Alexandra (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Alexandra (2007)



Critic Consensus: At once ethereal and tangible, Aleksandr Sokurov's humane Chechen War drama features a spectacular turn by opera star Galina Vishnevskay.

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Though Russian director Alexander Sokurov's feature Alexandra unfolds against the backdrop of military life, it constitutes a stark and deliberate chamber drama in lieu of a war picture. Alexandra Nikolaevna (Galina Vishnevskaya) is an elderly woman with a grandson, Denis (Vasily Shevtsov), conscripted into the army of the Chechen Republic. When she makes the arduous journey to visit him, the startling nature of military life as it unfolds before her eyes -- the absence of women, the blind acceptance of amenities that so many take for granted, the emotional inexpressiveness -- completely bewilders her and introduces her to a world infinitely more alien than any she has ever experienced.

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Critic Reviews for Alexandra

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (19)

At least one critic has called this Sokurov's most political film, but on its deepest level it considers not a particular war but the complex feelings between mothers and the young men they send out into the world to kill or be killed.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's also quietly challenging, in its own way, not least in its portrait of old age, its trials, new freedoms and the privilege of changing one's mind before it becomes too late.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Remarkable, how little Sokurov tells us, while telling us so much.

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The film is built on a massive incongruity: Watching this octogenarian drag her little bent-up wheeled luggage cart, amid rolling tanks and military transport trucks, you're looking at two eternal verities%u2014war, and civilians caught up in its wake%u20

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The sepia tones and the claustrophobic camerawork are instantly recognizable as Sokurov's work, and so is the emphasis on family intimacy.

July 18, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Alexandra is a pleasure to watch, but it's also one of those lovely, unclassifiable movies that flourishes better with repeated or prolonged exposures.

Full Review… | June 20, 2008
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Alexandra


Sokurov was a genius in his pieces on the Hermitage and the Japanese emperor. Here he takes us on a slow journey to prove that the Russians shouldn't be in Grozny. For once the master storytelling seems unable to make the compelling case.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Manages to convey the reality of military existence without a single gun shot or single drop of blood: it shows the toll on the human spirit, the draining of life from young healthy bodies. Having had very similar military experiences myself, I found the portrayal of camp life to be eerily accurate, down to the most minute detail. It brought me back to a place I could not have explained to others: the dusty tent canvas, the heat, soldiers laying strewn in bunks, exhausted, drained, the discipline amidst seeming chaos, the cold metal armored vehicles, the cramped quarters, the apathy. Bravo.


I love this type of movies. On the surface they seem to be so simple. There is not much happening and the dialogues are scarce. But, below this surface of apparent simplicity, there is a really strong statement. The magic here is that the force of the message relies precisely in the things left unsaid. I love this film also because of its main character, because through her short journey to visit her grandson at the war camp, we get to infer so much about the struggles of all the sides involved in any war. The devastation, hopelessness, loneliness and silliness of every war is made explicit in this movie without any pretentious plot or pompous settings or crowded action.

monica florez
monica florez

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