The Russia House (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Russia House (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Russia House Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

"Barley" Scott Blair (Sean Connery) is an alcoholic book editor from a bargain-basement publishing house in Great Britain who'd rather be drinking in Lisbon than attending a book dealers' show in Russia. So he's surprised when a CIA agent (Mac McDonald) pulls him from his boozy holiday. It seems that the CIA has through a book show intermediary received a package from a Russian book editor named Katya (Michelle Pfeiffer) containing amazingly detailed notebooks written by a cynical Russian physicist named "Dante" (Klaus-Maria Brandauer). The notebooks show that Russia's nuclear threat is a joke: Russian rockets "suck instead of blow...and can't hit Nevada on a clear day," in the acerbic words of CIA Agent Russell Sheridan (Roy Scheider). But why is Dante sending the notebooks to Blair? How shall the Western world respond to what could be the end of the nuclear arms race? Blair gets drafted by a British Secret Service agent (James Fox) to go to the new Russia to meet Katya. He must see whether the new Russia is still immersed in the old Cold War and whether the notebooks are genuine or another deadly chapter in the war of the spies.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Tom Stoppard, John Le Carré
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 26, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


Sean Connery
as Barley Blair
Roy Scheider
as Russell
Nicholas Woodeson
as Niki Landau
Ian McNeice
as Merrydew
Colin Stinton
as Henziger
Peter Mariner
as US Scientist
Nikolai Pastukhov
as Uncle Matvey
Elena Stroyeva
as Anastasia
Margot Pinvidic
as Woman Interpreter
David Henry
as Junior Minister
Martin Wenner
as Scientist
Paul Rattee
as Army Officer
Simon Templeman
as Psychoanalyst
Kate Lock
as Jacky
Craig Crosbie
as Technician
Gennady Venov
as Katya's Father
Sasha Yatsko
as Russian Writer
David Ryall
as Colonial Type
Constantin Gregory
as KGB Interviewer
Yegueshe Tsturvan
as Flute Player
Constantine Gregory
as KGB Interviewer
Gina Nikiforov
as Russian Guest
Raisa Ryazanova
as Russian Guest
Nikolai Nikitin
as Leningrad Police Off...
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News & Interviews for The Russia House

Critic Reviews for The Russia House

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 19, 1990
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Russia House


Although I liked Connery and Pfeiffer's acting, I found that actually understanding the significance of the notebooks and what happens with them was difficult. I had to watch it more than once to understand it.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Uneven yet taut thriller as a Brit publisher/ bon vivant gets drawn into the spy game with, duh, a beautiful woman. Connery and Pfeiffer manage to sell this with the able assistance of a first rate supporting cast. Mucho Russian scenery makes for a interesting mini-vacation overseas.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

He took a chance because he had nothing to lose, she took a chance because she had everything to gain.

Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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