Best Russian Movies of All Times

by exclusiveshortfilms | created - 21 Jul 2012 | updated - 21 Jul 2012 | Public

The criteria for the inclusion into this list are as follows: 1. A movie must be released either by a Soviet or Russian production company irrespective of the original language used in the movie as a primary one, be produced by a substantially Soviet or Russian film crew or have a predominantly Russian-speaking cast (Yuri Mamin's "The Window to Paris" would be an example); and 2. A movie must have exceptional artistic significance either for Russian or world cinema. Given that the definition of "Russian" as used in the list includes any movie released by a Soviet production company, one will see quite a few Georgian titles here - such as Otar Iosseliani's "Iko shashvi mgalobeli" ("Once Upon a Time There was a Singing Blackbird") for example - although the original language of these releases was Georgian. Feature films, short films, animated films, documentaries and TV series - all qualify for the inclusion. So here it is. Enjoy. Leonid Storch.

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1. Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors: Sergei Eisenstein, Dmitriy Vasilev | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov

Votes: 11,813

2. Andrei Rublev (1966)

R | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer St. Andrei Rublev.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Votes: 55,186 | Gross: $0.10M

3. Encore, Once More Encore! (1992)

104 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In a distant garrison, officers and soldiers are influenced by their love affairs.

Director: Pyotr Todorovskiy | Stars: Valentin Gaft, Irina Rozanova, Evgeniy Mironov, Elena Yakovleva

Votes: 326

4. Assa (1987)

153 min | Crime, Drama, History

ASSA is set in Crimea during the winter in the mid eighties. A young musician (Bananan) falls for mobster's (Krymov) young mistress (Alika). The parallel story line involves an 18th century assassination plot.

Director: Sergey Solovyov | Stars: Natan Eidelman, Anatoly Slivnikov, German Shorr, Ilya Ivanov

Votes: 2,960

5. Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance, War

Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime.

Director: Grigoriy Chukhray | Stars: Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Antonina Maksimova, Nikolay Kryuchkov

Votes: 10,877

6. Beg (1971)

196 min | Drama, History, War

The defeat of the "White Army" in the Russian Civil War of 1918-21, causing massive emigration of the upper classes and nobility, called "White Russians". Set in Crimea, Constantinopol and ... See full summary »

Directors: Aleksandr Alov, Vladimir Naumov | Stars: Lyudmila Saveleva, Aleksey Batalov, Mikhail Ulyanov, Tatyana Tkach

Votes: 1,199

7. Bezymyannaya zvezda (1979 TV Movie)

140 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

"Stars never leave their orbits". The poor astronomy teacher got one more demonstration of this law when he met HER. SHE was "from the another world". SHE was strange and inappropriate in ... See full summary »

Director: Mikhail Kozakov | Stars: Igor Kostolevskiy, Anastasiya Vertinskaya, Mikhail Kozakov, Svetlana Kryuchkova

Votes: 506

8. Brat 2 (2000)

122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Arriving in Moscow, Danila discovers Konstantin dead and he sets out to avenge his death; a journey that leads him to Chicago and a whole new experience.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov | Stars: Sergey Bodrov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Sergey Makovetskiy, Irina Saltykova

Votes: 16,175

9. Brother (1997)

99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ex-soldier with a personal honor code enters the family crime business in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov | Stars: Sergey Bodrov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Svetlana Pismichenko, Mariya Zhukova

Votes: 22,818

10. Watch Out for the Automobile (1966)

94 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A very good cop tries to catch a very insidious and extremely clever serial car thief. The bitter irony is that the thief is not very clever, absolutely not insidious, and a virtuous person and his friend.

Director: Eldar Ryazanov | Stars: Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Oleg Efremov, Lyubov Dobrzhanskaya, Olga Aroseva

Votes: 5,734

11. 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.

Director: Vladimir Motyl | Stars: Anatoliy Kuznetsov, Pavel Luspekayev, Spartak Mishulin, Kakhi Kavsadze

Votes: 7,493

12. The Diamond Arm (1969)

Not Rated | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

An ordinary Soviet citizen accidentally intervenes into a huge operation of international criminal group that trades illegally obtained jewelry.

Director: Leonid Gaidai | Stars: Yuriy Nikulin, Nina Grebeshkova, Andrey Mironov, Anatoliy Papanov

Votes: 15,412

13. Bumbarash (1972 TV Movie)

135 min | Adventure, Comedy, Musical

Private Bumbarash is considered dead after air balloon scouting incident gone awry. When he, alive and well, returns home, he has to stay alive and regain the girl he loves in the harsh yet tragicomic circumstances of Russian Civil War.

