Admiral - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Admiral Reviews

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½ April 1, 2015
It could have made a decent film, but the poor acting brings it down. Boyarskaya is passable, but Khabenski is simply horrendous.
And this is without going into the historical side of things - portraying Kolchak as a paragon of nobility and patriotism is... problematic, to say the least.
February 20, 2014
For what was until recently the biggest budget Russian film of all time, it is a suitably grand and opulent affair, and (a cynic would say) a conscious attempt by the nationalist post-Soviet Russia to rehabilitate what 'heroes' could be found in the leadership of the White Army (who were largely reactionary aristocrats, albeit patriotic ones). This message of strong, duty bound, Russia is backed up with the sort of huge Orthodox overtones that have come to dominate the conservative right in Russia. Technically though, the story is decent, as are the scenes of battle, though every now and then the CGI team bite off a bit more than they can chew and that does rankle a bit. - Those CGI battleships just aren't as convincing as a model would have been! - The real problem is that it's too long and too melodramatic. One can tell that the makers were betting as much on selling this as a 'grand Russian film made by Russians' as they were 'a good film', and this means they coasted a bit when it came to script editing. The end result is an acceptable but forgettable Russian effort at a war-drama, which has enough atmosphere to keep history buffs interested and enough of a drawn out romance to engage those who aren't paying attention to the Czechoslovak Legion's uniforms.
July 21, 2012
Travesty of editing at its worst - lost track within 10 minutes and no improvement during the film. I doubt even students of Russian History will understand this.
April 10, 2012
Epic romances such as Dr Zhivago
½ November 14, 2011
A bit over-sympathetic to Kolchak, but still a solid representation of a too often forgot event in history.
½ August 14, 2011
interesting biopic about admiral Kolchak, involving WW1, the russian revolution & civil war,centred around his Affair with Anna Vasilyevna Timiryova - both were married at the time.good battle scenes
½ May 11, 2011
the story of admiral Kolchac , leader of "white" Russians after the revolution in 1917
½ April 3, 2011
Kolchak portrayed as a tragic hero. Fails to mention the horrors inflicted by his men in teh war against the Reds, and rebelling peasants. Beautiflly filmed.
February 15, 2011
Plodding Romance

I'm such an enthusiast for lost causes, movements which I imbue with my own romantic vision: the Cavaliers of the English Civil War, the Confederates of the American Civil War and the White Guard of the Russian Civil War.

I have a particular enthusiasm for the latter, for the men and women who tried to save Russia from Lenin and his criminal band. I have a particular enthusiasm for the leaders of the White Army; men like Anton Denikin, Pytor Wrangel and Aleksandr Kolchak. Ever since the fall of communism there has been a new appreciation of these people, once defiled. When I was in Moscow I was able to lay some flowers on the grave of Denikin, reinterred with honours in Donskoy Monastery in October, 2005.

It was therefore with considerable anticipation that I recently approached The Admiral, a 2008 Russian-language movie about Aleksandr Kolchak, once an Arctic explorer, an admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy and finally head of the anti-Communist forces in Siberia as Supreme Ruler of Russia, captured and executed in February, 1920. Once vilified by the Soviets, there are now monuments to his memory in both Saint Petersburg and Irkutsk.

The Admiral, unfortunately, is a plodding disappointment, a movie constructed in such a way that it inevitably invites comparison with David Lean's Doctor Zhivago, far superior in every sense. Doctor Zhivago is a love story set against the grand sweep of Russian history, a tale of ordinary lives being submerged by history.

The Admiral is also a love story, that between Kolchak (Konstantin Khabensky) and Anna Timiryova (Elizaveta Boyarskaya), a poet and his long-standing mistress. The couple are handsome, just as handsome as Omar Sharif as Zhivago and Julie Christie as Lara, but sadly there is no chemistry at all, no spark of life in their tepid romance. Their exchanges are wooden, their encounters barren.

