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Andreï Zviaguintsev

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About the Movie

Winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, ELENA is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment. He is a still-virile, wealthy businessman and 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. Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andreï Zviaguintsev (Golden Globe nominee “The Return”) and featuring evocative, Hitchcockian music by Philip Glass, ELENA is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 61
  • Fresh: 57
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 7.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2012

Fresh: The script, by Oleg Negin and Zvyagintsev, uses spare dialogue to quietly devastating effect. Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Jul 12, 2012

Fresh: Here's a tip: Don't feel. Think. Zvyagintsev wants you to come out of "Elena" thinking something, and if your realization is an uneasy one, that's OK with him. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 8, 2012

Fresh: "Elena" reveals a filmmaker in full command of his art and not much interested in catering to an audience. If you want this film, you have to meet it more than halfway. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, May 31, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Favorite of Karlovy Vary

Loved this movie when I saw it in European festivals. Hoping it would be seen here, so I could share it with friends. Extraordinary and compelling window into Russia today. Beautiful film.

Don't waste your time on this movie. Very slow and a true yawner.

This movie stinks. A total waste of time. Once again, Rotten Tomatoes is wrong on this one.

This is no thriller

This is a finely crafted film that is dull and boring from start to finish. There isn't a single thrill in it, or any tension, or anything entertaining or insightful, or apparently anything of redeeming value. The Tomatoes have definitely been on that space station for too long.

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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings