The Return (Vozvrashcheniye) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Return (Vozvrashcheniye) Reviews

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Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
May 27, 2004
Mystery and menace abound...but at 106 minutes, The Return feels like a short story that's a few pages too long
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
January 15, 2004
Winner of the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Film Festival, Andrei Zvyagintsev's macho endurance test The Return is an abject lesson in abject parenting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
May 14, 2004
Strip away the portentous style and lush views of nature in The Return and all you've got is a slender nightmare of a family gone haywire in an outing that turns into survival camp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 20, 2004
To any masochist who's been pining for all those cliched tropes associated with Russian cinema -- ponderous pacing and arcane symbolism shot through a lens darkly -- this will seem a welcome blast from the past.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 26, 2004
... an unsentimental film about how childhood lingers until it abruptly ends.
| Original Score: 90/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 30, 2004
Does not conceal information from the audience, which would be a technique of manipulation, but from the boys, which is a technique of drama. The movie is not about the father's purpose but the boys' confusion and alarm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 14, 2004
Zvyagintsev's measured pacing adds to the film's mystery. And Mikhail Kritchman's photography delivers visual verse after visual verse.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
February 11, 2004
Seethes with tumultuous inner life, and the questions it asks, and serenely refuses to answer, are ancient, fundamental and resolutely non-psychological.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 27, 2013
The story, set in contemporary Russia, seems unexceptional at the start. Yet it plays out against a vast wilderness of shorelines and lakes, and turns tantalizing ambiguity into urgent mystery.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
May 6, 2004
Zvyagintsev ratchets up the tension with an almost sadistic degree of control.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Barsanti
February 4, 2004
A thing of strange beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Anton Bitel
Movie Gazette
July 3, 2004
Hauntingly sombre coming-of-age tale, with just the bare bones of a mystery plot.
Eric D. Snider
July 3, 2004
It's a compelling movie, albeit a dark, gray one.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 21, 2004
The film has an eerie sense of conviction in its simplicity, and the two primary antagonists -- Dad and Ivan -- are brilliantly acted.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 20, 2004
What begins as a simple road trip becomes a spiritual journey, the classic passage from boy to man.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 27, 2013
Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching.
Jon Fortgang
March 27, 2013
Mysterious, compelling, visually inventive, The Return is a quiet but intense metaphysical-drama of great emotional impact and insight.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Zvyagintsev's Venice prize-winner is a model of suspenseful storytelling. The acting, too, is terrific. Very highly recommended indeed.
Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
February 16, 2004
A muted drama of ambivalent dysfunction, an exploration of what the word 'family' means when it carries with it no attached reserve of affection or interconnectedness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
March 3, 2004
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev has a strong visual sense and an ear for unsettling sound that strengthen the feeling of foreboding pervading this psychological mystery
Full Review | Original Score: A
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