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THE LIBRARY  / MODERN RUSSIAN FILM
01.05.2015


Each month the SRAS newsletter features a line up of the top films in Russia! YouTube videos of the trailers are included, as are new additions to this page.  


 
 Study Abroad
in Russia!

RSL-Side-Bar1 

Modern Russian Film
What's Hot on Russian Screens

The following is meant to provide a glimpse into what's on Russia's screens today. While new release Russian DVDs are not generally easily available in the US (and almost never available with subtitles), you can visit the official sites given below and watch the short trailers there. This page is a supplement to the information given in SRAS's monthly newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, register with our site.

Table of Contents

  1. Online Russian Films and Animation
  2. Russian High-Grossing Movies (Since 2010)
  3. Russian Films with Subtitles (Buy from Amazon)
  4. More Films


I. Online Russian Films, Amimation
and Related Resources

Rent Russian Films
Rent Russian films from RussianDVD.com with this netflix-like service!

MOSFILM Online Cinema
Mosfilm Cinema, the copyright holder to a unique catalogue of motion pictures made over the 85 years of the studio's existence, has placed much of that collection on YouTube with English subtitles. For more about Mosfilm, click here.

Soyuzmultfilm
Soyuzmultfilm was the USSR's main animation studio. It is still producing cartoons today - and has many of its classic productions on YouTube.

Industria Kino
Industria Kino is a weekly program on Russia's Vesti 24 news network devoted to upcoming Russian and foreign films. They have a large archive on episodes online.

Lenfilm
Lenfilm is one of Russia's largest film studios.

Glavkino
Glavkino is one of Russia's newer film studios - and is known for its use of technology in film production.

Baskino
Baskino is an online film source offering many newer Russian films and foreign films with Russian dubbing in HD quality.

KinoKultura
KinoKultura is an English-language source of reviews and articles on Russian-language films.


II. Russian High-Grossing Movies

Below are all Russian films released after 1/1/2010 which were in the top 5 for monthly box office reciepts in Russia.

bitva_za_sevastopol
Watch the trailer

 

Битва за Севастополь (Bitva za Sevastopol)
(Russia-Ukraine) War drama; released 4/2/2015

Synopsis: This war drama is based on the biography of a Soviet woman-sniper. The breakout of the war shatters the world of a young student in Kiev, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, forcing her to enlist in the army in 1941. The girl turns out to be a natural-born sniper, her impressive skill and prowess make her stand out among men and women alike. Seeing Pavlichenko as a tangible threat, the German High Command gives orders to eliminate the girl whatever the cost. In the meanwhile, Lyudmila meets a man and falls in love. War fades into the background... Soon, however, another misfortune befalls Lyudmila leaving the man she loves on the brink of death and herself seriously wounded. The girl is pulled out of combat and later goes to the United States for a publicity visit. Eleanor Roosevelt welcomes Lyudmila in the White House and the two women soon become close. It won't be long before Pavlichenko stands before an audience in Chicago pressing for a second front. Will her words have the capacity to change the course of war?

Director: Sergey Mokritskiy
Starring: Yulia Peresild, Evgeny Tsiganov

prizrak
Watch the trailer

 

Призрак (Prizrak/Ghost)
(Russia) Drama; released 3/26/2015

Synopsis: Yuri Gordeev is a talented aircraft designer who is days away from revealing his latest design at the airshow and winning a federal contract, but he dies in a DUI car accident. He becomes a ghost, invisible to all, except Vanya Kuznetsov, an insecure 7th-grader. The boy is weak and fearful, pressed by his mother and peers, but he is Yuri’s only hope to see his work to the end, to withstand his competitor who is trying to close his company, and lift his new aircraft in the air.

Director: Aleksandr Voitinskiy
Starring: Fedor Bondarchuk, Semyon Treskynov

dukhless_2
Watch the trailer

 

Духless 2 (Dukhless or Soulless 2)
(Russia) Drama; released 3/5/2015

Synopsis: This is the loosely-related sequel to Soulless 1 (released in October 2012). In this movie, the main character, Max has left everything he once held dear – his social life, a successful career, a luxurious penthouse, - and is starting life with a clean slate far away from Moscow, surfing the waters of Bali. However, a business proposal he is not able to refuse pulls him back into the dangerous life of the big city, corruption, deadly risks, and his old love .

Director: Roman Prygunov
Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Maria Andreeva

battalion
Watch the trailer
 

Батальонъ (Battalion)
(Russia) War drama; released 2/20/2015

Synopsis: Russia, 1917, WWI. This is the story of the 1st Russian Women's Battalion of Death, formed by the Russian Provisional Government in late May of 1917. When the revolution takes place in Russia during the third year of the WWI, the country faces a political crisis leading to the collapse of the Russian army. The Provisional Government makes an unprecedented decision to create a new women’s battalion, as propaganda to challenge men, even if by shaming them, to defend the Motherland. The women, though, serve beyond all expectations, setting an example of courage and self-sacrifice. Moved by the ideals of high honor, and a deep faith in God, the women volunteers brave the chaos and anarchy of the Russian army, toxic gas attacks, and in the night battle of July 9 prove that every one of them is not just a “war muse” but a true solder worthy of deepest respect, laying down their lives in the name of freedom and for their country.

