The Italian - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Italian Reviews

January 24, 2008
Andrei Kravchuk's film is sensitive to the hilt and pleasingly attuned to the guileless outlook of its hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
December 4, 2007
This 2005 story about a Russian boy whose mother has given him up may be derivative, but it's still engrossing, largely because of its appealing juvenile lead, Kolya Spiridonov.
April 30, 2007
This film is about many things, but the magic key that unlocks the treasure chest is literacy.
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.
March 15, 2007
The ending isn't exactly happily-ever-after, but it leaves you with a deep-down respect and affection for this determined little tyke who perseveres against all odds.
Read More | Original Score: B-
March 9, 2007
Wise, resilient children aren't especially new to the movies, but when they're presented this sensitively, they're always worth revisiting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 3, 2007
The overall mood is crushingly sad. The society's grime and poverty are depicted with pitiless realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 2, 2007
Director Andrei Kravchuk infuses his story with a Dickensian mix of benevolence and indifference. The pacing is assured, and his cameras peek through the Russian mist as if watching a fairy tale, uncertain of a happy or cruel ending.
March 2, 2007
Vanya's gritty travels propel the movie forward. The Italian runs on the unshakable faith of a very determined boy.
Read More | Original Score: B
February 23, 2007
Milking sympathy for parentless children is no stretch in The Italian. More impressive is its affecting look at their reeling mother country.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 16, 2007
A powerful indictment of Russia's illegal adoption industry -- and a story of pipsqueak resolve and resilience.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 8, 2007
The story of Vanya (Solntsev Kolya Spiridonov) is less than convincing.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
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
February 3, 2007
Kravchuk, a veteran of Russian TV, means to show his countrymen how they have failed kids like Vanya. But also to convince them that Vanya and his friends can still be saved, without becoming Italians.
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
February 2, 2007
First-time feature director Andrei Kravchuk infuses the entire atmosphere with a formal neorealist haze that is squalid and striking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 2, 2007
The charm of The Italian lies in Kravchuk blending a sentimental fable and a boy's action-adventure saga. He surpasses cliches and still delivers a novel finale that's heartwarming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 26, 2007
... a deeply moving experience, alternately funny and sad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 26, 2007
The Italian offers a soul-blasted portrait of modern Russia ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 25, 2007
... a strong candidate for my 2007 10-best foreign-film list ...
January 25, 2007
[Kolya] Spiridonov carries himself with such sweet, soulful determination that it's impossible not to root for him.
Read More | Original Score: B
January 25, 2007
Combining the influences of Italian neorealism with Dickensian melodrama, Andrei Kravchuk's simultaneously tough-minded and sentimental The Italian is as bracing as it is moving
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.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
January 19, 2007
The Italian is a debut feature by Andrei Kravchuk, and it shows some sophisticated style.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 19, 2007
At heart, The Italian is a Dickensian tale that paints a vivid portrait of post-Glasnost Russia en route to a four-handkerchief ending.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 19, 2007
Even if circumstances edge toward the unlikely, [director] Kravchuk and [child actor] Spiridonov make an effective team, exploring the realities that lead to so much heartbreak for so many children.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
January 19, 2007
The Italian is an aesthetic gem, but a moral muddle.
January 18, 2007
The Italian is not so much about present-day Russia as it is an upbeat fable of what [director Andrei] Kravchuk envisions as its future. It's a wish-fulfillment fantasy posing as hard-edged realism.
Full Review | Original Score: B
January 18, 2007
For all its sly appraisals, grouty surfaces and hard-luck situations, The Italian is underneath it all a fairy-tale.
January 18, 2007
The Italian holds us with a timeless simplicity and narrative purity.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 17, 2007
The hardships and setbacks are just grim enough to be effective without plunging the viewer into Russian despair.
Full Review | Original Score: B
January 16, 2007
I think The Italian is supposed to be A.I. without robots.
September 23, 2006
Full of cold truths and warm sentiment, this is a Dickensian tale set to the contemporary rhythms of post-Communist Russia.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4