Eastern Promises2007

Critics score:
89 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times:[A] chilly, masterful thriller.Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader:David Cronenberg's follow-up to A History of Violence lacks the theoretical dimension of its predecessor, but it's no less masterful in its fluid storytelling and shocking choreography of violence.Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club:An engrossing, politically conscious thriller with superior acting that doesn't reveal how little it's up to until it whiffs to a close.Read more

Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic:Suffice it to say it's a bit of primal brutality that lays bare the animal in each of us, fighting to survive.Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe:In Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg's hellacious new Russian mob movie, Viggo Mortensen finally comes of age as an actor and a movie star.Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times:Expertly realized and gunmetal slick, Eastern Promises whirs along with perfect efficiency, but doesn't stir much in the way of visceral horror despite its penchant for treating the human body like a chicken carcass on a block.Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle:What it's really about, more than sensitivity for displaced people or social analyses, is violence -- hideous, gruesome, over-the-top violence.Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor:David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises plays like a companion piece to his overrated A History of Violence.Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post:...Eastern Promises is as honorable an entertainment as it is a humbling work of art.Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News:...manages to blend the clashing of cultures, family resentment, ugly heritage and the unlikely promise of new life without going in circles.Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly:A thriller can lead us into the fascinating intricacy of a criminal subculture, and Eastern Promises does that with the globalized Russian Mob.Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press:Eastern Promises is a straightforward, straight-up Russian gangster movie whose primary achievement is making the Russian gangster underworld feel exotic and menacing.Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News:The film's genius performance belongs to the venerable Armin Mueller-Stahl, who plays the family head with a twinkling eye and an air of avuncular, Old World charm.Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly:Despite Viggo's total gorgeousness, a nude fight-for-his-life in a steam room has all the titillation of a butcher throwing down a slab of meat.Read more

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News:Eastern Promises is a subtle and precisely calibrated work of astonishing cumulative power.Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday:Whether in cloaked repose or naked defense, Mortensen dares you to take your eyes off of him.Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker:You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream. "London is to blame," one of the characters declares, but I don't buy it. I blame David Cronenberg.Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture:Eastern Promises is finally conventional, even sentimental.Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger:[Cronenberg's] most straightforward and accessible movie since The Fly.Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News:Eastern Promises is the first must-see adult film of the young fall.Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post:[Viggo Mortensen] lends a moral complexity to Eastern Promises that makes it much more than just a very accomplished action thriller.Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer:I cannot easily recommend these delights to everyone, but my high regard for Mr. Cronenberg's stylistic virtues remains largely undiminished.Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel:It's just too bad Eastern Promises, on the whole, promises more than it delivers.Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer:Mortensen delivers yet another startling performance, stunning in its intensity and cunning in its ambiguity.Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews:Perhaps the director set the bar so high with A History of Violence that there was no way he could equal it with Eastern Promises, but for him to fall so far short is nothing less than criminal.Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:A film that takes us beyond crime and London and the Russian mafia and into the mystifying realms of human nature.Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle:This is Mortensen and Cronenberg's second collaboration -- the first was A History of Violence -- and it's turning into a beautiful friendship.Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate:Cronenberg has become such an assured director that it's a pleasure to sit back and hand yourself over to his sick and singular vision.Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune:It's a mouthful of blood with a vodka chaser.Read more

Globe and Mail:Sure, it's just a crime thriller, yet a genre flick by Cronenberg is always a different sort of beast.Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star:Menacingly brilliant.Read more

Wally Hammond, Time Out:Slightly hesitant, slightly undercharacterised and gently compromising, hybrid: an oddly diplomatic, if often brutal, dip into the hellish demi-mondes lurking behind bouncer-guarded London doorways.Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today:If you don't mind bloodshed and are drawn to taut thrillers with fascinating characters portrayed skillfully, Eastern Promises is just the ticket.Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety:Eastern Promises instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films.Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice:I've said it before and hope to again: David Cronenberg is the most provocative, original, and consistently excellent North American director of his generation.Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post:Eastern Promises, a chilly character thriller set in the Russian underworld of London, has elements of murder mystery and gangster melodrama. But in director David Cronenberg's hands, it's a search for moral bearing in a dark and desperate world.Read more