4 (Chetyre)

Critics Consensus

Boldly ambitious and bracingly passionate, 4 opens an inscrutable window onto modern-day Russia -- and announces director Ilya Khrzhanovsky as a major talent.



Reviews Counted: 27

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User Ratings: 834


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

The lies shared by three Russian strangers take on a life of their own in director Ilya Khrzhanovsky's dreamlike journey into the strange heart of modern-day Russia. After entering a local watering hole and relaying a series of elaborate but entirely fabricated tales, a prostitute posing as an advertising executive, a piano tuner claiming to be a genetic engineer, and a butcher posing as a Kremlin insider all go their separate ways. In the hours following their strange conversation, all three will experience a surreal and richly symbolic voyage into a land where the specter of even the most elaborate of lies can somehow fade into reality for one tantalizing instant. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for 4 (Chetyre)

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (14)

  • It's another blast of vibrant, vicious, gloomy electricity from the always-surprising Russian film scene, and the beginning of an important career.

    Nov 5, 2013 | Full Review…
  • This 2004 debut feature by Russian director Ilya Khrzanovsky is puzzling, intriguing, and often compelling, apparently set in the present but magical and futuristic in tone.

    Nov 5, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The sheer surfeit of ideas in 4's first half hour alone could fuel a dozen warped movies; presented in this kind of rush, they leave you agape.

    Nov 5, 2013 | Full Review…
  • If your art film tastes lean toward orderliness and tidy metaphors, you could spend the two hours of Russian filmmaker Ilya Khrzhanovsky's fearless and mesmerizing debut feature.

    Sep 30, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Decidedly not for everyone, 4 is an incomparably unhinged act of disinterment, but it's also a fiercely willed feat of rebirth, raw and bloody and screamingly alive.

    Sep 30, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The result is a teasing, if trying, exercise.

    Sep 15, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 4 (Chetyre)

Three Moscow strangers meet at a bar, then we follow what happens to each of them after they leave (in theory, as the story of the prostitute returning to her drunken country village for a funeral takes up far more time than the others). Well shot, well acted, excellent sound design, but this one really shows off the worst flaws of self-conscious art films: it's pretentious, frustratingly obscure, unfocused, and most of all, boring.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"4" takes place in Moscow where a meat seller, Oleg(Yuri Laguta), a prostitute, Marina(Marina Vouchenko), and a piano-tuner, Vladmir(Sergey Shnurov), all walk into a bar around 3 am. They all lie about their varied professions - Oleg claims to supply drinking water to the government; Marina claims to be in charge of advertising for a mysterious Japanese product and Vladimir claims to be a scientist for a cloning project that goes back at least fifty years. Eventually, after a few drinks, they all part company and go to their respective destinies...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"4" is a strange, haunting movie about identity - about who we are, what we could become and what we wish we were. On a larger scale, it is also concerned with national identity. The movie is very talky in spots but it is fascinating, nonetheless. It does go on a bit too long, though.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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