Director: Dmitry Meskhiev
Starring: Maria Aronova, Maria Kozhevnikova, Irina Rakhmanova, Marat Basharov

8_new_dates
Watch the trailer
 

8 новых свиданий (8 New Dates)   
(Russia) Comedy; released 1/1/2015

Synopsis: This new comedy is from the creators of "8 первых свиданий" (8 First Dates). Vera and Nikita now have been married for three years, and the "happily ever after" is starting to wear out. One day, in the heat of an argument, they both share their opinions on what is "a normal husband" and "a good wife." But one must be careful in what they wish for! The next morning they both wake up next to their "ideal other half:" Nikita – next to a shapely blond who is a great cook, and Vera – with a caring businessman-husband who brings her favorite croissants for breakfast. Now they have to decide, whether it is better to live with an ideal spouse or one they love.

Director: Marius Vaisberg
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Galustyan, Polina Maksimova

Tri Bogatyrya_Khod Konyom
Watch the trailer

 

Три богатыря. Ход конем
(The Three Bogatyrs. The Horse's Turn)

(Russia) Animation; released 1/1/2015

Synopsis: This is the sixth animated film in the series of adventures of these legendary Russian warriers. This time the main role belongs to the horse - who happens to overhear a plot to kill the ruler of the land. However, this time, the warriers are far away, fighting another enemy, the royal dragon is on vacation, and the army was sent to training maneuvers. Now the horse has to become a true hero.

Director: Konstantin Feoktistov
Starring: Dmitry Bykovsky, Sergey Makovetsky, Valery Soloviev, Oleg Kulikovich

nelubit_poster
Watch the trailer

 

Любит не любит (Lubit Ne Lubit/ Loves Me - Loves Me Not)
(Russia) Romantic comedy; released 12/4/2014

Synopsis: Alexey and Alyona, main characters of the film, are getting ready to be married. However, just before the wedding Alexey meets the charming, ambitious, and famous journalist Irina. She is very different from what Alexey’s familiar lifestyle and turns it into a chaos. Meanwhile Alyona, simple-hearted and slightly naïve, loves Alexey the way he is and is dreaming of becoming his wife. Alexey has to choose between crazy adventures with Irina and "happily ever after" with Alyona.  

Director: Klim Shipenko
Starring: Maxim Matveev, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Lubov Aksenova

 

Elki_1914
Watch the trailer

  Елки 1914 (Christmas Trees 1914)
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/25/2014

Synopsis: A prequel to the popular films “Elki” (2010), "Elki 2" (2011) and "Elki 3" (2013), this film continues the theme of New Years’ magic and romantic and comic adventures. It consists of six individual stories taking places in large and small Russian cities, in poor and noble families of Russia in 1914.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant, Aleksandr Golovin

vypusknoy
Watch the trailer
  Выпускной (Vypusknoy)
(Russia) Comedy; released 10/9/2014

Synopsis: Everyone in the senior class is getting ready for the prom, the last great celebration of highschool, in their own manner: rappers are shooting a video for their new album, the class troublemaker is purchasing booze, a romantic is planning a proposal, - everyone is attempting to make this most unforgettable night ever. But the parents have their own views and opinions, and the last school night turns into a war of generations. For more on Russia's traditions of "vypusknoi," click here.

(Viewer discretion is advised)

Director: Vsevolod Brodskiy
Starring: Viktor Grudev, Kristina Isaikina, Sergey Pokhodayev

gorko_2
Watch the trailer

 

Горько! 2 (Gorko! 2)
(Russia) Comedy; released 10/23/2014

Synopsis: This is a sequal to a Russian film that came out only a year before. In this second film, Natasha’s step-father is trying to make some fast money through a financial scheme. In the process, he frames his business partners and they attempt to kill him. To avoid paying up his debts and to avoid future assassinations, he decides to stage his own death and funeral. Among those who come to pay their last respects is Victor, his former comrade-in-arms, a "down-to-earth" and plain fellow, who immediately wins the family's affection and everyone’s attention.

Director: Zhora Kryzhovnikov
Starring: Yan Tsapnik, Egor Koreshkov, Yuliya Aleksandrova

korporativ
Watch the trailer

  Корпоратив (Corporate Party  )
(Russia) Comedy; released 9/18/2014

Synopsis: Igor is a senior supervisor of a furniture store dreaming of a promotion. In the morning after a wild staff party, he wakes up to find his store in utter destruction. Employees swear that when they left the store the night before, everything was in order. To save his jeopardized career, Igor must research the details of his colleagues’ adventures of the previous night.

Director: Oleg Asadulin
Starring: Nikolai Naumov, Vladimir Tolokonnikov, Miroslava Karpovich

Poddubny
Watch the trailer
  Поддубный (Poddubny )
(Russia) Historical drama; released 6/10/2014

Synopsis: This Russian historical drama is based on events from life of Ivan Poddubny, a famous Russian and Soviet wrestler, known as the “Champion of champions” for his undefeated strength and uncompromised fair play and honor. 

From Vagaev Filmproduktion GmbH: A guy from the back country, a son of a Cossack, a quiet, strong man. He always remembered the charge of his father: “A Cossack gives his word only once – be it to his wife or the Czar – and he keeps his word until death.” Neither the Champion of Champions title, nor a million US dollars, nor the crowds of well-wishers made him betray his beloved woman or his country. The life and sports achievements of Ivan Poddubny – is a moving and powerful story of a national hero, an idiosyncratic quintessence of a Russian man.  

Following articles offer additional information on the life of Ivan Poddubny:

Ivan Poddybny: A wrestling legend for the ages

Prominent Russians: Ivan Poddubny

Director: Gleb Orlov
Starring: Michail Porechenkov

Kitchen_Paris
Watch the trailer
  Кухня в Париже (The Kitchen in Paris) 
(Russia) Comedy; released 5/1/2014

Synopsis: This feature length romantic comedy is a continuance of a Russian TV series called “Кухня” (The Kitchen). The film is meant to bridge the third and four seasons of the series.

