Cronenberg and screenwriter Steve Knight masterfully orchestrate an atmosphere of danger and dread for a descent into an underworld inhabited by the Russian mafia in London.
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A dark and mesmerizing immersion into a distinctive world.
Cronenberg made a movie called “The Dead Zone,” and I sometimes wonder whether, for all his formal brilliance, he has ever torn himself away from that locked-in, airless state of mind. You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream.
It’s engrossing, and Mueller-Stahl’s mix of Old World chivalry and murderousness is scarier than Jason and Freddy combined.
A rhapsodic movie directed with considerable formal intelligence and brooding power from an original screenplay by Steve Knight, Eastern Promises is very much a companion to "A History of Violence."
Eastern Promises is a jumbled string of mob-related clichés that mesh into something that’s derivative and at times uninteresting.
An unusually strong crime thriller, Eastern Promises comes from director David Cronenberg, a meticulous old-school craftsman of a type that is becoming increasingly rare.
It's an academic meditation in underworld-thriller drag -- a movie that looks about as close to a straight-ahead, down-and-dirty genre entertainment as anything the director has made since his exploding-head horror days.
In Eastern Promises, shot to envelop by the great Peter Suschitzky, Cronenberg brings us face to face with the horror of self.
A superbly wrought yarn set in the milieu of first-generation Russian mobsters in London that is simultaneously tough-minded and compassionate about the human condition, Eastern Promises instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films.