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 M. Eisenstein, Dmitriy Vasilev | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov

Votes: 9,646

2. Andrei Rublev (1966)

R | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

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

Votes: 38,959 | Gross: $0.10M

3. Ankor, eshchyo ankor! (1993)

104 min | Comedy, Drama

A drama set at the end of the Forties and the beginning of the Fifties. In a distant garrison town, life proceeds at a measured past. The officers drink and debauch, while the soldiers ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 247

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... See full summary »

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

Votes: 2,027

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: 8,648

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: 874

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: 388

8. Brother 2 (2000)

122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

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: 10,423

9. Brother (1997)

99 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

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: 14,254

10. Beware of the Car (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 moreover - a virtuous person and his friend.

Director: Eldar Ryazanov | Stars: Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Oleg Efremov, Lyubov Dobrzhanskaya, Anatoliy Papanov

Votes: 4,056

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: 5,967

12. 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.

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

Votes: 11,632

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: 244

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: 333

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: 760

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, Elena Babenko, Bogdan Stupka, Andrey Panin

Votes: 1,682

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: 3,491

18. 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 »

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

Votes: 5,489 | Gross: $0.12M

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: 4,519 | Gross: $1.13M

20. Hamlet (1964)

Not Rated | 140 min | Drama

When the king of Denmark dies suddenly, his son, crown prince Hamlet, returns home to find that his uncle Claudius has usurped the throne and married Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Then, one night, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost who commands him to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius.

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

Votes: 2,255

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: 935

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: 363

23. Zerograd (1988)

103 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

An engineer in charge of the production line of a factory in Moscow is sent to a small town to try to specify the distributor the new dimensions of a mechanic part they need. But in this ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 1,418

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: 13,183 | Gross: $0.13M

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: 21,193

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: 578

28. His Wife's Diary (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama

A tragic story of love and loneliness - this is the unknown life of the great Russian writer Ivan Bunin. The confused love story that involved Bunin, his wife Vera, the young poet Galina ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 496

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: 11,322 | Gross: $0.02M

31. Dostoyanie respubliki (1972)

138 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Spring 1918. After the Russian Revolution, Prince Meshchersky' collection of paintings and sculptures was to be nationalized. However, Tarakanov, the Prince's former land steward steals it,... See full summary »

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

Votes: 302

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: 1,257

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: 822

34. A Forgotten Tune for the Flute (1987)

134 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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

Director: Eldar Ryazanov | Stars: Leonid Filatov, Tatyana Dogileva, Irina Kupchenko, Valentin Gaft

Votes: 652 | 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: 1,310

36. The Sannikov Land (1973)

92 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: 487

37. The Mirror (1975)

G | 107 min | Biography, Drama

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: 32,257

38. Ivan's Childhood (1962)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, War

In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.

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

Votes: 26,359

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: 1,691

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, Yuliya Burygina, Yuriy Tolubeev, Yefim Kopelyan

Votes: 228

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: 1,782

42. Ironiya sudby, ili S legkim parom! (1975)

192 min | Comedy, Romance

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

Stars: Liya Akhedzhakova, Aleksandr Belyavskiy, Barbara Brylska, Georgiy Burkov

Votes: 9,850

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, A. Stychkin, Rogvold Sukhoverko, K. Smirnov

Votes: 181

44. Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

11 min | Animation, Short

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: 5,721

45. The Little Grey Wolf Will Come (1979)

29 min | Animation, Short

Distant, well-worn memories of childhood are inhabited by a little gray wolf. Through astonishing imagery, the memory of all of Russia is depicted.

Director: Yuri Norstein | Star: Aleksandr Kalyagin

Votes: 2,940

46. Girlfriend (1989)

10 min | Animation, Short

Add a Plot

Director: Elena Gavrilko

Votes: 30

47. The Old Man and the Sea (1999)

20 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

An old fisherman goes out on his fishing trip and makes a huge catch, the biggest of his life.

Director: Aleksandr Petrov | Stars: Gordon Pinsent, Kevin Duhaney, Yôji Matsuda, Rentarô Mikuni

Votes: 3,466

48. Krokodil Gena (1969)

20 min | Animation, Short, Family

Cheburashka is a creature unknown to science. After the zoo rejects him, he becomes lonely and wants friends. Meanwhile, a crocodile named Gena is in the same boat and seeks friendship. The two meet and build a house for the lonely.

Director: Roman Kachanov | Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Klara Rumyanova, Vladimir Rautbart, Vladimir Kenigson

Votes: 1,540

49. Cheburashka (1971)

19 min | Animation, Short, Family