After the events of the third season, The Claude Monet Restaurant, the main scene for Кухня, strengthened its reputation in Moscow as a successful and popular establishment with a knowledgeable owner, hard-working director and, of course, excellent cuisine. But after an unfortunate failure in organizing an international meeting between the Russian and French presidents, the owner and employees of the restaurant are forced to look for a new workplace – and they set their eyes on the city of love, Paris, France. The move brings new flavors, new challenges, and new competition, both in work and in love.

Director: Dmitriy Dyachenko
Starring: Dmitriy Nazarov, Oleg Tabakov, Dmitriy Nagiev, Vincent Perez

v_sporte_devushki
Watch the trailer
  В спорте только девушки (V Sporte Tolko Devushki) 
(Russia) Comedy; released 1/28/2014

Synopsis: The film begins on the eve of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Three 18-year-old students at a prestigious university dig up dirt on their crazy college president, but when they hope to blackmail him, he sends thugs after them. Fleeing from their pursuers, the three friends find themselves on the women's snowboarding team bus. They have no choice but to put on the team's brightly colored jackets and blend in with the crowd of snowboarding girls. But the clothes alone won't cut it: as diehard practitioners of extreme sports, they are not about to miss their chance to show off their snowboarding skills. The National Women's Snowboarding Team's trainer spots the new talent and invites the "girls" to join the team for the trials in Sochi. The friends jump at the chance of free rides on Olympic-grade tracks, meeting new girls and once and for all evading the college president's goons.

Director: Evgeniy Nevskiy
Starring: Ilya Glinnikov, Aleksandr Golovin, Aleksand Vedmensky

lyubov-v-bolshom-gorode-3
Watch the trailer

  Вий (Viy) 
(Russia) Horror; released 1/30/2014

Viy is a 2014 dark fantasy loosely based on the Russian classic Nikolai Gogol story Viy. It is a remake of a Soviet-era cult classic and one of the only horror films produced under the USSR.

Synopsis: Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Western Europe to the East. Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in the impassible woods of Ukraine, which are populated by people like no other he has ever seen. The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls. The scientist, in attempting to unravel the mystery related to the unusual mythic creature the villagers tell him about bring that creature, "Viy," to life.

Director: Oleg Stepchenko
Starring: Jason Flemyng, Aleksey Chadov, Anna Churina

lyubov-v-bolshom-gorode-3
Watch the trailer

   Любовь в большом городе 3
(Love in the Big City 3)

(Russia) Comedy; released 1/1/2014

Synopsis: In a sequel to "Love in the Big City 2" (2010) wives of the main characters take off for a joined vacation and leave husbands to take care of the children. Young dads are dreaming of escaping the daily routing, eagerly anticipating children finally growing up… and their dreams come true. After meeting with Saint Valentine, they run into new problems, this time with their grown-up children.

Director: Marius Vaisberg
Starring: Alexei Chadov, Vera Brezhneva, Vladimir Zelenski

Elki_3
Watch the trailer

 

Елки 3 (Christmas Trees 3) 
(Russia) Comedy; released 10/24/2013

Synopsis: A sequel to the popular film “Elki” (2010) and "Elki 2" (2011), this film continues the theme of New Years’ magic and romantic and comic adventures. It consists of several individual stories taking places in different cities across Russia which involve some of the characters of the original film.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant

Gorko_film
Watch the trailer
 

Горько! (Gorko!)
(Russia) Comedy; released 10/24/2013

Synopsis: Talanted and progressive Natasha and Roman dream of a European wedding on the beach… However, Natasha’s step-father, a rough city official sees the event as an opportunity to promote his own career and wants to have everything done “just right.” He arranges “an unforgettable reception” at a restaurant with a full set of boring traditional rituals. Unable to overcome the pressure, the couple decides to hold their own dream wedding in secret from their conservative relatives. Due to an absurd accident, both events merge into one.

Director: Zhora Kryzhovnikov
Starring: Egor Koreshkov, Yuliya Aleksandrova, Yan Tsapnik

Stalingrad_film
Watch the trailer
 

Сталинград (Stalingrad)
(Russia) War drama; released 10/10/2013

Synopsis: Stalingrad is a Russian war drama film directed by prominent Russian film director and actor Fedor Bondarchuk. This is the first Russian movie completely produced with 3D technology and the first non-American film produced using the IMAX format. It was submitted as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. The film is a dramatic love story against the backdrop of grandiose war battle. In 1942 during the Fascist occupation five Soviet soldiers have taken up residence in a home on the shore of the Volga River. A young woman Katya, not wanting to abandon the front-line, also lives there. Now the intelligence officers need to not only deal with the approaching Germans, but also protect young Katya from danger. In the course of this the soldiers quickly fall in love with her.

Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Starring: Pyotr Fyodorov, Mariya Smolnikova, Yana Studilina

Legend 17
Watch the trailer

 

Легенда № 17 (Legend #17)
(Russia) Drama; released 04/18/2013

Synopsis: Legend #17 tells the story of hockey player Valery Kharlamov, a hero of the epic USSR-Canada game played on September 2, 1972. This match was seen as a battle for the honor of the Motherland and its position in international hockey.

Director: Nikolay Lebedev
Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Oleg Menshikov, Vladimir Menshov

duhless_poster
Watch the trailer
 

ДухLess (Duhless / Soulless)
(Russia) Drama; released 04/10/2012

Synopsis: Max, 29-year-old top-manager of a large international bank, is convinced that he has it made. He has everything that many can’t even dream about: an expensive car, a penthouse, invitations to the most prestige parties. He spends his life for making money, and his money – for night clubs, beautiful girls, drugs and other attributes of so called glamour life. However, at one time he starts to realize that something about his life is not right. His world begins to crumble. The film speaks of re-evaluation of life and one’s self and overcoming internal crisis.

