Elena - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Elena Reviews

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Sarah Boslaugh
August 10, 2012
... a broad critique of Putin's Russia and corrupting effects of both poverty and wealth on ordinary human values.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 10, 2012
In different hands, "Elena" might have been a noir thriller, but this serving of cinematic borscht is as cold as a Russian winter.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
July 19, 2012
Be sure to see "Elena" with a friend, because it's the sort of movie where the real experience begins after it ends.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 19, 2012
"Elena" is a riveting psychological suspense film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 13, 2012
A quiet, subtle mystery whose long, penetrating takes have drawn comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky and whose mordantly ironic conclusion may remind you of Claude Chabrol.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
July 12, 2012
Zvyaginstsev makes the most of the ghastly settings, which include a backyard that ominously features nuclear cones - and the kinds of compartmentalized living spaces that Hitchcock used for droll effect in "Rear Window."
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 12, 2012
It's a sort of slow-boil Russian noir, if that genre exists, and if it doesn't, it does now.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 12, 2012
The script, by Oleg Negin and Zvyagintsev, uses spare dialogue to quietly devastating effect. Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 12, 2012
Andrei Zvyagintsev's film isn't stupid or crude, and we can pretty well imagine how all the characters feel, even though it doesn't make them sympathetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 26, 2012
Elena takes us into the mind of a woman who has been pushed by life into an uncomfortable corner where she has to choose between different kinds of love...[a]very solid, intense drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
June 22, 2012
A nicely noirish, cynically satisfying drama set in a gritty, urban Moscow that would otherwise not seem to be a haven for wildlife.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ed Gibbs
The Sunday Age
June 17, 2012
A thoroughly modern twist on the classic noir, framed for our modern times in contemporary Moscow, where the gap between the haves and the have nots is stark.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile
June 16, 2012
Elena is an acquired taste, a film that doesn't provide cheap thrills or easy, pat resolutions, nor any moral certainty
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 8, 2012
Here's a tip: Don't feel. Think. Zvyagintsev wants you to come out of "Elena" thinking something, and if your realization is an uneasy one, that's OK with him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
June 6, 2012
Acid portrait of an unhappy marriage in contemporary Moscow.
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
May 31, 2012
A grim, effective allegory of the daily whirl in Putinland.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 31, 2012
"Elena" reveals a filmmaker in full command of his art and not much interested in catering to an audience. If you want this film, you have to meet it more than halfway.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
May 29, 2012
Director Zvyagintsey displays a deft hand with his small troupe of performers and has a talent for making family dramas with an edge.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
May 27, 2012
...has more in common with Chantal Akerman's "Jeanne Dielman" [than "The Return"] imbued with a Russian male perspective on today's dog eat dog world, a breakdown of societal morality.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
May 25, 2012
Naturalism lives. If Zola were a Russian in Russia today, he might have written Elena.
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