17 Best Russian Films from the 21st Century

Best Russian Films of this Century

Best Russian Films of this Century

The following was originally published on AdMe.ru and was translated by SRAS Translate Abroad Scholar Sophia Rhem. Additional information and links have been added, including to the movies on YouTube where available. Some videos have subtitles – look for a small square icon to the bottom right of the video player. You may need to activate the subtitles to view them. All ratings are approximate American equivalents of the Russian ratings. Note that not all YouTube video are available in all countries. This page has been optimized for US audiences.

 

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17 Best Russian Films from the 21st Century:
Movies to Be Proud Of

It is widely believed that modern Russian cinema is facing hard times, that it’s in serious crisis and urgently needs to be saved. But could it be things aren’t so bad? The editors of AdMe.ru present our picks for top Russian films of the 21st century. We didn’t include any art house films, instead choosing films that would appeal to almost everyone.

Of course, this is not a complete list, and you can offer your own suggestions in the comments on the original AdMe article.

The Return / Возвращение (2003)
Rating: PG-13
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Two brothers suddenly find their father, whom they have only seen in photographs, back in their lives. He takes them from the lives they know and brings them on a on a “trip” to an island, where they remain with him, alone. The film is a true Russian drama, enveloping and fully immersing the viewer in its world. A sort of sequel to The Return can be found in a second, and equally excellent, film by director Andrey Zvyagintsev, The Banishment (2007). This film focuses not on fathers and children, but on men and women.

I’m Not Leaving / Я остаюсь (2007)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Skeptical and serious Dr. Tyrsa has always been annoyed by talk of the afterlife – until he finds himself hanging between life and death. Only then does he realize that life on earth is not so bad.

[Note: the title of this film is also translated as I Remain, and Time Out]

Daddy / Папа (2004)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

A small-town man devotes his life to his talented son, a young and promising violinist. But when he visits the young man, now the top student at a conservatory, his reception is not what he expected.

Short Stories / Рассказы (2012)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Four stories about different people. Four stories about the lives we live. The filmmakers capture the painful aspects of modern life, bringing them into focus for their audience.

Shapito-Shou / Шапито-шоу (2012)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This film is divided into two parts: Love and Friendship and Respect and Cooperation. The stories, united by a single time and place, develop in parallel. Shapito-Shou is a fantastic movie that shows how unpredictable our world is. It is definitely worth seeing.

The Island / Остров (2006)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

During World War II, Anatoly commits treason and shoots his comrade, Tikhon, on German orders. Years pass, and the miraculous gifts of Monk Anatoly have become legendary. But his terrible sin continues to haunt him.

What Men Talk About / О чем говорят мужчины (2010)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This film is based on the play Middle-Aged Men Talk about Women, Film, and Aluminum Forks. It’s an excellent guide for women who have no idea what men talk about with their friends. The films Election Day (2007) and Radio Day (2008) are equally excellent films connected with the Quartet I Theater.

Legend No. 17 / Легенда № 17 (2012)
Rating: G
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

The whole world knows Valeri Kharlamov, the legendary No. 17, who raised the Soviet ice hockey team to the heights of stardom. This is a biographical film about true hockey, and about one of the most memorable and captivating sports matches in history.

Kuka / Кука (2007)
Rating: PG
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This heartfelt film is perfect for a pleasant, quiet evening. It’s the story of a young girl who had to grow up and confront a frightening world on her own. Why was she left to fend for herself?

We Are from the Future / Мы из будущего (2008)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Four youths are digging up World War II battlegrounds for war treasures. They aren’t particularly concerned about the fate of their loot, as long as they make some money. Until, that is, they are mysteriously transported to the year 1942, where they find themselves in the midst of heavy fighting.

This movie is both patriotic and educational.

Inadequate People / Неадекватные люди (2010)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Vitali is thirty years old, and sick of his problems and emotional issues. He moves to Moscow in search of a better life, finds a job, and starts living a regular life. But the people around him have other plans.

[Note: the title of this movie is also translated as Misfits]

Stilyagi / Стиляги (2008)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This is the story of young Muscovites in the 50s who had to fight for the right to be different: to listen to different music, to boogie, and to wear different clothes. It’s a truly celebratory movie.

[Note: This film is sometimes translated as “Hipsters.”]

(Preview only available)

The House of the Sun / Дом солнца (2010)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This is a screen adaptation of Ivan Okhlobystin’s novel The House of the Rising Sun. Meeting the leader of the Soviet hippie movement changes the orderly, safe life of a young girl named Sasha. Her new friends show her what it means to be free and happy. This is a good, sunny, warm movie.

How I Ended This Summer / Как я провел этим летом (2010)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

Sergey, the head of a polar station, and Pavel, his young intern, are alone on Aarchum, an island off of Siberia’s Chukotka Peninsula. They are six hours by boat from the mainland. Pavel is lazy, fudges numbers, and tests Sergey’s patience in every way. But when their rotation on the island is coming to an end, Pavel receives terrible news, which he ought to share but can’t bring himself to. This movie received three Silver Bear awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. The foreign press have noted that the film is an account of human weakness.

(Preview only available.)

Heavenly Court / Небесный суд (2012)
Rating: PG-13
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This mini-series presents its own version of the afterlife. Decisions about where a person ends up after death are made by a court. The defendant has a lawyer and a prosecutor – it’s just like a real trial. Only, what’s at stake is the human soul.

Metro / Метро (2012)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This may be the most successful recent Russian disaster film. Major construction results in a crack in a subway tunnel. It’s no longer watertight, and a torrent of water demolishes everything in its path. The people stuck in the subway don’t have much time to get out. This movie is entertaining, emotional, and dramatic – everything a good movie should be.

The Geographer Drank His Globe Away /
Географ глобус пропил
(2013)
Rating: R
More Info from KinoPoisk.ru

This is a screen adaptation of a novel by Alexei Ivanov. Hopeless and in need of money, biologist Sluzhkin takes a job as a geography teacher in a school. As a teacher, he’s mediocre. He tries to get along with his students and the school director and make peace in his family, drinks wine with his friends, and simply lives his life.

(Preview only available.)

SRAS students come from around the world to study, intern, or research in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, or Russia. They often write while abroad and, on occasion, SRAS will request to publish exceptional works. This account on Students Abroad will serve as platform to publish single contributions from individual students.
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SRAS students come from around the world to study, intern, or research in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, or Russia. They often write while abroad and, on occasion, SRAS will request to publish exceptional works. This account on Students Abroad will serve as platform to publish single contributions from individual students.