Izgnanie (The Banishment)
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Izgnanie (The Banishment)
On the heels of his award-winning 2003 feature debut The Return, filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev struggles to avoid the sophomore slump with this art-house crime drama concerning two brothers struggling to keep their lives together in the face of certain disaster. Soon after extracting a bullet from his brother's arm, Alex (Konstantin Lavroneko) relocates his family from the city to his father's old house in the countryside. As the family settles into their rustic existence, Alex's wife Vera (Maria Bonnevie) reveals that she is pregnant by another man. Enraged by his wife's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A frustrating, oblique and portentous endurance test."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"A movie falls into the clutches of long, solemn stares into space, meaningful drags on cigarettes, cryptic dialogue revealing little and a tiny drama that feels old, tired and empty of real purpose."
‑ Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"The film works mostly in ellipses and silences, establishing a solemnly mysterious mood."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"Though every shot is painstakingly framed and perfectly lit, the film fails at the human level. These people remain strangers throughout. There is nothing wrong with the performances but it's difficult to create empathy without intimacy."
‑ Elliott Noble, Sky Movies
"While the heavenly rays of the Almighty Himself could not have done a more exquisite job lighting the film, its beauty doesn't compensate for the sparse, slow and unrewarding story."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"We will not reveal more of the plot in the hope that one day it will be playing in a theater near you . It is truly something to see; for among all the lives to be ruined it is a visual rhapsody."
‑ Mary Corliss, TIME Magazine
"For all of its ingenuity, and the incredible, drawn-out events that conclude the film, there is a high risk that this film alienates its audience."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"There are prize-winning performances, seductive landscapes and hallucinatory shots of empty urban streets and shadowy interiors."
‑ Martin Hoyle, Financial Times
"Photographed with mesmerising clarity and power by Mikhail Krichman, and consciously evoking those found in the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, they are the most compelling feature of this grindingly slow and self-conscious fable."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"It feels more like a ciné dissertation designed to showcase Zvyagintsev's appreciation of the medium than an original piece of cinema."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"If only the ravishing opening shot of Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Banishment was followed up with both beauty and something genuinely profound, then disappointment wouldn't be so palpable."
‑ Jay Weissberg, Variety
"The Banishment is so obviously the work of an exceptional film-maker that you can't deny its power, ambition and ability to keep you watching."
‑ , This is London
"Lumbering and beautiful, Zvyagintsev leaves few doubts that we're in the hands of a fledgling master: there's lots of striking visuals to keep you from itching for the exit as the leisurely running time unspools."
‑ Sam Wigley, Total Film
"I can't help feeling that this is a slight misstep from this director, and can't decide whether his film has at its centre a mystery or a muddle."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"a timeless tragedy unfolds in slow motion - but the viewer's patience is rewarded with exquisite painterly images, some unexpectedly rapid developments and a truly bleak vision of human error and its consequences."
‑ Anton Bitel, Film4
More reviews for Izgnanie (The Banishment) on Rotten Tomatoes