Director: Roman Prygunov
Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Maria Andreeva

TheSpy
Watch the trailer

 

Шпион (The Spy)
(Russia) War, Adventure; released 05/04/2012

Synopsis: Based on the book by well-known author Boris Akunin, this work of historical fiction details the story of a standoff between Soviet and Nazi intelligence services that began in the spring of 1941, a few months prior to the start of World War II. Major Oktyabrskiy and Leutenant Dorin learn that Hitler plans to misinform Stalin about Germany’s plan to attack the USSR. But to prevent the plan from unfolding, they have to battle a genius of Fascist espionage. Their story develops against the backdrop of the brewing war.

Director: Alexey Andrianov
Starring: Fyodor Bondarchuk, Danila Kozlovsky, Viktoria Tolstoganova

Avgust-vosmogo
Watch the trailer

 

Август. Восьмого (August. The Eighth)
(Russia) War, Drama; released 23/02/2012

Synopsis: Ksenia’s ex-husband, an officer of the Peace Corps in the area of Russian-Georgian conflict, invites their son to visit him and his parents for a summer break in a mountain village. Everything is safe and peaceful, until the tanks roll in. As Ksenia strives to rescue her son from the war zone, enduring the terrors of the destroyed city and near-death experiences, the boy’s imagination mixes the scenes of the real battles around him with imagined dangers such as evil robots and dragons. Based on the events of the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.

Director: Dzhanik Fayziev
Starring: Svetlana Ivanova, Maksim Matveev, Artyom Fadeev

vysotsky
Watch the trailer

 

Высоцкий. Спасибо, что живой (Vystotsky. Thank you for being alive)
(Russia) Biography, Drama; released 12/1/2011

Synopsis: Vladimir Vysotsky was a Soviet singer, songwriter, poet, and actor whose career had an immense and enduring effect on Russian culture. He became widely known for his unique singing style and for his lyrics, which featured social and political commentary in often humorous street jargon. He was also a prominent stage and screen actor. This film was written and directed by his son and stirred up rather controversial responses from the Russian public. It is based on true events of five dramatic days of Vysotsky’s life in the summer 1979 when the actor had a near-death experience on-stage during one of his concerts in Uzbekistan. He met his actual death just one year later.

Director: Nikita Vysotsky
Starring: Sergey Bezrukov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Sergey Shakurov, Vladimir Menshov, Maksim Leonidov

Elki2
Watch the trailer

 

Елки 2 (Christmas Trees 2)
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/15/2011

Synopsis: A sequel to the popular film “Elki” (2010), this film continues the theme of New Years’ magic and romantic and comic adventures. It consists of several individual stories taking places in different cities across Russia with some of the characters of the original film.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant, Vera Brezhneva

Ivan-Tsarevich-i-Seriy-Volk
Watch the trailer
 

Иван-Царевич и Серый Волк (Ivan Tsarevich i Seriy Volk)
(Russia) Animation; released 12/29/2011

Synopsis: Another animated film from the creators of the popular cartoon “Три богатыря” series based on Russian folk legends whose characters are well-known to the Russian public from early childhood. Vasilisa, the Tsar’s daughter, is smart and beautiful, but is not ready to get married quite yet, she is looking to get a second higher education first. Then her father decides to marry her out to ‘the next man’… which just happens to be Ivan from the neighboring kingdom. But to marry a Tsar’s daughter is not an easy task and the man must prove himself worthy through a series of adventures.

Director: Vladimir Toropchin
Starring: Nikita Efremov, Michael Boyarsky, Lia Akhedzhakova, Artur Smolyaninov

O-chyom-esche-govoryat-muzhchiny
Watch the trailer
 

О чем еще говорят мужчины (What Men Still Talk About)
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/29/2011

Synopsis: This comical production of a theatre group “Квартет И” is a sequel to their film “О чём говорят мужчины” (What Men Talk About) released in 2010. The four friends from the original film get together on December 31st to celebrate New Years and end up discussing ageless questions about the relationship between men and women, work and recreation, and now, as they are getting older, of life in general and the peculiarities of middle age.

Director: Dmitry D'iachenko
Starring: Leonid Baratz, Rostislav Khait, Alexander Demidov, Kamil Larin

 

bojstenju3_1
Watch the trailer
 

Бой с тенью 3: Последний раунд (Shadow Boxing 3: The Final Round)
(Russia) Action, Drama; released 11/17/2011

Synopsis: After 4 years, champion boxer Artyom Kolchin has achieved everything a simple boy from the Moscow suburbs can dream about. He is a world champion, a businessman, a TV celebrity, loved by women, and a national hero. He doesn't step into the boxing ring anymore, preferring to train others and party in the limelight. In the mornings he is greeted at home by his daughter and his wife Vika – who does not recognize in him the same man she once loved. Suddenly, Aryom’s trainee is nearly killed in a boxing match. Aryom suspects that his opponent has used some forbidden technique against the trainee. To find proof, he has to go to Hong-Kong where his old acquaintance Vagit Valiev knows something about this opponent that is not known to anyone else. To defeat his enemy, Artyom has to step out into the boxing ring once again.

In just two weekends, this sequel to movies released in 2005 and 2007 became the top-grossing Russian film for 2011.

Director: Alexey Sidorov
Starring: Denis Nikiforov, Elena Panova, Andrey Panin

Pregnant-film
Watch the trailer

 

Беременный (Pregnant)
(Russia) Comedy; released 09/08/2011

Synopsis: A news anchor, very skeptical and negative to all things new and unusual, is a constant target of his colleagues’ mockery. Things are not going so well at home either – he and his wife have been trying to have a baby, but with no success. Then he makes a wish for a baby and a miracle happens - he gets pregnant. His friend suggests using the situation to gain money and glory by creating a new TV show and the comedy really begins. 

