Battleship Potemkin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Battleship Potemkin Reviews

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October 15, 2015
Is it a technical masterpiece of yesterday? Yes. Does it hold up today? Absolutely not. But, at just over an hour in length, watching "Battleship Potemkin" is no big commitment, especially for the film buffs to whom it should already be a must-see.
½ April 22, 2014
Another film from Eisenstein with improved narrative, slightly more entertainment value, and the same nature in being masterfully influential and not being pretty. (B)

(Full review coming soon)
October 7, 2015
I really find it hard to describe Battleship Potemkin because it's just a film that just wows you over before you can even stop to think about it, a technical masterpiece with a genuinely thrilling plot. The story takes place in June of 1905 on the battleship well Potemkin, we see the crew of the ship are not so happy and they are revolted by the standards they have and so they stick up for themselves and when fellow crew members are nearly killed by their own officers, it seems quite the time for the crew to get up and fight. It is a dramatized version of true events but this movie really pumps up the workers as complete heroes, I mean this movie is Soviet propaganda through and through, but it's superbly well made even if it is.

The man behind this perfectly crafted motion picture is Sergei Eisenstein who directs this in a way which even when it's going very slow still manages to either be thrilling or throw in some kind of thing to make it so amazing. I think what he also does is create a movie that isn't just for critics to feast their eyes on, this can be enjoyed by anyone I swear and it's actually a genuinely exciting kind of movie, although I would always watch a few silent movies beforehand so that you get the right feel of this. What Eisenstein also does is bring in all the crafts that make up a film and creates an art piece, one that's cameras are perfectly working, editing is finely tuned, dialogue (even for a silent movie) is great and then utilises production design especially in the famous "Odessa Steps" scene where the outfits and the general look of the scene looks amazing.

This is so often placed on the lists that people compile with the greatest movies and for good reason, the reasons become even more so when you consider this was made in 1925 and it is silent, but you never truly think about that and this doesn't seem to have aged at all, in fact other than the cast the only expired thing is the Soviet Union. Yet again it is Eisenstein who makes it ageless, I felt he just knew what he wanted and did it, made a film that although is made for a certain political position, can still entertain no matter what your views on politics.

I feel that again those steps are like come on, I mean those boots are just a brilliant cinematic piece. The scene is one that is thrilling yet also oddly touching with a little added darkness (well OK make that quite a bit). The choreography of the entire scene is marvellous too with the enormous cast to run and fall down it not only makes it incredible to see but you'd think also really dangerous! Don't watch this just for this scene I mean this has sublime scenes elsewhere, take for example the ending which of course I won't spoil but when you think one thing it does something else and builds you up until you are really excited to see what happens next.

I think that if you consider this not your kind of film then think again, this isn't a movie that should only be shown in history classes or film studying lectures, it's a movie that should be seen because it is entertaining but also technically a film of flawless dimensions. Yes feast in what Soviet cinema has to offer and maybe you might like it quite a bit, in fact you might even be accustomed to raising a red flag above your house even if the neighbour calls you a commie.
September 29, 2015
A movie in constant motion, whether that be crawling, shooting, or a baby carriage rolling down the Odessa Stes. Or masses of an unordered crowd contrasted with the precision of a military rand and file. Or the motions of the red (truly red) in the film. It is in motion continually, but Eisenstein weaves this into the film so that you don't feel the movement, but rather feel the excitement.
½ August 15, 2015
Fantastic editing, great acting, and beautiful cinematography. Sergei Eisentein's film about the uprising of 1905 was a masterpiece.
July 22, 2015
A film which this year celebrates it's 90th birthday has been frequently cited among the greatest of all time, and has occasionally occupied the top slot on such lists. As a propaganda film it shamelessly depicts its antagonists as cruel snobs who care nothing for those below themselves, and gives them no redeeming features whatsoever. Most of them don't even have names. Without paying even close attention, many of the technical cracks are plain to see. It's integration of stock footage and even cutaway shots to what looks like a toy ship floating in a tub of water against a grey backdrop seem especially silly by today's standards, but what still holds up are its themes and morals. Much like The Bicycle Thief, another masterpiece, simple human desires, in this case the craving for liberation and fair treatment, appear small at first, but the film cleverly amplifies them to the point where you can feel them in every moment. The Odessa Step sequence, a scene that bears the drool marks of film historians and directors the world over, still holds up very well, existing as a hallmark of directing, camera-work, editing and stark, often brutal imagery. It's not the kind of film you would watch on a regular basis, especially if entertainment is all you seek, but with ever-relevant themes, a stirring musical score and surprising tension and emotional heft, Battleship Potemkin is rightly regarded as a piece of seminal cinema.
July 19, 2015
A masterpiece of international cinema, I hadn't seen this film school, do it was great to revisit it on Blu-Ray. Such a great film, it ushered in editing techniques that are now just standard part of cinema, but were incentive for their time, the "Odessa Steps" scene is a great example, and it was paid tribute to by Brian DePalma in"The Untouchables". This film needs to be seen by all serious film fans!
½ November 2, 2013
A technical masterpiece indeed, but an uninspired story filled with types.
August 25, 2013
A hugely hyped film by real film critics however, I tend to rate my films based on how much I enjoyed watching it rather than how influencial and ground-breaking a film might have been back in the 1920's. Obviously, to see such an old Russian film about revolution, albeit over a few maggots, is still interesting but I didn't take an awful lot from this film unfortunately.
June 20, 2015
groundbreaking and grippingly shot.
June 6, 2015
Like "Birth of a Nation," the Russian silent film "Battleship Potemkin" is pure propaganda, but fortunately doesn't have the level of racism of the former. What it does have is incredible camerawork, huge set pieces, melodrama, and tension. The massacre of civilians on the Odessa Steps is especially well shot, with a variety of closeups and long shots, as well as panning shots following the soldiers and their hail of bullets down the stairs. The scenes are shocking, violent, melodramatic, and gigantic in scope.

