The Return Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: In contemporary Russia young brothers Vanya and Andrey have grown a deep attachment to each other to make up for their fatherless childhood. They are shocked to discover their father has returned after a twelve year absence. With their mother's uneasy blessing Vanya and Andrey set out onIn contemporary Russia young brothers Vanya and Andrey have grown a deep attachment to each other to make up for their fatherless childhood. They are shocked to discover their father has returned after a twelve year absence. With their mother's uneasy blessing Vanya and Andrey set out on what they believe will be a fishing vacation with their taciturn father. (Kino International) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. The Russian film The Return is a stunning contemporary fable about a divided family in the wilderness - a simple, riveting film that almost achieves greatness.
  2. 100
    While most films are fortunate if they succeed on any level, The Return works easily on several, making as powerful a mark emotionally as it does visually and even allegorically. Yet the film so catches you up in its compelling story, you're almost not aware of how masterful a piece of cinema you're watching.
  3. 90
    At once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). The Return announces the arrival of a major new talent.
  4. 88
    Vladimir Garin and Ivan Dobronravov are amazingly natural as the boys, and Konstantin Lavronenko impresses as the taciturn father.
  5. The hurt and rage flying back and forth have primal power, like Russian-flavored Eugene O'Neill. It's rare for a movie to work as effectively as this one does on such parallel tracks.
  6. 75
    It is a Kafkaesque story, in which ominous things follow one another with a certain internal logic but make no sense at all.
  7. Still, it never quite realizes the oneiric quality because, paradoxically, of its best achievement--the performances of the two boys. They are vital, insistent. Their beings contradict the dreaminess and make us ask the questions mentioned above.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. BillH.
    Nov 27, 2007
    10
    Brilliant and beautiful moving film.
  2. DanC.
    Oct 6, 2005
    9
    I found it amazingly compelling. The simultaneous dread and wonder that the boys experience in the first scenes after their father's I found it amazingly compelling. The simultaneous dread and wonder that the boys experience in the first scenes after their father's return is extremely well done. The unfolding of the story and its resolution drew me in completely. A film very much worth seeing. Expand
  3. CitizenKhan
    May 11, 2006
    9
    Truly tense and emotionally riveting.
  4. DavidH.
    Mar 21, 2007
    4
    Well-acted, but the screenplay is elliptical and implausible (I know Russians aren't exactly well reputed for their manners or social Well-acted, but the screenplay is elliptical and implausible (I know Russians aren't exactly well reputed for their manners or social skills, but fathers don't walk in on their kids for the firs time in 12 years by surprise without telling them where they've or what they've done). The story arc of the dad returning to hoping resolve an existential crisis in his children and to teach them about individual responsibility is his hammered home in an obvious fashion that doesn't hold up for two hour, halfway through which I lost all interest. The direction and photography are affected and pretentious. Zvyagentsev appears to fancy himself as a kind of post-Soviet era Tarksovsky, but lacks the imagination or human insight of the said director. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews