Eastern Promises

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Eastern Promises Reviews

© Focus Features.
...Eastern Promises" instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films. Same could be said for Viggo Mortensen, whose tightly coiled star turn recalls the magnetic work of Hollywood's greats of yore. - Todd McCarthy, Variety

Eastern Promises Reviews

Though very much an ensemble piece, with half a dozen strong characters, "Eastern Pomises" is dominated by Viggo Mortensen, who gives one of his most impressive and fully realized performances that, with some luck and justice, should finally earn him an Oscar nomination. (As I have indicated in my essays on "History of Violence" and other films, Mortensen is one of the most diverse, least mannered but most overlooked actors working in Hollywood (on the same level as Jeff Bridges, also ultra-modest and ultra-brilliant actor taken for granted by the industry).

Emanuel Levy
1 Sept 2007

As Nikolai, Mortensen is nothing short of remarkable, completely disappearing into his heavily-tattooed character and speaking in both Russian and flawlessly accented English. Hardly a cardboard villain, Nikolai is easily the most compelling character in the movie. In spite of earlier scenes of furious -- and chillingly callous -- violence, he nevertheless gains some of the audience's sympathies as he compelling presents his internal conflict with subtlety and nuance, often using only his eyes. It may very well be the best performance of his career thus far, topping even his recent work in another Cronenberg thriller, A History of Violence. Someone, nominate this man for an Oscar already!

Jason Turer
Cornell Daily Sun
14 Sept 2007

Mortensen's character does the skillful cinematic equivalent of an intellectual striptease during the course of this story. Slowly, ever so slowly, bits of my first impression are stripped away, destroyed. In the end, Nikolai is nothing at all like I first imagined, and yet he is all that I imagined.

'Eastern Promises' a gripping mob thriller
Bend Weekly
Robert Hawkins
21 December 2007

Here is my personal take on the Oscar-nominated performances I believe will survive the "test" of time:

As driver/hitman Nikolai Luzhin, Viggo Mortensen not only mastered the Russian accent and dare to bare much more than his soul. He immersed himself into the mind of this man born and raised in the former Soviet Union, a dark figure with more good to him than anyone around him can even imagine. Mortensen played Nikolai as a real person (living in a very raw London, thanks to David Cronenberg's direction) and his idealization of this character other actors have similarly played to over-the-top results in many crime stories is among the best in the genre, ever.

Johnny Alba
The Oscar Igloo
7 February 2008

Eastern Promises - This is hands down the best movie of the year. The film is easily this generations Godfather and begs for a sequel. Or at least, I will beg for a sequel. PLEASE. The film can be seen as a continuation of David Cronenberg's A History of Violence since it follows many of its themes.
Once again, Viggo Mortensen demonstrates he is a powerful actor willing to take risk (yes, I am referring to the fight scene). He also shows how he is able to capture the nature of a character - good or bad (the scene where he threatens the uncle was chilling and he doesn't say a word).

Patrick Luce
Best DVDs of 2007
10 January 2008

The visceral and gritty performance of Viggo Mortensen is like a tornado. It knocks us off our feet, and swallows us whole. His accent is pitch perfect and absolutely never falters. This was not just a role he could sink his teeth into. Mortensen clamps down and never lets go....... Mortensen is almost unrecognizable as a Russian mobster, and this dogged job is a testament to his acting ability. Take note: this is not the only member of the cast who deserves awards consideration.

Chad Webb
25 Sept 2007

Nikolai is an unforgettable cinematic event: his body is a weapon covered in tattoos that tell his prison history. The stand-out scene is a fight to the death in a Finsbury steam bath, with Nikolai naked against two Chechen mobsters wielding curved blades. Like Guy Pearce in Memento, Christian Bale in The Machinist, Brad Pitt in Fight Club or even Jim Caviezel in The Passion Of The Christ, the role of the scarified male torso in contemporary cinema deserves an essay: Mortensen's none-more-naked performance in this scene lashes across the screen, a modern mortification of the flesh, as his surname suggests.

Matthew de Abaitua
Channel 4 News
18 October 2007

Viggo Mortenson is a driver for the mafia named Nikolai. The role is handled incredibly - look for Mortenson to receive a nomination for it, and to be a part of the first-tier acting community for a long time to come. Like the movie surrounding him, Nikolai has many layers, and the complexity of his character is testament to how well-thought out Eastern Promises is.

Patrick Herald
Valley Vanguard
September 24, 2007

If Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy did nothing else, credit it with providing the brilliant Mortenson an opportunity to become a true American screen icon.

Staff Reviewer
New Haven Advocate
27 Sept 2007

There is immense skill in his performance. It's a Mortensen tour de force.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
4 Sept 2007

As with History of Violence, [Cronenberg] elicits another tour-de-force performance by Mortensen, who completely envelops his Russian low-level mobster, Nikolai. A lot is going on in this remarkable actor's body and soul, resulting in one of the year's most stunning performance.

Paul Fisher
9 Sept 2007

The performance that's a tour de force, however, is by Viggo Mortensen. His role as Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings has transformed a jobbing, C-list actor into a bona fide star. He was a revelation in A History of Violence, but is even more impressive here, underplaying with the intensity of Brando in his prime. This is brave acting, and Viggo's Russian accent is flawless. He clearly does his homework, and can use his physical authority to lead a very talented cast. This is one of the best performances of 2007.

Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail
26 October 2007

Naomi Watts excels in her very unglamorous role, but Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of laconic chauffeur Nikolai is truly astounding and keeps us guessing the true nature that lurks behind his shades.

Ben Rawson-Jones
23 October 2007

If Mortensen never seemed like a larger-than-life character before he went to Middle-earth, he is by now the real thing: a great, fearless movie star who can hold down even such an uneasy and melodramatic scenario. Mortensen has Kirk Douglas' end of cinema all to himself today......As in the great film noirs, one doesn't come to Eastern Promises for the plot; one drops in for the atmosphere and the stunning brutality. Those are the only plausible parts of the film--and the sheer authenticity of Mortensen as a Siberian samurai.

Richard von Busack
Metro Active
19 Sept 2007

But "Promises'' is truly a showcase for Mortensen, who previously starred in Cronenberg's outstanding ``A History of Violence'' two years ago. As Nikolai, a man who knows how to hold his tongue and turn off his emotions, Mortensen gives a remarkably detailed performance that culminates in an electrifying scene that's destined to be discussed by movie fans for years.

J Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
21 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen chews it up and spits it out as the corrupt centerpiece of maverick director David Cronenberg's searing mob thriller.............But this is Mortensen's show, a star turn of immense proportion and promise.

Jeanne Aufmuth
Pleasanton Weekly
21 Sept 2007

As the quietly powerful Aragorn in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Mortensen has already proved what a commanding screen presence he possesses. Here, he puts an urban twist on his icy-cool demeanor to create the film's forceful center. It's a true movie-star, quality performance.

Clint O'Connor
20 Sept 2007

In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007

Mortensen is a standout as Nikolai, doing a credible accent and stripping down to a body that looks like it was carved out of a Siberian glacier.

Stephen Whitty
The Birmingham News
21 Sept 2007

The Hollywood hype that has rumored Viggo Mortensen as a best-actor Oscar nominee, for once, is probably correct. His performance in "Eastern Promises" encompasses a range of emotions from bloodless man to casual charmer to conflict.

Joan E. Vadeboncoeur
21 Sept 2007

Mortensen is absolutely brilliant: stoic and sarcastic and threatening and, at moments, curiously soft.

Shawn Levy
The Oregonian
21 Sept 2007

Let's just say that Mortensen gives a performance that is not only absolutely perfect in a physical sense -- the slicked-back hair, Russian accent (he also speaks much of his dialogue in that language), the crisp dark dress shirts and tailored black suits -- but that has layers of depth rarely seen in today's movie characters. Mortensen's work is so good that you'll want to go back and see "Eastern Promises" a second time just to appreciate the way he plays us.

Robert W Butler
Kansas City Star
20 Sept 2007

Mortensen is nothing less than a revelation in the role of Nikolai, the Siberian bruiser, thanks to his physical performance that captures the full swagger and subtle deference of the mobster's reality.

