The Fencer (Miekkailija)

Critics Consensus

The Fencer's inspirational coming-of-age arc is given added heft through sensitive direction, affecting performances, and a moving, fact-based story.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 52

74%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 918

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

74%
Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion - fencing, which causes a conflict with the school's principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel's background... Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.

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Critic Reviews for The Fencer (Miekkailija)

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14)

It's surprising how polite and restrained everything is. However, that doesn't mean you won't be wiping your eyes as the credits start to roll.

Aug 31, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Basically a "Hoosiers" remake ... but that's OK. It's a winner here, too.

Aug 23, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

An effective mix of underdog sports drama and political thriller, inspired by the true-life story of celebrated fencing champ Endel Nelis.

Aug 17, 2017 | Full Review…

Not awful, just uninspired.

Aug 11, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Though the camera follows Endel closely, we never really get inside his head - or explore the fear, regret and uncertainty that must plague him.

Aug 10, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

The sincerity with which the clichés get served up, and so on, make a relatively smooth viewing experience. But they also render what would have been an at times harrowing real-life story into something safe and bland.

Jul 21, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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