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. RetteB.
    Mar 22, 2004
    10
    Stylistically near to perfect, reminiscent of Tarkovski, Bergman, Antonioni, et al. Storyline in multiple layers, with, amongst other, bliblical, psychological, political and social dimensions very symbolical, yet very natural and convincing acting + storyline very well chosen symbols etc... about living, dying, growing up, fathers and sons, siblings, the bible, moral questions (but rare Stylistically near to perfect, reminiscent of Tarkovski, Bergman, Antonioni, et al. Storyline in multiple layers, with, amongst other, bliblical, psychological, political and social dimensions very symbolical, yet very natural and convincing acting + storyline very well chosen symbols etc... about living, dying, growing up, fathers and sons, siblings, the bible, moral questions (but rare answers). Expand
  2. Novalis
    May 7, 2004
    10
    A superb and richly evocative film. All of the elements (including the beautiful musical score) work together to produce an engrossing experience.
  3. ChadS.
    Jun 30, 2004
    8
    A road trip, especially a movie about one, in which its travellers are an absentee father and his two sons, can be a feel-good, bury-the-hatchet so we can bond love-fest, or it can be a psychological thriller that ends with the hatchet buried in the father, because the boys weren't aware they were being kidnapped. "The Return" isn't like that, I think. The father is a bastard, A road trip, especially a movie about one, in which its travellers are an absentee father and his two sons, can be a feel-good, bury-the-hatchet so we can bond love-fest, or it can be a psychological thriller that ends with the hatchet buried in the father, because the boys weren't aware they were being kidnapped. "The Return" isn't like that, I think. The father is a bastard, but not a big one (or is he just simmering?) and the kid that looks like Haley Joel Osment, but Russian, is whiny, and something of a wuss. There seems to be an awareness of Hollywood formula when the father pursues Vanya (the wuss) up a water tower. In another context, this episode is the climax to a psychological thriller. What ensues, is surprising. When the film is over, you're almost sure the film ended tragically, but the director had created ambiguity by not telling us anything about the father's past, so it's not a closed issue. Is he an antagonist? "The Return" is so subtle, so devoid of the big gesture, everything is open to debate. Expand
  4. 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 return is extremely well done. The unfolding of the story and its resolution drew me in completely. A film very much worth seeing.
  5. Kaido
    Mar 14, 2004
    10
    Best russian movie I have ever seen...it really makes me think.
  6. NikosK.
    Mar 22, 2004
    9
    A real gem from Russia. Excitement of senses at its best!
  7. Remy
    Aug 13, 2004
    10
    Beau Travail, The Son, In the Mood for Love, Adaptation... all masterpieces. The Return trounces them on all levels. The first true classic of the new millenium.
  8. juditb.
    Mar 17, 2005
    10
    Great psichology. It shows a unbalanced relationship between the father and the younger son. Perhaps the father should have had built a strong relationship with his sons before going to the trip. The trip itself was very educational for the youg boys but it also indicated a cover-up from their father that gave a negative impression about him.
  9. CliffL.
    Feb 17, 2004
    9
    A subtle, engrossing Russian film that deserves wider distribution.
  10. NormN.
    Aug 16, 2004
    10
    Lyrical, poignant, powerful. Superb film making; works on many levels.
  11. CitizenKhan
    May 11, 2006
    9
    Truly tense and emotionally riveting.
  12. BillH.
    Nov 27, 2007
    10
    Brilliant and beautiful moving film.
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.