User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 213 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 213

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  1. Apr 13, 2011
    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 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.
  2. Mar 20, 2011
    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.
  3. Jan 9, 2011
    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.
  4. j30
    Nov 15, 2011
    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.
  5. Nov 23, 2011
    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.....
  6. May 22, 2013
    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.
  7. Aug 27, 2014
    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 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
  8. Nov 15, 2012
    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.

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.