Katherine Monk
The Ottawa Citizen
21 Sept 2007

As performed by Mortensen, Nikolai's taut intensity and veiled motives make his heavily accented character a vicious, barely contained force; covered in menacing tattoos and brooding harder than a teenager waiting for his ride home from a Skinny Puppy show, Mortensen gives every scene he's in a vibrant, ominous edge.

Erik Henriksen
Portland and Mercury
19 Sept 2007

I would describe Mortensen as a revelation in the role, had he not already demonstrated what he was capable of in his previous collaboration with Cronenberg, A History of Violence. As he did then, Mortensen shows himself more comfortable with darkness and ambivalence than he ever was with the gaudy heroism required of a king in Middle Earth. His Nikolai is an enigma, an evidently decent man surrounded by, and comfortable amidst, heinous evil, one whose motives, at least initially, are unclear. It does not hurt that, alone among the multinational leads, he manages a persuasive Russian accent--nor that, with his extraordinary looks (those cheekbones could have been cut by a jeweler) and athlete's physique, he all but demands the camera's attention.

Christopher Orr
TNR Online
15 Sept 2007

Mr. Mortensen's physical presence dominates any frame in which he appears by virtue of his mesomorph solidity. His Nikolai represents the sort of idealized Russian alpha male who might have just stepped from the stone perch of a patriotic sculpture; indeed, by all appearances a punch to Nikolai's stony jaw would result in naught but broken knuckles. As icing on the beefcake, Viggo can act...

John P, Meyer
Pegasus News
15 Sept 2007

Mortensen plays the character so strongly the movie stops being about anything or anyone else. The more we get to know him, the denser his mystery gets. His experiences soon embody the harsh truths of being a part of this underworld. It culminates in what is sure to become the most talked about scene in the film -- a hand-to-knife-in-hand struggle in a Turkish bathhouse. Mortensen foregoes bodily modesty in a raw fight scene that literally lays bare this subculture's history of violence.

Mortensen is the reason to watch this movie...

Jeffrey Chen
15 Sept 2007

Mortensen has a wonderful swagger here, and he gives Nikolai the arrogant grin of a survivor who has made it this far in life and has little to lose. The way Mortensen enters each scene, you know you're watching an actor with presence -- that's the easy part -- but more importantly an actor who can suggest two or three aspects of a character simultaneously.

Mortensen answer to 'Promises': Cronenberg crafts a winner
By Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
September 14, 2007

His performance is flat-out brilliant.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
14 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen, returns here with a brilliant performance. Mortensen gives an amazing performance, both mastering his Russian accent and rooting his deeply scarred character in reality.

Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
14 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen dares you to take your eyes off of him.

Jan Stuart
14 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen comes of age as an actor and a movie star. Mortensen has played a king of Middle-earth and, for Cronenberg, a man with two lives. This is the first time, though, his performance seemed so much bigger than the film surrounding it. That he managers the feat with so few wasted gestures puts him in line with the greats.....Mortensen plays this role as if he had different blood chemistry than the rest of us. Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul.

Ty Burr
Boston Globe
14 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen reunites with Cronenberg, here, following his searing work in A History of Violence with yet another fantastic performance. The film boasts Mortensen's authoritative acting and extraordinary commitment to the material.

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Daily News
14 Sept 2007

Mortensen's performance is as extraordinarily intense as always, but with even more layers of irony and mystery than he's brought before; this second pairing with director David Cronenberg is even more powerfully, magnificently disturbing than their first joint effort, 2005's A History of Violence. In one astonishing scene, two assailants armed with knives attack Nikolai at a very, um, exposed moment, one that leaves Mortensen nearly as vulnerable as his character, and reveals better than ever how insanely dedicated Mortensen is to his craft. His performance and the gradations of uncertainty that he gives to Nikolai are part of what makes this one of the best movies ever about life in the mafia.

