User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 230 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 230
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  1. LuciD.
    Feb 22, 2009
    10
    This is for an educated audience. (not for a supposed 8-year-old niece that can write a script about Russian organized crime as noted in a non-critical bashing review) The mind-set is for the R rating, maturity and international crime solving group. Viggo Mortensen received a long deserved Oscar nom for his ability to get into his character's skin on this one. Well worth the watch This is for an educated audience. (not for a supposed 8-year-old niece that can write a script about Russian organized crime as noted in a non-critical bashing review) The mind-set is for the R rating, maturity and international crime solving group. Viggo Mortensen received a long deserved Oscar nom for his ability to get into his character's skin on this one. Well worth the watch and will put you on the edge of your seat; as well as open-a closed mindset. Expand
  2. DanielT
    Apr 8, 2009
    8
    Flawed, yes. But it's both riveting and compelling. The primary reason I rate this movie as "good" to "very good" is that it brings to light some important issues and is entertaining. If you want highly authentic material however, this isn't the film.
  3. FredD
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    Please ignore Murdoc. He has obviously never understood Cronenberg if he thinks this was a "miss". It's 100% DC and 100% great. Disturbing as all heck and brutal as can be. Ends somewhat abruptly (2 hours in I was happy to be sitting there for 1 more). Viggo absolutely has put his hat in the ring for best acting performance of the year with his turn as Nikolai.
  4. MichaelH
    May 4, 2008
    8
    I think the critics got this movie about right. The movie started out in typical Cronenberg fashion with stilted dialogue and characters but then it seemed to coalesce for the most of the rest of the movie around the plot and the character that Viggo Mortensen plays. Viggo does a great job of embodying this man, he seems like a guy who has been in a Russian prison and he overcomes his I think the critics got this movie about right. The movie started out in typical Cronenberg fashion with stilted dialogue and characters but then it seemed to coalesce for the most of the rest of the movie around the plot and the character that Viggo Mortensen plays. Viggo does a great job of embodying this man, he seems like a guy who has been in a Russian prison and he overcomes his pretty boy looks to great effect. Naomi Watts is a little stereotyped as the nurse character and is not quite as believable though she is nice to look at and doesn't detract from the movie overall. This is more conventional than the usual Cronenberg movie and I think that in this case this was a good thing. Expand
  5. Alex
    Jul 20, 2009
    9
    I don't know what movie the commentators below saw, but I have to vehemently disagree with the criticisms. Yes, there are certain gaps in the script that are never brought to light, but to focus only on that is to miss the entire point of the film. It's not attempting to be an episode of CSI. It's more of an exploration of the polarities between right and wrong. It reveals I don't know what movie the commentators below saw, but I have to vehemently disagree with the criticisms. Yes, there are certain gaps in the script that are never brought to light, but to focus only on that is to miss the entire point of the film. It's not attempting to be an episode of CSI. It's more of an exploration of the polarities between right and wrong. It reveals humanity in the most improbable places. People need to understand that THIS IS A MOVIE. A piece of art is not intended to immaculately recreate reality, but rather illuminate an underlying message. So, to anyone reading this, do yourself a favor and focus on the poignancy of the story as opposed to the forensic inconsistencies. This is a great, worthwhile film, with superb acting by Mortensen to boot. Expand
  6. RoseL
    Oct 17, 2007
    9
    Absolutely Excellent! Exciting, intense and visually stunning, I cannot believe anyone could find anything to criticize. This is a must-see!
  7. ke
    Dec 27, 2007
    9
    Better than A History of Violence. The shower knife fight scene was awesome and the story was really engaging. The only thing that turned me off was the first scene, which was a little unwatchable and I wanted a little more out of the ending. Still a must see for anyone who likes crime or gangster films. Or a must see for everyone
  8. BillyS.
    Oct 5, 2007
    8
    After A History of Violence, David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen team up again for Eastern Promises and the results are even better this time. Mortensen has never been better and Naomi Watts is perfect. I may be jumpin' the gun on this one, but this could be the best actor/director collaboration since the hallowed days of Scorsese and Deniro. A must-see for all film lovers and Oscar After A History of Violence, David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen team up again for Eastern Promises and the results are even better this time. Mortensen has never been better and Naomi Watts is perfect. I may be jumpin' the gun on this one, but this could be the best actor/director collaboration since the hallowed days of Scorsese and Deniro. A must-see for all film lovers and Oscar watchers!! (you'll be hearing Easter Promises a few times come January.) Expand
  9. DanielJ
    Oct 8, 2007
    10
    Eastern Promises is truly a terrific piece of film-making. The writing is so precise and subtle, with hints of foreshadowing, brilliant dialogues, and outstanding character development for all the major players. The acting is superb all around, with Mortensen and Mueller-Stahl shining the most. The directing, too, is very precise, especially in scenes that you can tell are impossibly hard Eastern Promises is truly a terrific piece of film-making. The writing is so precise and subtle, with hints of foreshadowing, brilliant dialogues, and outstanding character development for all the major players. The acting is superb all around, with Mortensen and Mueller-Stahl shining the most. The directing, too, is very precise, especially in scenes that you can tell are impossibly hard to convincingly piece together (i.e. the bath-house fight). Watching the film a second time, you can really pick up on many of the subtleties that reflect the complexity and brilliance of all the aspects of this film. Eastern promises has a great shot at getting Oscar nominations for Viggo Mortensen (actor), Mueller-Stahl (supporting actor), and original screenplay, but I wouldn't be surprised if it snagged a couple extras as well. Expand
  10. JohnK.
    Oct 9, 2007
    9
    absolutely phenomenal film that incorporates great acting, errie cinematography, suspenseful direction and an engrossing plot to produce one of the best efforts of the year. a must-see for any fan of kronenburg, tarentino, haggis, or HBO; it incorporates all the elements of modern filmmaking that have been sacrificed for the sake of commercial success; a violent, edgy, character-driven absolutely phenomenal film that incorporates great acting, errie cinematography, suspenseful direction and an engrossing plot to produce one of the best efforts of the year. a must-see for any fan of kronenburg, tarentino, haggis, or HBO; it incorporates all the elements of modern filmmaking that have been sacrificed for the sake of commercial success; a violent, edgy, character-driven dialogue-fest that impresses the viewer on multiple levels. Expand
  11. JaredC.
    Sep 11, 2007
    8
    French and spectacular. This dazzling performance by Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortenson are sparkling with magnificence, excellent of drama watchers.