Directors: Abram Naroditsky, Nikolai Rasheyev | Stars: Valeriy Zolotukhin, Yuri Smirnov, Natalya Dmitriyeva, Yekaterina Vasilyeva

Votes: 323

14. The Conductor (2012)

86 min | Drama

The conductor goes with the orchestra to Jerusalem to execute the oratorio "Passion according to St.Matthew". But tours are wrapped in the tragedy. The black sun of Jerusalem unmasks with ... See full summary »

Director: Pavel Lungin | Stars: Vladas Bagdonas, Inga Strelkova-Oboldina, Karen Badalov, Sergey Koltakov

Votes: 419

15. Moscow Laughs (1934)

96 min | Comedy, Musical

A musically talented shepherd gets his big chance when he is mistaken for a famous conductor.

Director: Grigoriy Aleksandrov | Stars: Leonid Utyosov, Lyubov Orlova, Mariya Strelkova, Elena Tyapkina

Votes: 1,026

16. A Driver for Vera (2004)

105 min | Drama

A General, who had sent for a cadet from the Kremlin Guard to work as his personal driver, decided to marry him to his physically disabled daughter

Director: Pavel Chukhray | Stars: Igor Petrenko, Alyona Babenko, Bogdan Stupka, Andrey Panin

Votes: 1,932

17. War (2002)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, War

During the bloody war in Chechnya, a British couple and two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen rebels. Two of the hostages are then released to bring the money for the British woman who is forced to wait for the ransom.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov | Stars: Aleksey Chadov, Ian Kelly, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Sergey Bodrov

Votes: 5,127

18. War and Peace (1965)

GP | 453 min | Drama, Romance, War

The Russian aristocracy prepares for the French invasion on the eve of 1812.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk | Stars: Lyudmila Saveleva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Boris Zakhava

Votes: 7,769 | Gross: $0.13M

19. The Thief (1997)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama

A woman meets a man who isn't the right man for her - but she hasn't realised it yet...

Director: Pavel Chukhray | Stars: Vladimir Mashkov, Yekaterina Rednikova, Mikhail Filipchuk, Dima Chigaryov

Votes: 5,447 | Gross: $1.13M

20. Hamlet (1964)

Not Rated | 140 min | Drama

After the death of the King of Denmark - Hamlet's father - his brother Claudius ascends the throne, who takes his widow Gertrude as his wife. Hamlet meets the ghost of his father and learns that he was killed by Claudius.

Director: Grigoriy Kozintsev | Stars: Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Mikhail Nazvanov, Elza Radzina, Yuriy Tolubeev

Votes: 2,854

21. Gloss (2007)

118 min | Comedy, Drama

A pretty, young girl from a coal-mining town comes to Moscow with dreams of becoming a supermodel in this satirical look at the fashion industry.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Yuliya Vysotskaya, Irina Rozanova, Aleksandr Domogarov, Efim Shifrin

Votes: 1,112

22. Shine, Shine, My Star (1970)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The story of a young actor during the Civil War years who drives around the countryside giving free performances in order to bring art to the masses.

Director: Aleksandr Mitta | Stars: Oleg Tabakov, Oleg Efremov, Evgeniy Leonov, Elena Proklova

Votes: 507

23. Zerograd (1988)

103 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Going on a business trip, the hero of the film suddenly finds himself in a fantastic city. It is very similar to our world, only the hidden absurdity of everyday life here has become apparent.

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov | Stars: Leonid Filatov, Oleg Basilashvili, Vladimir Menshov, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan

Votes: 2,365

24. 12 (2007)

PG-13 | 159 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

72 Metascore

Twelve jurors must decide the fate of a Chechen adolescent charged with murdering his stepfather.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov | Stars: Sergey Makovetskiy, Sergey Garmash, Apti Magamaev, Nikita Mikhalkov

Votes: 15,023 | Gross: $0.13M

25. Day of the Full Moon (1998)

93 min | Drama

The heroes of the film are "new Russians" and an old Uzbek, a lucky killer and a popular DJ, a beautiful princess and a mysterious monk, a foreign diplomat and a great poet .

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov | Stars: Anna Germ, Andrey Panin, Elena Koreneva, Vladimir Ilin

Votes: 345

26. Dersu Uzala (1975)

G | 142 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Vladimir Khrulyov

Votes: 31,856

27. Wild Field (2008)

108 min | Drama

A young doctor relocates to a remote region of central Asia, thinking his fiancee soon will join him ...

Director: Mikheil Kalatozishvili | Stars: Oleg Dolin, Roman Madyanov, Yuriy Stepanov, Aleksandr Korshunov

Votes: 675

28. His Wife's Diary (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama

An attempt to fathom the personal life of the great Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

Director: Aleksey Uchitel | Stars: Andrey Smirnov, Galina Tyunina, Olga Budina, Evgeniy Mironov

Votes: 600

30. Elena (2011)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten dutiful housewife Elena's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan ...

