Top 10 Russian War Movies

Being involved in some of the biggest wars in history, war films from the Russian film industry are only inevitable. As some of these films show that Hollywood isn’t the only one that can make good war movies, but the Russian cinema can also portray war; its horrors and its glory in full blooded graphicness. Today we take a look at the 10 top Russian movies about war.

No 10. The Turkish Gambit – Turetskiy gambit

Year 2005
IMDB rating 6.9/10
Awards None
Director Dzhanik Faiziyev

The film takes place in Bulgaria during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Erast Fandorin is put on the trail of a Turkish agent who is trying to disrupt the Russian advance during the Siege of Plevna. The agent, known as Enver Efendi, is a master of disguise and has excellent command of Russian.

No 9. Transit – Peregon

Year 2006
IMDB rating 6.1/10
Awards 2 nominations
Director Aleksandr Rogozhkin

Based on actual events and set during the second World War in the USSR on the Chukotka Penninsula. A Soviet air force base is surprised when their latest shipment of Eastern Front-bound planes from their U.S. allies are flown in by comely American female pilots. The feelings of the Russian young men collide into barriers of culture and language resulting in a host of awkward, funny, and sometimes tragic situations.

No 8. 9th Company – 9 rota

Year 2005
IMDB rating 7.3/10
Awards 2 wins
Director Fyodor Bondarchuk

The film is loosely based on a real-life battle that took place at Hill 3234 in early 1988, during the last large-scale Soviet military operation Magistral.  In 1998, a group of youngsters enlist in Siberia to fight in Afghanistan against the mujahidin. They are sent to a boot camp in Fergana, Uzbekistan, where they are submitted to the brutality and abuses of the disturbed Sergeant Dygalo during the training period, increasing their camaraderie. Then they are flown to Bagram Base in Afghanistan; join the 9th Company; and move to the Khowst Province, 3234 m height, to defend the mountain and protect the convoys with supplies.

“9 rota”-Trailer en Yahoo! Video

No 7. Our own – Svoi

Year 2004
IMDB rating 7.1/10
Awards 14 wins & 2 nominations
Director Dmitri Meskhiyev

It is August 1941. With the battle line far away in the east, three soldiers who have managed to escape from captivity find it difficult to hide: the territory is occupied by the enemy. The local woods are not safe: you can easily get embogged. Are the villagers loyal? Nobody can say. There is an old man who offers to help them. Is he reliable enough? He may kill them or report them to the local German authorities. Anything may happen, but one of them, the sniper, is his son who is his youngest, his dearest.

No 6. Komissar

Year 1967
IMDB rating 7.6/10
Awards 9 wins & 4 nominations
Director Aleksandr Askoldov

Klavdia Vavilova, a Red Army cavalry commissar, is waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy. She stays with a Jewish family to give birth and is softened somewhat by the experience of family life.

No 5. The Cuckoo – Kukushka

Year 2002
IMDB rating 7.9/10
Awards 17 wins & 5 nominations
Director Aleksandr Rogozhkin

September of 1944, a few days before Finland went out of the Second World War. A chained to a rock Finnish sniper-kamikadze Veikko managed to set himself free. Ivan, a captain of the Soviet Army, arrested by the Front Secret Police ‘Smersh’, has a narrow escape. They are soldiers of the two enemy armies. A Lapp woman Anni gives a shelter to both of them at her farm. For Anni they are not enemies, but just men.

No 4. Prisoner of the Mountains – Kavkazskiy plennik

Year 1996
IMDB rating 7.7/10
Awards Oscar nomination. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations
Director Sergey Bodrov

A group of Russian soldiers is ambushed by rebels in the Chechen mountains and two of them are taken prisoner by an old man who wants to swap them for his son in the Russian detention. The two prisoners cope with the situation in very different ways, as the war-hardened and cynical officer Sasha (Oleg Menshikov) works to escape while the young and naive conscript Vanya (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) tries to make friends with his captors. After an escape plan fails, the different personalities of these prisoners determine their fate.

No 3. The Dawns Here Are Quiet – A zori zdes tikhie

Year 1972
IMDB rating 8.4/10
Awards Oscar nomination
Director Stanislav Rostotsky

Based on the eponymous book by Boris Vasilyev, the film is set in Karelia (North-West of Russia, near Finland) in 1941 during WWII. In a beautiful and quiet wilderness far from the front-line there is an anti-aircraft artillery point, where corporal Vaskov is stationed with a group of many young women in training. One of the women while sneaking from camp to visit her young son sees two German paratroopers. Vaskov takes five of the women to stop the two paratroopers, but finds sixteen paratroopers instead, leaving the small group of patriots to engage the enemy in an unequal fight.

No 2. Come and see – Idi i smotri

Year 1985
IMDB rating 8.2/10
Awards 2 wins
Director Elem Klimov

A boy is unwillingly thrust into the atrocities of war in WWII Byelorussia, fighting for a hopelessly unequipped resistance movement against the ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and accidentally surviving horrifying situations he loses his innocence and then his mind.

Check out the beginning of the movie below:

No 1. War and Peace – Voyna i mir

Year 1967
IMDB rating 7.7/10
Awards Oscar winner. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations
Director Sergei Bondarchuk

Eight-hour epic based on the eponymous book by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, who is unhappy in his marriage. Another is the “Great Patriotic War” of 1812 against the invading Napoleon’s Armies. The people of Russia from all classes of society stand up united against the enemy. The 500,000 strong Napoleon’s army moves through Russia and causes much destruction culminating in the battle of Borodino. The Russian army has to retreat. Moscow is occupied, looted and burned down, but soon Napoleon loses control and has to flee. Both sides suffer tremendous losses in the war, and Russian society is left irrevocably changed.

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