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Dmitry Dyuzhev, Michael Galustyan, Anna Sedokova

sluzhebny_roman_nashe_vremya
Watch the trailer
 

Служебный роман. Наше время (Office Romance. Our time)
(Russia) Romantic comedy; released 03/17/2011

Synopsis: This is a remake of a very popular and well-loved Russian comedy, filmed originally by the famous Eldar Ryazanov in 1977. The original was set in a Soviet statistics agency – the updated film is now set in a capitalist credit ratings agency. Here, a strict business-woman, the owner of the agency works as does a financial analyst who is also a single father of two. He is almost invisible among the other employees but striving to receive a promotion. A corporate party brings this mismatched pair together and starts an unexpected and very comical romance…  

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Vladimir Zelenskiy, Ludmila Kalugina, Pavel Volya.

Lyubov-morkov-3
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Любовь-Морковь 3 (Lubov-Morkov 3/ Lovey-Dovey 3)
(Russia) Comedy; released 03/01/2011

Synopsis: This is the latest Freaky-Friday-like, body-switching adventure of the Golubev family, the first of which played out on Russian TV screens in 2009. This is the third and billed to be the last installment. In the first film, the parents exchanged bodies with each other and in the second – with their children. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Golubev will have to come to understand their parents by “walking a mile in their shoes;” the wife’s mother is an art expert and a museum employee, and the husband’s father is an army colonel.

Director: Sergei Ginzburg
Starring: Kristina Orbakayte, Yuriy Kutsenko, Andrei Urgant.

Vykrutasy_poster
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Выкрутасы
(Vykrutasy (Twists and Turns))

(Russia) Comedy; released 02/17/2011

Synopsis: A teacher of Russian language from a little town visits Moscow with a newly written novel manuscript and meets successful young lady Nadya (played by Milla Jovovich). The young people fall in love and decide to get married. Before the wedding, Slava must take a short trip to his hometown. The most bizarre circumstances hinder him from returning to his bride at the day of the wedding.

Director: Levan (Leo) Gabriadze
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Milla Jovovich, Ivan Urgant.

tri_bogatyrja
Watch the trailer

 

Три богатыря и Шамаханская царица
(Tri Bogatirya i Shamahanskaya Tsaritsa)

(Russia) Animation; released 12/30/2010

Synopsis: This is the fourth and final of a series of animated films based on Russian folk legends. A bogatyr is an epic warrior from ancient Kievan Rus. Most are directed in the traditional bylinas, traditional Russian epic poems, as being endowed with enormous strength and cunning along with other not-so desirable features. Here, our three heroes gather together once more to rescue the ruler of the land from the attempts of an evil foreign queen. She plans to make him fall in love with her so her youth and beauty can be renewed, but in exchange will destroy his kingdom.

Director: Sergei Glezin
Starring: Dmitry Bykovsky, Valery Soloviev, Anna Geller

Yolki
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Ёлки (Christmas Trees) 
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/16/2010

Synopsis: A little girl in Kaliningrad makes an impossible wish for New Year’s Eve – one that only the President of Russia can fulfill. Through the magic of “Six Degrees of Separation,” complete strangers pass her wish from person to person through Yakutsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Kazan, Ufa, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The resulting collection of funny, touching, sentimental, miraculous, and moral-teaching stories, along with an all-star cast of famous Russian actors made this movie a hit for the Russian holiday season for which it was released in late 2010. "Ёлки," incidentally, are set up by Russians for their New Year's celebration, so the title might be more accurately translated as "New Year's Trees" - although that would likely not be understood by a Western audience.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant, Vera Brezhneva

darkworld
Watch the trailer

 

 

Темный мир
(Dark World)

(Russia) Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy; released 10/7/2010

Synopsis: A group of students sets off on an expedition to the villages of Russia's remote northern territories. A girl among them, infatuated with mysticism and romantic notions of the afterworld, finds an ancient tomb from which she awakens the wrath of spirits of the past and receives supernatural abilities. Now the students must battle the evil forces.

Director: Anton Megerdichev
Starring: Svetlana Ivanova, Ivan Zhidkov, Elena Panova


Watch the trailer

 

Утомлённые солнцем 2
(Burnt by the Sun 2)

(Russia) Drama; released 4/22/2010
Buy this film (subtitled)

Synopsis: The long-awaited sequel to the 1994 Academy award-winner stars the two main characters that were thought to have died at the end of the first film: Colonel Sergei Kotov, the decorated Russian Civil War hero who was accused of treason, and Mitya, the NKVD agent whose mission it was to arrest him. It turns out that instead of being executed, Kotov is living in a Soviet detention camp when World War II reaches Soviet territory in 1941. He is sent to the front to fight, where it seems his chances of survival are even dimmer than in the gulag.

Director: Nikita Mikhailkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhailkov, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhailkova


Watch the trailer
 

О чём говорят мужчины
(What Men Talk About)

(Russia) Comedy; released 3/4/2010
Rent or buy this film 

Synopsis: This Russian comedy reveals what men really talk about when they're alone with their best male friends – about work, money, cars, sports, and of course – women. Four friends manage to escape the duties and responsibilities of their everyday lives for a few days and head out on a road trip where they find plenty to talk about.

