Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises

DVD - 2007
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Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London's most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Semyon heads the syndicate and is the proprietor of a plush Trans-Siberian restaurant. But his friendliness at the restaurant masks a cold and brutal core. Fortunes are tested by Semyon's volatile son and enforcer, Kirill. But Nikolai's carefully maintained existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by the death of a teenager while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try and trace the baby's lineage and relatives. The girl has a personal diary, but it is written in Russian. Anna's Russian-born uncle urges caution. Anna accidentally unleashed the full fury of the Vory. With Semyon and Kirill closing ranks and Anna pressing her inquiries, Nikolai unexpectedly finds his loyalties divided. Hanging in the balance is a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution.
Publisher: Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2007]
Edition: Widescreen.
Copyright Date: ©2007
Branch Call Number: EAS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (101 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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TIFF People's Choice Award winner from 2007


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noisyflowers Feb 01, 2016

Brutal but tremendously compelling.

y
yumsushi
Mar 03, 2015

Probably Viggo Mortensen's best performance. The movie does have a very significant loose thread, but otherwise an engaging movie

a
AQUILEA777
Feb 04, 2015

Heartwarming tale of mindless gangsters butchering one another, and the redemptive ministrations of the insipid Naomi Watts.

n
Nursebob
Jan 22, 2015

A dark and dismal glimpse into the inner world of the Russian mafia seen through the eyes of one of its soldiers is juxtaposed with the story of a young nurse trying to find the family of a newborn foundling. Generally good performances all around further enhanced by a subtle soundtrack, tight editing, and a dark palette of colours ranging from blood reds to shadowy blues. But while I did appreciate the fact that Cronenberg used the story of the baby as a counterpoint to that of the Russian protagonist....her final scene is awash with sunlight while he retreats further into darkness....the two tales did not fit together well. The film was further weakened by an implausible Hollywood-style ending. Despite these drawbacks I still found much to be admired here.

Froster Nov 29, 2014

Yet another disappointment from one of the most overrated filmmakers in modern memory, David Cronenberg. A critic's darling, despite his lovingly filmed, gelatinous gore, and his inability to distinguish drama from melodrama. This one, at least, has Viggo's privates to liven things up, but those are not the only things that are left dangling here. Over-hyped goulash.

s
steerpike
Apr 25, 2014

Deliberate pace, bloody and well cast melodrama by a very capable director.

Green_Bird_203 Dec 11, 2013

A first rate crime thriller. Excellent performances by all cast led by Viggo Mortensen. There’s an interesting originality in the story. Outstanding screenplay. Frankly speaking, by looking at the pictures on the back of DVD case box, I expected this movie a bizarre, trashy B-class action drama, but it turned out an excellent entertainment. I have never seen a non-porno movie with its leading actor’s nude being exposed so boldly like this one. Watching his genital swinging in the air was neither offensive nor grotesque. No stunt, 100% natural as bathing baby. I’d love to see the sequel of this movie.

epotter8811 Jun 13, 2013

For my money, this is one of Cronenberg's best movies and another excellent collaboration with leading man Viggo Mortensen. Violent at times (what Cronenberg movie isn't?) but more suspenseful than anything, Eastern Promises is a twisty mafia thriller with some striking performances from Mortensen and the always dynamic Vincent Cassel. While the big fight scene in a Russian bath house inspires much chatter for Mortensen's lack of clothing, one shouldn't overlook the fact that the fight itself is pretty amazing to watch. Naomi Watts is lovely though her character is a little underwhelming. A great companion film to Cronenberg's "A History of Violence."

l
LiamLeroux
Jan 12, 2013

Eastern Promises has the second best screen fight I have ever seen.

(The best is the roof top fight in the Korean film: Once Upon a Time in High School)

The food scenes are flawlessly photographed.

Dope!

r
reviewer
Aug 13, 2012

This graphically violent but artistically refined organized-crime film is the vehicle for Viggo Mortensen best, most engaging performance ever. Its other numerous attractions include an inspired rendering of the naked human body as an expressive vehicle, compelling touches of Russian culture and the pleasures of the table, and one of the most original knife fights in the history of film.

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runningbeat
Oct 16, 2017

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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bigcajunman
Feb 19, 2011

bigcajunman thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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phyllis49
Mar 18, 2012

Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London's most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Semyon heads the syndicate and is the proprietor of a plush Trans-Siberian restaurant. But his friendliness... Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl.

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Monolith
May 29, 2012

Nikolai Luzhin (of Anna's uncle): "He's old school. He understands situation... exile or death."

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