Maryann Johanson
Charleston City Paper
12 September 2007

....Cronenberg has moved film by film into the top rank of directors, and here he wisely reunites with Mortensen, star of their "A History of Violence" (2005). No, Mortensen is not Russian, but don't even think about the problem of an accent; he digs so deeply into the role you may not recognize him at first. At a time when movie fight scenes are as routine as the dances in musicals, Nikolai engages in a fight in this film that sets the same kind of standard that The French Connection set for chases. Years from now, it will be referred to as a benchmark.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun Times
14 Sept 2007

...Mortensen's performance here is a restrained, shadowed work of art. Perfecting a Russian accent and shaping himself into an impeccably suited vision of doom, the actor nails the role of Nikolai, rendering both sides of the psychological coin with a comfort his early career was begging for.

Brian Orndorf
14 Sept 2007

The thing about Mortensen is that, no matter what the background or nationality of his characters, he always comes off as authentic. Not showy authentic, either. Without making a big to-do about it, he manages to be so convincing that you find it hard to believe his real background or nationality isn't similar to that of his character.

Ed Johnson-Ott
26 Sept 2007

Even with his clothes on, this is Mortensen's best and richest performance, worthy of serious awards consideration. He lends a moral complexity to "Eastern Promises" that makes it much more than just a very accomplished action thriller.

Lou Lumenick
New York Post
14 Sept 2007

Mortensen is a glowering marvel, locating a great range of expression in impassivity, his stone face prone to compelling split-second fissures.

Indelible Ink
By Adam Nayman
Eye Weekly
30 Aug 2007

Most noticeably, Viggo Mortensen as the quietly timid yet dangerously terrifying mob driver Nikolai, gives an Oscar caliber performance of both restrained humility and fear. When you look into Mortensen's eyes, you're convinced that he's come to terms with the fact that he's condemned to eternal damnation and is living his life accordingly. His performance is chilling and mesmerizing, perhaps the greatest of his career.

Jake Hamilton
That movie guy Blog
10 Sept 2007

Nikolai, who presents himself to Semyon as both loyal and ambitious, is played, with flawless control, by Viggo Mortensen. The immovable hair and the deep dimple in his slightly crooked chin suggest a young Kirk Douglas, but Mr. Douglas was never this quiet. In "A History of Violence," Mr. Mortensen seamlessly impersonated an ordinary, decent small-town guy who was also a cold, professional killer. Nikolai is a similarly ambiguous -- or perhaps divided -- character. He is all hard, tense muscle, and yet an almost subliminal hint of compassion occasionally shines through his icy, impassive face.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
14 Sept 2007

Even acting-wise, comparisons will be made between Viggo Mortensen's quietly menacing Mafioso to that of the young Robert De Niro in "The Godfather Part II," who morphs into Marlon Brando's Don Vitto Corleone in the first chapter of the epic saga, "The Godfather" (1972)

Emanuel Levy
1 Sept 2007

...Eastern Promises" instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films. Same could be said for Viggo Mortensen, whose tightly coiled star turn recalls the magnetic work of Hollywood's greats of yore.

Todd McCarthy
8 Sept 2007

Mortensen, given a world-weary look, guarded posture and high-maintenance hairdo, is completely convincing. There's no trace of the actor, just his character.

Glenn Sumi
Now Magazine
30 Aug 2007

Hair slicked back, eyes hidden behind wraparound shades, Mortensen is even more electrifying as Nikolai than in his History of Violence roles; the actor speaks Russian as if he knows what he's saying, and his world-weary strut is at least as eloquent. Nikolai is a superbly complicated character--dark, diffident, cynical, hyper-alert, and tough enough to humorously stub out a cigarette on his tongue.

J Hoberman
Village Voice
11 Sept 2007

Eastern Promises is essentially a character-driven crime thriller but is also a bloody tour de force laced with considerable nudity and sexually bold content that will rattle the squeamish. Mortensen's startling performance as a coolly amoral thug provides ample compensation...

Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal
11 Sept 2007

In an intricately choreographed scene destined to be one of the most talked about of the year, Mortensen brutally yet balletically propels his body through the frame in mostly long shots.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

Since it would be an injustice to the film to reveal any of the plot points, suffice it to say that the character of Nikolai, played with amazing grace by Viggo Mortensen, is a complex and troubled man.

