The Cuckoo (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cuckoo (2003)

The Cuckoo (2003)




Critic Consensus: A sweet and amusing comedy.

The Cuckoo Videos

The Cuckoo Photos

Movie Info

As Finland's withdrawal from World War II draws ever closer, a tentative relationship between an abandoned Finnish soldier, a Lapp woman, and a Russian captain accused of anti-Soviet correspondence offers momentary solace to a trio of lost souls. Dressed in a German uniform and tied to a rock after being branded a pacifist by his fellow soldiers, Finnish sniper Veiko (Ville Haapasalo) attempts to break free before being spotted by Russian soldiers and shot. Peering through the scope on his rifle after finally escaping, Veiko bears witness to the accidental bombing of a Russian envoy carrying a captain accused of collaborating with the enemy. As Anni (Anni-Christina Juuso), a Laplander whose husband is off to war, scavenges for food, she runs across the bombing and finds disgraced soldier Ivan (Viktor Bychkov) clinging to life. Bringing him back to her house to nurse him to health, Anni is shocked when Veiko arrives in search of tools to remove his shackles. As language barriers keep the threesome from effectively communicating, Ivan's suspicions that Veiko is actually a German soldier begin to mount. Veiko and Anni's bond begins to grow, and as the lonely widow seduces Veiko, Ivan's jealousy and suspicions culminate in an attempt to murder the hapless Finnish sniper.


Critic Reviews for The Cuckoo

All Critics (64)

Rogozhkin brings a needed sense of humanity to this well-realized war film.

Full Review… | July 7, 2016
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[A] gentle, often funny, always very human film about loneliness and unexpected companionship...

Full Review… | August 8, 2004
Flick Filosopher

A gently funny mini-epic whose 'make love not war' message is delivered in three languages at once.

Full Review… | January 9, 2004
Movie Gazette

Juuso, who made her film debut at 22 in this movie, is spunky and funny. The two guys play off each other like bickering old pals.

Full Review… | November 7, 2003
Charlotte Observer

Gives us something to think about: How much of what we consider civilization -- intellectual pursuit, politics, nationalism -- relies on language?

Full Review… | October 10, 2003
Kansas City Star

Anni is a feisty little thing and you can't help but root for her when she challenges these two burly soldiers and gets out of the relationship exactly what she wants.

Full Review… | October 10, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Cuckoo

I just love this movie... The Cuckoo (Russian: Кукушка, Kukushka)is one of the funniest and best anti-war movies I've seen! Perfect for the film students to learn how to do perfect photography, screenplay and directing! Russian Federation National Award in the Art and Literature Area was awarded to the crew of the film; to the director and the author of the screenplay Aleksandr Rogozhkin, producer Segei Selianov, main cast Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo, Viktor Bychkov, director of photography Andrey Zhegalov, director of the film art Vladimir I. Svetozarov, composer Dmitriy Pavlov, sound engineers Anatoliy Gudkov and Sergei Sokolov... they all deserved it! Aleksandr Rogozhkin did amazingly smooth work of art which takes place during World War II from the perspective of opposing Soviet and Finnish soldiers stranded at a Sami woman's farmhouse. "Kukushka" was the nickname given by Soviet soldiers exclusively to lone Finnish snipers, who ambushed their targets from a purpose-built tree-branch-nest. Thus the title refers to both Veikko (the sniper) and Anni (a lone woman living in the forest, much like a cuckoo). If you have a chance to see it - do it now!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

Truly a great foreign film. Four languages Russian, German, Sami, and Finnish all combined for some rather interesting diologue. If you enjoy foreign films, this my be for you?! After this movie... who says that you need to speak the same language in a relationship. There is a universal one for this kind of situations. A moving film. All three main characters are quite likeable, and the story is a universal one. The plot alternates fluidly between humor and seriousness. A wonderful film, very much worth watching.

Brian Hovey
Brian Hovey

Foreign, Russian/Finnish/Lapp. This is a good movie and it was done very well. It's about 2 men and 1 lady coming together in the latter stages of WWII (1944). 1 man speaks Finnish (the Nazi), 1 man speaks Russian (a Russian soldier) and 1 lady speaks Lapp (she's a native Lapplander) and none can understand each other, yet they seem to communicate and try to get along. It's a very good movie and I definitely recommend it!

William Winningham
William Winningham

The Cuckoo Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Cuckoo on our Movie forum!

News & Features