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The Island (2007)

tomatometer

50

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 2,409

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My Rating

Movie Info

Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Dmitri Sobolev

Mar 4, 2008

Film Movement - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (7) | DVD (3)

A contemplative fable, not without its wry wit, which effectively ponders the workings of faith, specifically the connection between gnawing guilt and a desire to do good.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Island is visually stunning in its bleak, blue-hued austerity, but its storytelling is simplistic.

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Screenplay by young Dmitry Sobolev, a student at Moscow's VGIK film school, has a familiar, almost folksy structure, making for satisfying storytelling but leaving viewers with less to ponder after the story's final, largely foreseeable twist.

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An aggravating combination of piousness, arty self-pity, and knowing silliness meant to speak to higher spiritual truths.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comments (3)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Both heartfelt and ultimately optimistic.

October 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almost a sinful pleasure is Andrey Zhegalov's striking widescreen cinematography.

September 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stunning to look at and ambitious in its symbolic rendering of the subject.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

An unsentimental journey of guilt, atonement and redemption, with moments of comic bleakness. Your eyes will be smarting.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

The folksy structure both lulls and frustrates, and there's something dirgeish about the endless scenes of soul-wracking and tea-brewing. The cinematography's almost inappropriately pretty, though.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

A slow and sometimes testing parable of sin, faith and redemption, Pavel Lungin's film escapes impenetrable tedium thanks mainly to a captivating central performance.

February 5, 2010
Little White Lies

It's very easy to become weary with the ever-remorseful Anatoly, despite his mischievous sense of humour, and you find yourself yearning to cuff him about the ear and telling him to get over it.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Overall, the story's just a bit too neat to carry the portentous weight that the film-maker seems to be willing into the material.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The performances have a gruff splendour, the scenery is powerful. But Louguine lacks the talent, or Tarkovskian vision, to pack the screen with the kind of visual transcendentalism the story and dialogue peddle.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Nothing much is certain in this bleakly enigmatic tale, which moves at a pace most will find unacceptable. Those who stay the course will perhaps, like the monk himself, want to take a long rest afterwards.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

A strange film but invested with an absorbing atmosphere as if Tarkovsky, and maybe God, had been advisers.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The island is located somewhere in Russia's icy White Sea, though it may as well be a hamlet of Mordor, a backdrop for a study of spiritual crisis that is as predictable as the film's monochromatic color palette.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Longuine pulls all these elements together into a deeply moving exploration of sin, redemption, and faith.

February 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

The Island is an aimless and unconvincing parable masquerading as a Bergmanesque art film.

January 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Tonal shifts are too jarring and its portrayal of Anatoly is too sketchy to make him more than an outline of a Dostoyevskian protagonist, but Ostrov certainly has a lot of interesting ideas.

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: european-films.net
european-films.net

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Foreign Titles

  • The Island (Ostrov) (DE)
  • The Island (Ostrov) (UK)
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