Wholly disappointing, despite the (usually) talented cast and great art direction. The Chiktailo-inspired story gets completely ignored in favour of very bloated tiptoeing around the idea that the Soviet Union was strict. What else is new? The pace was awful, and the thrills were too few and far between, and too kinetic - to the point of confusion. There were also horrible accents at every turn. Eyes were rolled.
2 stars for the story, one star for tom hardy. this could've been great, but it's too long and sometimes too stupid. i think that the worst thing that happened to this movie is the unnecessary storyline (it's good sometimes) that hides behind the principal plot. still, an entertaining thriller.
Such a disappointment after having read the book. Tom Hardy makes a good fist of his role as Leo Demidov, the main protagonist in the film (aside from his woeful accent). And the cinematography is great with the natural beauty of the Russian countryside providing a stark contrast to the grittiness of life in the immediate post Stalin era. However, the screenplay for the movie is substantially inferior to the book.
I had never seen such a fantastic collection of English actors faking a Russian accent. Tywin Lannister being Russian every two sentences is a good pack of fun to end this... thing. It could have been a way better and darker piece with the same strong cast.
2.5. All the way through it seems like an average TV film but with a stellar cast. Tom Hardy is brilliant and the story is interesting but so poorly developed and executed. Ultimately it is quite dull. Also Noomi Rapace's coloured contact lenses... Nah.
I actually liked this a lot! Noomi and Hardy's great teamwork, the film showed great determination in emotion and colour. Looked incredibly realistic, not even mentioning it's political content. Great effort in my opinion.