Director: Dmitry Dyachenko
Starring: Sergei Petreykov, Rostislav Khait, Leonid Barats, Alexander Demidov

 

 

 Любовь в большом городе 2
(Love in the Big City 2)

(Russia) Comedy; released 2/25/10

Rent or buy this film

Synopsis: In this sequel, Igor invites Sauna, Artyom, and the others with him on a trip to China to visit his father and introduce him to his fiancée. They hear about a monastery on the edge of the town they’ll be staying in that, according to a legend, has an icon that is famous for increasing the fertility of all who touch it. The guys all agree they aren’t ready for fatherhood, but they visit the monastery and despite the warnings, touch the fertility icon anyway. Not sure whether they believe in such superstitions, they decide to abstain from sex for the rest of the trip, just to be sure. After their fiancées find out what’s been going on and leave for home, the three guys are left alone and find out that there’s another twist to this superstition: the first one of them to get back in bed with their fiancée will immediately become a father, but the other two will have to wait 20 years before they can even hope for children. All of a sudden, all three realize they’re ready for fatherhood and the race to get home begins.

Director: Maryus Viceberg
Starring: Alexei Chadov, Vera Brezhneva, Vladimir Zelenski


Watch the trailer
  Мы из будущего 2
(We Are From the Future 2)

(Russia) Action/Adventure, Fantasy; released 2/18/10
Buy this film

Synopsis: The heroes from the first "We Are From the Future," Borman and Cherup, return in this sequel, this time ending up back in 1944. While working on a World War II battlefield attempting to reconstruct the events that took place there, the men, along with their two Ukrainian colleagues, are transported back in time to the "Borodovsky Cauldron," the site of a fierce battle where Soviet troops faced the Nazi SS Galichina Division, made up primarily of Ukrainians who fought on Nazi Germany’s side in WWII. Borman and Cherup and their colleagues Taran and Seroye end up on opposing sides in the battle and they must unite to defeat their common enemy in order to save their future and return home.

Director(s): Alexander Samokhvalov, Boris Rostov
Starring: Igor Peterenko, Ekaterina Klimova, Vladimir Yalyich


Watch the trailer

 

Кандагар (Kandahar)
(Russia) Action/Drama; released 2/4/10
Rent or buy this film  

Synopsis: This film is based on actual events – in 1995, the Russian crew of Aerostan IL-76 was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for over a year. While transporting supplies and ammunition to the Afghan government, the plane’s captain received radio messages ordering him to land for what was supposed to be a routine cargo inspection. Instead, the crew of five Russians was captured by the Taliban. With all diplomatic negotiations attempting to free them coming to a deadlock time and time again for over a year, the crew decides that their only chance to escape is to try and recapture their own plane.

Director: Andrei Kavun
Starring: Vladimir Mashkov, Andrei Panin, Alexander Baluyev


 III. Russian Films with Subtitles
 
Click the Title for an Amazon.com Link 

Below are films available on Amazon.com with English subtitles. Most are considered to be modern classics. 

Brother

 

Брат (Brother)
(Russia) Drama, Thriller; released 1997
Buy this film

Synopsis: Danila returns home after serving two years in the army but, unsatisfied with small town life, he leaves for St. Petersburg where his elder brother Viktor has made a success. Danila soon discovers that his brother is a contract killer and subsequently joins him on a hit for $20,000 but is wounded in the process. Their mark, a well-known Chechin mobster, is now in deadly pursuit of Danila. However this doesn't stop Danila from finding romance with Sveta and, later, Kat.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Sergey Bodrov Jr., Viktor Sukhorukov, Svetlana Pismichenko, Mariya Zhukova, Yuriy Kuznetsov

Brother 2
Watch the trailer
 

Брат 2 (The Brother 2)
(Russia) Action, Crime, Thriller; released 2000
Buy this film

Synopsis:The second installment in the Brat /Brother/ series is glitsier and the guns are bigger, as is the body count. Danila Bagrov goes after the killers of his war-time friend. Reunited with his "brother" from the original Brat, played by Victor Sukhorukov, Danila runs, shoots and blows up things - now THIS side of the Pond. This is dynamic movie, and is anything but politically correct - be it the mounting body count or the amount of racial slur.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Sergei Bodrov Jr., Viktor Sukhorukov, Alexander Diachenko

Hipsters
Watch the trailer

 

Стиляги (Hipsters)
(Russia) Drama, Musical, Romance; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: While the Cold War heats up on the world stage, rebellious youth in 1955 Moscow wage a cultural battle against dismal Soviet conformity, donning brightly colored black-market clothing, adopting American nicknames and reveling in forbidden jazz. Straight-laced 20-year-old Communist Mels finds these brazen 'hipsters' shocking until he falls under the spell of one, namely Polly, and joins the new revolution. Soon he's become one of them, cavorting in the latest flashy fashions, sporting an enormous pompadour and wailing on the saxophone.

(This video (including trailer) may not be appropriate for all audiences).

Director: Valery Todorovsky
Starring: Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina, Eugenia Khirivskaya, Maksim Matveyev, Igor Voynarovskiy

Cargo_200
Watch the trailer

 

Груз 200 (Cargo 200)
(Russia) Drama, Thriller; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: The action is set during culmination of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1984 and the movie's title refers to the zinc coffins in which dead Soviet soldiers were shipped home.  

(This video (including trailer) is not appropriate for all audiences. Please see complete story plot here. Russian movie rating corresponds to NC-17)

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Agniya Kuznetsova, Aleksei Poluyan, Leonid Gromov

Burnt by the Sun
Watch the trailer

 

Утомленные солнцем (Burnt by the Sun)
(Russia) Drama, History; released 1995
Buy this film

Synopsis:Russia, 1936: revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadia and other assorted family and friends. Things change dramatically with the unheralded arrival of Cousin Dmitri from Moscow, who charms the women and little Nadia with his games and pianistic bravura. But Kotov isn't fooled: this is the time of Stalin's repression, with telephone calls in the middle of the night spelling doom - and he knows that Dmitri isn't paying a social call...

