The Return Reviews

Page 1 of 2
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.
March 27, 2013
The long and eventful fishing trip Dad drags the boys on is simultaneously a very real voyage through the Russian wilderness and also, like, a Jungian trip, man.
March 27, 2013
Throughout his expertly controlled film, Zvyagintsev never allows a break in the clouds to provide some reassuring sign that the brothers are on solid footing.
March 27, 2013
Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching.
March 27, 2013
Zvyagintsev gets formidable concentration from his youthful actors, and his storytelling moves with the simplicity -- calm, chiselled, and suggestive -- of a fable.
June 4, 2009
Constructed like an eerie, metaphorical thriller, this tense, riveting character study offers viewers nearly two hours of emotions with a stunning pay-off no one will be expecting.
February 9, 2006
Zvyagintsev's Venice prize-winner is a model of suspenseful storytelling. The acting, too, is terrific. Very highly recommended indeed.
August 20, 2004
What begins as a simple road trip becomes a spiritual journey, the classic passage from boy to man.
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.
July 16, 2004
A quiet film.
June 8, 2004
A mythical film about the mysteries of fatherhood as seen from a child's perspective.
May 28, 2004
This film by Andrei Zvyagintsev touches a nerve.
May 21, 2004
Poetic yet efficient, The Return constructs a powerful mood without indulging in brooding, overlong scenes.
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.
May 21, 2004
As frustrating as it is rewarding.
May 14, 2004
Zvyagintsev's measured pacing adds to the film's mystery. And Mikhail Kritchman's photography delivers visual verse after visual verse.
May 14, 2004
An enveloping drama in which the camera speaks as eloquently as any dialogue and the performances are grounded in the bedrock of experience.
May 13, 2004
It's original --- an elemental, unforgettable experience.
May 6, 2004
As haunting as it is perplexing.
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.
Page 1 of 2