The Return (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Return (2003)

The Return (2003)

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Critic Consensus: A suspenseful but perplexing thriller.

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Movie Info

Russian filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev makes his feature-film debut with the bleak psychological drama Vozvrashchenie (The Return). Younger brother Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) and older brother Andrei (Vladimir Garin) live in a small town with their mother (Natalya Vdovina). One summer, the brothers are surprised by the arrival of their long-lost absent father (Konstantin Lavronenko). Although the boys only know him from an old photograph, he still orders them to accompany him on a fishing trip. The stern father then puts his two sons through a series of endurance tests. Doting Andrei is quick to cooperate, while stubborn Ivan is more reluctant to trust him. Ivan wants to know where he's been and what he's up to. After they travel by boat to a deserted island, the father gets even more mysterious. The Return won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 2003.

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Critic Reviews for The Return

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (34)

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…
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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…
Salon.com
Top Critic

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…
AV Club
Top Critic

Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching.

March 27, 2013 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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…
New Yorker
Top Critic

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 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

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