Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Watch On
  1. 60
    Packed with melodrama, and often it works in the passionate, easy-to-watch manner of an old-fashioned "woman's film."
  2. 60
    Wargnier has assembled a stellar French and Russian cast, but all that talent can't overcome his heavy-handed screenplay.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Too often caught between trying to be a sweeping period drama and intimate love story at the same time, with a script that's never fully satisfying on either count.
  4. Wargnier directs his French historical drama, a foreign film Oscar nominee, in a way that allows little perspective on the extent of Stalinist cruelty; even when terrible things happen, they do so sedately.
  5. It is well-made in an old-fashioned way, and its straight-arrow lack of cynicism may be old- fashioned as well.
  6. Although it's interesting and well-performed, East-West never locates its crux: It's all over the map.
  7. Wargnier chooses a sweeping title and a sweeping topic, then turns everything into half-baked melodrama, heavy on over-the-top emotion but light on subtlety and ideas.
  8. 50
    By the time the movie ends, having traversed numerous plot twists and character revelations, the viewer is emotionally drained in a bittersweet sort of way.
  9. 40
    Director Regis Warginer ("Indochine") lets his film degenerate into a turgid melodrama.
  10. 40
    Stodgy storytelling and a hyperbolic score reduce their experiences to melodrama.
  11. 40
    Wargnier is also a lousy storyteller who seems not to understand how to shape a narrative.
  12. 40
    The film looks great, but Wargnier is so heavy-handed in his portrayal of postwar Russia that it casts suspicions on the film's reliability as history.

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