Sputnik (2020) Poster

(2020)

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7/10
Finally something new and refreshing...
shakal_marko28 August 2020
I have to say,I really liked it. The story was tense from the beggining and the acting was quiet good. This is how every sci-fi movie should be...Entertaining,good plot, new and fresh ideas...Overall a good sci-fi movie... well done
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7/10
A little Sci-Fi gem
TheLegendOfThe422 September 2020
Well, what do we have here? Could this be one of those films that have stopped coming from big studios a long time ago? Could this be a decent, well-made and thought provoking story in an interesting setting with great visuals and acting? In 2020?

Well, yes! Leave it to the Russians to bring some loving Sci-Fi back. Set in an intriguingly nostalgic feeling USSR of the 80s, "Sputnik" is a slow-paced, but increasingly intense story that manages to make you think a bit. The characters are nuanced, the plot is adequate, the cinematography very nice to excellent, and even the CGI is better than many films with way higher budgets.

If you don't try to project any "Western" expectations onto it and maybe even understand the "Russian soul" a bit, you will definitely enjoy this.
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6/10
Felt this movie was weird? Let me explain
kuarinofu14 August 2020
I know something about Russian cinema (I live near Russia and I speak Russian).

Let me explain why this movie is not what it could've been.

First of all, modern big-budget Russian cinema is desperately trying to copy Hollywood-style productions and franchises, they even borrow some scripts and ideas (which is fine, many European filmmakers do this). Indie Russian filmmakers mostly do other types of films and there are lots of great Russian films out there, like Durak (2014), Leviathan (2014), Zhit (2010), Zavod (2018) and many more.

This film is not an exception in terms of Hollywood copy-pasting. Up to around 1 hr mark, they just copy scenes and concepts from popular films like Annihilation, Venom, Gravity (opening scene), Arrival, After Earth, and Alien Covenant. This is a common practice since sometimes they just straight-up rip off scripts and whole films like Nochnye strazhi (2016) (MIB rip-off with vampires), Den D (2008) (Commando scene-by-scene ripoff), Voin (2015) (a rip-off of Warrior (2011) and many, many more.

They do this copy-paste pretty well, the cinematography is great, the 80ties Soviet-era setting works although they never really dive deep into it since this film was made for international release and most of the more complicated stuff just wouldn't be understood. In this film though they re-create those scenes not exactly knowing what they are meant to establish. Many scenes are supposed to be emotional but not in this film, they clearly misunderstood the tone of some of those since the music is heavily misused in this. Like the scene where the doctor is transported to the facility, which was taken from the Arrival, but they play military-style music which does not fit well into the "delving into the unknown" style of the scene, more like an action film build-up.

Right around 1hr mark, they run of these and just start making their own stuff up, making really big stretches in terms of the script. Since the premise was a mix of other films they didn't really know where to go with this and thus, the film transformed into a mess of unbelievable scenes and random unnecessary subplots. Character motivation is completely dropped and all the things the characters do make absolutely no sense, nobody knows what and why they are doing.

The kid subplot was so incredibly unnecessary and disconnected that removing it from the story would change absolutely nothing. I have absolutely no idea why it was even included (probably because of using this mix of ideas they didn't really know what genre the film is supposed to be, a sci-fi horror? a family drama? who knows).

The ending is very messy and kind of defeats the purpose of most of the unmotivated character actions, which is a staple of these types of films.

We will surely see more of these since foreign markets are very profitable, and since most of these big productions are co-funded by Fond Kino (Cinema Fund, Russian governmental organization), the creators are not really scared of losing money and are just trying to build up better visuals and more recognizable imagery to sell their product worldwide.

Even though this film was quite a mess, I still want to give props to the filmmakers (one of which is the son of a great Soviet director Sergei Bondarchuk (the author of many great films and even an oscar-winning Voyna i mir (1966-67), who plays the commander in this one) for achieving a technical level of a good Hollywood production.

Too bad they had no original concept or a general idea of what they are trying to show.

Hope this review makes it easier for foreign viewers to understand and appreciate this film for what it is.
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9/10
excellent
saamitrov16 August 2020
I almost never give a nine for a movie but this one deserves it,I'm a big fan of science fiction and I saw probably everything worthwhile from that genre but this film is a real surprise for me,this is one of the best sci-fi movies in my life ! Watch this movie without the prejudices which you may have about Russian movies and you will be as surprised as I am !
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6/10
The second half needs remaking
Jim_Screechy17 August 2020
This movie starts off well enough with an intriguing, if a little slow account of the aftermath of a Russian space craft's return to earth. There is a good deal of suspense throughout the movie and its well acted and reasonably well directed. The problems stem from the failing plot that surfaces about an hour into the screenplay where the focus shifts from the extraterrestrial and scientific aspect of the events, to one of inter-Soviet self interest, coupled with professional ambition, deceit and posturing.

