The Fencer (Miekkailija) Reviews

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May 27, 2020
The Fencer works thanks in large part to a series of small moments that add up to a robust character study of both Endel and the town, filled with residents who are none too happy about being on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.
March 24, 2020
The Fencer is a minor film, but a very effective one that is well worth checking out.
January 30, 2020
Above all, the film serves as a tribute to Endel Nelis.
December 8, 2017
[Klaus] Hr's effort is very low-key, matching its quiet, contemplative atmosphere to desaturated, cold-toned visuals.
December 7, 2017
It's the kids, as charming and scrappy a bunch as you'd find anywhere, who give The Fencer its winning edge.
November 30, 2017
The true story of an Estonian sports hero offers a lovely twist on a familiar tale. A cinematic triumph from a nation that's been missing from the global film stage.
September 15, 2017
Unfortunately, being a sincere, heartfelt true story isn't enough to recommend this film. One can only hope that someone more skilled will someday tell this story in a more compelling fashion.
August 31, 2017
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.
August 25, 2017
Adeptly directed by Finnish filmmaker Klaus Haro, who emphasizes the hope and pride his protagonist inspires in his young students, this is a smooth sail of a movie too enjoyable to be doomed by its formulaic presentation of deserving material.
August 24, 2017
Although somewhat boxed in by its own physical beauty, The Fencer is so uniformly well-crafted, it should be shown in film schools as a model of technical artists operating at the highest level.
August 24, 2017
Klaus Hr's The Fencer straddles the line between the inspirational sports coach and postwar intrigue genres, and while it isn't a tournament-winning example of either form, it has a steady stance and hits most of the expected targets.
August 23, 2017
Basically a "Hoosiers" remake ... but that's OK. It's a winner here, too.
August 17, 2017
An effective mix of underdog sports drama and political thriller, inspired by the true-life story of celebrated fencing champ Endel Nelis.
August 17, 2017
Built to be an audience-pleaser, and it's successful in that respect, delivering a level of benevolence that's immensely appealing.
August 11, 2017
Not awful, just uninspired.
August 10, 2017
Though the camera follows Endel closely, we never really get inside his head - or explore the fear, regret and uncertainty that must plague him.
July 28, 2017
... an awkward mix of sports underdog saga and political thriller, yet even when its edges are soft instead of sharp, the crowd-pleasing result provides depth and historical insight.
July 21, 2017
The Fencer is respectable, well-acted and ultimately heartwarming, but it's also forgettable.
July 21, 2017
Throughout the film, Hr vividly captures a sense of the late Stalinist-era paranoia, as well as the drabness of Soviet life in general. It is also engaging on a human level. These are reserved people, but when they make a connection, it is meaningful.
July 21, 2017
A celebration of the ethical goodness and heroic acts of a teacher.
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