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953 Ratings



Directed by Aleksey Balabanov
Russia, 1997
Drama, Crime


Danila returns from army service to a St. Petersburg high on music and anarchy. Soon, the young man is accompanying his brother, a contract killer, through the Russian underworld…

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Brother Directed by Aleksey Balabanov

Critics reviews

The older transformative or humanist-reformist ambitions of Soviet cinema are not only gone, but are actively rejected; and the only pedagogy here involves teaching filmmakers (especially Hollywood-oriented filmmakers) a new way of thinking and working. Indeed, in the film’s central scene, we see Danila attempting to educate the director Styopa, to get him to trust his fearsome audience, without demanding that the audience give up any of its fearsomeness.
December 14, 2017
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A true piece of junk art, equal parts crude and sophisticated, a faux-naïve crime myth with a protagonist as indelible as Travis Bickle… The thing about Brother is that it’s stubbornly linear, but so suggestive that it just begs for inconclusive allegorical readings: a plot as simple and elemental as dirt, seeded with Freudian overtones, unaddressed nationalist subtexts, and black humor. The good stuff, in other words. Everything looks salvaged or secondhand. In most cases, it was.
July 27, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Renton47's rating of the film Brother

    At times it feels like an extended music video for a terrible band named Nautilus, but always with an eye for unnerving composition and use of shadow. I was shocked to learn of its cheapness, the grit and grime so immersive I foolishly believed it had been paid for. It elevates its 'birth of gangster' type by the sheer historical baggage it carries, an alienation to violence. Bad subs left me a little behind.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Brother

    MUBI, there you go again with your descriptions. I wouldn't call this 'sharply intelligent' by any means. In fact, it's the opposite. It's gritty and realistic, and filled with a lot of pointless violence.

  • J. O.'s rating of the film Brother

    A charming Soviet take on the American gangster-crime movie. Bleak, pallid shots of Saint Petersburg paint a very unique atmosphere for this story. The environments and blasé characters challenges whether the violence and corruption is understood and acceptable, or still shocking and brutal.

  • Andy's rating of the film Brother

    Aleksei Balabanov's take on life in the slums of post Cold War Russia is at times bleak but always riveting. Sergey Bodrov Jr.'s performance echoes a young James Dean in his prime. The film gives us a look inside the grim Russian underworld but looks at it with a humane eye. Both director and the star have passed away since then, and it's a shame I've just found their work. Definitely watching more. Great film!

  • T Mills's rating of the film Brother

    The whole movie succeeds on this enigmatic character. His sense of justice and fairness in the chaotic St. Petersburg is fascinating. The only weakness I felt for the film, and it's a big one, was the older brother's motivation for his actions. Otherwise, this is a great pulpy thriller. Curious about the second film and more works by Balabanov.

  • somnorici's rating of the film Brother

    This is epic Russian movie which very vividly characterizes the mood of 1990-s in Russia. The must see movie for people who wants to learn something about Russia.

  • Justin Vicari's rating of the film Brother

    The best and most honest film about post-Perestroika Russia, pretty much a "Wild West" where only the strongest and fittest survive. But because it's Russian, survival is nearly colder than death. Anyway, the very sweet, sexy, charismatic lead actor did not survive very long after this film. Literally. Give this one a chance, it's highly entertaining.

  • AyynaMkay's rating of the film Brother

    i don't know if anyone who lived not in Russia of 90s will ever understand this one. it has russian soul, russian spirit, russian mind. but it is amazing that the cinema can actually deliver mood of the film to anyone interested. great work, Balabanov. great work, Bodrov. и песни с этого фильма до сих пор звучат в моем плеере.

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