  12. GerryM.
    Sep 14, 2007
    10
    What a strange, brutal movie.
  13. JoshC
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    People are going to hear a lot about this, so I may as well begin with it: There's a fight scene in David Cronenberg's Russian mob thriller "Eastern Promises" that is sure to go down as a raw, brutal and pulse-pounding landmark in the history of fight scenes. It takes place in one room, with no props except for a couple knives. People in the audience at the screening I attended People are going to hear a lot about this, so I may as well begin with it: There's a fight scene in David Cronenberg's Russian mob thriller "Eastern Promises" that is sure to go down as a raw, brutal and pulse-pounding landmark in the history of fight scenes. It takes place in one room, with no props except for a couple knives. People in the audience at the screening I attended were flinching and gasping as if they were being punched in the face. Which, of course, is the idea. If a fight scene doesn't make you feel like you're part of it, so that it quickens your heartbeat and your breathing, then it's a failure. And Cronenberg's makes you realize how many movie fights are flops -- and how really hard it is to kill or immobilize a human being with your arms, legs, feet and hands. Literally and figuratively, "Eastern Promises" has guts. And in this sense, it reminds me of both the excruciatingly protracted struggle between Paul Newman and the Russian agent in "Torn Curtain," and the knock-down, drag-out fist-fest between Keith David and Rowdy Roddy Piper in John Carpenter's "They Live! Directed in a bold, graphic style similar to that of his previous film, "A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" is shockingly gorgeous, for all the ugliness it portrays. The film is set in London, and the colors are dark and heavy: gray skies, slick black streets, brandy, absinthe, venous blood. A hospital midwife (Naomi Watts) finds a patient's diary that gets her involved with Russian gangsters -- in particular, a shrewd and ambitious chauffeur played by "History of Violence" star Viggo Mortensen. It begins like a Cronenbergian horror movie, and becomes... a Cronenberg gangster movie -- an elemental struggle between good and evil, life and death, east and west, blood and money, trust and betrayal, commerce and morality, mind and body. Remember, that's "elemental," not "simplistic." There are... complications. Expand
  14. DougN.
    Sep 21, 2007
    8
    Psychologically dark, very good movie.
  15. MikeM
    Sep 27, 2007
    9
    If there is one thing Cronenburg is so good at, its taking a movie beyond the limits of being just a movie. It is more a study of the human being, and their behaviors and nature, and how they act and who they are, and who they pretend to be. This movie takes you into the lives of the Russian mob, a very dark, disturbing place to be, and a family of a young woman (played by Naomi Watts), If there is one thing Cronenburg is so good at, its taking a movie beyond the limits of being just a movie. It is more a study of the human being, and their behaviors and nature, and how they act and who they are, and who they pretend to be. This movie takes you into the lives of the Russian mob, a very dark, disturbing place to be, and a family of a young woman (played by Naomi Watts), her uncle and aunt find themselves thrown into the chaos. They discover a diary of a young prostitute, and this diary has a lot of power in this movie. Muehller-Stahl, who plays the leader of the vory V Zakone brotherhood, is absolutely terrific, and can shoot one glance that could freeze you, and then cut you to pieces. He is menacing, not in his actions, but in his look alone. Also, Viggo Mortensen delivers the performance of his life, playing this mysterious, off-put, odd friend of the son of the brotherhood leader. He can exude both evil, and kindness in just a few different shots. The action in the movie is real, and it is haunting, and one scene in particular will most likely stick with you in your head for quite some time. This is a movie to be taken seriously, and deep, deep under its seemingly simple layers of story, lies a very interesting tale that leads through the cobwebs of the Russian mob, and just what happens when family is messed with. This is a very good piece on humanity, and it is something not to be missed at a time when all Hollywood can chock up are lame Dane Cook films and same-old same-old "kill the zombie" movies. Expand
  16. KatherynH.
    Sep 29, 2007
    9
    Oscar-winning performances here, you betcha! Masterly performances by Mortenson, Mueller-Stahl and Cassel with wonderfully complex characterizations. Go see it!
  17. chad
    Jan 2, 2008
    9
    i really enjoyed this movie. i was a little nervous coming in to watch it because i thought cronenberg's last movie, a history of violence, was a complete and utter waste of time and had way too much pointless sex and violence, however eastern promises seemed like a more interesting and story driven movie and i think naomi is a great actress so i bought the dvd and was extremely i really enjoyed this movie. i was a little nervous coming in to watch it because i thought cronenberg's last movie, a history of violence, was a complete and utter waste of time and had way too much pointless sex and violence, however eastern promises seemed like a more interesting and story driven movie and i think naomi is a great actress so i bought the dvd and was extremely happy with my purchase. the acting is extremely good all around, but most notably cassel playing kirill was the best. the story was interesting and never bored me. The directing was good and there was never a dull camera angle. Overall this is my favorite mob/gangster movie. It definitely beats out goodfellas, casino, and the godfather. pick it up and watch it if you havent, but dont if you cant handle the violence and nudity Expand
  18. neighborgray
    Jul 27, 2009
    9
    This has got to be one of my favorite films of all time. A suspenseful crime drama encased in an almost surreal experience. With Viggo Mortensen giving another outstanding performance along side Vincent Cassel. While this movie does has its flaws, it is defiantly not for the A.D.D generation expecting non-stop action. Truly a film that only comes around once a life time.
  19. ee
    Oct 11, 2007
    9
    Totally compelling, memorable, at times shocking. One of the year's best. You can't take your eyes off Viggo Mortensen in this Oscar-worthy role.
  20. zoodude
    Oct 14, 2007
    9
    Excellent movie... easily one of the best I've seen this year!
  21. Hughie
    Oct 17, 2007
    10
    Scorsese hasn't made a movie this good in 20 years!
  22. PeerP.
    Oct 18, 2007
    10
    This was the best film I have seen in months (and I see many). Worth whatever it costs, 10 times better than a History of Violence, hopefully it will get the award attention it deserves.
  23. JonL.
    Oct 18, 2007
    10
    Excellent character study of a deeply scarred man. Interesting aspect of the movie is the barely-veiled homosexual relationship between two of the vory v zakone. The famous bathhouse fight scene is still jarring and visceral even when you are expecting it.
