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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu)

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu) (2006)



Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 69 | Rotten: 5

Shot in naturalistic style, this is a powerful indictment of absurdity and indifference in the face of human suffering.


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 3

Shot in naturalistic style, this is a powerful indictment of absurdity and indifference in the face of human suffering.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,658

My Rating

Movie Info

One evening, Mr. Lazarescu, who lives alone, feels a bit dizzy. He finally ends up being driven away in an ambulance, which is the start of a tragicomic odyssey. Each doctor who examines him arrives at an entirely different diagnosis, and his emergency treatment is incessantly postponed. The physicians are deaf to the entreaties of the patient and his friends, and they are devoid of sympathy for the elderly Mr. Lazarescu as he again plunges into the Bucharest night.


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Cristi Puiu, Razvan Radulescu

Sep 12, 2006

Tartan Films - Official Site External Icon

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October 5, 2006:
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All Critics (79) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (5) | DVD (9)

Both sad and darkly funny, the film is so sharply conceived and richly populated that it often registers like a Frederick Wiseman documentary, even though everything is scripted and every part played by a professional.

December 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's something about Fiscuteanu's quietly desperate performance (with much of the emotion conveyed through his eyes), that gets under your skin.

July 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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As commentary, it's grim. As filmmaking, it's a powerfully disturbing odyssey through the Bucharest health care system.

July 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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A tour de force of cinema verite with astonishing performances by a huge cast of small players.

July 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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The movie is a stunner, so hypnotic that the length hardly matters.

June 30, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The film's real success is that Puiu impresses both with his compassion for human behaviour and his tight grip on realist, documentary-style filmmaking.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu seems effortlessly observed, even improvised, but it's actually a wonder of choreography, rhythm and social commentary.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

blending social commentary with spiritual allegory, it traces one man's nocturnal descent into the Circle of Hell that is Romania's healthcare service

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source:

The gradual accumulation of detail, the quotidian elements of the long night, eventually add up to a powerful and engrossing whole.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

An indictment of an indifferent health care system.

January 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The film feels very real and not a little scary since the viewer knows that he is very likely to eventually likely to share Lazarescu's fate.

January 8, 2007 Full Review

Absurdamente angustiante em seu realismo sem concessões, este é mais do que um filme-denúncia (apropriado para vários países, aliás); é, acima de tudo, um olhar agridoce sobre o melhor e o pior em todos nós.

December 28, 2006
Cinema em Cena

This deathly film is crafted with such ease that it comes appallingly alive. A slowly suffocating, masterly work of social realism that shrouds you in a melancholy look at mortality.

December 21, 2006
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

While Lazarescu is descending on his nighttime journey toward zero, the film builds up an entire social world around him--one that is harrowing, funny, infuriating, outrageous and sometimes profoundly moving.

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

A harsh critique of the modern medical system, and though it takes place specifically in Romania, its events could be easily transferred elsewhere.

November 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Mr. Lazarescu's ordeal will stick with you.

September 29, 2006
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One of the the most remarkable medical dramas ever attempted.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Puiu's seemingly artless, documentary-style mise en scène, with the characters followed by a shoulder-mounted camera, conceals countless subtleties, foreshadowings and running themes.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound of the best, most intriguing movies of the year. This is the kind of film that transcends borders and can talk to people worldwide.

July 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Puiu is playful with his symbolism, as evidenced by his titular character's triple-loaded name, but his really astounding achievement is how he transforms commonplace scenes with shimmering alternate meaning.

July 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

It seems extraordinary to claim that this film is funny but it is.

July 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Guardian

As a story of the callous impersonalization we inflict upon one another, the film is timeless.

July 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

"Extraordinary" is used here in both meanings of the word: highly unusual and exceptional.

July 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Audience Reviews for The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu)

this is a good film, but the humor is so dark that you won't find yourself laughing. the cinema verite styling works well with the content, adding to the existential questions raised within the film. if you can't bear hospitals and imminent death, do not attempt to watch this movie.
July 17, 2011

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" is about Dante Remus Lazarescu(Ion Fiscuteanu), a 62-year old retired widower, who lives in an apartment with his three cats. One Saturday he has a severe headache while vomiting blood. At night, he calls for an ambulance after his condition has not improved. Certainly, he should be feeling better once the ambulance takes him to the hospital. Right?[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" is a downbeat and detailed epic of one ordinary man's descent into the medical world of Bucharest.(But before that can start, he is judged by his neighbors and found guilty of the sins of drunkenness, living in an unclean apartment and favoring the company of cats over humans.) The movie is not about the state of medical care in Romania("The Barbarian Invasions" makes a much better criticism of its own country's hospitals.) but that sometimes ordinary mortals and their concerns pale in comparison to much larger events.(Lazarescu just had the bad luck to fall ill the same night as a calamitous bus crash.)[/font]
May 2, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

This film was hard to get through. It was so depressing, I had to watch it in two parts. How any one could call this a comedy is beyond me. Perhaps it is because I have had to deal with the horrible medical insurance in the States. I could Identify with being turned away from hospitals. I didn't find it interesting this the is the most depressing film I have ever seen in my entire life.
June 17, 2008

Super Reviewer

I always wanted to see this film, which is said to have kicked off the ?Romanian New Wave? but I?ve got to say, this was a real challenge to get through. This is one of those movie?s whose overall goal was to actively unpleasant for 153 minutes, and I basically watched it in three chunks. The movie is deliberately shot in the most amateur looking vérité style imaginable with really realistically dark lighting, and it sort of gave me a headache. But? about an hour and a half in the whole thing finally started to make sense to me. The film?s message started to click and its style started to finally make sense to me. This is a good movie, but it?s hard for me to love something that?s an active challenge to watch. The fact that the film?s subtitles were in a bizarre font of blue surrounded by white outlines didn?t help, it was hard to read, distracting and added to the headache inducing nature of it all.
February 26, 2008

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Tod des Herrn Lazarescu (DE)
  • The Death of Mr Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu) (UK)
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