The Cuckoo


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

Critic Reviews

  1. A stirring action movie -- in the international manner of ''The Fast Runner'' or ''No Man's Land."
  2. It's an unabashed pacifist movie that really works, emotionally and dramatically.
  3. The movie overextends a patch of folk mysticism toward the end and then adds a silly whimsical coda, but as a comedy of errors it's often hilarious.
  4. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Charming, smart and funny.
  5. A wondrous, funny and moving little film.
  6. It's a whimsical tale of war and redemption, of faith, hope and even some charity...It's quite a treat, as a matter of fact.
  7. A pleasant, often beautiful, and surprisingly light-hearted film that affirms the human traits of resilience and intelligence while clearly denouncing the bellicose tendencies of nations and factions.
  8. 75
    The two male actors are very good, but Juuso is particularly amusing and touching as the earthy heroine.
  9. A comedy of miscommunication that blends the humanism of Jean Renoir, the magic of Jean Cocteau and the absurdism of Eugene Ionesco.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The Cuckoo is smart enough to steer away from allegory and into the specific every chance it gets, though -- so much so that when the film finally does slip the mortal coil, you still hang with it.
  11. 75
    The film has its charm, mostly found in its lead characters, who engage in harmless hijinks due to their language and cultural differences.
  12. 75
    Simple and austere, The Cuckoo also draws from the mysticism of tales of gnomes and other creatures who inhabit remote Nordic lands. It is that blend of reality with allegory that delivers the film's beauty and charm.
  13. Juuso, who made her film debut at 22 in this movie, is spunky and funny. The two guys play off each other like bickering old pals, and so they are: They and the director have worked together on three movies and a TV show over the last decade.
  14. 70
    There are subtitles to reduce everything to simple English declarative sentences. This gives the viewer a decidedly unfair advantage over the characters: we can understand what they cannot and are invited to laugh at their mutual incomprehension.
  15. A rare bird indeed -- a disarming, appealingly modest discovery, beautifully shot, nicely performed. Perched on the knife's edge of absurdity, the story at once embraces the large questions (who is the enemy and why) and shrugs them off with a laugh.
  16. 70
    Though it gets far too cute, The Cuckoo settles into the snappy rhythms of a promising sitcom pilot, at least until Rogozhkin decides to get serious.
  17. 67
    The performances are solid, and Juuso has a particular charisma. The actors do a commendable job of revealing unimagined layers to their initially one-note roles.
  18. A beautifully shot, modest little fable about the misunderstandings between people.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ng
    Well-intentioned but sugarcoated anti-war allegory.
  20. 60
    Recalls the structure of Danis Tanovic's 2001 black comedy, "No Man's Land," but not that film' hyperknowing urbanity or strident political savvy.
  21. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Lushly photographed by Andrei Zhegalov and impeccably played, it’s a long-overdue corrective to the kind of wildly patriotic war film produced in the Soviet era.
  22. 50
    What begins as a gripping adventure, thrillingly told with virtually no dialogue, eventually becomes a rather routine parable despite the unique setting and circumstances.
  23. This situation hardly provides a clever or original metaphor for the failures of communication that perennially plague the human race, but the drama's heart is in the right place.
  24. Rogozhkin's hard, hands-on directing technique and the physicality of all three actors are--or could be--impressive, but they are swamped here in a sea of ideological mush.
  25. By the time you've worked through the allegorical implications, you may be wondering why you didn't just go see "Charlie's Angels."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 22, 2011
    Perfection! Incredibly great! One of my top 10 movies of all time. Presents us with a completely foreign culture, and two others at war withPerfection! Incredibly great! One of my top 10 movies of all time. Presents us with a completely foreign culture, and two others at war with each other. They don't understand each other. Wait, but they do. After all, we are all human. Full Review »
  2. Nov 15, 2010