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev | Stars: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Aleksey Rozin, Elena Lyadova

Votes: 14,762 | Gross: $0.02M

31. Dostoyanie respubliki (1972)

138 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The swordsman and the commissar crossed their swords over the treasure.

Director: Vladimir Bychkov | Stars: Oleg Tabakov, Andrey Mironov, Spartak Mishulin, Yuriy Tolubeev

Votes: 400

32. The Wishing Tree (1976)

107 min | Drama

This film is about psychology of people, about lonesome persons, about terrible mentality and about fantastic dreams...

Director: Tengiz Abuladze | Stars: Lika Kavzharadze, Soso Jachvliani, Zaza Kolelishvili, Kote Daushvili

Votes: 1,806

33. Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird (1970)

85 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A carefree young percussionist roams the streets of Tbilisi, interacting with friends and strangers alike, and tries to avoid responsibilities.

Director: Otar Iosseliani | Stars: Gela Kandelaki, Gogi Chkheidze, Jansug Kakhidze, Irine Jandieri

Votes: 1,190

34. Forgotten Tune for the Flute (1987)

134 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A former musician must make a hard choice between freedom with mistress and comfortable life with wife.

Director: Eldar Ryazanov | Stars: Leonid Filatov, Tatyana Dogileva, Irina Kupchenko, Vsevolod Sanaev

Votes: 845 | Gross: $0.09M

35. Hello, I'm Your Aunt! (1975 TV Movie)

98 min | Comedy

Unemployed and homeless Babbs Baberley (Alexander Kalyagin) is being chased by the police who attempt to arrest him for vagrancy. Babbs finds himself in a rich house, where he encounters ... See full summary »

Director: Viktor Titov | Stars: Aleksandr Kalyagin, Tamara Nosova, Tatyana Vedeneeva, Valentin Gaft

Votes: 1,787

36. The Sannikov Land (1973)

95 min | Adventure

The exiled settler Alexander Ilyin persuades the goldmines owner Trifon Perfilyev to sponsor the expedition dedicated to the searches of "Sannikov Land", a legendary warm land behind the Polar circle.

Directors: Albert S. Mkrtchyan, Leonid Popov | Stars: Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy, Georgiy Vitsin, Oleg Dal, Yuriy Nazarov

Votes: 656

37. Mirror (1975)

Not Rated | 107 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev, Oleg Yankovskiy

Votes: 49,156 | Gross: $0.18M

38. Ivan's Childhood (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, War

During WWII, Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev strikes up a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers while working as a scout behind the German lines.

Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky, Eduard Abalov | Stars: Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Evgeniy Zharikov, Stepan Krylov

Votes: 38,067

39. The Needle (1988)

81 min | Drama, Thriller

Moro returns to Alma Ata to collect money owed to him. While waiting out an unexpected delay, he visits his former girlfriend Dina, and discovers she has become a morphine addict. He ... See full summary »

Director: Rashid Nugmanov | Stars: Viktor Tsoy, Marina Smirnova, Pyotr Mamonov, Aleksandr Bashirov

Votes: 2,717

40. Interventsiya (1968)

127 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

The movie is set during the last days of foreign intervention agains Soviet Russia. Police are searching everywhere for a bolshevik named Brodsky but cannot find him. Meanwhile, a man named... See full summary »

Director: Gennadi Poloka | Stars: Vladimir Vysotskiy, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Olga Aroseva, Gelena Ivlieva

Votes: 297

41. Playing the Victim (2006)

95 min | Comedy

A young man drops out of university and goes to the police. He's done nothing wrong he just wants a job. A particular job. Playing the victim in murder reconstructions. Maybe by getting close to death he can manage to cheat on his own.

Director: Kirill Serebrennikov | Stars: Yuriy Chursin, Vitaliy Khaev, Marat Basharov, Olga Demidova

Votes: 2,614

42. The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! (1976 TV Movie)

TV-G | 192 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An incredible story about a man who misplaced the cities and found his love during the one special night - New Year's celebration.

Director: Eldar Ryazanov | Stars: Andrey Myagkov, Barbara Brylska, Yuriy Yakovlev, Aleksandr Shirvindt

Votes: 12,850

43. Kot v sapogakh (1996)

27 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A cat uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master.

Director: Garri Bardin | Stars: Konstantin Raykin, Aleksey Stychkin, Rogvold Sukhoverko, K. Smirnov

Votes: 232

44. Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

11 min | Animation, Short, Drama

A little hedgehog, on the way to visit his friend the bear, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect.

Director: Yuri Norstein | Stars: Vyacheslav Nevinnyy, Mariya Vinogradova, Aleksey Batalov

Votes: 7,630

45. The Tale of Tales (1979)

29 min | Animation, Short