  24. [Anonymous]
    Oct 8, 2007
    10
    extraordinary view of evil and decency, malice and family, with an honest non-romatic view of gangsters, killers and the Russian mob.
  25. AaronS.
    Sep 14, 2007
    9
    Cronenberg's most conventional film to date. Of course by anyone else's standards, this would be a most unusual film. That doesn't make a lesser film though. It's a great entertainment with a number of interesting ideas bubbling underneath the surface. It's look at the strange world of the Russian mafia is fascinating and the deceptively simple narrative builds to Cronenberg's most conventional film to date. Of course by anyone else's standards, this would be a most unusual film. That doesn't make a lesser film though. It's a great entertainment with a number of interesting ideas bubbling underneath the surface. It's look at the strange world of the Russian mafia is fascinating and the deceptively simple narrative builds to a surprising final half hour. Climaxing with a brilliantly staged fight scene set in a public bath house. Mortensen is terrific and is deserving of some awards recognition. The well chosen supporting cast is perfect. 'Eastern Promises' is minor Cronenberg in the end-but that's still better than 95% of the stuff Hollywood churns out these days. Highly recommended-but not for the squeamish. It is D Cron after all. Expand
  26. MarkG.
    Sep 15, 2007
    10
    Without a doubt the most thrilling and satisfying movie of the year thus far. Mortensen ridiculously good. A potential classic.
  27. Ange-AimeeW.
    Sep 16, 2007
    10
    I have never submitted a vote to these sites but I did not want anyone to be misled into not seeing this movie. It's one of the best I've seen in years. A new classic. Amazing performances from the actors and a plot that will surprise even the most jaded movie watcher. I normally would not recommend Cronenberg for the squeamish, but this one everyone should see.
  28. MarkD
    Sep 20, 2007
    9
    Honestly, this movie rivals Goodfellas as far as a great Mafia Movie..
  29. PaulD.
    Sep 22, 2007
    10
    This movie pulls no punches, literally, and figuratively. It begins with a brutally violent scene, which demonstrates the compelling nature of a person following orders, against their own will, and ends quietly, with a scene reminiscent of the contemplation of Michael Corleone in Godfather II. An amazing cast, with mesmerizing performances by Mortensen, and Mueller-Stahl. The shower fight This movie pulls no punches, literally, and figuratively. It begins with a brutally violent scene, which demonstrates the compelling nature of a person following orders, against their own will, and ends quietly, with a scene reminiscent of the contemplation of Michael Corleone in Godfather II. An amazing cast, with mesmerizing performances by Mortensen, and Mueller-Stahl. The shower fight scene is a heart stopper. Naked, brutally graphic, gritty and bloody. More than just a gangster movie. A real insight into human nature. Expand
  30. MartinB.
    Sep 23, 2007
    8
    I've always wanted to share my thoughts about movies since I watched Transformers, which in my opinion is one of the best action movies to come out this year. For someone who grew up watching the cartoon, the movie was a dream come true, and I also believe Michael Bay(the director) put a lot of us to shame by delivering a worthy product ... but I digress. My intention is to share I've always wanted to share my thoughts about movies since I watched Transformers, which in my opinion is one of the best action movies to come out this year. For someone who grew up watching the cartoon, the movie was a dream come true, and I also believe Michael Bay(the director) put a lot of us to shame by delivering a worthy product ... but I digress. My intention is to share thoughts on movies I love like the one I just saw, and ones I truly loathe and would gladly request for $9 back...case in point - "The Reaping" "Eastern Promises" is movie directed by David Cronenberg. You may remember him from "A History of Violence". Every one remembers that movie...Seeing Maria Bello in her cheer leader outfit alone was worth the price of admission... then there was the sex scene on the steps. I suggest you rent or purchase it immediately. Back to "Eastern Promises"...The main actors are Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel and Armin Mueller-Stahl; I'll get to information about their performances soon enough. Without giving much away, the story is basically about a nurse who unfortunately witnesses a 14 year old Russian girl giving birth and dying during labor. She embarks on a quest to find out more about the girl's family and also have her diary translated. On the nurse's quest of discovery, she ends up getting involved with some really vile people, mainly the Russian crime family - Vory V Zakone. The rest of the movie unravels the mystery behind the dead girl, and eventually the father of the baby.Warning! If you are not a fan of violent movies, you will not enjoy this movie. There's enough extreme violence to make the toughest guy squirm. One scene in the steam room is particularly disturbing to watch. I was impressed by all the actors. Naomi Watts, who I last saw playing the love interest of a mega-sized gorilla, put on quite a performance. Her character is the nurse who drove the story, but this is not a role she'll be remembered for...Armin Mueller-Stahl plays the owner of a restaurant and is also affiliated with the Vory V Zakone. Vincent Cassel plays his crazy son Kirill, who much to his father's chagrin, is also rumored to be gay. The true star of the movie is Viggo, who plays Nikolai, a mysterious driver who definitely wants to move up in the family. His russian is fluent, and his accent is perfect. It's almost hard to imagine him speaking in another accent after this movie. He accent and grammar really did sound like his spoke a Slavic language natively. It was very interesting to watch him play his role so flawlessly. In all, this was a pretty good movie. I believe David Cronenberg and Viggo should make more movies together. They certainly have a formula that works. Expand
  31. NickA.
    Sep 23, 2007
    9
    'Eastern Promises,' the latest film from David Cronenberg
  32. Apr 13, 2011
    7
    Mortensen was mesmerising, so much so I almost forgot the farrago of LOTR. It wasn't the same person. He was effortlessly menacing, yet still human; the plot and all the rest of the actors moved around him in the shadows - except for Armin Mueller Stahl who was (literally) the only genuine Russian. Vincent Cassel gave his usual panto performance. Naomi Watts was weak and couldn't transcendMortensen was mesmerising, so much so I almost forgot the farrago of LOTR. It wasn't the same person. He was effortlessly menacing, yet still human; the plot and all the rest of the actors moved around him in the shadows - except for Armin Mueller Stahl who was (literally) the only genuine Russian. Vincent Cassel gave his usual panto performance. Naomi Watts was weak and couldn't transcend the implausibility she was being asked to cover up for.

