Eastern Promises (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Eastern Promises (2007)



Critic Consensus: David Cronenberg triumphs again, showcasing the Viggo Mortensen's onscreen prowess in a daring performance. Bearing the trademarks of psychological drama and gritty violence, Eastern Promises is a very compelling crime story.

Movie Info

Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London's most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon, whose courtly charm as the proprietor of the plush Trans-Siberian restaurant masks a cold and brutal core, the family's fortunes are tested by Semyon's volatile son and enforcer, Kirill, who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father. But Nikolai's existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try to trace the baby's lineage and relatives. Anna's mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna's irascible Russian-born uncle Stepan urges caution. By delving into the diary, Anna accidentally unleashes the full fury of the Vory. With Semyon and Kirill closing ranks and Anna pressing her inquiries, Nikolai finds his loyalties divided. The family tightens its grip on him; who can, or should, he trust? Several lives--including his own--hang in the balance as a chain of murder, deceit and retribution reverberates through the darkest corners of both the family and London itself.more
Rating: R (for strong brutal and bloody violence, some graphic sexuality, language and nudity)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Steven Knight
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 23, 2007
Box Office: $17.1M
Focus Features - Official Site


Raza Jaffrey
as Doctor Aziz
Lalita Ahmed
as Customer
Badi Uzzaman
as Chemist
Tatiana Maslany
as Tatiana's Voice
Lillibet Langley
as Violin Girl
Mia Soteriou
as Azim's Wife
Mia Soterious
as Azim's Wife
Radoslaw Kaim
as Head Waiter
Rad Kaim
as Head Waiter
Rhodri Miles
as Senior Officer
Rhodri Wyn Miles
as Senior Officer
Tereza Srbova
as Kirilenko
Elisa Lasowski
as Prostitute
Alice Henley
as Prostitute
David Papava
as Chechen
Tamer Hassan
as Chechen
Gergo Danka
as Junior Waiter
Mike Sarne
as Valery
Boris Isarov
as Russian Boss
Boris Isarvo
as Russian Boss
Yuri Klimov
as Russian Boss
Olegario Fedoro
as Tattooist
Olegar Fedoro
as Tattooist
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Eastern Promises

Critic Reviews for Eastern Promises

All Critics (194) | Top Critics (40)

Quite possibly the best film of the year, it is to be seen at all costs.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

David Cronenberg's spin on "The Departed," in which lawmen and the lawless were similarly tested within an ethnic mafia's ranks. But where that became an overwrought bloodbath, "Promises" maintained a vicious focus on mob malevolence and personal peril.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

"It starts very well, and we're immediately drawn into this world of dead pregnant teens, the Russian mob, the hermeneutics of tattoos and the archetypal disappointment of a father with his son."

Full Review… | September 2, 2010

A captivating and intimidating presence, Mortenson is simply striking in his consecutive Cronenberg film, playing the slick Russian mob figure who suffers from a crisis of conscience with equal parts calm and intensity.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Clearly a companion piece to (and just as good as, if not better than) 2005's fantastic A History of Violence, Eastern Promises is all about blood, in the familial as well as the literal sense.

Full Review… | June 10, 2010

Even if the frequently low-key plot suffers from the occasional sleepy stretch, Mortensen turns in a magnificent performance.

Full Review… | October 23, 2009

Audience Reviews for Eastern Promises

David Cronenberg being more famous for his body horror films crafts this stunning, riveting thriller with dramatic overtones. With a brilliant cast of actors, Cronenberg does a great job at crafting a stunning picture that proves that he is able to make something other than a horror film. I thought that this film was a far superior film than A History of Violence, which I couldn't get into. The film has a very good story that is complimented by the performances of its actors, and it's a movie that is steadily paced and takes it's time for the story to unfold, therefore it's a movie that you are invested it more often than not because you are hooked at will happen next. Cronenberg's direction is immaculate and he crafts a fine picture with Eastern Promises. This is a solid film that is sure to please fans of Cronenberg's work, even if it's not a horror film, which is what he's most famous for, Eastern Promises is a taut, exciting picture that steadily unravels before you, and you simply cannot look away as it's truly an intriguing picture from start to finish. With memorable performances from its cast, especially that of Viggo Mortensen in a finely tuned performance that is menacing, cold blooded, this ranks also as one of his most intense yet. Eastern Promises is a visceral Thriller that is both brutal and beautiful in the sense that what Cronenberg has created here is simply a superb piece of cinema. If you have a taste for something different, and love David Cronenberg, then you're sure going to enjoy this film. Everything that is presented on-screen is near perfection, and it ranks among Cronenberg's most memorable films in the last few years.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A solid gangster film with some fresh (and some cliched) messages. Viggo Mortensen has an intriguingly reserved performance that added a great deal to the film's effectiveness. Definitely worth seeing, even if it lacks some of the punch that the typical gangster film delivers.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

I think a tension in the atmosphere is what was missing from this flickr,still though ,due to the story line can keep you interested.

Eliza Norton

Super Reviewer

Eastern Promises Quotes

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