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Eastern Promises (2007)

Cast: George Cottle Jr., Lucy Allen, Dominic Preece, more...
Director: David Cronenberg, David Cronenberg
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Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Crime, Gangsters
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Vincent Cassel star in this David Cronenberg's thriller concerning a London midwife who unwittingly stumbles into a clandestine Russian sex trafficking ring. An unidentified Russian teen has been rushed to a London hospital after going into labor. Though midwife Anna Khitrova (Watts) does manage to deliver a healthy baby girl, the newborn's mother dies tragically during delivery. But the deceased mother's secrets did not die with her, because she has left behind a diary. Determined to ensure the newborn is placed with her rightful family, Anna attempts to read the diary and discovers a business card for a local restaurant therein. Upon visiting the restaurant Anna is greeted by kindly owner Semyon (Mueller-Stahl), who generously offers to translate it for her. But Semyon is not what he appears to be, and before long Anna begins to fear that the child could be in great danger. Semyon admits to Anna that the diary contains information about his son Kirill (Cassell) that could land the volatile offspring in jail despite the fact that Kirill is at heart a good person. As the truth begins to unfold and Anna begins to believe that Kirill and his driver Nikolai (Mortensen) - an ambitious driver seeking to ascent the ranks of the notorious Russian mafia - mean the baby harm, an underworld storm begins to brew that could consume all involved. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Blood, Blather and... Tears? by talltale January 2, 2008 - 5:16 PM PST
2 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I'm sometimes a sucker for the sentimental. But I admit it. What's the excuse of many of our more heralded critics, who've given the big thumbs-up to David Cronenberg's latest piece of silliness, surpassing even his "A History of Violence" (I can't believably choreograph action scenes featuring more than two people but nobody seems to have noticed)? EASTERN PROMISES is so very unbelievable at several points along the way (which I cannot explain without "spoiling" things) but nothing tops the clinker ending featuring all three leads, a baby, a river and--why, David, honey--are you trying to jerk our tears? After all that blood and blather?

Yes, there are some nice--well, ugly--scenes along the way, plus good acting, as might be expected from the top-notch cast. And classy photography, some great gore, passable music, and so forth. But it's time to fess up: Mr. Cronenberg is losing his touch. I suggest he go back to acting for awhile (he is simply terrific in Don McKellar's "Last Night"--a must see, by the way: I will remember his performance until my own last night). "Eastern Promises," however, is a rather sad misfire.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.17)
89 Votes
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Craig's Best Films of 2007 List
These were all the films I thought stood out in a strong '07; as they arrive on DVD I'll add to this list. Detailed opinions on each of these films can be found on my full list: 15 Best of 2007

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