    Everything tailed away somewhat disappointingly after a powerful first half and I was left watching the closing credits wondering what kind of fool I'd just been taken for. But at least I watched the closing credits because I was still thinking about it.
    Expand
  33. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    How can this movie get such a high rating ? It was awful, unbearable to watch. The acting was absolutely appalling, I cannot believe that good actors such as Mortensen and Cassel would agree to be a part of this ridiculous mess. The opening scene was so bad, you know the film can only get worse if it starts out bad. Absolutely horrible.
  34. SteveE
    Feb 19, 2008
    1
    I really can't believe how wrong all the critics were on this one. Most of it was a wanna-be gangster flick for the Russian mob. Bad accents, cliche upon cliche, and the climactic fight scene in the steam room was not that great, unless you really want to see Viggo's privates flying all around. I expected so much more from these actors and Cronenberg.
  35. cronenbergfan
    Sep 24, 2007
    3
    I only give this three out of my respect for the director. It was horrible. I hated this as well as History of Violence. The plot line was weak and the movie boring. This movie is no commentary on violence. For starters there is not much action/violence in it. Secondly the action scene the movie does have (the knife fight) is violent and exciting. I have a hard time believing it was meant I only give this three out of my respect for the director. It was horrible. I hated this as well as History of Violence. The plot line was weak and the movie boring. This movie is no commentary on violence. For starters there is not much action/violence in it. Secondly the action scene the movie does have (the knife fight) is violent and exciting. I have a hard time believing it was meant to be anything more. Cronenberg loves to display violence and gore. He is not attempting to do anything more than entertain through violence. If you don't believe me go rewatch The Fly and Scanners and Rabid. The only problem with EA is he doe not create reinforce his plot or characters...its a true shame. This movie is an emperor with no clothes...nothing more. Expand
  36. ButteredPopcorn
    Jan 5, 2008
    2
    How this got suck a high rating in Metacritic, i can only wonder. This is trash. I agree with everything SethR wrote in his user review. I'd have a lot more respect for the whole enterprise if the film just admitted the truth - it loves to mire in the violence, the thinly veiled homo-eroticism, the simplistic moral message, and the infatuation with priveledge, and basked in it, How this got suck a high rating in Metacritic, i can only wonder. This is trash. I agree with everything SethR wrote in his user review. I'd have a lot more respect for the whole enterprise if the film just admitted the truth - it loves to mire in the violence, the thinly veiled homo-eroticism, the simplistic moral message, and the infatuation with priveledge, and basked in it, rather than trying to make some moralistic good over evil struggle of it. Don't waste your time on this trash. Expand
  37. CristovD.
    Oct 7, 2007
    4
    Cliche, careless, completely unconvincing.
  38. BridgetH.
    Oct 8, 2007
    0
    This movie was so bad and gory that I walked out fairly early - yuck!
  39. sethR
    Oct 8, 2007
    2
    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY OR LISTEN TO THESE MAROONS!!!. For all of you who find enjoyment in this piece of garbage and try to defend it with comments about art and deeper meaning, I feel bad for you. You must really be simple minded-- There is nothing clever or artistic about this film and I can give you 5 reasons why this is movie is quite possibly the worst movi9e I have seen in DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY OR LISTEN TO THESE MAROONS!!!. For all of you who find enjoyment in this piece of garbage and try to defend it with comments about art and deeper meaning, I feel bad for you. You must really be simple minded-- There is nothing clever or artistic about this film and I can give you 5 reasons why this is movie is quite possibly the worst movi9e I have seen in a really long time: 5)- It isn't believable-- No one walks into a L&D ward and walks out with a baby, No one is allowed things like a diary aka record of events in that girls situation, by the way how did she escape?? Why bother trying to explain that? 4) It is filled with lame cliches about Russia-- The only 2 Russian cliches they forgot was Dolph Lundgren and Boris and Natasia from Rocky And Bullwinkle 3) It is filled with Homosexual inuendos-- Naked men fighting and dudes watching each other bone-- ri-frickin-diculous 2) it would be pointlessly disturbing at times if it wasn't so hilarious-- verbally- characters say randomly racist things and there is random gory parts that would be borderline gross but ends up looking silly- Like Leprechaun 2 Gore- so unbelievable it is funny but not in a good way. and the #1 reason is. IT IS BORING__ OH MAN IS IT BORING!!!! From bad lighting to juvenile dialog there isn't one thing uttered in this film that is memorable or poignant. I have seen adult films with better writing. Whata Hack, I hope if you haven't seen this I convinced you not to. ANd if you liked this film I whole-heartedly question the necessity of you on this planet. Expand
  40. Nat
    Sep 20, 2007
    1
    Question: when you people who gave this rave reviews watched this movie, what crack were you smoking? I definitely should have visited my local dealer because watching this movie sober was absolutely disappointing. Not only is it gratuitously violent, misogynistic and unbearable (Mortensen and Cassell's accents are truly aggravating to listen to), but it's also mired by the Question: when you people who gave this rave reviews watched this movie, what crack were you smoking? I definitely should have visited my local dealer because watching this movie sober was absolutely disappointing. Not only is it gratuitously violent, misogynistic and unbearable (Mortensen and Cassell's accents are truly aggravating to listen to), but it's also mired by the director's unrelenting ADD. He doesn't tie in all of the issues he vaguely touched upon throughout the movie. The end result is complete lack of satisfaction. This is the most disappointing movie ever and it's truly indicative of the CRAP Hollywood's been putting out there for us. If this CRAP gets such a high rating like this, I'm not watching anything in theaters anymore. Expand
  41. MarkC
    Feb 7, 2008
    5
    The actors are great; the film is weak. Another overrated notch in Cronenberg's mediocre belt. It settles for suggesting an impressionistic, sensationalized portrayal of the Russian Mafia/human trafficking, where a more detailed and realistic view of this true and little-known underworld would have lent more credibility and suspense. Instead we get a comic book, like The actors are great; the film is weak. Another overrated notch in Cronenberg's mediocre belt. It settles for suggesting an impressionistic, sensationalized portrayal of the Russian Mafia/human trafficking, where a more detailed and realistic view of this true and little-known underworld would have lent more credibility and suspense. Instead we get a comic book, like Cronenberg's last film, A History of Violence. The entire film is premised on the ridiculous notion of the Watts character actually going to a location mentioned in the diary of a young girl who died under very unusual circumstances, and then mentioning the diary--when she has people in her OWN FAMILY who are Russian and could translate it! Though the film itself is weak, all the actors turn in wonderful performances, and the story will hold your interest. It's not as entirely violent as some here say. Expand
  42. NickA
    Mar 13, 2008
    1
    This move was terrible and I can't agree more that the critics really got it wrong with this one. Cliché's, bad accents and no definitive ending. Definitely one of the worst movies I have seen in a while. I applaud the actors for their efforts, but the direction and storyline was just abysmal. Cliché, cliché, cliché.
