Stalker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stalker Reviews

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August 18, 2017
The journey through the deteriorating wasteland is organically sublime and offers revelations on meaning and faith, but that only pecks the surface. Like the idea of subconsciousness Tarkovsky explores, there are layers, and he uses equivocal visuals and unrelenting streams of philosophy to both challenge you and set you free.
½ August 9, 2017
Reminiscent of The Revenant: intentionally tedious, thematically rich, and boasting flawless, breathtaking visuals.
August 8, 2017
One of my favorite films. Easily one of the greatest art films ever. As much as anyone I've seen, Tarkovsky is able to use the camera to create deep mood and feelings that operate like powerful memories. The feeling of rain, staring down into a tunnel, looking at embers, a slow tracking shot of plants. These are moments elevated to the highest level of cinematic art by Tarkovsky. They resonate like moments from your life.
August 1, 2017
The imagination is beyond belief and a vision that will live forever. Stalker shows desire in such a fascinating way which just shows how well Tarkovsky knew the human condition. It's s mythical and mysterious film that examines religion, desire and finding meaning in a world that can be hard to understand. A must watch.
July 18, 2017
How can you review a masterpiece?
½ July 13, 2017
This movie relies heavily on philosophy, complexity and atmosphere, and viewers who are patient should be pleased.
July 12, 2017
"Stalker" es la segunda película de ciencia ficción del gran Andrei Tarkovski, luego de su obra maestra "Solaris" (1972). Está basada en la novela "The Roadside Picnic" de Arkadi y Boris Strugatski y se desarrolla en un país no identificado en donde ha aparecido un territorio llamado La Zona, un misterioso lugar donde supuestamente las leyes de la física ya no aplican.

Al igual que con "Solaris", Tarkovski juega con una fuerza alienígena que puede materializar los deseos y que lleva a sus protagonistas a cuestionar su existencia. En este caso, serían dos hombres: un escritor (Anatoli Solonitskyn) y un científico (Nikolai Grinko). Ambos son guiados al interior de La Zona por Stalker (Alexander Kaidanovski), un hombre casado y con una hija que posee poderes telequinéticos.

Puede que La Zona sea producto de una hecatombe nuclear, de una invasión extraterrestre o de una lluvia de meteoritos. Lo cierto es que este lugar, muy similar al mundo mágico de OZ, es mágico, hermoso y siniestro. La imagen de la hija de Stalker haciendo uso de su poder, es tan sencilla como conmovedora. Una de imágenes más hermosas en la historia del cine de ciencia ficción.
½ July 7, 2017

Stalker, just like many Tarkovsky films, is one massive example of everything good you can do in art. Telling a story, telling something with the story, being beautiful, being profound, being philosophial, being intriguing, being, quite simply, art in its most likely purest form.
½ July 4, 2017
I see your 2001 and raise you a Stalker.
June 30, 2017
Saw the beautiful new restoration at Lincoln Center last night. Boy did this movie make way more sense watching it several years later where I already had an idea of what was happening and had the sort of hyper focus that a theater setting provides.

This is as close as we're going to get to a true Myst movie imo.
June 25, 2017
I saw this movie when it first arrived in the States on VHS in 1997. It is expertly crafted, dramatized, and filmed. It is one of the masterpieces of speculative fiction in movie form, by the Russian Kubrick Andrei Tarkovsky. You might want to see this film if you get bored of violence, drugs, and sex. This film is psychologically riveting throughout its duration. It is something for the mind, and would be a really good book, and if that kind of thing is what you like, you're in for a rare treat!
½ June 17, 2017
Debased Art and Science follow God's Fool into Chernobyl seeking out Godot. At least that's what I thought it was until the Fool explained it that way, so it can't be that simple, right? Powerful imagery and brilliant sound design but deadly dull.
½ June 6, 2017
This movie might be baffling to someone unfamiliar with Tarkovsky, and emotionally unsatisfying to those having previously seen Solaris, but Stalker is a haunting trip down the rabbit hole and cerebral religious allegory.
May 28, 2017
weird but highly watchable - another bucket list film ticked off
May 24, 2017
No special effects, no scares, no monsters or grotesque imagery...eerie as all hell. Tarkovsky's sci-fi labyrinth is at times staggering, but ultimately fulfilling.
May 11, 2017
The greatest film in Russian history. A guide to the minefield that is the Socialist militarized state.
April 23, 2017
Stalker is a truly unusual film. I have seen it many times. The story never really has a conclusion but I just love the bleak industrial atmosphere of the film. The only think I don't like about it is having to read the subtitles.
April 20, 2017
Andrei Tarkovsky's allegorical sci-fi film Stalker follows three men -- the Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn), the Professor (Nikolai Grinko) and the Stalker (Aleksandr Kajdanovsky) -- as they travel through a mysterious and forbidden territory in the Russian wilderness called the "Zone." In the Zone objects often change places, the landscape shifts and rearranges itself. It seems almost as if some kind of unknown intelligence is actively preventing any attempt to penetrate its borders. It is said that inside of the Zone is a bunker, and inside the bunker is a magical room which is said to have the power to make wishes come true. The man hired to guide the Writer and the Professor through their journey is a man known as the Stalker who, through repeated visits to the Zone, has become accustomed to its complex traps, pitfalls, and very subtle distortions. Only by following his lead (which often involves taking the longest, most frustrating route) can the Writer and the Scientist make it alive to the bunker and the room. The further they travel into the Zone, the more they realize it may take something more than just determination to succeed: it may actually take faith. Growing more and more unsure of their deepest desires, they confront the room wondering if they can, in the end, take responsibility for the fulfillment of their own wishes.

