User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31

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  1. May 27, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a semi-depressing Russian budget movie.
    Don't waste the 2 hours, as you won't get it back.

    90% of the movie the people are silent, and nothing happens. That's because there is nothing to do in the plot. BTW, here's the plot: - a retired couple of an old dude-former banker and a lady-nurse, each have kids on a side from previous marriages. Neither of the kids is doing anything useful with their lives, but just want money from the banker. The banker reluctantly them some money, but is puzzled as to why the kids (who are pushing 30s) won't start working themselves. The nurse's kid wants much more money for his own kid, but the banker is reluctant.

    The nurse kills the banker by overdosing him with Viagra, and gives the money to her kid, who moves into the banker's apartment and slips in his bed.

    The morale that the director wanted to convey - being a mother is more important than being a wife.

    While the director is trying to portray the nurse as the caring mother, the truth is that she is the killer and is actually a bad character.

    I'm just puzzled as to why other people gave positive reviews here - just wasted my 2 hours. Thank's God I watched the movie for free, otherwise I'd request my money back.

    Time though - that I won't get back ..., unfortunately.

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Oct 17, 2012
    Backed by a sparing Philip Glass score, Elena eloquently shows how, in modern Russia, even family relationships are at the mercy of business.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 12, 2012
    It's a sort of slow-boil Russian noir, if that genre exists, and if it doesn't, it does now. It's also a statement on class discrepancy in post-Soviet Russia. Arrogance, betrayal, crime and violence are all part of the story, directed and co-written by Andrei Zvyagintsev.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 11, 2012
    Shoot this film in black and white and cast Barbara Stanwyck as Elena, and you'd have a 1940s classic.