  43. PaulW.
    Mar 5, 2008
    1
    Cliché upon cliché, bad script and accents galore..cringworthy to say the least. I left the theatre somewhere around half time..just couldn't stand the James Bond-like villains any longer.
  44. JamesL.
    Oct 11, 2007
    2
    The biggest disappointment of the year. This film hides its lack of a plot, character development, and a script behind several scenes of graphic violence. Not worth renting much less paying to see!
  45. scanlon
    Dec 29, 2007
    4
    Interesting but way too much graphic violence, sex, nudity, and language. Is this what passes as mainstream these days?
  46. MurdocM
    Sep 16, 2007
    2
    Crap. What happened to you Cronenberg? That's two misses in a row for my standards. Stop doing crap and drop Aragorn, he's a horrible actor. It's a 4, but scoring a 2 to offset the retards who liked it.
  47. MikeD.
    Sep 23, 2007
    1
    This movie was the WORST thing I have seen in the cinema since Blair Witch 2. I couldn't believe that a movie about the Russian Mafia could be so dull and boring. The story crawls along at a snail's pace then abruptly ends. THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE. DON'T BELIEVE THE RAVE REVIEWS.
  48. HistoryofViolenceSucked
    Sep 26, 2007
    0
    I walked out of History of Violence because it sucked so bad, so I'm glad I read some of these reviews. Sounds like more of the same. History of Violence, to me, had no character development. I didn't give a crap about any of the characters, and then having to watch a ridiculously timed, lame sex scene on the stairs was the icing on the cake. I looked around in the theater and I walked out of History of Violence because it sucked so bad, so I'm glad I read some of these reviews. Sounds like more of the same. History of Violence, to me, had no character development. I didn't give a crap about any of the characters, and then having to watch a ridiculously timed, lame sex scene on the stairs was the icing on the cake. I looked around in the theater and was like, "Am I the only one who sees how weak the script and acting are?" I bailed, since you never get back that 2 hours, even if you can't get your money back! Expand
  49. FarhadB.
    Oct 10, 2008
    3
    Dull, dull, and duller. Apart from a good performance by Mortensen, the film could be a standard sub-par Hollywood action flick. Black merc SLs, black suits, shirts, and overcoats, this is cliche at it fullest. Terrible accents and background score round it off. Expected much more considering the hype.
  50. KenC
    Jan 25, 2008
    5
    Again the critics are out to lunch. While the film was an interesting look at the Russian Mafia - it seems to wallow in it's own violence that at times seems pointless. Watchable, but not particularly well done.
  51. May 22, 2013
    3
    The best way to describe Eastern Promises is a boring bloody mess that is completely anti dramatic. A movie that piles cliché after cliché while tries to hide its lack of originality with gruesome violence.
  52. Andy
    Sep 21, 2007
    8
    Wow Nat, a movie about the mafia that has violence? How dare they! This movie is classic Cronenberg and Mortensen's performance will surely get noms. Maybe you should stick with Good Luck Chuck if you find this movie confusing.
  53. PeterK.
    Sep 22, 2007
    9
    Ultra Violent! Terrific acting by Mortensen and Mueller-Stahl, and good performances by Watts and Cassel. Many scenes of ultra-violence were graphically realistic and groaningly bloody, but convincing and necessary for the story.
  54. Vippman
    Oct 17, 2007
    7
    Naomi Watts gets the story started, gives the hero a five-star chance to be good and provides last-minute and unforced evidence that he
  55. AnnieI.
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    I think the people who gave this film a 1 are just visitors on this forum, nothing more, and for the love of argument, they wrote something about a story they did not follow closely, about a film they did not have the patience to watch until the final credits. I think Cronenberg is one of the most interesting filmmakers of our times, and this one is definitely in my top ten this year. I think the people who gave this film a 1 are just visitors on this forum, nothing more, and for the love of argument, they wrote something about a story they did not follow closely, about a film they did not have the patience to watch until the final credits. I think Cronenberg is one of the most interesting filmmakers of our times, and this one is definitely in my top ten this year. Maybe not the same as "A History of Violence" which was absolutely mesmerizing... but still, real cinema and not commercial crap, as unfortunately 90 percent of what is being done in Hollywood today. As for Mortensen, well, I think this time he has really achieved perfection. You have to be absurd and a bit silly to expect for more. Expand
  56. TonyB.
    May 30, 2008
    7
    Superior to the somewhat overrated "A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" successfully captures and depicts the nether world of London's Russian gangsters. Although Viggo Mortensen deserves the praise he has received for this film, one must not overlook the fine work done by the rest of the cast, notably Naomi Watts and Armin Mueller-Stahl. I question having Mortensen shed it Superior to the somewhat overrated "A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" successfully captures and depicts the nether world of London's Russian gangsters. Although Viggo Mortensen deserves the praise he has received for this film, one must not overlook the fine work done by the rest of the cast, notably Naomi Watts and Armin Mueller-Stahl. I question having Mortensen shed it all in the brutal attempt on his life. Expand
  57. jw
    Nov 9, 2007
    7
    Fear of reviewers yet to come forced a seven out of me instead of a six. Yes, the story (for the most part) is engrossing. Yes, the plot (for the most part) makes sense. I hadn't seen Vincent Cassel before and he was excellent. Armin Mueller-Stahl reminds one of why he was a perfect fit for the Syndicate in the X-Files. He is towering, terrible, and incredible to watch. His scene in Fear of reviewers yet to come forced a seven out of me instead of a six. Yes, the story (for the most part) is engrossing. Yes, the plot (for the most part) makes sense. I hadn't seen Vincent Cassel before and he was excellent. Armin Mueller-Stahl reminds one of why he was a perfect fit for the Syndicate in the X-Files. He is towering, terrible, and incredible to watch. His scene in the hospital is creepy as all get out. But, as watchable a star as Naomi Watts is, throat-slashings are just as utterly, fantastically UNwatchable. And they are multiple in this film. If you say it informs the danger manifest in the rest of the movie, you would be right. This does not make those scenes any more watchable. I did not understand, for example, why one victim feels the need to pull down his scarf seconds before dropping dead of the gash we find there. Until, that is, you realize the director just needed a better angle. (Note: This pulls a viewer OUT of your movie, not in). Some can overlook all this, as indicated by other reviews. Fine. But can we all at least stop pretending Viggo's accent isn't a distraction? Because it is, especially in a movie filled with people who sound authentic. Collapse