This is all done fairly badly and is incongruous with the preceding story line. The result is a sudden and very disjointed feeling from what was a quite immersive film experience. I'm not sure why this was done, but I suspect it was a foolish attempt to add depth and dimension to a plot that really needed something quite spectacular to successfully bring it to conclusion given the topic at hand.

Though this isn't Alien, or anything like a number of other titles involving extraterrestrial or extraordinary beings unwittingly coming to be present normal life, It is s subject that has been breached numerous occasions, and finding a unique path for development which is successful isn't always easy. Here, the plot becomes messy, the scenes and dialog delusive, and progression of the story becomes dependant and the characters making unrealistic decisions, poor choices, and atypical behaviour.

I definitely liked it initially, but sadly I began rolling my eyes with the later developments and by the end I was fairly disappointed with what really should have been a good film.

Old Hollywood films always had romance in them. It didn't matter if it was a Spy film, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Thriller or some other genre. There was always some romantic subplot thrown in for good measure. This movie had aspects of this dated approach included for reasons I can only guess, and the results made it feel stilted and hackneyed, especially because it was done so obtusely.

I can't recommend it in all honesty, though I think a six is a fair enough score given it did have some good aspects.
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8/10
Sputnik nails the Atmosphere for the Sci-Fi Horror
Harikl15 August 2020
This Russian sci-fi horror was surprisingly good. It captures the atmosphere of Russian military and alien amazingly. Yes, the relationship and motive between two main characters is debatable and feel unrealistic. But i am passing it as the rest of the movie was fantastic. Actors did a good job especially the military commander. It would have been 10/10 if they had tweaked the script a bit.
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7/10
It has Been A Long Time Since A Good Alien Movie
crowes-1886516 November 2020
This is a very well done sci-fi with a solid creature which isn't too over the top and is kept just simple enough to really work. Some of the only gems coming out of the horror and sci fi genres these days are the indie/foreign films and this one delivers a scary creature without getting so bogged down and convoluted as some of the more recent big budget films. It is subtitled but you can still appreciate that the actors/actresses were quite good. It was an unexpected surprise and I recommend it to anyone surging through the massive catalog of cookie cutter and ridiculous horror movies of late.
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8/10
Very good slow burn Russian scifi
siderite17 August 2020
I am happy to see that Russian scifi films are finally moving towards the Russian scifi literature that I loved so much as a child. This is a wonderful little gem, a Russian version of Life, but with more focus on the people and less on the special effects and action scenes. Not perfect, mind you, but so far the best Russian science fiction film I've seen them make recently. And the special effects were very good, too, which makes the decision to keep them in the background so much more laudable.

The weakest link is the main character, unfortunately, who does things that make little sense for a scientist. Yet her contribution is not that of a character, but as a carrier of the audience, so what she does is really not that relevant.

I hope Russian cinema will start bringing back the intellectual slow burn story, the civilian scientists that have to solve problems without relying on strength or weapons, but on their own thinking.
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8/10
Kudos Russia! 👏🏻
leigh-williams88811 September 2020
I don't normally write reviews but felt I had to, as I don't understand the low scores.

I'm a big fan of sci fi, and I like stumbling across finds like this.

Maybe I went into it not expecting much, as the alien parasite thing has been done before, usually by Hollywood. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Great acting performances throughout, and great camera work.

It was suspenseful and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. At almost 2 hours long I barely noticed. I liked that I couldn't predict what was next.

Great script and the ending topped it all off.

Even the effects were good.

Give it a go!
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8/10
If you like Sci-Fi. You'll like this.
doktorwirefly23 August 2020
I had a friend a long time ago who when we sat down to watch a movie together, if I attempted to name an actor, would silence me saying, "suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the movie for what it is". It's easy to make comparisons with the familiar. It's a lot harder to judge something unfamiliar on its own merit. I'm not Russian, neither do I speak the language so I was grateful for the steady paced subtitles to guide me through the plot. If you need to measure this movie against others of similar ilk. You are probably going to be disappointed? On the other hand. If like me you are prepared to leave your ego and bias at the door. You might notice what a little gem this movie is. Go Russia. Make some more.
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9/10
Misleading trailer leads to hidden gem
alexlittle-8121518 August 2020
The only thing this movie suffers from is an extremely misleading trailer, in the vein of "it comes at night". Do NOT expect an edge of your seat alien horror movie because that's not this one. It's instead an excellently crafted slow burn thriller helped on by excellent directing, cinematography, score, performances and some exquisite special effects (The creature especially!!!!!)
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8/10
It's a quality film.
Sleepin_Dragon23 January 2021
I'll be honest, I was really excited to see this, I don't have much experience with Russian Cinema unfortunately, but I'd this was anything to go by, then I am keen to see more.

