Ubiytsy (The Killers) Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2014
Andrei Tarkovsky's Student film is a brilliant representation of what would define his later work. Here you can clearly see an eye for detail in the way he makes a film, and already he knew how to craft something quite interesting and engaging. While using an Ernest Hemingway story as his plot, Tarkovsky was able to create something truly worth seeing, and even if it's a student film, it is well worth seeing because there are hints of what would define his work when he would in feature films later in the 60's. Brilliantly shot and acted, the film runs at twenty minutes and he manages to captivate you with an effective story that is quite interesting and entertaining for its short run time. Of course, he would make better films, but this is a student film, and in that regard he made a terrific short, one that is very well directed and acted. If you enjoy Tarkovsky's work, and want to watch his directorial outing, thus being The Killer, his very first short, then by all means watch it. It's very well worth it and it's a film that really showcases Andrei Tarkovsky's talents perfectly, and you can only imagine how great he would become in later year, where his films would be redefined almost as art in a way because he always had a strong visual style to his work that really stood out among the cinematic medium. This is a very good short and this is his student film, which is a fine glimpse into what was to come from Andrei Tarkovsky.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2008
The best shot student film I've ever seen.

Available on the Killers Criterion boxset
GS
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2011
Well-made short film co-directed by Andrei Tarkovsky as a student. Based on Ernest Hemingway's novel of the same name. The actors are not that bad, the script is well-written, and the best thing is that there is no violence. Despite being an early effort in which he was probably still learning a lot, Tarkovsky makes the short 19 minutes enjoyable. Not at all bad, the only criticism would be that it does not experiment very much and is very conventional, but that is what the script probably called for.
February 21, 2013
A really good 19 minute student film from Andrei Tarkovsky, it was his first film -- although he only co-directed 2 of the 3 scenes (the first and last), the other was done by a fellow student. Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, which is a brilliant choice of material for any first time director, and it's pretty well acted (Tarkovsky himself makes a brief appearance). Some directors don't even have full-length features that are as good/interesting as this (yes I am speaking to you Michael Bay). The ambiguity intrigued me the most -- what could this guy have done to give up on himself to these murderous gangsters? Dunno, but that's what makes it so cool; you get to contemplate afterwards about the possible reasons. Worth watching.
GS
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2011
Well-made short film co-directed by Andrei Tarkovsky as a student. Based on Ernest Hemingway's novel of the same name. The actors are not that bad, the script is well-written, and the best thing is that there is no violence. Despite being an early effort in which he was probably still learning a lot, Tarkovsky makes the short 19 minutes enjoyable. Not at all bad, the only criticism would be that it does not experiment very much and is very conventional, but that is what the script probably called for.
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