Eastern Promises Reviews

Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
October 24, 2007
Slightly hesitant, slightly undercharacterised and gently compromising, hybrid: an oddly diplomatic, if often brutal, dip into the hellish demi-mondes lurking behind bouncer-guarded London doorways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 1, 2007
It's just too bad Eastern Promises, on the whole, promises more than it delivers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 22, 2007
Here is an excellent crime thriller made with grown-ups in mind.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
September 21, 2007
...manages to blend the clashing of cultures, family resentment, ugly heritage and the unlikely promise of new life without going in circles.
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 21, 2007
Eastern Promises is a straightforward, straight-up Russian gangster movie whose primary achievement is making the Russian gangster underworld feel exotic and menacing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 21, 2007
...Eastern Promises is as honorable an entertainment as it is a humbling work of art.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
September 20, 2007
Suffice it to say it's a bit of primal brutality that lays bare the animal in each of us, fighting to survive.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 20, 2007
It's a mouthful of blood with a vodka chaser.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
September 20, 2007
Eastern Promises is a subtle and precisely calibrated work of astonishing cumulative power.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
September 19, 2007
I cannot easily recommend these delights to everyone, but my high regard for Mr. Cronenberg's stylistic virtues remains largely undiminished.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
September 15, 2007
Cronenberg has become such an assured director that it's a pleasure to sit back and hand yourself over to his sick and singular vision.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 15, 2007
[A] chilly, masterful thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 15, 2007
[Viggo Mortensen] lends a moral complexity to Eastern Promises that makes it much more than just a very accomplished action thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 15, 2007
If you don't mind bloodshed and are drawn to taut thrillers with fascinating characters portrayed skillfully, Eastern Promises is just the ticket.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
September 15, 2007
This is Mortensen and Cronenberg's second collaboration -- the first was A History of Violence -- and it's turning into a beautiful friendship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 14, 2007
A movie whose images and implications are likely to stay in your head for a long time.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
September 14, 2007
An engrossing, politically conscious thriller with superior acting that doesn't reveal how little it's up to until it whiffs to a close.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 14, 2007
[Cronenberg's] most straightforward and accessible movie since The Fly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 14, 2007
Eastern Promises is the first must-see adult film of the young fall.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2007
Expertly realized and gunmetal slick, Eastern Promises whirs along with perfect efficiency, but doesn't stir much in the way of visceral horror despite its penchant for treating the human body like a chicken carcass on a block.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
September 14, 2007
What it's really about, more than sensitivity for displaced people or social analyses, is violence -- hideous, gruesome, over-the-top violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
September 14, 2007
The film's genius performance belongs to the venerable Armin Mueller-Stahl, who plays the family head with a twinkling eye and an air of avuncular, Old World charm.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 14, 2007
David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises plays like a companion piece to his overrated A History of Violence.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 14, 2007
A film that takes us beyond crime and London and the Russian mafia and into the mystifying realms of human nature.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 14, 2007
David Cronenberg's follow-up to A History of Violence lacks the theoretical dimension of its predecessor, but it's no less masterful in its fluid storytelling and shocking choreography of violence.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 14, 2007
In Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg's hellacious new Russian mob movie, Viggo Mortensen finally comes of age as an actor and a movie star.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 14, 2007
Mortensen delivers yet another startling performance, stunning in its intensity and cunning in its ambiguity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
September 13, 2007
Eastern Promises, a chilly character thriller set in the Russian underworld of London, has elements of murder mystery and gangster melodrama. But in director David Cronenberg's hands, it's a search for moral bearing in a dark and desperate world.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 13, 2007
A thriller can lead us into the fascinating intricacy of a criminal subculture, and Eastern Promises does that with the globalized Russian Mob.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
September 13, 2007
Whether in cloaked repose or naked defense, Mortensen dares you to take your eyes off of him.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
September 11, 2007
I've said it before and hope to again: David Cronenberg is the most provocative, original, and consistently excellent North American director of his generation.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 11, 2007
Perhaps the director set the bar so high with A History of Violence that there was no way he could equal it with Eastern Promises, but for him to fall so far short is nothing less than criminal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 10, 2007
You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream. "London is to blame," one of the characters declares, but I don't buy it. I blame David Cronenberg.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 10, 2007
Eastern Promises is finally conventional, even sentimental.
Top Critic
Sura Wood
Hollywood Reporter
September 10, 2007
Cronenberg's latest is as engrossing as it is creepy.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
September 10, 2007
It's a very, very strong film, [but] a little tough to watch sometimes.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 10, 2007
Eastern Promises instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
September 7, 2007
Menacingly brilliant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic

Globe and Mail
September 6, 2007
Sure, it's just a crime thriller, yet a genre flick by Cronenberg is always a different sort of beast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 5, 2007
How like David Cronenberg -- the master of body horror as a path to the soul -- to begin his mesmerizing power-punch of a thriller with a hemorrhage.
| Original Score: 3.5/4