Stalker moves cautiously and slowly through as the three men move closer to the metaphorical heart of the Zone. Stalker is filled with powerful images that include telephone poles that look as if they are coming out of the ground like crosses, religious icons beneath muddy rivers covered with bullet shells, and most famously a miraculous, artificial desert in an underground room. It is almost entirely shot in extremely long takes where the three characters mostly just talk. It's almost hard to believe a movie can have only 142 shots in 163 minutes with most of them averaging about 1 minute and some lasting more than 4 minutes. But even though it is mainly just these three men talking, the imagery is amazing to look at and the cinematography is fantastic. The way it uses two different looks through out is something I hadn't seen before, at least not like this. Almost all the shots that take place outside the Zone are in a high contrast brown monochrome (sepia) tone and all the shots within the Zone are in color. Everything is in sepia color until around the 37th minute where when they enter the Zone it switches to color. Stalker is also great for not relying on any kind of gimmick or special effect to create its fantastic atmosphere of another world bordering our own.

Like all of Tarkovsky's films Stalker is very slow paced. Arguably the most slow paced of all his films and slower than even Kubrick's space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. I highly suggest having patience with this film and watching it at least two times. You will definitely gain a lot more on the second viewing. It is a great film about keeping faith that is filled with many images that are as stunning as some of the best work by Kubrick or Bergman. One of the greatest films ever made. 10/10
March 17, 2017
In a small, unnamed country there is an area called the Zone. It is apparently inhabited by aliens and contains the Room, wherein it is believed wishes are granted. The government has declared The Zone a no-go area and have sealed off the area with barbed wire and border guards. However, this has not stopped people from attempting to enter the Zone. We follow one such party, made up of a writer, who wants to use the experience as inspiration for his writing, and a professor, who wants to research the Zone for scientific purposes. Their guide is a man to whom the Zone is everything, the Stalker.

Superb, profound, thought-provoking movie by famed Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. If ever you needed an example of how cinema is more than simply entertainment but is art, holding the mirror up to nature, this is it.

The movie starts as a science-fiction adventure, and a very intriguing and engaging one. While Tarkovsky develops the plot slowly, it is never dull. In fact, the slowness ramps up the suspense. It also gives you time to admire Tarkovsky's excellent camera work. Every shot is perfectly chosen and captured, resulting in the movie seeming more like a series of paintings than a film. This, despite the simple, basic production quality and the dearth of remastered copies (the version I watched was in 240p!).

As the movie progresses it moves from being plot-driven to something much more metaphoric and ends up covering a multitude of macro-level societal issues.

Most prominent, and important, is a debate around science vs art vs religion, each represented by the three protagonists. Tarkovsky doesn't take sides, but gives every faction a chance to state their case. What you end up with is a reasonable explanation for each side's value in society, and why there is friction between the three.

This all said, the initial instinct with this movie may be one of disappointment. There is no great resolution in the end, either to the mysteries of the Zone or the debates between the three lead characters. For those expecting closure and a neat tying up of the plot, this is likely to be a let-down.

However, if you think about it, this is perfect. Tarkovsky retains his neutral stance and leaves it to the viewer to think things through. More than anything, he is not providing solutions, or a "winner", but making you think about the issues, and life in general.
February 25, 2017
A fantastically dour existential allegory. If that doesn't bore u to tears, I dunno what will?
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