Student Reviews

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John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
August 26, 2013
'Crime and Punishment' transplanted to post-Soviet Kazakhstan, where a ruthless new capitalism is creating millionaires and gangsters; the film suggests there isn't much difference between the two.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
June 15, 2013
More Oliver Stone than Dostoyevsky. A go for the jugular attack on Khazakstan's business/gangster ruling class.
Top Critic
Nicolas Rapold
New York Times
May 30, 2013
Set in modern-day Kazakhstan, where the quiet is broken only by brutishness, this classically shot and edited film is a spare yet entrancing tale drawn with precise strokes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
May 28, 2013
A sense of existential dread that would make the Russkie novelist beam is channeled beautifully, but for a filmmaker lauded for his minimalist aesthetic, Omirbayev sure loves broad-stroke symbolism and sloganeering.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Aaron Cutler
Village Voice
May 28, 2013
Darezhan Omirbaev's sixth feature-whose unnamed, largely quiet protagonist lives in a poor area of Almaty, Kazakhstan-is a pedagogical film.
Caroline McKenzie
Slant Magazine
May 28, 2013
Kazakh cinema's stalwart auteur Darzhan Omirbaev adapts Crime and Punishment to modern-day Almaty, but with little to say beyond the obvious.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Geoff Andrew
Sight and Sound
May 22, 2012
It certainly doesn't outlast its welcome and fulfils its admittedly modest ambitions.
Howard Feinstein
Screen International
May 22, 2012
The use of gorgeous spare wrapping for complex ideas is an inspired choice that keeps the entire project both accessible and stimulating.
Top Critic
Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter
May 19, 2012
Unfortunately, Omirbaev fails to invest either the murder plot or its political subtext with much suspense or conviction.
Top Critic
Leslie Felperin
Variety
May 19, 2012
There's much to admire in the film's elegantly classical tempo and the way Omirbayev achieves so much with so little.
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