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Based on 35 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 34 )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    In Eastern Promises, shot to envelop by the great Peter Suschitzky, Cronenberg brings us face to face with the horror of self. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    A thoroughly entertaining film by a director at the height of his ability. show more

  • 75
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Eastern Promises has a compelling story and strong performances to back up what may seem excessive or sensationalistic. show more

  • 90
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Viggo Mortensen's performance is flat-out brilliant, and this relentlessly dramatic thriller represents a mid-life growth spurt for its director, David Cronenberg. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    The violence here is never in the service of spectacle, always of the story. show more

  • 75
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    The first must-see adult film of the young fall. show more

  • 90
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Cronenberg and screenwriter Steve Knight masterfully orchestrate an atmosphere of danger and dread for a descent into an underworld inhabited by the Russian mafia in London. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The actors and the characters merge and form a reality above and apart from the story, and the result is a film that takes us beyond crime and London and the Russian mafia and into the mystifying realms of human nature. show more

  • 100
    Glenn Kenny Premiere

    One of Cronenberg's subtlest, most insinuating pictures, and one of the highlights of the year so far. show more

  • 88
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    An unusually strong crime thriller, Eastern Promises comes from director David Cronenberg, a meticulous old-school craftsman of a type that is becoming increasingly rare. show more

  • May 22, 2008 gyekelchik
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    1. Vory v Zakone are all in their 80's. They have been replaced by much more violent and more powerful mafia's.2. No one in the movie speaks Russian - or close to understable Russian... A lot of of the time - had to switch he subtitles on to understand... 3. No story line what so ever... 4. Movie only concetrates on tattoos and throat cutting... Which russian mafia's excel in - however - no real ties to the real underworld. 5. I THOUGHT I SAW THE WRONG MOVIE AT FIRST - COMPLETE GARBAGE... WOULD NOT RECOMMEND EVEN IF YOU ARE ABLE TO SEE IT FOR FREE...

  • May 22, 2008 Marie
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    Having seen Viggo Mortenson in "A History Of Violence" I know what a wonderful actor he has become. I have not seen "Eastern Promises" yet I intend to, most likely by renting the video. The synopsis intrigues me, so I am eager for it to come out on DVD.P.S. I have just re-rented "A History Of Violence" something I rarely do!!

  • May 22, 2008 Vimalakirti
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    A brilliant and striking film, but too bloody and sadistic for my taste. It isn't entertainment, but it is a near-perfect example of film art.

  • May 22, 2008 Larry
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    This could have been an excellent film except in a pivotal scene Naomi Watts (the mid-wife) goes to the mob restaurant after she learns the contents of the diary and starts calling out the mob boss on the street. She then screams at Viggo Mortensen (the Russian driver) that "You know what he did" (yadda yadda). That was totally ridiculous. These people are supposed to be ruthless killers and she confronts them like this? Go to the police and hide is the answer. The scene hurt the believability of this well acted story. Otherwise, is was an excellent film. Also, I found myself hungry to see Mortensen's climb to the top and get his revenge. We are only left to assume that but it's okay, at least from the perspective of the audience you at least understand what happened when the film ends a bit too early.

  • May 22, 2008 prodas75
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    Very Good Movie

  • May 22, 2008 lubikatushu
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    okay..if you want a comedy...this is perfect specially if you are russian like me. as usual americans try to put us in this funny spotlight of borsche and vodka but okay lets put that aside...the movie was so stupid. what kind of mafia was that it consisted of three people. Anyway...this is total BS the person who made this movie should have maybe went to russia first or read a couple books. The only thing that was right was the tattoos he must have only researched russian prison i was not expecting this. they make us seem like all we do is drink kill and speak in french accents wow..and if u actuall would understand russian the actors must have read the script once and had no training at all...the problem w/this movie was that it actually had good actors who were playing stupid roles. PLEASE AMERICANS AND EVERYONE ELSE...PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT THIS IS ACTUALLY HOW THE RUSSIAN MAFIA OR RUSSIANS IN GENERAL LIVE OR ACT ITS ALLOT MORE BRUTAL IN REAL LIFE BUT ATLEAST IT DOESNT LOOK CHEESY AND STUPID LIKE THIS DID. (kak fsegda nas ochen horoshenko vistavili pered americozami)

  • May 22, 2008 johnsbury1
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    I read all the glowing reviews of Eastern Promises and went to see the movie.What a disappointment! I am very puzzled that there is such a huge difference between what I read in the reviews and what I saw on screen. Can't be the same movie, I thought? This movie has poor acting, cliche dialogue, ridiculous story line, unnecessay, graphic slaughter of people and major miscasting. You do not understand, or can relate, to one character in this bloody, hoodlum hokum. Senseless carnage for reasons that are still unclear. We don't need the camera to pull in for a close up of a person that has just had his throat cut, or has just gotten stabbed in the eye, to see all the blood pumping out of the wound till the victim dies. The camera stays on the stab wound in close up till the victim's life's blood is puddled on the floor, and that's art? That's supposed to show the director's talent? Huh? In an attempt at a quirky twist they have the major killer, Viggo Mortensen, the one that cuts people's fingers off, and you see it being done, in close up, and pulls their teeth out so the bodies cannot be identified, as an undercover agent working for Scotland Yard. What baloney! In a word this movie is AWFUL!!!!!

  • May 22, 2008 Lorelle Briggs
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    This was a very good story but very very bloody

  • May 22, 2008 h5708
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    I don't agree with many others. This is the best I've seen in months (we go every Tuesday). Doesn't drag like the "Kingdom", Better acting and more suspense than "In the Valley of Elam" which was political in purpose. Much more realistic than "3:10 to Yuma." A unique view into a world with which we are not familiar. I wouldn't have missed it.

  • May 22, 2008 wanderer085us
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    Viggo Mortensen was very good in this movie, Naomi Watts was also good, plenty of action, and the movie moved along, didn't get boring. A good picture of the cruelty and viciousness of the Russian mob.

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