In the Soviet Union in 1936, shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. The 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.
Third film based on Boris Akunin's "Priklucheniya Erasta Petrovicha Fandorina" series of novels. On a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow general Khrapov was killed and no one else but ... See full summary »
This movie is about the stern gangster customs of one of the Russian provincial cities in the mid-90s . And you could expect either a stupid game of blind man's buffets or a truly bloody showdown with the stacks of "bluffers".
Aboard a ship early in the 20th-century, a middle-aged Italian tells his story of love to a Russian. In a series of flashbacks filmed almost entirely in creams, whites, and ochers, the ... See full summary »
The shepherd Gombo lives with his wife, three children and grandmother in a tent on the Mongolian steppe. They are pleased with their rustic conditions, until a Russian truck driver, ... See full summary »
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.
A loose remake of 12 Angry Men (1957), set in a Russian school. 12 jurors are struggling to decide the fate of a Chechen teenager who allegedly killed his Russian stepfather who took the teenager to live with him in Moscow during the Chechen War in which teenager lost his parents. The jurors: a racist taxi-driver, a suspicious doctor, a vacillating TV producer, a Holocaust survivor, a flamboyant musician, a cemetery manager, and others represent the fragmented society of modern day Russia. A stray bird (a touch of New Age cinema) is flying above the jurors' heads, alluding to tolerance.Written by
Yuriy Stoyanov's character (the guy "from" Harvard) shows the picture of his mom to the cemetery director. In fact it's Youri himself on the photo in female dress and make-up. Picture is taken from Reklamnaya pauza (2006) playing the character "Gorobov" which made him a star. See more »
"Ernest Emerson" is a manufacturer of knives from the USA. However their model, CQC7, is not like the knife on the film. Emerson knives are folding knives. See more »
Jury plays god to a man, Mikhalkov plays god to a jury
The movie is bipolar. The upsides: great performances by many great actors; a view that the movie provides into the minds of contemporary Russians; and watching 12 post-post-Soviet (yet born and raised Soviet) people engaged in the a very Western activity, where their universal human feelings are intermixed with ways of thinking and arguing that are skewed by the history and problems of Russian society. Having characters give monologues in a single-room setting works very well for the theatrically-trained actors. Also, the discussion of society's problems and human responsibilities is refreshingly serious, in a big contrast to most post-Soviet expression, which tends to be extremely cynical (as argued quiet well by Efremov's character).
Downsides: certain characters are shallow caricatures clearly used to express Mikhalkov's personal tastes; way too many stretches in the plot; and the ending/punchline. Mikhalkov turns everything on its head in the end, very unconvincingly trying to argue that "freedom is slavery" and negating any civic benefit that the movie could have. This argument is basically a restatement of his political goals, most recently expressed off-screen by an open letter to Putin in the name of "all Russian artists" begging him to stay another term. Ironically, the argument is presented so weakly and crudely that Mikhalkov ends up shooting himself in a foot.
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