6.4/10
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319 user 235 critic

Night Watch (2004)

Nochnoy dozor (original title)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
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 & 9 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 ... Olga
Yuriy Kutsenko ... Ignat (as Gosha Kutsenko)
Aleksey Chadov ... Kostya
Zhanna Friske ... Alisa
Ilya Lagutenko 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zhanna Friske's and Dmitriy Martynov's first movie roles. See more »

Goofs

When Anton passes a grumpy old woman in the subway she first stands with her back to him, then in a blink she is facing him, then she is facing the opposite direction again. 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

In the middle of the end credits, there is a teaser scene from the next movie, Day Watch (2006) with Zavulon getting hit by a bus. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Comedy Club: Episode #1.4 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lestnitsa
("The Ladder")
Written by Filip Chmyr, Aleksandr Kravtsov, Aleksandr Gorokh, and Stepan Bitus
Performed by Drum Ecstasy
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User Reviews

 
Shows promise as the beginning of a trilogy...
2 May 2005 | by deepcheckSee all my reviews

I have always respected fantasy-set films that try and take themselves seriously as cinematic pieces. When a director takes the actual construction of the film seriously, or tries to, I can respect the intent. As such "Night Watch" is difficult to judge. The cinematography is excellent: the camera-work is superb, the mood is perfect, the effects are beautifully rendered (and not overused), and the timing of individual scenes is consistent throughout the piece. The problem is the overall timing of the film. For over half the film, the overall plot and premise is ignored. It is very much as if we are watching two different episodes of the same TV series; the characters are the same, the premise is the same, it is clear how the plots fit together visually and thematically, but otherwise they have pretty much nothing to do with one another. They are not disjointed in their construction or presentation, it is simply that the plot threads are mostly unrelated.

It is worth pointing out that this is the first film in a planned trilogy. Every hanging plot/character moment in the film is very strongly intended to be followed through upon in the next two films, and it shows. Characters and references are not simply tossed aside, but are led into gently just enough to let the audience know that greater things are intended. While I'm not particularly a fan of this kind of thing, Night Watch does it very well, and I await the sequels with anticipation.

Many people on this board have made comparisons to Star Wars EpI-II, and for the life of me I haven't the faintest clue why. The concept of Imperfect Good vs Seductive Evil within the human soul was hardly invented by George Lucas (though vampires in Star Wars would be pretty freakin' cool), and its presentation in Night Watch is tight and interesting. There is no resemblance whatsoever, this is one of the more original films that I have ever seen, and I recommend it both for its flaws and perfections.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

3 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Watch See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$86,985, 19 February 2006

Gross USA:

$1,502,188

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,336,279
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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