Top 13 best Russian movies in 2018 & 2017 (Netflix & Cinema List)

The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Russian movies of 2018 in cinema, DVD and Netflix. Are Ilya Naishuller, Andrey Zvyagintsev & Aleksey Popogrebskiy Russian Federation's biggest directors?

Like Russian literature, Russian cinema is enormously rich. What are the Eisensteins and Tarkovsky’s of our time? Check out below!

According to some 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!’). Fortunately, it's cultural productions are nothing like it. Andrey Zvyagintsev breaks away from Russian films performing badly, 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 up to 2016 & 2017. 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.

New Russian movies in 2018

Top movies up for release in 2018

  • Dovlatov

    DIRECTOR: Aleksey German
    CAST: Artur Beschastny, Danila Kozlovsky, Milan Maric

    Sergei Dovlatov (1941-1990) is easily one of the most-read Russian writers from the 20th century. While his literary friends got crushed by the Soviet government one by one, Dovlatov persisted in what he did best; writing without taboos. 'Dovlatov' focusses on six crucial days from his turbulent life. Read more

    RATING: 82/100

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  • Dau

    DIRECTOR: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy
    CAST: Teodor Currentzis, Youriy Alekseev, Radmila Shchyogoleva

    Not much is known about 'Dau', an upcoming about the renowned Russian scientist/physician Lev Landau. Directed by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy, who shot the controversial and acclaimed movie '4' back in 2004. Read more

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  • Il Peccato

    DIRECTOR: Andrey Konchalovskiy
    CAST: Umberto Orsini, Nicola Adobati, Alberto Testone

    The great Russian director Andrey Konchalovskiy (who once wrote scripts for Tarkovsky's before he became a filmmaker in his own right) turned to Italy for this upcoming biopic about sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti. Read more

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Best Russian movies of 2017

Top rated 2017 Russian movies

  • Guardians

    DIRECTOR: Sarik Andreasyan
    CAST: Valeriya Shkirando Alina Lanina Anton Pampushnyy

    During the Cold War, an organization called "Patriot" created a super-hero squad, which includes members of multiple soviet republics. For years, the heroes had to hide their identities, but in hard times they must show themselves again. Read more

    RATING: 77/100

    RELEASE DATE: February 23rd, 2017

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  • Loveless

    DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev

    When a couple is going through a divorce, things change when they have to work together to find their missing 12-year old son. A beautiful and painful portrait of a modern Russian marriage falling apart. Read more

    RATING: 90/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 18th, 2017

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Best Russian movies on Netflix or DVD in 2018

2010's best rated Russian movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  • The Student ((M)uchenik)

    DIRECTOR: Kirill Serebrennikov
    CAST: Yuliya Aug Viktoriya Isakova Aleksandr Gorchilin

    Veniamin is a Russian high school student obsessed by Christianity. In his attempt to persuade everyone around him of the omnipresent immorality, he becomes more and more alienated. Beautifully shot and wonderfully deap-pan acted by Pyotr Skvortsov. Read more

    RATING: 84/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 13th, 2016

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  • Leviathan

    DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev
    CAST: Aleksey Serebryakov Elena Lyadova Roman Madyanov

    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. Read more

    RATING: 76/100

    RELEASE DATE: August 29th, 2014

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  • Elena

    DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev
    CAST: Nadezhda Markina Andrey Smirnov Aleksey Rozin

    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. Read more

    RATING: 73/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 21st, 2012

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  • The Student ((M)uchenik)

    DIRECTOR: Kirill Serebrennikov
    CAST: Yuliya Aug Pyotr Skvortsov Viktoriya Isakova

    Veniamin is a Russian high school student obsessed by Christianity. In his attempt to persuade everyone around him of the omnipresent immorality, he becomes more and more alienated. Beautifully shot and wonderfully deap-pan acted by Pyotr Skvortsov. Read more

    RATING: 72/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 13th, 2016

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  • How I Ended This Summer

    DIRECTOR: Aleksey Popogrebskiy
    CAST: Grigoriy Dobrygin Sergey Puskepalis Igor Chernevich

    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 to 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. Read more

    RATING: 70/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 28th, 2011

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  • Hard to be a God

    DIRECTOR: Aleksey German
    CAST: Leonid Yarmolnik Aleksandr Chutko Yuriy Tsurilo

    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. Read more

    RATING: 67/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 16th, 2014

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  • Everyone Dies But Me

    DIRECTOR: Valeriya Gay Germanika
    CAST: Polina Filonenko Agniya Kuznetsova Olga Shuvalova

    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) Read more

    RATING: 66/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 23rd, 2008

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- Best Russian TV Series out in 2017 on Netflix & on TV