The other point of contrast is the handling of the wider themes, the handling of events. In Zhivago the scenes of war, of revolution and of civil war were woven effortlessly into the lives of the principle characters. But with The Admiral, despite some impressive moments, including the early footage of naval combat during the First World War, history seems to hang around, waiting to be introduced at periodic interludes.

I was so looking forward to seeing this movie. A reassessment of the career of Kolchak and the struggle of the anti-communist resistance was long overdue. My disappointment at this uninspiring and plodding effort was therefore so much the greater.
½ January 6, 2011
Los primeros 45' bien, luego se convierte en algo repetitivo y va perdiendo inter√ (C)s por todas las esquinas.
January 1, 2011
Reportedly the most expensive Russian movie ever made, "The Admiral" is a tribute to a man who probably deserves to be better known by history. Kolchak led the White Russian resistance against the Red Bolshevik scum in the Russian civil war, but unfortunately he was on the losing side. The movie is not bad. Some good moments, but it's slightly cold, and a war movie that in my view suffers from too much talk and not enough action.
December 4, 2010
Incredibly dumb and historically inaccurate movie. Only the visuals and Boyarskaya deserve something approaching a rating.
½ November 15, 2010
OK, but not great. The battle scenes were well done, but most of the movie was incredibly sappy and melodramatic. Every little thing suddenly became some sort of symbol, to be shown in slow motion over and over.

Plus, there is a huge amount of predictabliity about it all. Anyone who has a vague idea of how the Russian Revolution ended will know the story won't end well.
September 15, 2010
Excellent film! But to me it wasn't more than that... so not going into my favorites...
½ July 23, 2010
Globalement du bon cinéma, spectaculaire, épique, bien réalisé et avec des gros moyens, sans approcher néanmoins, même loin, le chef d'oeuvre (on est loin de la qualité de "Tsar"
de Pavel Lounguine par exemple).

Les scènes de batailles (notamment navales) sont convaincantes, bien qu'influencées par les impératifs d'un cinéma à grand spectacle.

Le film, financé par ministère de la Culture Russe (distribué chez nous par France 2), s'attache - efficacement - à valoriser le patriotisme de l'amiral Kolchak et son rejet de la révolution bolchevique. Dans la démarche, j'ai retrouvé un peu la même approche que dans les 2 films anglais sur Elisabeth d'Angleterre (1998 et 200!) : présentation volontairement positive de l'histoire, malgré le caractère dramatique et complexe des événements et les 70 années d'URSS qui avaient rangé Kolchak parmi les ennemis de la nation. La valeur de l'homme Kolchak, son courage, ses qualités de soldats, sa droiture, sa foi inébranlable, sont mises en avant plus que ses idées politiques. C'est donc un oeuvre de réhabilitation d'un homme plus que de son action.

Le film évite l'écueil du manichéisme, il est plus sévère envers le général français Janin et les Tchèques qui trahissent Kolchak qu'envers les bolcheviques. Cela est bien résumer par une réplique entre deux russes qui entèrent des cadavres mêlés de Blancs et de Rouges après une bataille : " on les met ensemble dans la tombe, ce sont tous des Orthodoxes ".

L'accueil enthousiaste qui a été fait au film témoigne en tout cas du renversement des valeurs en Russie et de la "synthèse" de type bonapartiste (qui voulait réconcilié la France d'ancien régime avec la révolution) que tentent le pouvoir actuel en valorisant tous les héros de la Russie de toutes les époques (y compris certains héros communistes).

Pour terminer sur le film, je ne me suis pas ennuyé un seconde, car comme je le disais au début, il est bien fait, bien joué (il y a même notre Richard Bohringer) et subordonne la "grande histoire" à une histoire d'amour très romantique, ce que j'ai également apprécié dans la construction du scénario comme dans l'idée sous-jacente.

