In the Fog

2013

In the Fog

Critics Consensus

While it treads familiar narrative ground -- and is a mite predictable at times -- In the Fog proves a smart, thought-provoking antidote to Hollywood action movies.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

59%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,612
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Movie Info

Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation, and local partisans are fighting a brutal resistance campaign. A train is derailed not far from the village, where Sushenya, a rail worker, lives with his family. Innocent Sushenya is arrested with a group of saboteurs, but the German officer makes a decision not to hang him with the others and sets him free. Rumours of Sushenya's treason spread quickly, and partisans Burov and Voitik arrive from the forest to get revenge. As the partisans lead their victim through the forest, they are ambushed, and Sushenya finds himself one-to-one with his wounded enemy. Deep in an ancient forest, where there are neither friends nor enemies, and where the line between treason and heroism disappears, Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances

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Critic Reviews for In the Fog

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (4)

  • As remorseless in style as it is in message, "In the Fog" offers little hope and few pleasures, but earns admiration for its elegant exploration of the lowest depths of the human condition.

    Aug 8, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Intimate in the telling, sweeping in the implications, Loznitsa has created an unusually incisive film.

    Jul 11, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • In the Fog, which seems to me a masterpiece, is about occupation and the destruction of an understanding of one's own history.

    Jul 2, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Even when the pace wanes, the images are still gripping.

    Jun 14, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The world and its choices are often cruel, but for all the devastations visited on the characters, Mr. Loznitsa is searching for the human good amid a human catastrophe.

    Jun 13, 2013 | Rating: 5/5
  • In the Fog has the inevitability of an avalanche, and only our overfamilarity with Nazi-tribulation scenarios, and perhaps its excessively punctuated ending, could slow it down.

    Jun 11, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for In the Fog

  • Sep 15, 2015
    In occupied territory during World War II, Nazis execute a group of partisans who were possibly turned in by one of their one. Burov(Vladislav Abashin) figures the most likeliest informer is Sushenya(Vladimir Svirskiy), the one the Nazis let go. So, Burov decides to take matters into his own hands, while at least not killing his former comrade in front of his family. And that's when things get complicated. Being on somewhat unfamiliar cinematic ground, "In the Fog" gets off to a promising start. But that's before the movie spends most of its running time chasing its tail, instead of spinning a compelling and suspenseful story. That just goes to prove that the time and place for a philosophical discussion is not a war zone.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2014
    In the middle of all the intensity, style and excitement of Tarantino's film, you probably recall an opening scene in <i>Inglourious Basterds</i> which suspense is entirely built on the premise of imminent danger, with a pervasive silence and an excellent evolution of dialogue, which slowly led from one fact to the next, giving us clues of a very probable tragic outcome. <i>In the Fog</i> extends this effect for two hours, and the result is intoxicating. Such description hints that it requires patience, and indeed it does, but it rewards highly to those willing to listen, and to "see the film between the lines", if we could invent such a phrase to reference the act of reading a book attentively. Slowly showing events with a cinematography mostly consisting in long, unedited shots that create an admirable sense of realism, time passing and danger, <i>In the Fog</i> consolidates Russia's top spot and king status in constructing beautiful introspective and humanist anti-war cinematic letters since the 50s until the 70s during the USSR days, until they acquired a more brutally realistic tone in the 80s. <b>TINY SPOILERS AHEAD ABOUT THE FILM'S STRUCTURE, NOT REVEALING ANYTHING ABOUT THE PLOT</b> The most surprising unexpected characteristic of <i>In the Fog</i> is that it slowly reveals its intentions, showing events first and explaining them later, arriving to a point where a sudden turn of events changes the film's storytelling structure completely: it becomes a roller-coaster, taking the backgrounds of three different characters, each with their own agendas and personal troubles, and telling them separately, until arriving once again to the present. This puts the pieces back together and allows to tie loose ends. <b>END OF STRUCTURE SPOILERS</b> That structure allows for the plot to become meaningful as it unfolds, all of this while an invigorating camera work takes us from scenery to scenery, just like in the old film days of the Soviets: the swamps, the forests, the snowy fields, the battlefields, the houses, the fog... All of these, along with the very slow pace, become natural landscapes dissonant with the atrocities of war. In the meantime, thought-provoking discussions between characters reunited by strange circumstances of fate unravel about the trascendence of death, about the burden soldiers carry with respect to the perception that their fellow countrymen have towards them, about the strength to live despite an evident lack of reasons to keep moving forward, and, just like the plot summary properly describes, the capacity of the human condition to opt for the "morally correct" in the context of "immoral" - more properly, catastrophic - circumstances. Very recommended. 79/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2013
    This compelling, intelligent, heart-warming drama directed by Sergei Loznitsa was a real flop in Russia. But this co-production between Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands and Russia had some success on the world scene - even competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and won the Golden Apricot at the 2012 Yerevan International Film Festival in Armenia. I can understand that in the modern times with lots of individuals with short attention span there will be limited number of those who will appreciate the slow tempo of storytelling, and this movie feels like it tells a story in a real time - like we are there. You can almost feel the cold, pain, love... everything from the screen is magically transferred to the audience! The director Sergei Loznitsa deserves praise. What a wonderful job he did. It wasn't an easy task to adapt Vasil' Bykaw's short story. Everything is happening in 1942 on the territory of Belarus occupied by the German army. The Germans face strong resistance from the Partisans and hatred of most of the local people, but there are people who work with the Germans, because there were tough choices to make. Sushenya is a track-walker arrested and then suddenly released after three of his co-workers were hanged for blowing up a German train. Two Partisans, one of them his close friend have an order to capture Sushenya and lead him to the forest where they have to shoot him as a traitor... but life has different plans! I haven't enjoyed such complex acting from the main characters for a long time. Vladimir Svirskiy as Sushenya, Vladislav Abashin as Burov and Sergei Kolesov as Voitik have three completely different characters and you could almost feel the way they think - they were working perfectly with each other to bring the feel of chemistry which is necessary for movies like this to feel real. And this one did! If you are a fan of an intense, slow-burning and haunting drama, pick this one.
    Panta O Super Reviewer

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