MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 421 this week

Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  14 October 2005 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 48,106 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 172 user | 113 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 11 Feb 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 07 Mar 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 22 Apr 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 21 May 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 28 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

Everything Is Illuminated (2005) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Everything Is Illuminated.

User Polls

6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the summer of 2004, on a car journey in Eastern Europe, Pavla Fleischer met and fell in love with Eugene Hutz, lead singer of New York's Gypsy Punk band Gogol Bordello. Captivated by his... See full summary »

Director: Pavla Fleischer
Stars: Eugene Hutz, Pavla Fleischer, Boban Markovic
Submarine (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.

Director: Richard Ayoade
Stars: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic
Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits
Our School (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Three Roma children from a small Transylvanian town participate in a project to desegregate the local school, struggling against indifference, tradition and bigotry with humor, optimism and sass.

Directors: Mona Nicoara, Miruna Coca-Cozma
Stars: Alin Moldovan, Dana Varga, Beniamin Lingurar
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A comedy centered on three flatmates living desperate lives in London.

Director: Madonna
Stars: Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This vibrant concert film/documentary includes three years of highlights from the intimate Vermont music and arts festival (2004-2006). Performers include: Gogol Bordello, Cyro Baptista and... See full summary »

Director: Chris Pepino
Stars: Gogol Bordello, Eugene Hutz, Oteil Burbridge
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Miou-Miou
Day Zero (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The military draft is back, three best friends are drafted and given 30 days to report for duty. In that time, they're forced to confront everything they believe about courage, duty, love, friendship and honor.

Director: Bryan Gunnar Cole
Stars: Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, Jon Bernthal
Certificate: E Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Stars: Jonah Buffa, Sarah Flicker, Eugene Hutz
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Adam and Eve's story revisited with a twist \ Adam and Eve move in together. Only this time there's no Garden of Eden No snake to blame and not much of a god to fear. Just two people ... See full summary »

Director: Gur Bentwich
Stars: Sasha Franklin
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Nick Zedd
Stars: Brenda Bergman, Rustyn Birch, Bob
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Leaf Blower
Jana Hrabetova ...
Jonathan's Grandmother
Stephen Samudovsky ...
Jonathan's Grandfather Safran
...
Young Jonathan
Oleksandr Choroshko ...
Alexander Perchov, Father
Gil Kazimirov ...
Igor
Zuzana Hodkova ...
Alex's Mother
Mikki ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Mouse ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Boris Leskin ...
Robert Chytil ...
Breakdancer
Jaroslava Sochova ...
Woman on Train
Sergei Ryabtsev ...
Ukrainian Band Member (as Sergej Rjabcev)
Edit

Storyline

A young Jewish American flies to Ukraine in search of his grandfather's past. He has a photograph and the name of a village. He hires Odessa Heritage Tours, made up of a gruff old man and his English-speaking grandson. The three, plus grandfather's deranged dog, travel in an old car from Odessa into Ukraine's heart. Jonathan, the American, is a collector, putting things he finds into small plastic bags, so he will remember. Alex, the interpreter, is an archetypal wild and crazy guy. Alex asks the old man, "Was there anti-Semitism in the Ukraine before the war?" Will they find the village? The past illuminates everything. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Leave Normal Behind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Collector  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$66,806 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Gross:

$1,705,595 (USA) (25 November 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Safran Foer:  appears as the leaf blower at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

In one scene when they are driving, you can see the car which is carrying the film/sound crew, over the grandfather's shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Alex: My grandfather informs me that is not possible.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Several songs are credited to the New York punk/Gypsy/Jewish klezmer band, Gogol Bordello, which is led by Eugene Hutz, who plays Alex in the film (the same band greets Jonathan when he arrives on the train). The last of these songs, "Start Wearing Purple (For Me Now)," which plays over the end credits, is credited to both a correct spelling (Gogol Bordello), dg and Gogol Bodello, an incorrect spelling. See more »

Connections

References Sin City (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Dikiy Muzhchina
Written by Sergei Shnurov
Performed by Leningrad
Courtesy of S.B.A. Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Sentimental Road Trip ThroughThe Impact of Eastern European History
6 October 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Everything is Illuminated" is a simplified interpretation of something more than half of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel. This version is more about changes in Eastern Europe from World War II through post-Cold War and how the younger generation relates to that history as a family memory.

Debut director/adapter Liev Schreiber retains some of the humor and language clashes of the novel, mostly through the marvelous Eugene Hutz as the U.S.-beguiled Ukrainian tour guide. He is so eye-catching that the film becomes more his odyssey into his country and his family as he goes from his comfortable milieu in sophisticated Odessa to the heart of a cynical, isolated land that has been ravaged by conquerors through the Communists and now capitalists, with both Jews and non-Jews as detritus. As funny as his opening scenes are when he establishes his cheeky bravura, we later feel his fish-out-of-waterness in his own country when he tries to ask directions of local yokels.

Shreiber uses Elijah Wood, as the American tourist, as an up tight cog in a visual panoply, as his character is less verbal than as one of the narrators in the book. He and Hutz play off each other well until the conclusion that becomes more sentimental in this streamlined plot. Once the grandfather's story takes over in the last quarter of the film, marvelously and unpredictably enacted by Boris Leskin, the younger generation does not seem to undergo any catharsis, as they just tidy up the closure.

Schreiber does a wonderful job visualizing the human urge to document history. One of his consultants in the credits is Professor Yaffa Eliach and her style of remembering pre-Holocaust shtetl life through artifacts clearly inspired the look and it is very powerful and effective.

The Czech Republic stands in for the Ukraine and the production design staff were able to find memorable symbols of change in the cities, towns and countryside, as this is now primarily a road movie, and the long driving scenes do drag a bit. Schreiber retains some of the symbolism from the book, particularly of the moon and river, but having cut out the portions of the book that explain those, they just look pretty or ominous for atmosphere and no longer represent time and fate.

As W.C. Fields would have predicted, the dog steals most of his scenes for easy laughs. In general, Schreiber does go for more poignancy than the book. It is irresistibly touching, especially for those who haven't read the book, but less morally and emotionally messy.

The film is enormously uplifted by its marvelous soundtrack, which ranges from songs and instrumentals from Hutz's gypsy band to traditional tunes to contemporary tracks to Paul Cantelon's klezmer fusion score.

This is not a Holocaust film per se, being a kind of mirror image of "The Train of Life (Train de vie)" as about memory of a time that is freighted with meaning now, but will resonate more with those who have an emotional connection to that history.


61 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Language question monkeeking
If you liked this movie, recomend another.... greermandy
Only a 7.7/10? ryans_olson
Elijah Wood... killer_keith199
wow wtf ! Yincubus
History of Trachimbrod noharmzim
Discuss Everything Is Illuminated (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?