Stalker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stalker Reviews

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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".
July 21, 2015
I did not see the appeal with this movie. It did not entertain me, it was confusing, and it just didn't pull my attention.
July 20, 2015
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July 15, 2015
There is a before and after in watching "Stalker". It asks little and gives much. To contemplate what might be in our own capacity to desire, or in the words of our illicit guide is the "friction between one's soul and the outside world" is to look at our own experience and very existence and ultimate demise in one glance. One wonders with this film how Tarkovsky himself dragged such thoughts into visual reality. Did he know he, his cast and crew would be dragged into the poison of the set and ultimately die? What magnet? And the film was about an attempt to fix one star in the sky, damning one's own world if need be. The Zone is a place where angels fear to tread and demons are cursed to wander. This is a masterpiece to define masterpieces.
June 28, 2015
How can a movie be more soft and kind and fatherly?!
Tarkovsky is worry about we all, we came down for a reason, but we lost it...
This movie is a poem!
June 21, 2015
A staggering astonishing headlong philisophical dive into the pith of existence. Slow, deliberate, beautiful and a script seemingly written by Socrates.
½ May 31, 2015
Not an easy film, but almost certainly a great one. it starts in flat B&W then goes 2 color about half way thru kinda like 'the wizard of OZ" is a gr8 example of sci-fi on little or no budget. one last comment the title has nothing to do with the modern day meaning of the word but rather like a guide not a creep.
½ May 27, 2015
Wow. From the start you can see what good direction is
May 27, 2015
Another Tarkovsky masterpiece. I had to watch it twice just to let it sink in. He's definitely my favorite director. The whole movie is haunting and mysterious.
May 4, 2015
I've got Solaris on DVD and like to get esoteric with far reaching ideas as much as any cinophile. I did like some of the long uncut scenes, like theater. And some of the imagery/cinematography was memorizing. But it's a shame about what could have been with that story was squandered by Tarkovsky's inability to tell a story. But this movie cracks me up. Not even the movie so much but to read and hear people try to make it so much more than it is. Let's just be honest and say the Emperor has no clothes. Tarkovsky is a horrible story teller. This movie is like staring at clouds, you can see whatever you want to see. And the fun is to watch people go so far out of the way to do so to burnish their cinematic "street creds". There is a story in here, what could have been a fascinating story. But Tarkovsky enjoys making a movie of mere suggestion, metaphors and nonsense. You get figure out what one of those three any minute of any scene may be. And there is no answer. He pulled a great Andy Kaufman with this one. Kudos Andrei, you got the last laugh.
April 20, 2015
The first half is brilliant. The second half leaves much to be desired.

Stalker is a two and half hour film divided into two parts. When the first part ended I never felt so patient in all my life, but at the same time I couldn't wait to see what happens -- or what doesn't happen -- next. A movie like this you can't just pause, go take a nap, then expect your mood to pick up where you left off. A musical intermission would have been nice.

So the first half is brilliant. It starts with everything tinted to look like the oldest photograph you've ever seen that's been crumbled up into a ball, flattened out lazily, then smothered in ash. Everything looks decayed and crumbling; industrial and dystopian. Even the plants look like they're made of concrete. There's a scene where a man is near what I think was a clover bush. The clovers blend in with the metallic background in a way that you don't even notice the flowers at first, then when you do it's quite the striking observation.

Soon three men leave the city to find a room that grants wishes. One of the men is a guide and he's been there before. When they leave the city the film becomes colorized. I've never seen that happen in a film before. Very sobering and soothingly refreshing, like a weight has been lift off your shoulders and a veil taken from your eyes. Now the film takes on a more organic feel as we see discarded machines and scrap metal parts scattered around everywhere, and swallowed up by the vegetation. The contrast between the two artist visions is wonderful. Yin and yang. The while experience is like achieving a mild state of zen. The film slows down even more to the point that the men almost go to sleep. After a dream-like transition of images part one ends.

Part two, from my experience, was a completely different film. The journey ends and the men hang out in an old building that looks like a WWII relic. There are a few impressive shots, but not many. Most of the time it's a close up of someone's face. Very boring and anti-climatic. They pretty much just drop the plot up to that point and decide to go in a nonsensical direction because of its philosophical significance.

I tried to keep myself interested but after an hour into part two it was really wearing on my nerves. It's the dialogue that mostly bothered me. Part one was perfect. It was like being at a poetry reading in an art museum. The movie would be quiet with breathtaking images, then the attention would shift from the visual to the men talking. So five minutes of sight and the physical, then five minutes of sound and the mental. Brilliant. This pattern made it so you never got tired of the movie. The dialogue itself, for the most part, is inconsequential. Most of it isn't even that deep, it's just that it sounds so poetic and dramatic. Pretentious, but tolerable. The movie is visual ambiance and psychologically meditative. You could melt your brain trying to ponder all the ideas floating around, or you could just let the movie wash over you. Just experience it. With part one it doesn't even matter if you miss some of the subtitles because the purpose of the film isn't to turn you into a philosopher. Or at least that's what I thought.

But part two I found contrary to part one. Part two is just one long, seemingly endless dialogue about everything and nothing. I don't know and I didn't really care at that point. I think it was about some kind of godhood, or finding God, or just transcendence in general. I think the kid at the end had the power that was in the room. Maybe there is no coherent narrative. It's a head scratcher, that's for sure. It's got a high rating so maybe the point of the movie just flew over my head. I'll give the it the benefit of a doubt and give it four stars. Part one deserves that much anyway. It would get 5 if it had more consistency.
½ April 1, 2015
Saw this on 1/4/15
Glacially slow and nothing pretty much happens resulting in an uninvolving, boring film. The camera work is good, but the story is too bad and it lags a lot. A complete waste of my 2hrs and 45 minutes.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2015
Clearly, there is a method at work here -- I can tell that. Tarkovsky is a master. And it was shot visually very well (some moments of brilliance), with good acting and an interesting premise. It is momentarily evocative through various stretches. No reliance on cliches, so it gets 4/5 from me. But it just didn't grip me. These characters are all simply so unpleasant. There is a certain lifelessness here, a self-absorption, and I could only relate very tangentially to the existential wanderings here, when no answers of any sort seem to be found. You don't seem to uncover anything, vital or not, about these characters or care about them. Now, it could be that, like '2001,' this isn't about people, and it's about something much more than that -- much more than the inner landscape. But if it is, I didn't pick up on what that might be, except for the spiritual poverty and lack of carefulness many of us find ourselves in. I found it to be a film, not of hope, but of misery and bleakness. I find all this so surprising because of how much I care for Bergman's films, who in my opinion takes this in a much more personal and gripping way. Here, it is all abstract. It makes for a nice, hypnotic visual-poem as film, but there is little here that is adding to my emotional or intellectual life in any way. Like his other films, Tarkovsky shows you his world, but explains nothing, and keeps the keys to himself.

After watching this film, I understand Tarkovsky is probably most in the place of the 'Stalker' character, who is most sympathetic, but still, after 4 films from Tarkovsky I have to wonder if we just philosophically part ways when it comes to approaching the existential problems. 'Hope' and 'prayer' are not the answer, but neither is the bleak, nihilistic, self-absorbed end of the rest of the characters. This film garners my respect, curiosity, and possibly admiration in an aesthetic or conceptual sense, but it does not grab my heart, mind, or soul.
March 21, 2015
This film may seem talky and boring, but I loved the atmosphere. Images are utterly beautiful.
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