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Stoker, The (15)

Crime, Drama

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The critical consensus

The theme here is hellfire and damnation but with an austere lack of emotion and urgency.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 12/05/2013

The Stoker’s blend of deadpan comedy, satirical bite, historical allegory, sexual violence and bewilderingly jaunty music makes for such an uneasy and uneven film it’s difficult to work out what exactly it’s trying to achieve.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 16/05/2013

Ultimately The Stoker is slight, and like its characters and setting, hangs between modern gangster films such as Killing Them Softly and A Bittersweet Life and the slow-burning Soviet cinema Balabanov throws into the mix.

****(*)Steven Dinnie, TVBomb, 16/05/2013

Full of idiosyncratic, almost suicidal directorial choices, yet weirdly this film cuts to the heart of its country.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 16/05/2013

A potent black comedy with the gentle touch of a razor blade.

****(*)David Parkinson, Empire Online, 16/05/2013

Skyrabin's unthinking complicity will not last for ever in a tale that reminds you of the early films of Aki Kaurismaki.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 17/05/2013

Stange, dark and clever, with a sense of Rabelaisian excess and moral murkiness that’s tempered by an ambiguous but unexpectedly forceful moral message, the film address personal responsibility, cruelty and creativity in shady times, via characters who are colourful but never caricatured.

****(*)Hannah McGill, The List, 17/05/2013

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