The Italian - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Italian Reviews

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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
January 19, 2007
Lured, perhaps, by the promise of international markets, [director] Kravchuk instead opts for routine uplift, and once the heroic journey is set in motion, the rest is ballast.
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
February 8, 2007
The story of Vanya (Solntsev Kolya Spiridonov) is less than convincing.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Timothy Knight
January 19, 2007
Graced with honest performances by the entire cast, The Italian is nevertheless a frustrating disappointment that promises much more than it ultimately delivers.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
September 9, 2006
We soon grow tired of marveling at Vanya's preternatural resourcefulness and plead for the thing to end -- which it soon does in the sappiest possible way, soft-focus close-up and all.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Ethan Alter
Premiere Magazine
January 19, 2007
The depiction of everyday life at the orphanage is far more compelling than Vanya's personal quest. It's unfortunate that once the Italian hits the road, The Italian loses its way.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
January 21, 2007
... a nice little movie, it is also as wispy and insubstantial as cotton candy, but not quite as sweet.
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
February 3, 2007
The movie's sheen of desperation is ultimately like a shabby coat that, once a hint of sunshine shows up, is too easily discarded.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post
April 27, 2007
At times, the difficulties that Vanya encounters strain credulity. The Italian doesn't bother to infuse its characters with complex motivations. They're either Bad or Good.
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
March 8, 2007
Kravchuk's depiction of Russian working-class life rings true, most of the time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
September 21, 2006
A gorgeous, heartbreaking modern fairy tale that felt so real my cynical heart melted, then immediately froze in fear that it was all too real.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
March 30, 2007
...the very Russianness of The Italian argues for its worthiness; like Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Return (2004) it provides a glimpse into another, more desperate style of living.
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 1, 2007
Director Andrei Kravchuk and cinematographer Alexander Burov make the harsh landscapes and decrepit interiors interesting and varied, without falsely dramatic set ups or lighting.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
March 21, 2007
Director Andrei Kravchuk makes a case for the speedy adoption practices of Madonna and Angelina Jolie with his despondent drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
January 19, 2007
A waif's doleful eyes make easy tools of manipulation, and, though The Italian is guilty of abusing them for viewer approval, the final shot movingly restores their importance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 1, 2007
The Italian appears to be that foreign-film staple, one of those movies where a plucky rascal brightens the life of a crabby Pole/Spaniard/Korean. But it's actually much grittier than it looks.
| Original Score: 3/4
Matt Stevens
E! Online
January 19, 2007
Director Andrei Kravchuk wisely avoids sentimental trappings and goes for a very realistic approach.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 9, 2008
With a tensed brow, Kolya Spiridonov plays a boy perpetually hovering between anxiety and dogged determination, and the film walks the same line, unsure about where it's going but always moving forward regardless.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 22, 2007
A dark fairy tale from Russia, The Italian pulls you into a richly atmospheric, persuasively inhabited world teeming with foundlings and pathos.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
May 9, 2007
A throwback to neo-realist filmmaking . . . snowballs in emotion until later scenes are stomach-knotting in their tension. The film largely avoids sentiment with its muted score and shadowed close-ups.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 2, 2007
The Italian is tough to watch at times, but then so is life. Chances are you'll leave the theatre moved by the strength of the human spirit and with newfound respect for the bond between a child and his mother.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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