Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview, buy, or rent movies, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC



Andreï Zviaguintsev

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download this movie.

Plot Summary

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: 60
  • Fresh: 56
  • 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

noire-ish but subtle

Beautifully made movie and wonderful camera shots. I think some of the reviewers were expecting "Bourne Identity" when they read "thriller" as the genre. This is not the case, but It does have plenty of tension, drama, pathos, irony, and ambiguity. Strange ending, the type you want to discuss someone. I liked it, there were scenes that made me uncomfortable at times, like I was watching someone's real family problems from their kitchen table. This experience does not happen often in American films save for maybe Todd Solondz projects. Finally, the camera and lighting are rich and the sets both elegant and gritty. Sure to be a favorite of film schools every where. I guess that's what it is, a film school film, rich and deep.

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.

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.

View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings