Over 150 of the best Russian language filmsby AksanaKravtsova | created - 25 Jan 2011 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
*in no particular order
Russian cinema has experienced three political regimes: the Russian Empire, Pre-1917; the Soviet Union, 1917–1991; and the Russian Federation, 1991–present. Unfortunately, during the past decade Russians learned very well to shoot bad films, produce good promotions for them and make big money at the same time. Russian films of the 21 century take up less than a quarter of my list. Russia shoots a lot of films today, but only 1% make it to the theaters. However, I do highly recommend all the films on my list. I do not list the films in any particular order, so you may chose to go by IMDB rating or by the time period you prefer the most. Many films are available on YouTube with English subtitles. If you have any questions or suggestions, please message me or leave a comment. Also, take a look at my other lists on IMDB. I was careful to include all the films that I really like.
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1. The Italian (2005)
PG-13 | 90 min | Drama
Set in 2002, an abandoned 5-year-old boy living in a rundown orphanage in a small Russian village is adopted by an Italian family.
Votes: 2,972 | Gross: $0.55M
2. How I Ended This Summer (2010)
Not Rated | 130 min | Drama
One place. One day. Two men. The place is a polar research station on an island in the Arctic Ocean, inhabited now only by Sergei and Pavel. One day when Sergei is out angling, Pavel picks up a radio message that he daren't communicate.
Votes: 6,136 | Gross: $0.01M
4. Harvest Time (2004)
67 min | Drama
Winner of a Golden Plaque award at the Chicago International Film Festival "for its complex and poetic evocation of an ambiguous period in Soviet history," Marina Razbezhkina's debut film ... See full summary »
5. The Return (2003)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama
In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father - a man they know only through a single photograph - resurfaces.
Votes: 38,488 | Gross: $0.50M
6. Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)
R | 99 min | Drama, War
Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.
Votes: 3,916 | Gross: $0.66M
8. Dog's Heart (1976)
113 min | Comedy
Professor Preobrazhensky puts courageous experiences, trying to turn a dog in equal to in all of the person. As a result somebody turns out Doggies. Unfortunately, experience proves that it is better for dog to remain a dog.
9. Rebro Adama (1990)
79 min | Comedy, Drama
In a small urban flat, grandma, mom, and two daughters live in partial harmony. Grandma is bed-ridden and mute, but rings a bell above her head. Her daughter Nina, a museum docent, misses ... See full summary »
Votes: 257 | Gross: $0.24M
10. Family Relations (1982)
98 min | Comedy, Drama
A woman from the countryside comes to the city to visit her only daughter and granddaughter. She is hopelessly lost in this world she does not understand.
11. The Island (2006)
PG-13 | 112 min | Drama
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
13. East/West (1999)
PG-13 | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, History
June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,380 | Gross: $2.78M
14. The Twelve Months (1956)
55 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
A poor girl was given an impossible task by her stepmother: to gather snowdrops in a winter forest. Suddenly she stumbled across twelve brothers who happened to be the twelve months.
16. The Dawns Here Are Quiet (1972)
PG-13 | 188 min | Drama, History, War
During WWII in a small village outpost, a commander has his troop replaced by an all female unit. As they finally begin to appreciate one another, German paratroopers are spotted nearby and the realities of war emerge.
17. The Barber of Siberia (1998)
180 min | Comedy, Drama, History
At the edge of the 19th and 20th centuries, the career of young Russian cadet is crashing because of his love to American adventuress. But she falls in love too, and her life changes forever as well.
18. Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)
PG | 150 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
This is a life story of three girlfriends from youth to autumn ages. Their dreams and wishes, love, disillusions. Different careers. And big late love.
Votes: 10,193 | Gross: $2.50M
19. Anna Karenina (1967)
PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, Romance
Anna Karenina is a young wife of an older husband. She has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky. By following her desires Anna complicates her life.
20. Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
R | 109 min | Crime, Drama
Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
Votes: 40,005 | Gross: $0.18M
21. Everybody Dies But Me (2008)
80 min | Drama
One Monday morning Katya, Vika and Zhanna learn that there will be a school disco, their first disco, on the coming Saturday night. The girls feverishly start preparing for the event, which... See full summary »
22. Bury Me Behind the Baseboard (2009)
PG-13 | 117 min | Drama
A small child is trapped in a tug-of-war battle between his frivolous, but loving mother and an emotionally abusive neurotic grandmother, who wants to "shelter" her beloved grandson at all cost.
23. Burnt by the Sun (1994)
R | 135 min | Drama, History, War
In Soviet Union in 1936, a shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. An accusations of being him a foreign spy are nonsense, and all known that, but a slow process of his life's downfall is already running.
Votes: 13,226 | Gross: $2.62M
24. Voenno-polevoy roman (1983)
92 min | Drama, Romance
This melodrama revolves around the post-war meeting reunion an intelligent front-line officer, now happily married, and a woman street vendor. This encounter reawakens in them submerged ... See full summary »
25. Roads to Koktebel (2003)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A widowed aeronautics engineer, who has lost his job, travels with his son hopping freight trains from Moscow to Koktebel, a town by the Black Sea, to start a new life with the father's ... See full summary »
26. War and Peace (1966)
GP | 422 min | Drama, History, Romance
Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre... See full summary »
Votes: 5,541 | Gross: $0.13M
28. White Sun of the Desert (1970)
Not Rated | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
At the end of the Russian Civil War, Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov is ordered to guard the harem of a Caspian Sea guerrilla leader.
29. The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, War
Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter.
30. Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future (1973)
TV-G | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
An ordinary Soviet building manager, living in the 20th century, is extremely similar to a Tsar of All Rus' - Ivan IV the Terrible (1530-1584). He would never learn about it, but one day his neighbor created a time machine.
32. The Diamond Arm (1969)
PG-13 | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
An ordinary Soviet citizen accidentally intervenes into the huge operation of international criminal group that trades illegally obtained jewelry.
33. Operation 'Y' & Other Shurik's Adventures (1965)
TV-G | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
Three stories about Shurik - a young student. He fights against criminals, falls in love, confuses apartments, passes exams - he lives after all.
35. Barbara the Fair with the Silken Hair (1970)
85 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A Czar who attempts to trick a creature that demands tribute from him into taking a fisherman's baby instead of his newborn heir. Complications arise when the daughter of the creature, Barbara, requests a human suitor to find true love.
38. Admiral (2008)
Not Rated | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of admiral Aleksandr Kolchak who remained faithful to his oath to the Russian Emperor and fought against the Bolshevik rule after the 1917 October Revolution.
39. Solaris (1972)
PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.
My mom's favorite movie and director.
42. Crime and Punishment (2002 TV Movie)
200 min | Crime, Drama
Living in squalor, a former student and loner (Raskolnikov) murders an old pawnbroker woman in order to confirm his hypothesis that certain individuals can pretermit morality in the pursuit of something greater.
43. Fate of a Man (1959)
103 min | Drama, War
The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »
44. Little Vera (1988)
Unrated | 110 min | Drama, Romance
A story about a young woman, Vera, who is somebody, living the life of a troubled teenager in the time right before the end of the Soviet Union. She lives in a very small Russian apartment ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,578 | Gross: $1.26M
45. Oblomov (1980)
Unrated | 140 min | Comedy, Drama, History
St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' ... See full summary »
46. The Rider Named Death (2004)
Not Rated | 106 min | Drama
In pre-Soviet Russia, Boris Savinkov leads a terrorist faction of Socialist-Revolutionary Party members responsible for the deaths of governors and ministers.
Votes: 328 | Gross: $0.00M
47. Tchaikovsky (1970)
Not Rated | 157 min | Biography, Drama
The life and work of Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky is shown through his relationship with aristocratic art connoisseur Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck.
48. Vasya (2002)
60 min | Documentary
Vasya Sitnikov was officially insane, a man without a passport, in and out of mental institutions, yet he was the key figure of the nonconformist art movement in the Soviet Union. He left ... See full summary »