Vsadnik po imeni Smert (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vsadnik po imeni Smert (2005)

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Movie Info

A small band of radicals takes on a dangerous game of political assassination in this historical drama, based on a novel by Boris Savinkov. Near the dawn of the 20th century, with the Russian Revolution lurking on the horizon, George (Andrei Panin) is the steely leader of a group of socialists determined to bring down the Russian monarchy through any means necessary -- including violence. Working alongside George are Erna (Kseniya Rappoport), who makes bombs and has fallen deeply in love with George; Fydor (Rostislav Bershauer), a peasant who loathes the social and economic inequality of Russian society; Vanya (Artem Semakin), a philosophical type who believes revolution will allow the better side of the nation to rise to power; and Heinrich (Aleksey Kazakov), a deep thinker with an extensive education. George becomes obsessed with the notion of assassinating Grand Duke Sergey Aleksandrovich, and as the group repeatedly attempts to kill the monarch, their differences become increasingly evident as the organization splinters and the members follow different paths. The Rider Named Death (aka Vsadnik Po Imeni Smert) received its North American premiere at the 2004 Montreal Film Festival.

Cast

Rostislav Bershauer
as Fyodor (as R. Bershauer)
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Critic Reviews for Vsadnik po imeni Smert

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

Exquisite, self-contained curio.

Full Review… | July 29, 2005
Variety
Top Critic

Shakhnazarov's film effortlessly captures the times and the author's conflicted yet unyielding attitude, yet it never draws any conclusions -- the film remains under glass. It's watchable, nevertheless.

Full Review… | July 29, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The force of the film is not as profound as Shakhnazarov clearly intended, and The Rider Named Death is easier to respect than enjoy.

Full Review… | June 9, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

You have to wonder why Shakhnazarov, one of Russian's most experienced filmmakers, didn't take more care with the script.

March 18, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

There are few real revelations to be found among these curiously dispassionate radicals, making the overall experience sort of like seeing the movie, instead of reading the book.

Full Review… | March 18, 2005
New York Daily News
Top Critic

If you like your antiheroes tall, pale and existential, you won't do better than Georges, the anti-czarist assassin at the heart of Karen Shakhnazarov's historical drama Rider Named Death.

Full Review… | March 17, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Vsadnik po imeni Smert

An anarchist operating a terror cell in Czarist Russia loses each operative one by one until he faces his obsessive personal vendetta with a nobleman alone. A brittle, tightly constructed film about alienation, aggression and rage. A movie so hard to find that I was beginning to think I just imagined seeing it.

Adam Donnelly
Adam Donnelly
½

[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"The Rider Named Death" is a Russian movie which is based on a real life revolutionary terrorist. The movie opens in 1906 with a series of killings of government officials. The main character, Georges, is the mysterious leader of a cell that is committed to revolutionary violence. Their main target is a grand duke. While all of this is going on, Georges is romancing two women: a member of the cell who is the bomb maker and an upper class lady.[/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]"The Rider Named Death" is a well made movie. I like that it takes a chance by having its main characters the villains of the piece. It also makes two excellent points: [/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]1. There is no difference between a terrorist and your common murderer. The violence is not sensationalized. Georges does not seem to have a belief in much of anything. [/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]2. Terrorism is not a recent phenomenon.(A political assassination like those shown here in this movie started World War I.) It has been going on for a very long time. [/color][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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