Evrim Ersoy
12 September 2007

...this is Mortensen's film all the way and he carries it effortlessly on those muscular shoulders of his. Having apparently followed the Brad Pitt in Fight Club weight training program, Mortensen is jacked beyond belief, like a tattooed Leonidas. His strength serves him well during a nude fight scene in a bathhouse that is every bit as mesmerizing as you've heard. There is no doubt it will be the stuff of legend for years to come. The fight scene kicks all sorts of ass, and mock me if you will, but I don't think I blinked once.

Aint it Cool News
13 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen has one of the most incredible faces in the world, striking and amazingly versatile. His rough-hewn, chiseled visage allows him to inhabit any character he wants to, regardless of background or ethnicity, and we buy into it unconditionally.

Through physical appearance alone, Mortensen can be both "Lord of the Rings'" rugged warrior and noble king and "Hidalgo's" half-Lakota cowboy. He was even entirely convincing as an everyman with a shady past in "A History of Violence."

It's no surprise then that his turn as a Russian gangster in "Eastern Promises" is yet another triumph. What is surprising is just how fantastic he is in the role.

Although his acting chops have never been in doubt, what Mortensen accomplishes in the role of Nikolai Luzhin, the driver of a Russian mob family, goes beyond simply good acting -- it's a complete transformation. With his flawless Russian accent, tattoo-covered body and a face so sharp it looks like it could cut diamonds, he becomes nearly unrecognizable, even without the use of prosthetics or heavy makeup.

Nikolai is arguably Mortensen's most deeply drawn and accomplished character to date. It's a performance worthy of the highest praise and one that will surely catapult him to the top ranks of in-demand actors...

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007

Mortensen, with his slicked back pile of steely dark grey hair making his violin-like face look even longer, provides an unassailable core of authenticity and empathy throughout this often ludicrous film. He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses. But a long, naked fight sequence? You've got to admire his balls. And now you can.

Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman
18 October 2007

Although they all manage to speak Russian fairly competently, if sporadically, the sum of their efforts is a composite Russianness that will convince English-speaking audiences, but which risks causing real Russians to laugh in the aisles. The exception is Viggo Mortensen, who, he has said, traveled alone through the Ural Mountains before filming began. He immersed himself in Russian music and television and decorated his trailer on the film set with icons. Mortensen also gives Nikolai a wicked, and convincingly Russian, dark sense of humor.

Roland Elliott Brown
The Moscow Times
Sept 2007

... at the risk of sounding like the proprietor of one of his countless fan pages, Viggo Mortensen is just amazing as Nikolai. He's the ideal Cronenberg anti-hero: gentle and macho at the same time, as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting. When Nikolai gets his star tattoos--the Russian equivalent of being "made"--Mortensen sprawls nude on a red banquette, lit from above like a Caravaggio martyr. But the audience's longest glimpse of Viggo's zero-fat bod, man-bits and all, comes in a scene that can be watched only from between clenched fingers: Nikolai's climactic battle with two Chechen gangsters in a steam bath. If you saw A History of Violence, you know Mortensen can f*** up a guy something fierce, but till you've seen him do it buck naked and covered in mob tattoos, you haven't lived.

Dana Stevens
13 Sept 2007

One thing that can't be spoiled is Mortensen's performance, a piece of complete immersion that I'm convinced will be remembered as 2007's defining male performance, even if the Academy voters may not be bothered to notice. Since I don't speak Russian and my ear for the accent isn't native, I can only praise Mortensen for the consistency of his character's voice and for the actor's ability to draw textual nuance from lines outside of his native tongue. From the way his shoulders are set to the way he lights and smokes his cigarette, everything about Mortensen's Nikolai is convincing. Any clip from the bath house scene would make the best darned Oscar clip ever.

Daniel Feinberg
23 December 2007

End of year movie list comments

© Focus Features.
Viggo Mortensen has his career best performance as a Russian gangster at odds with his ruthless boss over the fate of a child. David Cronenberg's second effort (A History of Violence was the first collaboration) with Mortensen is astonishing, the darkest and most thrilling crime drama of the year.