  58. JohnB.
    Sep 23, 2007
    7
    It was a good movie and a real treat to see Mortensen and Cassel in mafia form even if their accents weren't always spot on. There were a couple of fantastic scenes and the movie really does seem to go above and beyond average. However, at times it teeters on the edge of losing itself. Every scene with Watts seemed so subpar that you wish we could just stick to Mortensen and Cassel. It was a good movie and a real treat to see Mortensen and Cassel in mafia form even if their accents weren't always spot on. There were a couple of fantastic scenes and the movie really does seem to go above and beyond average. However, at times it teeters on the edge of losing itself. Every scene with Watts seemed so subpar that you wish we could just stick to Mortensen and Cassel. Overall, the results were decent, just not extraordinary. Expand
  59. RJ
    Sep 23, 2007
    8
    I expected a lot from this, and got it, mostly. The first two acts were awesome, but the third act, I was expecting a little more story development, and it just...ends. (Spoiler: If Nikolai knew he was set up by Semyon, wouldn't he have retaliated in some way? or at least confronted him about setting him up to be killed?) Whatever. It's still one of the best films of the year. I I expected a lot from this, and got it, mostly. The first two acts were awesome, but the third act, I was expecting a little more story development, and it just...ends. (Spoiler: If Nikolai knew he was set up by Semyon, wouldn't he have retaliated in some way? or at least confronted him about setting him up to be killed?) Whatever. It's still one of the best films of the year. I never like Vincent Cassel before, but in THIS, jesus, he doesn't even have to say anything to convince us he's dangerous. The bags under his eyes, the way Cronenberg lights him, all he has to do is stand there to radiate maniacal, barely controlled potential evil. It goes without saying that Viggo Mortensen is riveting. Naomi Watts seems to be marking off a checklist to make sure she works with every important contemporary director - David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke. Expand
  60. Droog
    Sep 24, 2007
    7
    "Eastern Promises" is a very good film, but not a great one. The acting, pacing, and plot are quite excellent, and Cronenburg maintains an awful sense of tension from start to finish. However, I don't get the feeling this is the type of movie that will stay with me for a long time. Unlike A History of Violence, which aims and reaches higher via its themes (eg. dark family secrets, "Eastern Promises" is a very good film, but not a great one. The acting, pacing, and plot are quite excellent, and Cronenburg maintains an awful sense of tension from start to finish. However, I don't get the feeling this is the type of movie that will stay with me for a long time. Unlike A History of Violence, which aims and reaches higher via its themes (eg. dark family secrets, can we escape our past?, etc.) Eastern Promises is very narrow in its focus. It delivers expertly on what it attempts, but overall this film is bit too conventional. Expand
  61. JudyT
    Sep 24, 2007
    7
    Good movie but the ending left me very unsatisfied. Most of the violence was unnecessary, except for the one scene that's getting all of the press.
  62. MaxL
    Sep 24, 2007
    5
    Good beginning until the story took a very very wrong turn at the end. The worst ending/revelation ever. And whatever happened to the nurse? She disappeared halfway thru the movie. Ack! Wait until DVD. Very disappointing. Better than most crap out there? OK! So, that doesn't make this a good movie.
  63. TedJ
    Sep 25, 2007
    6
    There are some very good--and even great--parts and aspects of this film, but, overall, I didn't like it. I have to give the film merit for taking on serious issues earnestly; for that reason alone, I have to applaud it. But the script was pretty mediocre. In particular, the dead Russian girl's voice over was terribly executed; it was excruciatingly cloying in its melodrama. There are some very good--and even great--parts and aspects of this film, but, overall, I didn't like it. I have to give the film merit for taking on serious issues earnestly; for that reason alone, I have to applaud it. But the script was pretty mediocre. In particular, the dead Russian girl's voice over was terribly executed; it was excruciatingly cloying in its melodrama. (The unwavering use of a weepy string section during these parts only added to my disgust.) I thought the movie ended rather abruptly, too, especially since a plot twist is introduced right at the end. I expected the movie to go another twenty minutes. (Although the final shot is haunting.) And I didn't think Mortensen or Watts had any chemistry warranting a kiss. That said, Mortensen is great, very laconic, using understatement to maximum effect. The violence is graphic, but, excepting the spectacular bath scene, it comes across as more gratuitous than shocking or unnerving. This is not the edgy, intense film I was anticipating, but more or a half-realized, noble failure that still merits a viewing. Expand
  64. Maria
    Jan 12, 2008
    5
    Maybe scenes of violence are good not sure about it as I am not big fun of it. But biggest disappointment was very poor knowledge of Russian history. It looked to me like old movie about Italian gangsters in NY but translated into Russian:) Being Russian (and living over 16 years in London) I have to say that movie has not much to do with Russians living abroad or Russian mafia (Vory v Maybe scenes of violence are good not sure about it as I am not big fun of it. But biggest disappointment was very poor knowledge of Russian history. It looked to me like old movie about Italian gangsters in NY but translated into Russian:) Being Russian (and living over 16 years in London) I have to say that movie has not much to do with Russians living abroad or Russian mafia (Vory v zakone). Director and script writer should at least study more Russian movies based on the same subject if they are too scared to learn it in real life:) Very poor and very disappointing movie, but nice actors and really nice acting. Expand
  65. SeanA
    Jan 21, 2008
    8
    I disagree with those who are bashing this film. I for one was immersed. It did a good job of keeping you in the dark and wanting to know how it all ends.
