Stalker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stalker Reviews

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December 5, 2016
Intriguing, thought provoking and amazingly well made, Stalker is a slow burn classic that's unlike most films.
September 27, 2016
A beautiful, mesmerising grower. Tarkovsky was an intellect and a movie poet of the highest artistic order. Sublime.
September 22, 2016
I fell asleep twice while first trying to finish Stalker. I gave it another try and after falling asleep only one time, and I was able to finish it. This movie is more than slow, it's borderline ambient cinema (if that's a thing), and now having watched the whole thing I think that was very intentional and effective.

Stalker is about a place that exists outside of the real world, both literally when talking about the Zone in the film, but also in the sense that real truth is something that seems endlessly out of reach. The film is more of a meditation on that theme than anything else, and it's pacing and sound design lend to that meditation extremely well.
½ September 15, 2016
Not one frame is redeeming, interesting, or entertaining.

It is depressing how supercilious each shot is, always lingering far longer than it should, and it is far more depressing how serious each actor is taking his/her role. I never thought I'd find it, but I think I found the worst movie I've ever seen. Not The Room, not Birdemic, not any movie in the Twilight series... this. The movie must have been created just for the purpose of the director, because it is terrible. Bar none awful. It might as well have been random scenery being filmed with voice-overs of the actors posing the same banal questions, and that might've been better. Truly, the "abstract art" of the film industry, in that it is posing as a masterpiece when in actuality it is dog shit.
September 15, 2016
A film with meaning as hard to grasp for the audience as it is for the character's. It starts slow, and I found that really vexing, but it closes out with some of the sincerest emotion one will see in any movie. I now understand why so many fans of this film call it life changing.
August 30, 2016
There is something very special about Tarkovsky's work. In his movies, he would tell very simple, yet grand stories. His storytelling is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick in a way. However, I will argue that he is the Russian Kubrick. Before I start this review, I should inform you that this film is not for everyone because it has a very slow pacing with talk heavy dialogue. If you do not like movies of this type, turn away now because this will not be the movie for you. However, if you like movies that have a deeper and complex meaning behind them then you will most likely enjoy this.

A man known as the "Stalker" leads 2 men, a writer and a professor, through a mysterious area known as the "Zone" so they can find a room which supposedly grants wishes. The Stalker is the hired guide because since he has walked through the "Zone" multiple times, he knows how to lead them safely through its complex traps, pitfalls, and sudden distortions. The Writer says that his reason for going through it is that he fears losing his inspiration. The Professor says that his reason for going through it is that he hopes to win the Nobel Pease Prize. The 3 set out and start to walk through the "Zone".

Although it was slow at times, I never felt that I was wasting my time with this movie because of the stunning ideas that it expresses. This movie is a story of immense consequences. It is also made more compelling by how the characters constantly have arguments with each other. You can interpret this film in multiple ways and there are many ways one could view this film. While the film mainly focused on the meaning of life and both knowing and feeling too much, it was quite obvious at times that some of the dialogue in the movie were thoughts of Tarkovsky himself. At some points in the movie, it would talk about the 'unselfishness' of art and the shallowness of technology which claimed it to be no more than an 'artificial limb'.

This movie is made even better by the unforgettable imagery in it. In the countryside scenes in the "Zone", the film is in color. When the film is outside the "Zone" and inside the tunnels and other inside areas inside the room, it is in sepia footage. This brilliant color scheme makes for some very impressive moments. I always like it when films have beautiful cinematography because even when you get bored by a slow pacing, you will be impressed by the unforgettable images they have.

I've seen many theories on this film and there are some that I agree on and some that I disagree on. For example, I've seen some people say that it is unknown whether or not "The Room" had any powers to begin with. I disagree with this because the movie made it clear that it did have powers. The movie explained that soldiers were sent into "The Zone" and they all went missing. Also, it showed soldiers surrounding the place preventing anyone from going inside it. The soldiers wouldn't be there if the place had no powers. Also, it is made more clear that this is true by the final few minutes which evoke a sense of surrealism.