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Vyacheslav Tikhonov

Burnt by the Sun 2
Watch the trailer

 

Утомленные солнцем 2(Burnt by the Sun 2)
(Russia) Drama, War, History; released 2010 and 2011
Buy this film

Synopsis: The sequel to the Burnt by the Sun consists of two parts: Exodus (Предстояние, literally 'Prestanding') and Citadel (Цитадель). It is the sequel to Mikhalkov's 1994 film Burnt by the Sun, set in the Eastern Front of World War II.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhalkov, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Dmitry Dyuzhev

 

Mongol
Watch the trailer

 

Монгол (Mongol: The Rise of the Genghis Khan)
(Russia) Biography, Drama, History; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206.

Director: Sergei Bodrov
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Khulan Chuluun, Ji Ri Mu Tu, Amarbold Tuvshinbayar, Aliya

1612
Watch the trailer
 

1612: Хроники смутного времени (1612)
(Russia) Drama, Fantasy, History; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: After the brutal slaughter of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family, Russia descends into chaos. Guided by faith and mysticism, Andrey, the only witness to the massacre, transforms himself from servant to cavalier and sets off on a quest to save Princess Ksenia, the missing daughter of Godunov. Andrey joins forces with Prince Pozharski, the people’s army leader, and faces down the Polish army in an explosive, blood-soaked battle for Moscow.

Director: Vladimir Khotinenko
Starring: Pyotr Kislov, Artur Smolyaninov, Ramon Langa, Mikhail Zhebrovskiy, Violetta Davydovska

Taras Bulba
Watch the trailer

 

Тарас Бульба (The Conquerer: Taras Bulba)
(Russia) Action, Drama, History; released 2010
Buy this film

Synopsis: In the midst of a brutal war, Taras Bulba learns his farm has been destroyed, his eldest son captured and his wife murdered. Seeking vengeance, the fierce warrior sets off on an epic mission for retribution.

Director: Vladimir Bortko
Starring: Bogdan Stupka, Igor Petrenko, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Magdalena Mielcarz, Mikhail Boyarskiy

black_lightning
Watch the trailer

 

Черная молния (Chernaya Molniya/ Black Lightning)
(Russia) Action; released 2009
Buy this film

Synopsis: A student’s life turns upside down when he discovers the battered old car his father gave him can fly… After his entire world falls apart he makes a choice and shoots from zero to hero as a crime fighter known as “Black Lightning”. Little does he know that evil forces are watching, they want the incredible car, and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means killing him and destroying the city.

Directors: Alexander Voitinsky, Dmitry Kiselev
Starring: Grigoriy Dobrygin, Ekaterina Vilkova, Victor Verzhbitsky, Valery Zolotukhin, Ekaterina Vasilieva

night_watch
Watch the trailer

 

Ночной дозор (Night Watch)
(Russia) Action, Fantasy, Thriller; released 2004
Buy this film

Synopsis: A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Galina Tyunina

Day_Watch
Watch the trailer

 

Дневной дозор (Day Watch)
(Russia) Action, Fantasy; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: A sequel to the film Night Watch. A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Mariya Poroshina, Vladimir Menshov, Galina Tyunina, Viktor Verzhbitskiy

9_company
Watch the trailer

 

9 Рота (9th Company)
(Russia) Action, Drama, History; released 2005
Buy this film

Synopsis: Based on real-life events, 9th COMPANY recounts a year in the shared lives of a group of young soldiers drafted to serve in Afghanistan during the final year of the Soviet conflict. It is a poignant story of the unit s dedication to each other during their valiant defense of Height 3234...a futile battle that ravaged their forgotten company, who fought on, unaware that the war had ended.

Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Starring: Alexei Chadov, Artur Smolyaninov, Konstantin Krykov

silent_souls
Watch the trailer

 

Овсянки (Silent Souls)
(Russia) Drama; released 2010
Buy this film

Synopsis: After the sudden death of his wife, tough guy Miron asks taciturn writer Aist to accompany him on a long journey to dispose of her remains according to the rituals of the Merya people-an ancient tribe from picturesque West-Central Russia. As the two friends traverse the evocatively bleak landscape with her body and a pair of caged birds, Miron fills the hours relating the most intimate details of his marriage-with unintended consequences.

(This video (including trailer) may not be appropriate for all audiences).

Director: Aleksey Fedorchenko
Starring: Yuri Tsurilo, Igor Sergeyev, Yuliya Aug, Viktor Sukhorukov

the_return
Watch the trailer

 

Возвращение (The Return)
(Russia) Drama, Mystery, Thriller; released 2003
Buy this film

Synopsis: A story of two Russian boys whose father suddenly returns home after a 12-year absence. He takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Nataliya Vdovina, Galina Popova

 

elena
Watch the trailer

 

Елена (Elena)
(Russia) Drama; released 2012
Buy this film

Synopsis: Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment. He's a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she's his dowdy former nurse who has clearly married up. Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife's freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan...

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Elena Lyadova

Brest_Fortress
Watch the trailer

 

Брестская крепость (The Brest Fortress / Fortress of War)
(Russia) Drama, Action, War; released 2010
Buy this film

Synopsis: Fortress Of War tells the story of the heroic defence of the Brest fortress in Belarus that was assaulted by the Nazi's on the morning of June 22nd 1941. Totally outnumbered in soldiers and weapons, the citizens of Brest fought to the bitter end for twenty-nine endless days. The events that took place in the first days of the invasion are depicted with documentary accuracy, the characters are real. Featuring unique footage of that time and the involvement of the few veterans who survived the battle, Fortress Of War is a large scale war saga depicting a heart-wrenching story of bravery and self-sacrifice.

