdered reindeer bodies, and the movie conveys much more about standing up against evil in your community, no matter how small. “Stolen” keeps its story contained in its village and finds believable thrills and drama within Elsa’s struggle. Filmed beautifully on location with actual reindeer, “Stolen” becomes a rare thriller that conveys messages about mental health and xenophobia. Elle Eira’s “Stolen” is worth your time. 

Content Information

“Stolen” is rated TV-MA due to depictions of violence against animals, profanity, and suicide. 

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. “Stolen” is Elle Márjá Eira’s directorial debut. 

“Stolen” General Information

Director Elle Márjá Eira
Screenplay By Peter Birro
Based On Work By “Stolen” by Ann-Helén Laestadius
Date Released April 12, 2024
How To Watch Netflix
Genre(s) Drama


Non-English (Northern Sámi)

Film Length 1 Hour, 45 Minutes
Content Rating Rated TV-MA
Noted Characters and Cast
Elsa (adult) Elin Kristina Oskal
Robert Martin Wallström
Mattias Lars-Ante Wasara

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Elsa (Elin Kristina Oskal)

Elsa has worked with reindeer all her life. She cares for them and is passionate about their survival and her community’s well-being. But her passion and strive for change lead to her butting heads with the rest of the town and her own Sami community. 

Robert (Martin Wallström)

Robert is the man behind the reindeer killings. He takes pleasure in frightening the animals and cutting them up. When he’s not killing reindeer, he can be found on his snowmobile or saying something xenophobic about his Sámi neighbors.

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Martin Wallström as Robert, the infamous reindeer killer in “Stolen” (directed by Elle Márjá Eira, Netflix, 2024)

Mattias (Lars-Ante Wasara)

Mattias is Elsa’s older brother and the heir to the reindeer herd, but Mattias doesn’t have the passion for herding like Elsa does. He wants to leave the village but feels trapped, and his feelings can result in panic and depression. 

“Stolen” Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1.  What did you think of “Stolen?” For those who read the book, how does “Stolen” compare to the novel?


Eira and Crew Capture the Natural Thrills of the World

“Stolen” opens with aerial shots of the snow-covered hills. Gruesome scenes of skinned and decapitated reindeer jolt our attention. Real terror for Elsa and her family naturally grows, with threats of violence always looming in the vacant silence of the night. Director Elle Márjá Eira and her crew establish that there is danger in the wild and from the people, and these two forces become mystifying and take turns creating suspense. 

Insight into Sámi Culture 

Some of the best moments in “Stolen” are simple conversations between Elsa and her brother, or Mattias and Lasse. They provide insight into Sámi culture and the discrimination they face. The dialogue feels natural while providing uneducated viewers (like myself) with exposition into different beliefs and customs. Some may view this movie simply as a “movie about reindeer,” but they would be missing the crucial context about reindeer being a way of life and ignoring how that life is threatened.

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Mattias (Lars-Ante Wasara) and Elsa (Elin Kristina Oskal) together in “Stolen” (directed by Elle Márjá Eira, Netflix, 2024)

On The Fence

Pacing May Be Slow for Some Viewers

The cover art for “Stolen” showcases Elsa welding a gun with a determined look on her face. The story hints that Elsa is on the verge of taking matters into her own hands, but the movie slowly builds to this realization. This is not an action movie or revenge tale, but more of a plausible look at what happens when someone feels helpless and frustrated by authority. 

Good If You Like

  • Slowburn dramas 


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Leave No Trace
  2. Killers of the Flower Moon
  3. Society of the Snow

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

Stolen (2024) Review – A Gripping Drama
“Stolen” keeps its story contained in its village and finds believable thrills and drama within Elsa’s struggle. Elle Eira’s “Stolen” is worth your time. 
Eira and Crew Capture the Natural Thrills of the World
Insight into Sámi Culture 
Pacing May Be Slow for Some Viewers

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