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A suspenseful but perplexing thriller. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Andrey (Vladimir Garin) and Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) are brothers who have been raised alone by their mother. When their father (Konstantin Lavronenko) suddenly returns home after vanishing some 12 years earlier, they are both extremely happy to see him back in their lives. Ivan, however, quickly grows suspicious of his father, and determines to find out where exactly his father vanished to all those years ago, and why he suddenly decided to come back into their lives now.

Cast & Crew

Aleksey Suknovalov
Zavodila
Lazar Dubovik
Khuligan
Elizaveta Aleksandrova
Ofitsiantka
Lyubov Kazakova
Lyubov Kazakova
Vladimir Moiseyenko
Writer
Yelena Kovalyova
Executive Producer
Dmitri Lesnevsky
Producer
Andrei Dergachyov
Original Music
Zhanna Pakhomova
Production Designer
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Return

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (4)

  • The story, set in contemporary Russia, seems unexceptional at the start. Yet it plays out against a vast wilderness of shorelines and lakes, and turns tantalizing ambiguity into urgent mystery.

    March 27, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The long and eventful fishing trip Dad drags the boys on is simultaneously a very real voyage through the Russian wilderness and also, like, a Jungian trip, man.

    March 27, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Throughout his expertly controlled film, Zvyagintsev never allows a break in the clouds to provide some reassuring sign that the brothers are on solid footing.

    March 27, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching.

    March 27, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Zvyagintsev gets formidable concentration from his youthful actors, and his storytelling moves with the simplicity -- calm, chiselled, and suggestive -- of a fable.

    March 27, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Constructed like an eerie, metaphorical thriller, this tense, riveting character study offers viewers nearly two hours of emotions with a stunning pay-off no one will be expecting.

    June 4, 2009

Audience Reviews for The Return

  • May 09, 2018
    It has the stunning, bleak and oppressive beauty found in Andrei Tarkovsky's films, with a cold and blueish cinematography that offers no relief from the underlying tension that is basically omnipresent, and it benefits especially from three excellent central performances.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2017
    The Russians certainly know how to make beautiful films! Very reminiscent of Tarkovsky. Stunning visuals with beautiful muted blue cinematography. The two young leads are fantastic. I was sad to learn that Vladimir Garin, who played Andrey, passed away on the day the film premiered in Russia. One of the best films of the decade and a must see.
    Emily B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2017
    The Return is a dark, eerie film set in the outskirts of Northern Russia. When a father candidly returns to his two sons, after 12 years of absence, one meets him with admiration while the other in spite. What Zvyagintsev does great in his directorial debut is build eeriness with sound, even in scenes where nothing is apparently wrong, something feels off. By the end it's not clear how cruel the apparent gangster father was, never fully revealed, but he doesn't feel as evil as the build-up would suggest he is.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2017
    A remarkable visual but slightly empty at the end - powerful and emotional, but somewhat empty.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer

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