Language is never a barrier in getting to watch good movies. To feed your movie hunger, try out Russian movies on Netflix this weekend and enjoy some of the very different shades of the cinema like never before. You never know when you end up discovering some cult classics which are never made in your own industry.
Top 10 Russian Movies on Netflix
To help you out in this, I have created a list of the top 10 Russian movies which you would surely like to watch on Netflix. If language is a barrier then always have the option of subtitles and dubbed tones. You can use these ad-on to create the perfect movie binge experience at home only.
1). Leviathan (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes: 99% IMDb: 7.6/10
You must have made out from the ratings of Leviathan that why did I put it in the category of Russian movies on Netflix. Actually, this is one of the most popular and classic movies ever made in Russian film industry and comes under the genre of Russian Drama.
The theme of Leviathan is based on love and tragedy which is experienced by ordinary people in their day to day life. Such a normal storyline is portrayed so beautifully that you will fall in love with it.
Leviathan is the story of a car mechanic Kolya, his second wife Lilya and their teen son Roma. The movie is about their struggle and unfortunate events in their life where the crook mayor Vadim of their town undertakes their land where their house is built.
Leviathan was released in Cannes Film Festival and officially released an year later to it. The movie got a huge acclaim from the critics who found the movie a great blend of elements like power, money and fate. The movie is surely going to be imprinted in your mind forever.
2). Loveless (2017)
Rotten Tomatoes: 91% IMDb: 8/10
Another Russian drama in the list of Russian movies on Netflix is Loveless. This is a recent release from the year 2017 itself which is directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. You can consider this movie to be a gemstone of Russian film industry with some great honors on its name.
The theme of the movie deals with a modern issue and this is the reason Loveless can be a relatable flick for many of its viewers.
The plot of the movie is based on two parents who have separated from each other and their relationship has become loveless lacking affection and care. However, their life takes a turn and bring them together when their only child goes missing. The rest is a story of love for their child and a great climax.
Loveless can be called one of the best movies on Netflix right now and also won awards in Cannes Film Festival and 90th Academy Awards too. The entire shooting is done in Moscow with some really beautiful visuals. Overall, Loveless is a shear treat to watch.
3). The Student (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes: 87% IMDb: 7/10
It seems like Russian Film Industry only produces movies in the genre of drama and fiction and adding another feather in their cap is the movie The Student. The movie is directed by Kirill Serebrennikov and based on the Play Martyrer by Marius Von Mayenburg.
This is the next pick in the category of Russian movies on Netflix. The movie got critically acclaimed and led to won Francois Chalais Prize when it was premiered in Cannes Film Festival.
The plot of this movie revolves around a student named Veniamin Yuzhin. He is a young man who suddenly turns religious fanatic and hence everyone witness a great change in his behavior suddenly. His behavior starts to affect each and everyone around him including the school and eventually leads everyone to a disaster.
The movie is quite different from the rest of the flicks mentioned in this list on the basis of the plot that it portrays. However, you can give full marks to the acting skills of each and every artist in this movie.
4). III – The Ritual (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes: Not IMDb: 5/10
III – The Ritual is a movie directed by Pavel Khvaleev. The movie is based on a horror theme unlike all the other Russian movies on Netflix which I listed above just now. The movie is a remarkable one and the reason behind it is the minimal cast of just eight people. Despite that what this movie has achieved is something explicit.
The theme of the movie revolves around two sisters named Ayia and Mirra. They both are there for each other always as it was the last wish of their dying mother.
They both were happy until Mirra falls seriously ill one day with the same disease as her mother. Ayia discovers that traditional medicines are not helping so with the local priests she finds out another way to help her which requires her to enter Mirra’s subconscious and fights off the demons there.
Almost entire effects are performed through natural acting and makeup without involving any CGI. I think that is the point where the movie excelled itself. There are very few amazingly portrayed movies on Netflix like III – The Ritual and especially belonging to Russian film industry.
5). Elena (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% IMDb: 7.3/10
Well, after some horror flick this is the time to return to some drama again with the Russian movie Elena. It is directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, the one who directed Loveless too. The movie first got premiered in Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Prize over there, Kudos to the direction of Andrey here.
Russian Movie on Netflix is really different from traditional American movies. They are way more sensitive and tries to portray the real emotions of people in real life situations, and Elena is one such flick.
The plot of the movie is about the social distance between two completely different areas of Moscow. One is an exclusive apartment, and another one is a trembling building. There is a woman named Elena who becomes the connecting link between the two when being a nurse she marries Vladimir, a business tycoon.
