The Island (Ostrov)

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63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

81%

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User Ratings: 2,469

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Movie Info

Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.

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Critic Reviews for The Island (Ostrov)

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (7)

  • A contemplative fable, not without its wry wit, which effectively ponders the workings of faith, specifically the connection between gnawing guilt and a desire to do good.

    February 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • An unsentimental journey of guilt, atonement and redemption, with moments of comic bleakness. Your eyes will be smarting.

    February 5, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The folksy structure both lulls and frustrates, and there's something dirgeish about the endless scenes of soul-wracking and tea-brewing. The cinematography's almost inappropriately pretty, though.

    February 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A slow and sometimes testing parable of sin, faith and redemption, Pavel Lungin's film escapes impenetrable tedium thanks mainly to a captivating central performance.

    February 5, 2010
  • The performances have a gruff splendour, the scenery is powerful. But Louguine lacks the talent, or Tarkovskian vision, to pack the screen with the kind of visual transcendentalism the story and dialogue peddle.

    February 5, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Nothing much is certain in this bleakly enigmatic tale, which moves at a pace most will find unacceptable. Those who stay the course will perhaps, like the monk himself, want to take a long rest afterwards.

    February 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Island (Ostrov)

  • Jul 08, 2011
    This is more than a movie? Ostrov is a great piece of world and Russian art cinema. Greatly filmed, greatly directed, and greatly acted. But that?s nothing to what hides behind the entire image, where this movie becomes a masterpiece. It?s about a life of a man, who made a sin, and all his life have been asking god to forgive him for his sin. In his praying he has got a power to help other people to get rid of their sins. And that?s about the power of religion and faith. This movie may seem to be just about monks and church, but it?s much wider. It?s about pure people. In my case I have to say that I became better and cleaner after watching the film. Check your state of spirit after seeing the movie. For a time, after the movie, you are another human being. The film has the power to change you - even just for a while. And this is not a spell. This is because - shortly - you can see (it is offered to you) the essence of the human being. Afterwards you go back down in your cave, as you cannot continue by your own to see it. But the traces remain in your soul. It is like an initiation. I don't consider it especially linked to the Orthodox Church. There are principles in this film which transcends religions. A man has a mission on this earth. Only few peoples know their mission. Father Anatoly has lived just to accomplish his mission. Death is not something awful for him. It is just another step. Another import idea in the film: how strong are human beings attached to not important things? This stops them to see the essence. And this is the drama of the society. This film for Russia - it is an important and timely message. For those who want to know more of "the mysterious Russian soul" - it is an excellent description. I've hardly seen a better one. For all taking the spiritual development seriously - the film will also be useful no matter what is their religion but also the film shows also the difference between being a real religious man and being part of the church institution. "Ostrov" proved to be a phenomenally moving and affecting spiritual experience. From cinematography, composition of scenes, scenery, philosophical messages, religious messages and the good side of humanity are all absolutely perfect beyond any description. It is amazing how reach in meanings it can be. For everybody interested in spiritual life: it is a must see . Sometimes everyone has to sit down to watch such a picture; fortunately sometimes such movies do reach our eyes and hearts.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2011
    by turns beautiful, funny, touching, earnest. proof there are still wonderful films being made in russia.
    chase _ Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2011
    Wonderfully made, <i>Ostrov</i> combines the mysteries of healing and foreseeing the future with self discovery, in a religious context. The photography and settings are beautiful, it has an adequately slow pace, and convincing performances. The film deals with a very tormented character looking for redemption in the context of the Russian-Orthodox church, whose behavior confuses the rest of the monks, himself called a very sinful man but considered saint by many others. It's a very interesting film to see, simple but elegant.
    Liolia K Super Reviewer

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