Hard to be a God

Critics Consensus

A sci-fi epic with palpable connections to the present, Hard to Be a God caps director Aleksei German's brilliant filmography with a final masterpiece.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,166

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Movie Info

When legendary Russian auteur Aleksei German died in 2013, he left behind this extraordinary final film, a phantasmagoric adaptation of the revered sci-fi novel by the Strugatsky brothers (authors of the source novel for Tarkovsky's STALKER). HARD TO BE A GOD began percolating in German's consciousness in the mid-1960s, and would actively consume him for the last 15 years of his life. Happily, he brought the film close enough to completion for his wife and son to apply the finishing touches immediately after his passing. Taking place on the planet Arkanar, which is in the midst of its own Middle Ages, the film focuses on Don Rumata, one of a group of earth scientists who have been sent to Arkanar with the proviso that they must not interfere in the planet's political or historical development. Treated by the planet's natives as a kind of divinity, Don Rumata is both godlike and impotent in the face of its chaos and brutality. (C) Kino Lorber

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Critic Reviews for Hard to be a God

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (2)

  • A monumental work from a monumental talent. Unmissable.

    August 7, 2015 | Rating: 5/5
  • German died before it was completed; it was finished by his wife and son, Aleksei German Jr, also a director. And to be honest, it's the kind of film that could kill off a fair few audience members as well.

    August 6, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The film is about observation: its powerless, farcical, unquenchable curiosity. And it's about - imagine a drama hewn from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle - how observers become actors or influencers, whether they want to or not.

    August 6, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • A slo-mo kaleidoscope of chaos and also a relentless prose poem of fear, featuring three hours' worth of non-sequitur dialogue, where each line is an imagist stab with nothing to do what has just been said.

    August 6, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • One of the greatest movies to be released this year and perhaps any other, though it's hard to feel entirely at peace with the fact that it exists.

    August 6, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • If you're a fan of 'Andrei Rublev' and 'Stalker', don't miss this monumental film.

    August 3, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hard to be a God

  • Jan 02, 2017
    Three hours of shit, piss, pleghm, blood and semen. It was an experience. If this sounds redactive, it's only because I was expecting something more from the intriguing premise. Alas I found the narrative incoherent and the characters are all so vile that I was never gripped (though I was never bored either). On a technical, physical and atmospheric level, the film is undoubtedly a huge success.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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