6.5/10
50,654
313 user 232 critic

Night Watch (2004)

Nochnoy dozor (original title)
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A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

Director:

Timur Bekmambetov

Writers:

Timur Bekmambetov (screenplay), Laeta Kalogridis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Konstantin Khabenskiy ... Anton
Vladimir Menshov ... Geser
Valeriy Zolotukhin ... Otets Kosti
Mariya Poroshina ... Svetlana
Galina Tyunina Galina Tyunina ... Olga
Yuriy Kutsenko ... Ignat (as Gosha Kutsenko)
Aleksey Chadov ... Kostya
Zhanna Friske ... Alisa
Ilya Lagutenko ... Andrey
Viktor Verzhbitskiy ... Zavulon
Rimma Markova ... Koldunya Darya
Mariya Mironova Mariya Mironova ... Mat Egora
Aleksey Maklakov ... Semyon
Aleksandr Samoylenko ... Medved
Dmitriy Martynov ... Egor (as Dima Martynov)
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Storyline

Among normal humans live the "Others" possessing various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of the dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light govern the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day Moscow the dark Others actually roam the night as vampires while a "Night Watch" of light forces, among them Anton, the movie's protagonist, try to control them and limit their outrage. Written by Armin Ortmann {armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All That Stands Between Light And Darkness Is The Night Watch.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

3 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guardianes de la noche See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

RUR 80,740,175 (Russia), 11 July 2004

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,425, 19 February 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,487,477, 30 April 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,933,365, 13 February 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Anton's apartment, a reproduction of Rembrandt's painting "Nightwatch" can be briefly seen reflected in a window. See more »

Goofs

When Anton and Olga are in Yegor's apartment explaining the vampires to Yegor, Anton is watching the news on TV. When he moves to the smaller TV and turns on the news, it says "MUTE" on the screen, but the news anchor is still talking. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Since the time immemorial, the knights who call themselves the Warriors of Light have been chasing witches and sorcerers who torture humans.
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Crazy Credits

The intro credits for the Russian version are shown during the swimming pool scene and the succeeding scene where Anton gets a phone call. The title credits interact with the surroundings, (e.g., flow like blood in the water). See more »

Alternate Versions

A 114 minute international cut has been released by FOX Searchlight worldwide. While it adds more explanation to the "Others" concept, it cuts some subplots and trims the movie down. The most noticeable changes in this cut are the following:
  • The prologue has been dubbed in English and contains more voice-over exposition on the "Others".
  • The cast credits have been moved to the end of the movie; the title appears before the prologue (as opposed to the Russian version, where it appears in the swimming pool scene).
  • When Anton wakes up and equips himself, the voice on the cellphone in the international version explains the objective of Anton's mission much better and helps the viewer understand the purpose of Anton's drinking blood and the strange bulb in his flashlight.
  • Additional flashback scenes have been inserted. There, in 1992, Bear and Semyon explain to Anton who the "Others" are.
  • Anton was made a seer, able to see the future. Visions of accidents when he spots Svetlana in the subway have been inserted, and in the beginning, scenes with his wife are shown to be visions (the latter were simple "meantime" scenes in the Russian cut).
  • One of the Others' powers was taken away. In the international cut, when Anton is heading towards Svetlana's apartment and his dialog with Olga is heard, Anton asks what if Svetlana recognizes him in from the subway, and Olga tells him to say he's a patient hoping she'll believe. In the Russian cut, Olga advices using the power of telepathic conviction to convince Svetlana Anton is a patient.
  • Scenes where Zavulon plays a video game are placed in a different order. In the international cut, Zavulon plays for the first time during Alissa's concert and loses, then plays while Anton is at Yegor's place and wins. In the Russian cut, Zavulon only plays during the concert, wins the first time he plays, then changes his strategy and loses.
  • While healing Anton, Geser blames him for killing a Dark one and foreshadows a cataclysm in the international cut, while the Russian cut shows him comforting Anton who feels guilty by saying him he offered the vampire the eternal rest.
  • Complete removal of the Ignat scenes at the ballet as well as Svetlana's walk to the supermarket and the attempt of her seduction in order to "relax" the vortex. However, the power shutdown at the ballet theater is still shown.
  • Removal of most scenes inside the airplane which got caught by the curse vortex. As a consequence, in the international cut, when Geser calls Anatoliy and asks him to check things on the Internet, Anatoliy checks the weather forecast, while in the Russian cut, he logs in the search engine as "Gorsvet", selects a new option "Search in the future", then finds a page describing the airplane crash. The image then passes from the photo of the crashed plane to the scene in the same plane ready to take off in present day.
  • The Russian cartoon "Priklyucheniya Domovenka" which Yegor is watching on TV has been digitally replaced by an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • In the international cut, Anton finds out Yegor is his son by reading his profile and finding out the old witch tricked him. When taken by Simeon to see Geser, he is shocked by the news. In the Russian cut, he knew it already and remembers the "Simeon questioning Darya" scene in the truck while riding from Yegor's place. Later, he reads his profile, and is shocked by the line "capable of murder", which brings him down, as he still blames himself for Andrei's death. Still shocked, he is taken away by Simeon to see Geser.
  • The credits song in Russian has been replaced by a different one, in English.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kak snimalsya 'Nochnoy dozor' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Nochnoy dozor (Finalnyy rep)
("Night Watch (The Final Rap)")
Music by Vladimir Kristovskiy
Lyrics by Sergey Lukyanenko reworked by Vladimir Kristovskiy
Performed by Uma2rman (uncredited)
Featured during the end credits of the original Channel One Russia release
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Disarming and Marginally Effective Russian Vampire Romp
7 March 2006 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

"Night Watch" is far more entertaining than many of its American counterparts in the "secret underground world of vampires and good vs. evil" genre. Unlike "Underworld" and "Constantine" it kept my attention throughout, but still this Russian smash is severely flawed.

First, let's applaud the good parts. "Night Watch" is distinctly Russian. Moscow is presented as a vibrant mix of modern metropolis and Gothic-style throwback to the middle ages. The plot, heavily steeped in its own fabricated mythology from a series of popular books, also serves on some level as an allegory for the fall of Communism and the rise of Capitalism. In my mind, the forces of "dark" forced underground are the Communists, while the forces of "light" (whose HQ is fronted by the City Electric Company) are the Capitalists, who often get caught up in their own bureaucracy in their vain attempts to keep the peace and not violate the truce. Some of the special effects and modern riffs on vampirism are highly imaginative and disarming (I loved "The Gloom" aspect). The American distributors also deserve some credit for their creative use of subtitles which often become part of the scene without ever distracting from the visuals.

Unfortunately, the director is clearly a veteran of music videos, and he makes the action sequences hyper kinetic and often incoherent. When he does manage to create an alluring visual, he quick-cuts, and you wish he would've had the patience to hold some of the shots longer. This hectic visual style is evident in the plotting as well, which clearly is setting up for sequels with the introduction of many characters, though some of the subplots (especially involving the cursed virgin woman and her evil vortex) seemed unnecessary. Likewise, the rushed finale seemed oddly anti-climatic and didn't pack the wallop I feel the filmmakers intended.

Despite the flaws, I will eagerly await the American distribution of the sequels, and I suppose that is the greatest compliment a film like this can receive.


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