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The Thief (Vor) (Вор) Reviews

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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a superb film in the classic style of screen storytelling, at once intimate and epic, possessed of lyrical beauty and suffused with that mixture of warmth, suffering and rueful humor so characteristic of Russian films.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

February 14, 2001
Janet Maslin
New York Times
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As dramatically compelling as it is heavily metaphorical...

Full Review Source: New York Times

January 1, 2000
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The powerful persona that is evoked by Mashkov, a Russian stage actor and romantic star of cinema, makes the melodramatics more convincing.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: C

January 1, 2000
Luisa F. Ribeiro
Boxoffice Magazine

The film falls short as a romance, however, never achieving the depths for which writer-director Chukhrai clearly strives.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

January 1, 2000
Gemma Files
eye WEEKLY

The Thief, Russian director Pavel Chukhrai's new film, is both a simple story simply told and an uneasy political fable.

Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

January 1, 2000
Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner

The Thief is one in a long line of competent Eastern European movies that evoke the hardships of the Second World War II effectively but not exactly inspiringly.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner

January 1, 2000
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The Thief is a beautiful movie about terrible things that happen to a widow and her young son.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

As mentioned, the payoff to this isn't exactly surprising, but the scenes that precede it are very good, thanks to Chukhrai's suspenseful plotting and convincing dialogue, as well as the terrific cast.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee

...The Thief is also a reminder of just how exhilarating and satisfying a good tragedy can be...

Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve

Beautifully photographed by Vladimir Klimov and utilizing Victor Petrov's strikingly authentic set to resemble a railway car of the 1950s, The Thief provides us with a broad sweep of Russian everymen as well as its principal performers.

Full Review Source: Compuserve

January 1, 2000
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

[Stealing] the show is the eight-year-old Philipchuk, whose wide eyes register awe, puzzlement and misery with a conviction not seen since Salvatore Cascio in Cinema Paradiso.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2000
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide

[A] clever allegory about the death of Stalinism in post-Second World War Soviet Union.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 78/100

January 1, 2000
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies

...every bit as brilliant as its reputation suggests and is the feel-bad movie of the month, to boot.

January 1, 2000

E! Online

Philipchuk is absolutely endearing as the young Sonya, and Mashkov is powerful as the duplicitous con.

Full Review Source: E! Online | Original Score: B

January 1, 2000
John Hartl
Film.com
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...compelling, great-looking...

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It is clear fairly early in The Thief that the title character represents Stalin, and it's one of the strengths of the film that the symbolism never gets in the way of a convincing, heartbreaking story.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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[A] pleasant romantic drama.

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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There is more to this picture than just an affecting story; for those who care to look, there's plenty of symbolism.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

[As] a film, The Thief fails in its effort to portray Stalinist Russia to an international audience.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

January 1, 2000

Film Threat

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 3/5

December 6, 2005
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