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The true story of one of Russia's most tyrannical leaders is given a new screen adaptation in this historical drama from director Pavel Lounguine. In the 16th century, Tsar Ivan IV (Pyotr Mamonov) had already gained the nickname "Ivan The Terrible" for his anger and violent paranoia, and as he becomes more increasingly devoted to the Russian Orthodox faith (especially as many of his enemies in other lands are Muslim), he's found himself having profound disagreements with church leaders. Ivan
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Both spectacular and pious, "Tsar" positions itself between Sergei Eisenstein's "Ivan the Terrible" and Andrei Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev," though without their originality and inspiration.
Despite handsome production values and rich, atmospheric lensing by Clint Eastwood regular Tom Stern, this is a heavy meal to digest outside the fest arena.
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