Top 13 best Russian movies (2016) - Top Netflix & Cinema

Like Russian literature, Russian cinema is enormously rich. What are the Eisensteins and Tarkovsky’s of our time? Check out below!
The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Russian movies of 2016 in cinema or on DVD or Netfix. Are Ilya Naishuller, Andrey Zvyagintsev & Aleksey Popogrebskiy Russian Federation's biggest directors?

2014 was the year in which Russia is returning to its Soviet ways. Putin’s foreign policy shocks and paralyzes Western politicians.Recently adopted laws silence dissenting voices within Russian borders (‘no more swearing everyone, and don’t dare being gay!’). Yet, there are also beautiful cultural artifacts coming from Russia in 2014 & 2015. The Palme d’Or contender of this year’s Cannes Film festival, Leviathan (2014) by Andrey Zvyagintsev breaks away from Russian films performing badly in 2013, and reminds us of Russia’ incredibly rich film history. Zvyagintsev is by no means a new face circulating the international film festival circuit, and seems to be the sole successor of Russian genius filmmakers like Tarkovsky and Eisenstein. Similarly innovative and eccentric, his films make up the majority of this list laying down the recent best Russian films of the 2000’s and 2010’s up to 2014/2015. Because that is what this article is about, examining the very best Russian films of the last few years. It is about time to understand the country we seem unable to wrap our heads around. About time to understand a country that will be dictating much of what will be happening in the upcoming years.

Russian movies 2016
Popular actors Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett & Danila Kozlovsky
Trending movies Leviathan, Hardcore & Da i Da


Best Russian movies on Netflix or DVD in 2016

Best Russian movies out on DVD, Bluray or VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  1. Leviathan (29-08-2014)
  2. Cannes is said to have been solid but somewhat dull this year. The same cannot be said of Leviathan that, although losing to Ceylan’s ‘Winter’s Sleep’, was one of the buzziest films of 2014. This exceptional film did walk away with the best screenplay award. Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, tells the gripping and sometimes even funny story of a man who is trying to fight the corrupt major of a small coastal town.

    Trailer of Leviathan on Youtube

    Release date 29-08-2014
    Director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena & The Banishment)
    Starring Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova & Roman Madyanov
    Similar movies How I Ended This Summer & Wintersleep
    Themes justice, law, drama,
    Rating 85%
    Country Russian Federation •
    Keywords astonishing • magnificent •
    Length 140 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  3. Hard to be a God (16-05-2014)
  4. It is Hard to be a God’ is the last film by the late Aleksey German. Talented in achieving splendid surrealism but being anything but prolific, he spent the last 12 years of his life making this film. His 3-hour film based on the book by the Strugatsky brothers first opened at the Rome Film Festival in 2013, and it caused quite some waves. Stylistically it takes us back to the crispy black and white films with which Russia conquered the world, but it is not a historic tale. Some are even describing it as the most important science fiction film of this decade. Check out the estranging trailer of Hard to be a God with English subtitles online here.

    Trailer of Hard to be a God on Youtube

    Release date 16-05-2014
    Director Aleksey German (Trial on the Road, My Friend Ivan Lapshin & Khrustalyov, My Car! )
    Starring Gali Abaydulov, Yuriy Ashikhmin & Remigijus Bilinskas
    Similar movies Planet of the Apes & Contact
    Themes extraterrestial life, science, drama, science fiction,
    Rating 65%
    Country Russian Federation •
    Keywords entertaining • nonsensical •
    Length 177 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  5. Elena (21-01-2012)
  6. Elena, after the slightly disappointing The Banishment, reminded me that Zvyagintsev is my favorite contemporary Russian filmmaker. He again, impressively zooms in on individuality within family contexts, and how individual decisions affect all. His pure and simple filmmaking instantly feels majestic, and his films stay with you forever.

    Trailer of Elena on Youtube

    Release date 21-01-2012
    Director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, The Return & The Banishment)
    Starring Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov & Aleksey Rozin
    Similar movies Ida & The Return
    Themes families, old age, drama,
    Rating 80%
    Country Russian Federation •
    Keywords gripping • phenomenal •
    Length 109 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  7. How I Ended This Summer (28-01-2011)
  8. Like Zvyagintsev, Popogrepsky’s dramas do not require obscure symbolism, unlike most Russian art house films, to get its message across. Its simplicity and straightforwardness captures your attention in a most subtle way. Often described as somewhat of a thriller, this is more of a solid interpersonal drama that plays out suspense very well, and although it moves rather slowly, is never dull. It takes place in the middle of the Arctic and the two protagonists only have each other to turn too when realizing the fragility of humans when compared to nature. Great performance by the two actors who contribute immensely to making it a an emotionally gripping drama.

    Trailer of How I Ended This Summer on Youtube

    Release date 28-01-2011
    Director Aleksey Popogrebskiy (Roads to Koktobel, Simple Things & Bloodrop 3D)
    Starring Grigoriy Dobrygin, Sergey Puskepalis & Igor Chernevich
    Similar movies Leviathan & Sibir. Monamur
    Themes nature, trust, action, drama,
    Rating 72%
    Country Russian Federation •
    Keywords spectacular • thrilling •
    Length 130 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  9. Everyone Dies But Me (23-10-2008)
  10. Everybody dies but me is one of those realist coming-of-agers that without ever becoming to forced, is successful in its emotionally charged narrative. It demonstrates the naive beauty of ever-lasting teenage friendships that once adolescence kicks in turn out to be anything but infinite. Valeriya Gay Germanika shows she has a background in documentary filmmaking, because her gritty naturalist films have a great observational quality about them. If you are into Lukas Moodysson films (like Fucking Amal or We are the best!), this might be your Russian alternative. It is not as good as a Moodysson, but it is worth your while. (like We are the best! it is about three girls in the suburbs – but now in Moscow)

    Trailer of Everyone Dies But Me on Youtube

    Trailer No trailer available
    Release date 23-10-2008
    Director Valeriya Gay Germanika (Da i Da)
    Starring Polina Filonenko, Agniya Kuznetsova & Olga Shuvalova
    Similar movies We Are the Best & Bande de Filles
    Themes friendship, growing up, drama,
    Rating 81%
    Country Russian Federation •
    Keywords authentic • realistic •
    Length 80 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix


Best new European cinema in 2016 - Netflix & Cinema