In conclusion, this ranks up there with other Russian and Soviet films. It has a very simple, yet grand story. It has stunning ideas in it which will leave you puzzled, but interested in learning about them for years. At first, I was bothered by its slow-pacing, but I got used to it. I will repeat one more time that if you don't like slow pacing and talk-heavy dialogue then you won't enjoy this film (In fact, I'm pretty sure that most people will be very confused on their first viewing if they barely know anything about the plot. I actually had to check Wikipedia a few times to make sure I was understanding everything). However, if you like slow pacing then you will likely find this to be one of the deepest movies made in years.
August 8, 2016
Interesting twist on the sci-fi genre focusing on internal obstacles of the human mind rather than ambiguous questions of society. A take on the wants and needs, the dreams and ambitions we all have with consequences in our lives, done with brilliant cinematography and very low budget, proving that the genre itself is much more engaging when related to existential philosophy than with cgi spectacles.
February 7, 2016
Complex, a tough sit-through for most, makes you think a lot throughout and after the film. Every shot is like a painting. Definitely a good film to talk about with other people that have seen it.
January 21, 2016
Slow yet very interesting.
½ December 24, 2015
It is a terrible shame that Andrei Tarkovsky died of lung cancer at 56 (in 1986) because he surely would have made more magnificent films (beyond the seven features he did make, including Solaris, The Mirror, and Andrei Rublev). Stalker is a great example - mysterious, portentous, spiritual, yet somehow linked to a generic form (sci-fi) that allows viewers entry into his world. However, this is not an effects-laden picture but instead Tarkovsky works with his low budget to make simple actions carry great weight; we are basically treated only to three individuals (the Writer, the Professor, and the Stalker) crossing through The Zone, an overgrown meadow filled with decaying structures, fetid water, and apparently a lot of invisible traps and an ever-changing force that chooses who will live and who will die. At the center of The Zone is a room that, when reached, allows a person to have their innermost wish granted. So, Tarkovsky has created the opportunity for himself to question, philosophically, the goals of art, science, and then faith -- represented by The Stalker who sees a need for the room, as a way to generate hope (it seems). Of course, Tarkovsky was a famous Christian, not well appreciated by the Soviet authorities, and eventually he defected to the West and made his final films there. His films are famous for showing all four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) in a single shot and the screen in Stalker has an incredible tactile quality that is aided by sepia tones outside The Zone and lush greens and spoiled browns inside The Zone. In the end, there are no answers provided by the film or by Tarkvosky - his films succeed because they are open to interpretation and because they often remain inscrutable, even after numerous viewings. As such, this is a journey I'm happy to take more than once, even though my quest may ultimately be quixotic (although Kierkegaard thinks not).
November 27, 2015
Incredible, just incredible.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2015
It may be a tough sit-through to some as it is not as emotionally engaging as Tarkovsky's magnificent Solaris, but it is hard not to be mesmerized by this stunning metaphysical and philosophical allegory about human desire and the search for happiness.
½ November 14, 2015
I don't think you can understand the implications behind easily. Anyway Tarkovsky claims that are not much metaphors. So why not taste its beautiful cinematography with stunning snapshots of nature (particularly water)? Don't forget other techniques like colour contrast. But not everyone can stand its slow pace.
November 2, 2015
amazing like a small miracle.
½ October 13, 2015
Hidas kerronta ei ole kaikkien mieleen. Pääosan kuitenkin varastavat upealla tavalla tehdyt lavasteet. Elokuvan maisema ja tunnelma on lumoavan kiehtova.
October 3, 2015
Genius that I might be too innocently dumb to absorb. But nevertheless it was original, cinematography quite astonishing, dynamics of the movie aesthetical and interesting; acting was at times confusing but again - interesting. It seems over-rated, or like - smth is missing; but I give all my respect for this piece of work.

nB: my point is, it stands in greatness in philosophy, and some other deep topics, but is way too hard to grasp. But maybe that's okay. In that case it's meant for the aspiring nutjobs only; or people who are really associative, perceptive, art fanatics, oh yes and I did I say really witty and intelligent?
September 5, 2015
Russian ruin porn, through bleak, abandoned industrial wastelands, sometimes in sepia. A quest to find heaven, and then a debate about whether to destroy it.
September 1, 2015
It was hard work and there were times I didn't know if I'd make it, but I'm glad I own it and I'll watch it more than a few times. I liked Solaris, so I knew I'd like Tarkovsky. I was very impressed with how modern it seemed ... music, palette, actors.
August 23, 2015
Tarkovsky's films have a feel all their own, and Stalker is no exception. Purposeful and slow-paced (Tarkovsky style) while never dulling the senses.
August 8, 2015
I don't see the point in dragging the scenes for too long, the deep philosophical and poetic words make the premise sound pretentious. I wasn't entertained for sure, the dialogue wasn't that of a high level to compensate for the lack of action or interest. It's a different idea but I can sum it up with " a bunch of insecure men walking around bushes and ruins and doing dumb things, they get back home and go to sleep".
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