A very good start, it's creepy, it's imaginative, I can truly believe that this is set in The Cold War USSR in the 1980's.

Well acted, well produced, I'm no film expert, but in terms of the visuals, it feels more American cinema than European cinema to me, it looks great.

I just love how Russian it is, from the name, to the Russian dolls that pop up.

It's chilling, it looks great, it exceeded my expectations, I perhaps didn't enjoy the ending quite to much, but that's a minor quibble, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. 8/10.
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6/10
Excellent cinematography, but the story goes nowhere
Gentzen19 August 2020
Cinematography (camera, pace, lighting, angles) is top-notch. Score is majestic and utterly suggestive of a dark, claustrophobic atmosphere and the sense of grappling with the unknown. Acting is good enough. However, the story goes nowhere really. The reach of the plot runs out at just over an hour, once the picture has become clear of what the situation is. From there on, it becomes nonsensical, as it lacks a credible motivation for the main characters' choices of course of action. There is also little reason behind a middle ranked army officer keeping all of this secret from headquarters. And the child subplot is rather superfluous and contributes nothing. The resolution of the story is hasty and fairly commonplace, a sign of the script having run out of original ideas.

The film is, therefore, a mixed bag. Technically, it stands its ground very well against better and more expensive sci-fi productions from Hollywood . It is true that special effects and CGI are sparse here, but this film is not meant to tread the same roads as thinly-scripted, CGI-heavy, teen sensations like Transformers. Instead, a well worked out script would have allowed expert direction to make this into a solid, sober and tense, sci-fi drama.
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7/10
very impressed
mitza_bombonik14 July 2020
My dad is a fan of Russian movies and he recomend me this movie who really impressed me. the script wasn't like the american movies where you can guess the next move and how it will end. The special effects were well made. I totally recommend this movie
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7/10
A good find
apollosdei7 August 2020
Usually you don't expect much from non American sci fi movies. But this one is a good find. It's like seeing those movies of the 80's or 90's that still weren't that formulaic and doesn't try either to lecture you on morals or is totally devoid of any moral standing. The pace is slow but not boring (something American movies have lost the ability to keep) and the story evolves naturally and never fails to its own logic (there is no "you gotta be kidding me" moment as it all matches and fits without foolishness or absurdity, given the preset premises). Maybe it needed a little more or a little else to excel but it's quite a good product and the special effects are perfect (on par or even surparssing the American CGI's).
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9/10
What a great movie
mikeleus-128 August 2020
Just finished watching the movie and damn, what a good picture. It kept me glued the whole time, everything is done so well and meticulously thought out. Story wise, nothing seems out of place, everything is explained in a plausible scientific way. It felt fresh and original, although it has some similarities with a couple movies I've seen before. The USSR atmosphere, the horror/mystery aspects are portraied pretty well, but they're not the main attraction. The gem of this movie is the main protagonist, Tatyana. She felt like an effortless marriage between Eleanor Arroway (Contact) and Louise Banks (Arrival). Very practical, smart, stoic and effective, with a lot of emotion and care. She grabbed my attention with every word she spoke, and all the actions she was taking. The acting from the main cast is very good as well, found only one weak link but they redeem themselves close to the end. Very tight and interesting script, great cast and writing, amazing original soundtrack. A strong 9/10 for a international mystery/thriller and a solid 10 for a Russian made movie.
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9/10
Really engaging film
Smiling_slinky17 August 2020
I saw a trailer for this movie on reddit, and thought I would check it out, and I was surprised to find it released recently and gave it a watch. I was really impressed how hooked I was on the mystery. The film is very well done, especially great camera work and sound design. The characters were interesting and kept me watching until the end. I liked the movie all the way through including the ending, which is a rare feat to stick the landing on these types of movies. I enjoyed it very much.
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10/10
Excellent
Oakridger21 August 2020
Wow, this was a lot better than I expected. I loved the imagery and the pacing and the general ambience, a powerful feeling of what old Russia was, and the film isn't accepting or rejecting of it, but just presents it. On top of that, it was full of unexpected events and great acting. I usually can predict a sci fi plot, and a typical American sci fi will eventually have a predictable plot outside of the rare few very good ones, like Interstellar, Annihilation, Ex Machina, etc. This was not predictable and was not a typical "horror" film, either. Ultimately, it addresses alien life in a complex way that I haven't seen done before, even as it mildly references the imagery of films like Alien.

