The 9th Company (9 rota)
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Fedor Bondarchuk, the son of noted Russian filmmaker Sergei Bondarchuk, debuts as a director with the harrowing and relentless military drama 9th Company, set between 1988 and 1989 at the tail end of the U.S.S.R. Afghani war (the Soviet equivalent of Vietnam). The picture opens in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, in late 1988, when military trainees Petrovsky, Ryaba, Chugun, Stas, Pinochet, Lyutev and Vorobyev are whipped into shape at a training camp by the brutal, sadistic commander, Warrant Officer Dygalo - prior to being sent off to the front lines. After several one-by-one dalliances with the local… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The unquestioning lionising of Russian heroism is far from comfortable viewing, especially given the Putin regime's darkening human rights record."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"The characters are given life by the script and actors, while the mountainous terrain (provided by Crimea) adds novelty to the combat scenes."
‑ Edward Porter, Sunday Times (UK)
"It's beautifully shot and includes bravura set pieces from the front line. Unsurprisingly, it ends badly."
‑ David Gritten, Daily Telegraph
"Americanised macho-sentimental war movie about an isolated Soviet division."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"It isn't original and it isn't subtle, but this is an intelligent and well-made war film that hammers its point home with explosive force."
‑ Sam Jordison, Film4
"For all the grim reality of death and danger, it's mostly a paean to brotherhood, loyalty and honor in a lost cause, with a stock company of character types bonding under fire..."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"Tells a familiar story very well, thanks to a charismatic ensemble cast and boundless ambition when it comes to the scale."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"It's all beautifully photographed and lit, using a bright palette that recalls old Technicolor, and exerts a cumulative power over its 130 minutes."
‑ Nick Curtis, This is London
"To a man, the movie's impressive young Russian cast cover themselves in glory with some truly top-notch turns."
‑ Johnny Vaughan, Sun Online
"the movie's relevance to current events is inescapable - especially when underlined in dialogue like, "In all of history, no one has ever managed to conquer Afghanistan.""
‑ Matthew Leyland,
"So is the director's beef with the barefoot belligerent fundamentalist Afghans or the beefy bungling brass of the Soviet Union? Less likely any of the above, than a battle of the blockbusters showdown with Hollywood, as to whose got the bigger bull-ets."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Radio
"It may not be a new subject but, as an update on bellicose jingoism, it's just right."
‑ Stuart McGurk, thelondonpaper
"The film has no real thematic ambition beyond restating the old "war is hell" adage."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"With what's going on in Afghanistan today, 9th Company is nothing if not timely."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
"Director Fyodor Bondarchuk handles the action sequences impressively but relies heavily on a bombastic orchestral score and slow-motion effects, while the film's nationalistic sentiments ensure the enemy remains faceless and fanatical."
‑ Tom Dawson, Total Film
More reviews for The 9th Company (9 rota) on Rotten Tomatoes