  66. AdamB
    Feb 11, 2008
    9
    An excellent and gritty portrayal of the Russian mafia, which includes brutality and artful homosexual sodomy (please don't let the Brokeback Mountain effect tune you out). this is not for the faint of heart, but a mature audience will definitely respect this gem of an action drama.
  67. DeborahL.
    Feb 23, 2008
    8
    Unusual subject, surprising plot developments, superb performances. One could present an interesting essay on the similarities to Michael Clayton.
  68. Zatiel
    May 12, 2008
    10
    Emotionally and intellectually riveting, this was by far the best of 2007. Characters I actually cared about, repulsive and morbidly interesting plot developments, and an inflinching take on violence and sexuality that was neither gratuitous or sheepish.
  69. JohnS.
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    Great movie gripping from start to finish, I liked the ending because it left you wondering and thinking about the characters.
  70. JenC.
    Nov 13, 2007
    10
    This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. I have never been so moved by a movie. Viggo Mortensen's performance was tremendous. There is absolutely no justice if he doesn't, at the very least, get an oscar nomination.
  71. JanE.
    Nov 21, 2007
    9
    A great story that includes a glimpse into Russian (mafia) culture, with the most brutal and raw fight scene in a movie ever...it's about the closest you'll ever come to experiencing a life or death situation. Amazing!! All characters are superb and well-acted. An excellent, albeit violent movie.
  72. AlexB
    Oct 14, 2007
    8
    A tremendous film by David Cronenberg. Viggo is amazing in the lead role. Minimalist yet intense action.
  73. ChadS.
    Oct 14, 2007
    8
    "Eastern Promises" is more than a crime film, more than an exercise in genre filmmaking, because London has never looked this seedy, never this down-and-dirty. Although "Eastern Promises" missteps in the final act(Nikolai(Viggo Mortensen) should act morally because he wants to; not because he has to), the film largely works, thanks to the malevolent charisma of Vincent Cassel(as Kirill) "Eastern Promises" is more than a crime film, more than an exercise in genre filmmaking, because London has never looked this seedy, never this down-and-dirty. Although "Eastern Promises" missteps in the final act(Nikolai(Viggo Mortensen) should act morally because he wants to; not because he has to), the film largely works, thanks to the malevolent charisma of Vincent Cassel(as Kirill) and the usually congenial Armin Mueller-Stahl, beautifully playing against type as a congenial scumbucket. The way Anna(Naomi Watts) is drawn into a subculture, formerly unbeknownst to her, reminded me of Lindsay Crouse's character in David Mamet's "House of Games". Too bad, "Eastern Promises" resorts to a conventional plot twist and turns into a Russian version of... Expand
  74. SamuelA.
    Dec 26, 2007
    7
    Not deserving of a score in the 80s, but a worthy watch nevertheless.
  75. DanB.
    Dec 29, 2007
    9
    Pretty darn good.
  76. MiKE
    Dec 31, 2007
    7
    Wow, I didnt expect this! The movie really sucked me! I am giving it a 7 due to the chessy ending. Overall a very good movie!!
  77. CharlesW.
    Dec 30, 2007
    10
    Amazing acting with a compelling script in a world of family, fear, heartache, and duality. Great movie
  78. BrianT.
    Sep 14, 2007
    2
    Do not believe the hype for this movie. It is crap. A rip off of The Godfather in every way.
  79. JackBurton
    Sep 16, 2007
    10
    Oh my GOD! A ripoff of The Godfather? This movie was fantastic. There are some pretty brutal scenes though. Really Brutal.
  80. VV
    Sep 23, 2007
    10
    What can I say - this movie is spectacular! The action was as realistic as can be. And lastly, Viggo Mortensen is one amazing actor. An Oscar performance!
  81. MLH
    Sep 28, 2007
    10
    Amazing! Viggo Mortensen is brilliant. An Oscar performance.
  82. JackT
    Sep 28, 2007
    10
    I finally saw David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," which is a dirty good time, and a few things struck me. Naomi Watts would have been the ideal woman for Alfred Hitchcock. She plays a British nurse looking the family of dead Russian girl amid the mob, and there's something less-than-classic about her face and modern about her independence. She's like this perfectly woven I finally saw David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," which is a dirty good time, and a few things struck me. Naomi Watts would have been the ideal woman for Alfred Hitchcock. She plays a British nurse looking the family of dead Russian girl amid the mob, and there's something less-than-classic about her face and modern about her independence. She's like this perfectly woven garment of emotional temperatures -- hot and cold all the time. The hot part has never come naturally to Nicole Kidman, who's got the mechanics of Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, and Tippi Hedren (chilly, cold, frozen). Watts evokes them in a more organically intelligent way. She seems to be feeling and thinking, especially in this movie, which requires her to be defensively tough and a little naive at the same time. Sorry I'm not making this entirely clear, but Cronenberg seems to get that Watts has an internal universe -- she's the Hitchcock heroine remixed. He also understands that Viggo Mortensen is the most sexually alive man not currently doing porn. Mortensen is one of those actors who gets more convincing, more soulful with age (he'll be 49 next month). Between this movie and "A History of Violence," Cronenberg really sees Mortensen as an intensely erotic figure (he plays a mob family's ornately tattooed driver). The movie purports to be about Russian gangsters in London, but like "A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" is more interesting for what's beneath the surfaces. And like the other movie, that usually culminates in some bundling of sex, violence, and Viggo. Here, there's a brawl in a bathhouse between Mortensen and two goons that's one of the most astounding fight sequences I've ever seen. Both the sexual context and Mortensen's nudity are neutralized - and yet unmistakably present. The grunting, slapping of flesh on the tiles, explosive exhalations, and brute force are more visceral than erotic (it's way more excruciating than it ever is arousing). And yet Cronenberg jokingly refuses to stop teasing us with the eroticism while astounding you with the brutality, the way a bloodied Mortensen crawls across bodies. It's loaded -- a brilliant, unspoken mini-essay on what movie violence can be and often essentially is: a bunch of dudes rolling around on the floor. Expand
  83. honey
    Sep 28, 2007
    10
    Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg strike gold (again) with Eastern Promises. It's an incredible character study and Viggo Mortensen delivers a fantastic turn as the complicated mobster associate. The violence didn't overtake the film at all, but when it did enter the scene, it was a provocative shock to the senses.
