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Stalker (1979)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 0

Stalker is a complex, oblique parable that draws unforgettable images and philosophical musings from its sci-fi/thriller setting.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0

Stalker is a complex, oblique parable that draws unforgettable images and philosophical musings from its sci-fi/thriller setting.



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Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 22,937

My Rating

Movie Info

Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker, an allegorical science fiction film like his earlier Solaris, was adapted from the novel Picnic by the Roadside by brothers Boris Strugatsky and Arkady Strugatsky. The film follows three men -- the Scientist (Nikolai Grinko), the Writer (Anatoliy Solonitsyn), and the Stalker (Alexander Kaidanovsky) -- as they travel through a mysterious and forbidden territory in the Russian wilderness called the "Zone." In the Zone, nothing is what it seems. Objects

Oct 15, 2002

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

Tarkovsky realizes the allegorical tale with an overwhelming density of visual detail ...

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not an easy film, but almost certainly a great one.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tarkovsky conjures images like you've never seen before; and as a journey to the heart of darkness, it's a good deal more persuasive than Coppola's.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stalker, a somber futuristic fantasy from the Soviet Union, attempts to build an apocalyptic vision out of the most impoverished materials imaginable.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Directed by Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky with the same unearthly visual style, and the same mingled concern with technology and psychology, that he showed in his towering 'Solaris' a few years ago.

May 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Andrei Tarkovsky's epic inquiry into freedom and faith presents an arduous journey for the spectator, but conjures up its own mystical universe with majestic conviction.

April 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Seminal feature from Tarkovsky, the master of atmosphere and multi-functional allegory is truly affecting, as well as fodder for countless film studies curricula.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Powerful and haunting sci-fi parable imbued by Tarkovsky with a multi-layered visual resonance and, despite its stately pace, raw emotional impact.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

There is no easy watching to be gained here, but nor is this a hard slog -- each scene is beautifully crafted, painting a vivid and fascinating picture of Tarkovsky's vision.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Visually unforgettable and possibly Tarkovsky's finest work.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A vast prose-poem on celluloid whose forms and ideas were to be borrowed by moviemakers like Lynch and Spielberg.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian

[It] has enough hauntingly beautiful images and profound ideas to linger in one's mind.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The focus is solely on the internalized motives of these characters. Despite this, Stalker remains a lucidly visual film.

November 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

I found the overall atmosphere, benign but potentially dangerous, far more stimulating and imaginative than a sci-fi story entirely spelled out for us.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A tangled knot of memories, fears, fantasies, nightmares, paradoxical impulses, and a yearning for something that's simultaneously beyond our reach and yet intrinsic to every one of us.

April 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The film is only as good as what the individual brings to it.

June 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Tarkovsky majestically creates through editing rather than special effects the unstable universe of the Zone, and amidst the grime and the destruction, summons up moments of pure magic.

March 13, 2005 Full Review Source:

Tarkovsky's allegory's imagery will sere its nightmare images into the deepest, darkest corners of your subconscious.

February 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinemania

More obviously a metaphorical construct than Tarkovsky's Solaris, and as a result, a bit less emotionally satisfying.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Stalker

My least favorite Tarkovsky thus far. So talky, so ambivalent, so... dull.

I really should afford this a second and third chance as I was stuck reading the subtitles most of the first viewing. I do not relish the thought.
January 29, 2009

Super Reviewer

Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is a brilliant film that I would rank among his very finest works. This is my third film I've seen of his, and aside from the previous two, Andrei Roublev and Solaris, Solaris being my most favorite of his films; I would say that this is my second favorite. Brilliantly crafted, Tarkovsky always brought a subtle, yet engaging touch in the way he made his movies, and that's what I love most about his work. With the other pictures that I've seen, he would tell simple, yet grand stories, evoki9ng a sense of storytelling that was reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick in a way. In fact, I would describe him as the Russian Kubrick. Stalker is a great movie that seems a bit bleak, but is very captivating, as it is shot beautiful black and white, which adds a melancholic surrealistic atmosphere to the tone of movie. Clearly, Tarkovsky tried to capture a certain vibe, and you feel it here. If you love foreign cinema that are breathtaking in scope, films that make you think, and has a simple, yet very good premise, this is a film not to miss. After Solaris, is Tarkovsky's second greatest work, and it's a film that resonates with the human consciousness. This is a superb movie, a flawless piece of cinema, and one of the finest movies that I had the pleasure to watch. Watching more and more of Andrei Tarkovsky's body of work, you begin to realize how great he was at telling superb stories with brilliant performances and incredible direction. His films are works of art, and with Stalker, this is a journey that is worth taking as we travel with the two characters as they travel in search of what they're looking for. This is simply put, filmmaking at its very best, and if you love exceptionally well crafted cinema, then you ought to watch this phenomenal film. The film is long, but it never feels boring because there is just so much in the film that you never realize how long it is. The film is a journey, one that makes you think, and it's a masterwork from a director who has constantly crafted truly superb pictures. Andrei Tarkovsky is one of the rare filmmakers whose filmography is flawless because he hasn't made one bad movie.
May 30, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Dazed, shaken and poignantly moved. Mesmerizing, not by the magnetic scenery itself, but by own thought.
August 22, 2013
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

one of the most dreadfully boring fucking things i think ive seen this year. and it really doesn't help to know that this shit is two and a half hours long. it was like watching a boring person watching a PBS documentary on how slugs fall asleep in the winter, and the guy who is watching doesn't even muster up enough sarcasm to make prickish comments about it. not even a "fucking gay slugs.." he just sits there in his Lazy Boy and nods with a face like hes thinking real hard about what hes seeing. thats how i felt about this shit.
May 19, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Stalker: Passion is the friction between one's soul and the outside world.
    – Submitted by Alexander R (2 years ago)
    1. Stalker: Weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it's tender and pliant. But when it's dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death's companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.
    – Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
    1. Stalker's Wife: I love your eyes, my darling friend, their play so light and brightening. When a sudden stare up you send, and like a heaven-blown lightning, it'd take in all from end to end. But there's nothing more that I admire; your eyes when they are downcast. In bursts of love inspired fire, and through the eyelash goes fast - a longing, dull call of desire.
    – Submitted by Christopher M (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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