(2003)

Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Enriched by allusions to biblical stories of fathers, sons, and sacrifices, subtly woven into the movie's moodily photographed fabric.
90
At once a powerful psychological thriller and a haunting allegory, The Return marks an auspicious feature debut for helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev.
90
At once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). The Return announces the arrival of a major new talent.
88
A haunting, melancholy work.
88
New York Post
Vladimir Garin and Ivan Dobronravov are amazingly natural as the boys, and Konstantin Lavronenko impresses as the taciturn father.
80
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The hurt and rage flying back and forth have primal power, like Russian-flavored Eugene O'Neill. It's rare for a movie to work as effectively as this one does on such parallel tracks.
80
Variety
Constructed like an eerie, metaphorical thriller, this tense, riveting character study offers viewers nearly two hours of emotions with a stunning pay-off no one will be expecting.
70
Village Voice
Primordial and laconic, this remarkably assured debut feature has the elegant simplicity of its title.
60
Film Threat
With exceptional performances and extraordinary imagery, Zvyagintsev has fashioned a remarkable first feature.
50
The New Republic
Still, it never quite realizes the oneiric quality because, paradoxically, of its best achievement--the performances of the two boys. They are vital, insistent. Their beings contradict the dreaminess and make us ask the questions mentioned above.

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