  84. GeorgeT.
    Nov 29, 2008
    0
    Just a complete, terrible piece of crap; a truly awful film.
  85. JHutch
    Jan 31, 2008
    9
    A haunting look into humanity.
  86. ng
    Feb 22, 2008
    6
    Being Russian myself I cannot say I enjoyed either their English or Russian accents. I appreciate the interest to my country but the fact of exchanging one cliche (involving balalaika, white bears and the same nonsense) to another (slammer country/slave export, etc.) does not seem very enlightening. Though the acting was nicely done it's the only enjoyable thing about this film. You Being Russian myself I cannot say I enjoyed either their English or Russian accents. I appreciate the interest to my country but the fact of exchanging one cliche (involving balalaika, white bears and the same nonsense) to another (slammer country/slave export, etc.) does not seem very enlightening. Though the acting was nicely done it's the only enjoyable thing about this film. You maybe want to get used to the odd Russian culture but please remember that this is just another fairy tale. Expand
  87. JayM.
    Apr 16, 2008
    10
    In Viggo Mortensen, David Cronenberg has found the perfect collaborator- not since James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock has a director and star so perfectly aligned to make such thrilling entertainments. On the heels of the perfectly realized A History of Violence, Eastern Promises more than delivers as a new take on the gangster genre. This is sumptuous, elegant filmmaking on the highest In Viggo Mortensen, David Cronenberg has found the perfect collaborator- not since James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock has a director and star so perfectly aligned to make such thrilling entertainments. On the heels of the perfectly realized A History of Violence, Eastern Promises more than delivers as a new take on the gangster genre. This is sumptuous, elegant filmmaking on the highest level, encompassing all that one can ask of cinema. Expand
  88. DiemP.
    Aug 14, 2008
    1
    [***SPOILER*ALERT*SPOILER*ALERT***} Where should I begin with this piece of crap?Are we to assume that the condition of the young woman (that was molested and drugged so many times) was of no interest to the London police?Why wasnt there a investigation to find out who/what caused the bruises and the needle piercings in her arms? Especially since -as it seems- these were the causes of her [***SPOILER*ALERT*SPOILER*ALERT***} Where should I begin with this piece of crap?Are we to assume that the condition of the young woman (that was molested and drugged so many times) was of no interest to the London police?Why wasnt there a investigation to find out who/what caused the bruises and the needle piercings in her arms? Especially since -as it seems- these were the causes of her death. And wasnt there an autopsy to reveal whether she was actually raped or in any way mistreated by someone? What a flop.And then Watts steals her journal and sets out on a quest to find out what happened.How stupid can you be?Why didnt she go to the police in the first place? The script is full of holes and it really doesnt make any sense... Moving on to the cliches...We have the spoiled good for nothing son of the mafia boss that is best friend with the #1 guy of the family.How original!!! Moreover, Cassel is always either drunk or pissed off with something and he never utters a sentence that makes sense. Next we have Mortensen, the cold-blooded mafia driver-killer-thug that -SPOILER- is actually an undercover agent of S.Yard ! My 8year old niece can write a better script! I'm surprised they didnt cast Bruce Willis in Mortensen's role! And last but not least the mafia boss who of course he runs a restaurant, he's an excellent cook and he commands an army of two! His son and his driver/bodyguard.We never get to see any other members of the Zakone brotherhood (some of them arrive for Mortensen's initiation into a higher rank but thats all). Also the initiation itself is quite funny since all they do is call his father a coward and his mother a wh*re, and thats it! He is accepted as a high ranking spawn of a spineless coward and a prostitute. Enjoy! Last, the scene at the baths gave us more than we actually wanted to see...I'm talking about Mortensen's little wiggling flopping willy. I could go on but I think I have made my point.Stay away from this movie like your life depends on it!!! I rate it with 1 because they actually had the ballz to write and shoot something that dreadfull... Expand
  89. Jan 9, 2011
    9
    Such a good film. I honestly think that Viggo Mortenson was robbed of an Oscar. Vincent Cassel was also very good as the smarthy, wormy Kirill. Naomi Watts wasn't awesome but Motensons performance more than made up for it. An excellently directed film and very well written.
  90. j30
    Nov 15, 2011
    9
    An uncompromising crime drama from David Cronenberg. This is an artist hitting his stride, first with History of Violence and now Eastern Promises. The film works both as an engaging drama and one hell of a thrill ride of a movie.
  91. Nov 23, 2011
    10
    a David Cronenberg masterpiece! Tough, blank and honest it gives the audience a good ( and pretty frightening) insight into the Russian Mafia, merciless and brutal crme gang. Going home after watching the movie one feels happy that it was just a movie.....
  92. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Featuring terrific performances from Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, and Naomi Watts, Eastern Promises is more than your typical crime/gangster film. Their Russian accents are very good and convincing, while their chemistry is also very noticeable. The performances are just one element of a very strong thriller directed by the always dependable David Cronenberg. The story itself is veryFeaturing terrific performances from Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, and Naomi Watts, Eastern Promises is more than your typical crime/gangster film. Their Russian accents are very good and convincing, while their chemistry is also very noticeable. The performances are just one element of a very strong thriller directed by the always dependable David Cronenberg. The story itself is very unique and developed, the characters are all very well-written and truly come to life on the screen. You feel like this is your neighorhood entirely. At times, it can definitely get a little graphic, but for example, one scene that is very bloody and graphic is so well shot and choreographed that you cannot really get mad at that excessive violence. As a whole, Eastern Promises is a very thrilling gangster film and while I kind of pieced together the ending, it is was still very interesting and really a nice little twist at the end that differentiates it from other gangster flicks. Expand
  93. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    Mortensen is fantastic here, and Naomi Watts could've been, but the way she was written brings limitations to the role. Overall, the film is excellent, but passes up on some opportunities that could've made it great.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. It’s engrossing, and Mueller-Stahl’s mix of Old World chivalry and murderousness is scarier than Jason and Freddy combined.
  2. 88
    In Eastern Promises, shot to envelop by the great Peter Suschitzky, Cronenberg brings us face to face with the horror of self.
  3. 70
    Cronenberg made a movie called “The Dead Zone,” and I sometimes wonder whether, for all his formal brilliance, he has ever torn himself away from that locked-in, airless state of mind. You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream.