The Return Image
Metascore
82

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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 34 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. Enriched by allusions to biblical stories of fathers, sons, and sacrifices, subtly woven into the movie's moodily photographed fabric.
  2. 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.
  3. 90
    The true mystery is the journey itself, which will turn out to be one of the most spiritually enervating, and elevating, Outward Bound courses ever undertaken.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Filmed with a cold, poetic beauty, The Return slowly strips away motivation until it arrives at a place of myth both private and oddly universal.
  5. 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.
  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. 50
    Strip away the portentous style and lush views of nature in The Return and all you've got is a slender nightmare of a family gone haywire in an outing that turns into survival camp.

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. Collapse

See all 17 User Reviews