The brilliant Canadian struck pay dirt with his last two films, A History of Violence and this year's best film, hands down: Eastern Promises....Cronenberg artfully pulls us into a new Godfather tinged epic that replaces Italians in New York with Russians in London....Part love from afar, part Fight Club with knives, Cronenberg has extracted an Oscar-worthy performance out of his friend and best leading man, Viggo Mortensen, and a fierce performance from French actor Vincent Cassel....The actors perfectly inhabit the Russian mindset that balances fatalism, depression, intensity and an emotional nature....Everyone who catches this movie wants to see a sequel continuing Nikolai's saga.

Monsters & Critics

As a fan of director David Cronenberg and stars Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, it would've been hard for me to not like this unsettling, provocative movie about London's underground Russian crime community. Mortensen gives one of his best performances as a mob chauffeur whose motives are hard to pin down, and the edgy storyline - about the international sex trade, a child of unknown lineage and the darkest imaginable version of "family" values - kept you engrossed, if sometimes simply grossed out.


This darkly alluring crime drama combined the nervy brio of director David Cronenberg with the cool intelligence of screenwriter Steven Knight. Viggo Mortensen's poker-faced impersonation of a Russian mobster was so much more than that much-ballyhooed brawl in the nude.


Actor Viggo Mortensen re-teamed with his History of Violence partner, director David Cronenberg, for this dark tale of sex slavery in London. Naomi Watts plays a caring midwife who becomes accidentally entangled with an organized crime family while trying to find the relatives of an orphaned child. Mortensen plays a character who may or may not be a decent man.

The film is moody, dark and intense and Mortensen is a frontrunner for a best actor Oscar nomination thanks to his career-best performance.

Reno Gazette Journal

While my stomach for violence is notoriously weak, there was too much else to love about this Cronenberg film....Viggo Mortensen continues to ascend the ranks of acting class and cred, his Russian is faultless from accent to intent.

TV3 (New Zealand)

Viggo Mortensen is beguiling as a tattooed question mark, and the director, David Cronenberg, despite having nothing profound to say this time, still manages to achieve blistering profundity.

Boston Globe

Naked, tattoo-scrawled Viggo Mortensen demolishes the two leather-jacketed, knife-wielding thugs attacking him using brute strength and stomach-churning acrobatics. The sound of "biffs," "bams" and "pows" echoing off the tiled walls of the Russian baths still haunts our dreams.

CBC Canada

David Cronenberg's grimly funny and deeply visceral take on the organized evil that men traffic in is of a piece with the superb A History of Violence. It echoes many of History's themes of self-reinvention and features always-enjoyable Viggo Mortensen in the central role of a man who has burrowed deep into an assumed identity.

Arkansas Democratic Gazette

David Cronenberg's potent and powerful Russian mob epic puts on display what Viggo Mortensen is sadly without: an Oscar. A taught masterpiece filled with intrigue and authenticity. Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel and Armin Mueller-Stahl are terrific as the supporting cast, but the film, as did Cronenberg's A History of Violence, belongs and encompasses Mortensen.

Morris Daily Herald

Director David Cronenberg and star Viggo Mortensen build upon their previous collaboration, A History of Violence, in shifting their story from the tired Italian and Irish mob scenes to the Russian organized crime game. Russian accents have felled many an actor, but Mr. Mortensen, an obsessive preparer, embodies his character, accent and all, flawlessly.

WFAA (Texas)

David Cronenberg reunites with Viggo Mortensen after 2005's A History of Violence for their second masterpiece of violence and redemption. It's smart, tightly paced and Mortensen is fantastic opposite Naomi Watts as a Russian hitman with a secret.

Walton Tribune

A stripped-down (in every sense) gangland story, with Viggo Mortensen giving another strong performance as an upwardly swimming chauffeur in London's Russian mob, and Naomi Watts as a midwife whose discovery changes his trajectory. David Cronenberg directed, with steely focus.

Everett Daily Herald

Viggo Mortensen owns every frame of this tale of deadly secrets and a nurse swept into the world of the Russian mob. His silence speaks volumes in David Cronenberg's ferocious little thriller

Joplin Globe

David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen came together again for Eastern Promises, a tale of the Russian Mafia set in London. Mortensen was memorable as a charismatic, brutal hitman on the make. A scene involving murder and mayhem in a steam bath was one to add to Cronenberg's gallery of remarkable cinematic moments involving death.

The Age (Australia)
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