The movie is as surprising as its climax and the minute details are great to be noticed. The work of fiction depicted by actors is really applaudable. What else you are going to like about it the changes in the character of Elena throughout the movie.
6). How I Ended This Summer (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% IMDb: 7/10
How I Ended This Summer is a Russian drama movie directed by Alexei Popogrebski which falls perfectly in the list of Russian movies on Netflix. The movie is a cult classic from Russian film industry and critically acclaimed too. Apart from getting global recognition, the movie also did great on box office too.
The plot of this movie revolves around Meteorology student Pavel Danilov. This story is about the experiences he had while spending summer somewhere.
Pavel moves to an isolated weather station on a remote Arctic island, working as a summer intern. Pavel only has senior geophysicist Sergei Gulybin for company. Earlier they share a rough bond but as the time passes, they start understanding each other. The story then follows by some unfortunate and really surprising events.
The movie got huge recognition and went on to won several awards too. The movie is amongst the best Russian movies and the intense drama in it really keeps people stuck to it until the end. The movie is surely a gem in the Russian film industry.
7). Day Watch (2006)
Rotten Tomatoes: 64% IMDb: 6.5/10
After getting done with too much of drama, this is the time to watch some Russian movies on Netflix belonging to dark fantasy and action genre. Day Watch is also known as Night Watch 2: The Chalk of Fate which is the second installment of Night Watch series. It is written and directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
Day Watch is an excellent movie as per the visuals and acting and also did amazing wonders on the Box office too but still could only got average rating from the reviewers.
The movie is based on the novel The Night Watch and narrates the story furthermore to the previous part of the movie. The protagonist of the movie is Anton Gorodestsky who finds himself in the middle of such a situation where light and dark forces are fighting off each other.
The movie involves various fictional characters and events which keeps the movie an interesting subject for the audience. With a bit of hint of romance in it, the movie did not leave any single angle to cover.
8). Hard to Be a God (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% IMDb: 6.7/10
If you think Russian movies are only focused on drama then rethink about it because Hard to Be a God is a wonderful science fiction movie directed by Aleksei German. This movie is based on the novel of same name by Arkady and Boris Strugastsky.
Hard to be a God is amongst the most watched Russian movies on Netflix. With its science and technology theme, the movie set itself apart from the rest of the flicks.
The plot of this movie is based on a group of 30 scientists. These people travel to an identical alien planet which is centuries behind from Earth on the basis of culture and technology. These scientists helps these people to progress as a society and their efforts lead the movie further.
To download movies online like these ones, you can try out different sites and I think the movie is worth downloading because of the extremely well cinematography.
9). Pussy Riot: A Punk Player (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% IMDb: 7/10
Pussy Riot: A Punk Player is a Russian British movie which is basically a kind of documentary. This documentary is directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin. The provocative subject and theme of this movie gained a lot of attention and this is why I listed it in this category of Russian movies on Netflix.
The movie revolves around court cases on Russian feminist/anti-putinist punk rock protect group named Pussy Riot which is also the title of the movie.
The movie also contains sensitive content such as real footage of court proceedings and interviews of family members of this rock band members. However, this movie does not contain any real interaction with the real band members.
The movie was aired in form of subparts of documentaries and got great positive reviews. As the name of this movie says a lot, it invited a lot of controversies and of course was provocative towards several issues. This is the reason it got nominated yet never made into final nominees of Academy awards.
10). Russian Ark (2002)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% IMDb: 7.4/10
The last flick to be mentioned in the list of Russian movies on Netflix is Russian Ark. The movie is based on the theme of historical drama and directed by Alexander Sokurov. There is a special thing about the movie that it is entirely shot inside the Winter Palace of Russian Hermitage Museum that too in a single 96 minute sequence shot.
With such an amazing direction and great facts about the movie, it got entered into the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
Russian Ark is a story which is told by the narrator inside the Winter Palace who apparently died in an accident. This ghost is accompanied by various people real and fictional in this journey some of whom are really popular figures.
Being extremely different from the rest of the Russian movies, the movie got great recognition along with being critically acclaimed too.
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This is the time to watch great flicks in form of best of the Russian movies on Netflix. To get you the basic interpretation and theme, I have described their plot a bit so that you can get the idea about their story a little. I hope that is going to help you to understand them better.
So, just open up your Netflix account and spend this weekend discovering gems from a totally different cinema world.