HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sorry to Bother You
Last Days, The
Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Once Upon a Time in London
King Lear
Under the Silver Lake
Satan's Mistress
Border
Lemonade Joe
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Sons of Katie Elder, The
Soldier, The
Mr. Topaze
Aquaman
One, Two, Three
Bad Times at the El Royale
Caretaker, The
Old Man and the Gun, The
Song of Bernadette, The
Creed II
Anna and the Apocalypse
Return of the Hero
White Reindeer, The
Lizzie
Wicked, Wicked
Faces Places
Strange Woman, The
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Sky Bandits
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Devil's Sword, The
Leprechaun Returns
Man in the Wilderness
Mug
Love Me Deadly
Look Away
J.C.
Filmworker
Sixty Glorious Years
   
 
Newest Articles
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
   
 
  Eastern Promises Buy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent Cassel, Jerzy Skolimowski, Sinéad Cusack, Mina E. Mina, Josef Altin, Raza Jaffrey
Genre: Sex, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: David Cronenberg's latest film enters the twilight world of Russian organised crime in London's East End.

Nurse Anna (Naomi Watts) finds a diary amongst the personal belongings of a Russian teenage girl who has just died after giving birth. Anna asks her Russian uncle (film director Jerzy Skolimowski) to translate the journal, and also engages the attention of restaurant owner Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) who expresses keen interest in this diary of a lost girl, and makes up a frightening triumvirate of terror with his son Kirill (Vincent Cassel) and henchman Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen). As egos clash, leading to a single-minded struggle for power, the object of their attentions assumes even greater importance.

On the strength of just one viewing, I'm tempted to label this Cronenberg's strongest offering since the twisted love story that is CRASH. It's simply dripping with prime Cronenberg themes and imagery: birth, death, sexual tension, body horror in abundance and boldly underlines his position as one of the most brilliant director's of actors currently working. Watts, Cassel and Skolimowski are all excellent, but it's Mortensen and Mueller-Stahl who really excel: the former bringing light and shade to an incredibly complex individual, while the latter moves from outward charm to a terrifying persona of evil at the flick of a switch.

Highlights are many. Look out for an unbelievably brutal encounter in a Turkish bath-house (where a naked Mortensen does bloody battle in unconventional body armour), a sex scene that brings DEAD RINGERS to mind (and there's a very good reason for the chosen carnal position) and a staggering declaration of intent set in a barbers shop. This really is a treasure trove, both above and below its surface veneer, using Steven Knight's script and Peter Suschitzky's exemplary photography to show an unfamiliar side of London we'd rather not know existed.

If A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE was Cronenberg's concession to the mainstream, EASTERN PROMISES demonstrates his ability to retain a wider movie-going audience while at the same time delivering the goods to his older band of followers. It's a difficult trick to keep all those balls in the air, but Cronenberg does it in spades.

Bloody, violent in the extreme and also remarkably tender at times. This really is a promise fulfilled.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 3095 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Cronenberg  (1943 - )

Highly regarded Canadian writer/director who frequently combines intellectual concerns with genre subjects. Began directing in the late-70s with a series of gruesome but socially aware horror thrillers, such as Shivers, Rabid and The Brood. 1981's Scanners was Cronenberg's commercial breakthrough, and if the hallucinatory Videodrome was box office flop, it remains one of the finest films of his career. The sombre Stephen King adaptation The Dead Zone and the hugely successful remake of The Fly followed.

The disturbing Dead Ringers (1988) was a watershed film, based for the first time entirely in reality and featuring a career-best performance from Jeremy Irons. The 1990s saw Cronenberg in uncompromising form, adapting a pair of "unfilmable" modern classics - Burrough's Naked Lunch and Ballard's Crash - in typically idiosyncratic style. M. Butterfly was something of a misfire, but eXistenZ surprised many by being fast-moving and funny, while 2002's powerful Spider saw Cronenberg at his most art-house.

His later films were the acclaimed, bloody comic book adaptation A History of Violence, London-set thriller Eastern Promises, an examination of the sources of psychotherapy in A Dangerous Method, drama in a day Cosmopolis and Tinseltown takedown Maps to the Stars. Never one to bow to critical or popular demands, Cronenberg remains one of modern cinema's finest filmmakers.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: