The Russian Woodpecker (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Russian Woodpecker (2015)

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A thrilling investigation into the ghosts of the Soviet Union and the mind of an irradiated Ukrainian artist on a quest to discover the 'criminal' behind the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Unforgettably eccentric artist Fedor Alexandrovich begins his quest by revealing to the world an enormous secret Soviet weapon that stands in the shadow of Chernobyl, and which Kremlinologists in the 1980s thought might be a giant mind-control device. But what Fedor discovers is much more sinister. While his theory that Chernobyl was an inside job may seem mad, the audience too starts to question reality when secret police appear and one of the crew members is shot by a sniper, as revolution, paranoia and terror engulf the crew. This Sundance Grand Jury winner and darling of critics worldwides pushes the boundaries of the documentary form while telling a crucial story about the deadly dance between Ukraine and Russia, and hinting at what Putin has in mind next.

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Critic Reviews for The Russian Woodpecker

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9)

Gripping conspiracy thriller, pretentious art biopic, timely political documentary -- 'The Russian Woodpecker' is all this and more.

November 19, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Provocative, spooky and just a little nutty.

October 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Alexandrovich's ideas are poised to be embraced by a wide swatch of conspiracy theorists as this film continues to be discovered and debated.

October 16, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Mr. Gracia's messily structured film works best as a document of fear in today's Ukraine and as a kind of ghost story about the Soviet Union.

October 15, 2015 | Full Review…

The Russian Woodpecker is only valuable as entertainment, though the absence of any equivalent to the Zapruder film or allegedly suspicious NASA photos means there's not much visual interest.

October 15, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The Russian Woodpecker is very much like Fedor himself -- eccentric as hell, smart as a whip, and, at the end of the day, a heartbreaker.

October 14, 2015 | Full Review…

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