I loved it.
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9/10
Very good
sonekken5 July 2020
The astronaut - alien parasite theme has been explored with mostly disastrous results by Hollywood. But the Russians finally nailed it.
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9/10
The use of metaphors in Russian cinema
ochayecloud17 August 2020
A very enjoyable film. I can never watch a Russian film without having the sense that I'm missing something; that the director is also communicating a deeper message through metaphors, hence why many Russian films stay 'inside me' for a long time after I have watched them. I did wonder if the alien represented the old 1980's soviet communist state that Russians grew up with inside them and would identify themselves with although it was actually alien to them: a symbiotic relationship that ended, disastrously in many cases for both when communist Russia died. Anyway, that's my, rather unsophisticated, tuppence worth.
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8/10
Nice little sci-fi/horror film
Top_Dawg_Critic28 September 2020
This was a really well done film. The S/VFX were excellent. The directing was great. Writing, run-time and pacing were spot on. Cinematography and score were on point. The acting and casting couldn't have been better. Very entertaining indeed.
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7/10
Solid Soviet Monster Movie
TheFilmFanatic2121 January 2021
I thought that Sputnik might have been the only Russian film I have ever watched, but then of course recalled that I, like many Film Studies students, also studied Battleship Potemkin as well as the grueling Soviet anti-war film, Come and See. After a quick search I also realise I have caught Day Watch and Night Watch a few years back, but remember little about those fantasy thrillers. Otherwise, my experience with Russian cinema is fairly limited.

Sputnik is a film I had on my list of horrors to watch over October for Halloween due to the praise it had received and its comparisons to Ridley Scott's Alien, but didn't manage to watch until now, as it has recently been uploaded to Netflix.

Set in 1983, this solid sci-fi horror centers on psychiatrist Dr. Tatyana Klimova, who is enlisted by the military to assess the mental state of a cosmonaut who has had a bumpy re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, soon learning that he has brought back a little friend in his own esophagus, bringing whole new meaning to getting something stuck in your throat.

As you might have guessed, Sputnik's monster movie script is nice and straight-forward, so you'll know what to expect around most of the corners of the intense Soviet base setting. This is not to the detriment of the Soviet creature feature, however. There is nothing wrong with enjoying something that set's its intentions out clearly and concisely, and there can often be comfort in what is familiar. To that end, those who love Alien, but also enjoyed science-fiction horrors like Life (2017) and Splice (2009), may enjoy Sputnik for the film that it is.

It's by no means a masterpiece, and doesn't offer anything wholly original to the genre apart from telling the story from a cultural and historical angle that many of us might not be used to, as well as a semi-interesting psychological/symbiotic spin.

With strikingly sparse cinematography, a scattering of slimy special-effects and just enough gore to make this Russian movie worthy of its sub-genre, Sputnik did not disappoint.

7/10
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9/10
After the thing (original) this is the 2nd favourite sci fi cinema in same genre
suvechhabose20 August 2020
The quiet place,Ad astra,high life You name it,this movie is better than all of them combined .Yes u read it right.

What a beautiful cinema! Oh my,where to start? First this movie will seem a little slow,dull,same premise,same objective as any other alien sci-fi movies But at the middle you ll see something's are different in this movie,i wont reveal them but they are terrific and perfectly understandable.

Why every alien would want to kill an alien? Is it necessary because its horror genre s groundwork? Kudos to that director for his innovative idea. Cinematography and background score is cryptic and emotional,fits like a symbiote.

Go for it,you won't regret.. This movie deserves alot more praise. And anybody not understanding this, need to watch the movie on its emotional ground And forget about the sci fi element.
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8/10
Sputnik
marmar-6978021 August 2020
Sputnik may actually be the best Sci Fi film that i saw entire year only competitor can be Vast of Night and even if that film was also good,Sputnik was more effective and more chilling to me,it also had great use of atmospfere and some creepy imagery,Some people would compare this film to Alien or even Carpenters The Thing and even if it has some referances to such films,Sputnik was also able to be original in a way and it had interesting alien creature design,look of entire film and colors in it were also very strong and it blended with a story very well,relationship and chemistry between our leads was little rushed and with little chemistry between them,but it surved its purpose,Sputnik was a very surprising Russian Sci Fi film
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6/10
Decent film very cgi - An honest decent watch
EversonMovies19 January 2021
This is a decent film if your looking for something on a Friday night after work with your loved one. I would assume being a Russian film the budget was not that high but the cgi is done very well. It will not win any Oscars but it is definitely a decent watch for you more non mainstream film
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