The Return

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40

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User Reviews

  1. 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 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 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
  2. EthanP.
    Feb 26, 2005
    5
    Excellent, excellent, excellent direction. It takes someone with unimaginable vision to make such an uneventful story remotely interesting. There is nothing "riveting" or "stunning" or viscerally powerful at all beyond the deeper implications of the visuals and minor movements (which are aplenty). Basic characters. Minimal story. Lacks tension, motivation, compulsion. These are Excellent, excellent, excellent direction. It takes someone with unimaginable vision to make such an uneventful story remotely interesting. There is nothing "riveting" or "stunning" or viscerally powerful at all beyond the deeper implications of the visuals and minor movements (which are aplenty). Basic characters. Minimal story. Lacks tension, motivation, compulsion. These are malfunctions in the screenplay (though probably intentional). Ambiguous or not, it's an incomplete movie. Expand
  3. StevenH
    Aug 30, 2004
    5
    Yes, it's well-acted and beautifully shot but I'm afraid the careful ambiguity of it all frustrated me so much I couldn't enjoy it. I agree with Mark L.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    Constructed like an eerie, metaphorical thriller, this tense, riveting character study offers viewers nearly two hours of emotions with a stunning pay-off no one will be expecting.
  3. With exceptional performances and extraordinary imagery, Zvyagintsev has fashioned a remarkable first feature.