Director: Aleksandr Kott
Starring: Evgenij Tsyganov, Aleksandr Sirin, Pavel Derevyanko, Andrej Merzlikin, Anatolij Kot

 the_banishment
Watch the trailer
 

Изгнание (The Banishment)
(Russia) Drama; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: Soon after extracting a bullet from his brother's arm, Alex relocates his family from the city to his father's old house in the countryside. As the family settles into their rustic existence, Alex's wife Vera reveals that she is pregnant by another man. Enraged by his wife's announcement, Alex consults with his brother and demands that Vera terminate the pregnancy. When the forced abortion goes horribly awry and Alex's brother suffers a severe heart attack, a confrontation with the man Alex believes to have seduced his wife send events quickly spiraling out of control..

Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
Starring: Maria Bonnevie, Konstantin Lavronenko, Aleksandr Baluyev, Maksim Shibayev, Yekaterina Kulkina

 Tulpan
Watch the trailer
 

Тюльпан (Tulpan)
(Kazakhstan) Comedy, Drama; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: Following his Russian naval service, young dreamer Asa returns to his sister's nomadic brood on the desolate Hunger Steppe to begin a hardscrabble career as a shepherd. But before he can tend a flock of his own, Asa must win the hand of the only eligible bachelorette for miles -his alluringly mysterious neighbor Tulpan.

Director: Sergey Dvortsevoy
Starring: Askhat Kuchinchirekov, Samal Yeslyamova, Ondasyn Besikbasov

 The_Island
Watch the trailer
 

Остров (Тhe Island)
(Russia) Drama; released 2006
Buy this film

Synopsis: Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives a very unusual man. His fellow-monks are confused by his bizarre conduct. Those who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. However, he considers himself unworthy because of a sin he committed in his youth. The film is a parable, combining the realities of Russian everyday life with monastic ritual and routine.

Director: Pavel Lungin
Starring: Pyotr Mamonov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Viktoriya Isakova, Yana Yesipovich, Dmitri Dyuzhev

 Master_Margarita
Watch the trailer
 

Мастер и Маргарита (The Master and Margarita)
(Russia) Drama, Mystery, Romance; released 2005
Buy this film

Synopsis: The "Master and Margaret" begins with two story lines: the Devil and his retinue show up to make mischief in 1930's Moscow while Matthew the Evangelist attempts to uncover the truth about Pontius Pilate and the Crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem in A. D. 33. Halfway through the novel, Bulgakov unveils a third story line set in Moscow, in which the love-stricken Margarita bargains with the Devil to be reunited with her lover, the Master, a tormented writer-hero who pines away in an insane asylum. Bulgakov gradually weaves the three scenarios together, all the while exercising devilish lampoonery and wit to satirize Soviet life under Stalin.

Director: Vladimir Bortko
Starring: Anna Kovalchuk, Aleksandr Galibin, Oleg Basilashvili, Vladislav Galkin, Kirill Lavrov

admiral
Watch the trailer

 

Адмиралъ (Admiral)
(Russia) Drama, History, War; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: A biographical film about Alexander Kolchak, a Vice-Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy and leader of the anti-communist White Movement during the Russian Civil War. The film also depicts the love triangle between the Admiral, his wife, and the poetess Anna Timireva.

Director: Andrey Kravchuk
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Sergey Bezrukov

The_Turkish_Gambit
Watch the trailer

 

Турецкий Гамбит (The Turkish Gambit)
(Russia) War, Action, Adventure; released 2005
Buy this film

Synopsis: The film is based on the second book from the Adventures of Erast Petrovich Fandorin series of novels written by the Russian author Boris Akunin. The film takes place in 1877 during the Russian-Turkish war. Erast Fandorin has just escaped from Turkish prison and is trying to get on the Russian side as soon as possible to give important information about the upcoming attack of the enemy. On his way he meets Varvara Suvorova, a young lady who is going to see her fiancée - a soldier of the Russian army. Erast also knows that there is a spy somewhere in the Russian army, everyone is under suspicion.

Director: Dzhanik Fayziev, Boris Akunin
Starring: Egor Beroev, Olga Krasko, Marat Basharov

12
Watch the trailer
 

12
(Russia) Crime, Drama, Thriller; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: When a Chechen youth is put on trial for the murder of his stepfather, it's up to a room full of jurors divided by racism and prejudice to determine the boy's ultimate fate. One by one, each man takes center stage to confront, connect and confess while the accused awaits a verdict. Slowly the tide of opinion turns, as the jurors begin to realize their decision will forever change the course of another person's life. As they deliberate, the accused revisits his heartbreaking journey through war in a series of powerful flashbacks.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Sergey Makovetskiy, Sergey Garmash, Apti Magamaev, Nikita Mikhalkov, Valentin Gaft


 More Films

More Films About Russia

Katyn 
Academy Award Nominee depicting the controversial WWII-era massacre that long tainted Russian-Polish relations.

Doctor Zhivago 
The classic film, remastered for its 45th anniversary.

Russian Ark 
This Russian-language Russian-directed film film depicting centuries of Russian history in an unbroken 90-minute shot that pans through the Hermitage became an instant classic after its release. Web Guide to Russian Ark provides footnotes to the popular movie.

 

American Films with Russian Content (and Vice Versa)
This list of films was put together by Ben Rifkin at the College of New Jersey as part of "a series of US and Russian films that depict both cultures."


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