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Eastern Boys

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France · 2013
2h 8m
Director Robin Campillo
Starring Olivier Rabourdin, Kirill Emelyanov, Daniil Vorobyov, Edéa Darcque
Genre Drama

One day at the Gare du Nord train station, Daniel, a cautious older man, approaches Marek --- an attractive Ukrainian boy who he assumes to be a prostitute --- and nervously invites him to his home. Yet, while Daniel is expecting a passionate night of love, he receives an unexpected, jarring visit instead.

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What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

Campillo thankfully refrains from offering on-the-nose explications for behavior and decisions, instead letting audiences infer psychology and motivation from on-screen behavior, with the entirely naturalistic performances of Raboudin and Emelyanov beautifully tuned in to each other and the material.


Time Out London by Dave Calhoun

It’s an uneven work, mysterious in its refusal to tell us much at all about Daniel, but it has a ring a truth to it even when it slips into less enigmatic thriller territory.


Village Voice by Diana Clarke

What a relief to watch this small, expert film — a pane of glass in a concrete wall — that whispers, that dares to stand still and witness ordinary human pain.


New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme

While Campillo does graceful work — the way he draws focus in a scene is a pleasure — the script drags and the pseudo-romance is hard to believe, especially when one plot point concerns Daniel asking for a bulk-purchase sex rate. Eastern Boys never quite fulfills the promise of those first few minutes.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Campillo’s original screenplay demands any number of trusting leaps from its audience and characters alike, yet maintains credibility thanks to the studied assurance of its most elaborate setpieces, and the wealth of socioeconomic detail in its portrayal of both Daniel’s aging-yuppie lifestyle and the nervous group dynamic of the immigrants.


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

Explores interlocking themes of sexuality, immigration and power dynamics with a cleareyed sensitivity and refuses to demonize even its shadiest characters.

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