The plot/history reenactment is relatively simple: sailors refuse to eat the borscht full of rancid, maggot infested meat. When the officers decide to make an example of several sailors, the sailors rise up against them and take over the ship, just as revolution begins to spread across Russia.
April 27, 2015
Hands down one of the greatest films ever made. A true masterpiece.
October 2, 2009
An adequate propaganda film with one great scene (the Odessa steps), that actually occurred several years prior to the Potemkin incident. Trendsetting in how movies were (and are) made, but not a great movie by today's standards.
March 28, 2015
I'm not going to lie, I did not enjoy this. I appreciate the importance of the film and the enormous steps it took for early cinema but wow, I was so excited for it to be over. Obviously the context of the film is incredibly important, and it is vital to note that this is a propaganda film. That being said, there aren't really characters. It's like there were just two: the people and the soldiers. The stair scene is just as legendary as it is hailed to be. Halfway through it I noticed my jaw was dropped open as much as possible. I've been watching early films lately and I must say that the violence is shocking. It's not especially graphic or even realistically performed, but the reasons they have to start fighting and the quickness of it was jarring. These soldiers just gunning down civilians was incredibly disturbing and I can't believe that that is a thing that happened, and continues to happen. There were a lot of creative angles and techniques used, absolutely. Just the way the story was told left me guessing a lot. Wasn't a lot of build-up to action, it was just suddenly inaction to action- and since I didn't know what was going on all the time, it was really confusing. Just not a format I'm used to, but I'm working on it.

There were so many points where I was like "okay, I GET IT" like so many repetitive shots and close-ups held for far too long. There were a lot of shots that should have been cut shorter because it would continue on even after the characters were mostly out of frame. There was one scene where two people walk away and the scene keeps going until all we can see is their ankles and I was like, "ok, what do these ankles symbolize" Just kidding, haha, I mean I can't knock this film too much because it's truly an important part of the foundation of modern cinema, and these guys were out there with nothing but ideas and some film equipment. They didn't have film schools, they didn't have movies to watch and study, they didn't have books about filmmaking. I do appreciate this movie's contribution to film but I did not have a good time watching this film. The story didn't do it for me and the shooting style was extremely frustrating to watch. The stair scene is worth a viewing, but I don't intend to watch this again. Not sure why any government would endorse/pay for this, but I'll never pretend to understand Russia.

Did I enjoy it? No
Do I ever want to see it again? No
Do I ever want to include it in my own collection? No

Bye love you
-Jessie Carlson
½ March 1, 2015
Everything would be great unless it's comiunism propaganda.
December 26, 2014
A True Russian masterpiece.
September 25, 2014
A riveting example of energized and intense film editing. This is a great example of how an entire story can be told with powerful images and creative editing in place of pointless or obvious dialogue that reiterates what is already being shown. The tension of the final scene of the Potemkin plowing through the waters towards its supposed doom at the hands of the admiral's squadron is masterful to say the least.
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2009
Loses pace after the Odessa Steps sequence, but up to then it's marvellous.
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