The Return

Released 2006


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Movie Summary

Andrei Zvyagintsev

The Return, or, Vozvrashchenie, is a chilling Russian drama centered around the awkward relationship between a mysterious man and his estranged sons. The 2004 film was written by Vladimir Moiseyenko and Aleksandr Novototsky, and directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) and his older brother Andrei (Vladimir Garin) live with their mother and grandmother in modern day Russia. Their father unexpectedly left the household when they were younger. Their only memory of him is a photograph which hangs on the wall. Ivan and Andrei have grown especially close throughout their fatherless childhood. One day, their father (Konstantin Lavronenko) returns after being absent for 12 years. The boys are exuberant, and happily agree to accompany their father on a fishing trip in the wilderness. But the boys' happiness soon fades when their father begins to behave awkwardly and aggressively, seemingly in an effort to make up for lost time. Tensions between Ivan and his father are especially high - mayhem ensues.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    While most films are fortunate if they succeed on any level, The Return works easily on several, making as powerful a mark emotionally as it does visually and even allegorically. Y...

  • 90

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    At once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). The ...

  • 80

    Variety Deborah Young

    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.

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More Info About This Movie


Thrillers, Family Dramas