A voir donc, car très intéressant sur la Russie d'hier comme sur celle d'aujourd'hui.
May 13, 2010
so really nothing special. funny how kolchuk suddenly became a hero, though.
would rather watch some elem klimov. or tarkovsky.
May 6, 2010
What a curious film. The sets and locations are rather slick but the CGI's aren't convincing. The acting is very competent but Khabensky suffers from being a lookalike for Harry Enfield - which, is of course, no fault of his own - I kept on expecting Mr. Cholmondely-Warner to comment! This chunk of history is carefully draped with a romance which lacks tension. I wondered whether it was an attempt to decorously pick up a cut thread of Russian history - the kind of topic that could not be treated without polemic under the Soviet system. It's a pity that the appalling civil war that followed the October Revolution couldn't have been dealt with in a slightly less chocolate-boxy manner.
½ May 4, 2010
Labai ilgai nemaciau tokiu isgrynintu bei stipriu karniu vietu. Atima zada. Net filmui reikalingi blizguciai suteikia tam tikro efektingumo. Taigi, ieskojau meiles, radau kai ka geriau. Butinai pasiziuresiu dar karta, kad isiziureti i daug simboliskai tikslingu detaliu, tokiu kaip kelione traukiniu i mirti ar revoliucijos veida. Be to daznai zvelgdavau gana kritiskai i istorinius filmus, nes jie man primine issikvepusia zmoniu fantazija, kada belieka atgaivinti tik atmintyje bei knygose mirusias biografijas, bet, kai istorija tokia ivairi bei idomi... Zodziu, labai labai.
½ April 15, 2010
Que les Russes revisitent leur histoire au travers d'une grande fresque romanesques genere toujours un a-priori positif tant ils ont prouve ces dernieres annees qu'ils pouvaient damer le pion aux Americains au niveau de la mise en scene tout en esquivant les cliches indigents et autres erreurs factuelles qui ridiculisent la moindre pretention historique des studios hollywoodiens. "Amiral", base sur la vie du vice-amiral Koltchak, dernier general tsariste a avoir combattu les Bolcheviques, en est une fois de plus un brillant exemple et parvient a passionner le spectateur pour cette periode peu connue de l'histoire russe qui suivit la premiere guerre mondiale. Bien entendu, "Amiral" n'est pas qu'une chronologie precise des annees 1916-1920 mais aussi une histoire d'amour..."a l'ancienne" pourrait-on dire. Tout en retenue et en pudeur, cette romance ne s'impose jamais au detriment du scenario comme le fit en son temps le tres vulgos "Pearl Harbor" (parfait exemple de la facon dont on parvient a couler un film de guerre avec du romantisme a deux balles) et ne sert qu'a souligner la dimension tragique de ces temps troubles. Avec des moyens financiers qui permettent de remarquables sequences de bataille et une representation d'epoque fidele, "Amiral" est une belle lecon de cinema historique a destination des tacherons qui s'obstinent a travestir l'Histoire pour eviter au spectateur de penser. Dommage que la personnalite meme de Koltchak, froide et secrete, ne permette pas au film de deployer tout le panache et le sens de l'epopee qui auraient paracheve son statut de chef d'oeuvre.
½ January 2, 2010
Reading the back of the dvd box for Admiral it seems to be portraying this film as a righting of a great wrong in Russian History that had Admiral Kolchak as a homicidal nearly psychotic tyrant.
Yet strangely I seem to be the only person to have noticed the irony towards the end of the blurb on the box when it acclaims that this movie has been "Produced at the height of a resurgence in Russian nationalism during the early 21st century", humm.
Anyway in reference to the film this is certainly an excellent movie if one compares it to other world cinema films but actually is quite a modest fare.
Certainly the overall story of the last four years of Admiral Kolchak and the intertwining love story with Elizaveta Boyarskaya's character is interesting and elements of the film are clever but there is some significant problems.
Firstly it is hard to judge a historical drama without knowing the background of the actual person thus I think this movie lacks credibility with a non Russian audience.
Secondly I felt though this movie contains solid performances from Konstantin Khabenskiy (to the point actually I took him as the Admiral rather than Anton from Night watch that had wanted onto the set), this film is essentially full of very good ideas that are started but are not satisfactorily resolved.
Essentially this film is an excellent example of Russian cinema but is when compared to other movies a solid above average entertaining watch.

Verdict One for dvd
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