5 Russian movies everyone needs to watch

We profile 5 essential Russian films you must watch. Enjoy!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

  1. The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979 Mini-Series)Original title: Место встречи изменить нельзя

    GenreAdventure, Crime, Mystery

    Director: Stanislav Govorukhin

    StarsVladimir Vysotskiy, Vladimir Konkin, Sergey Yurskiy

    After WWII is over, a young officer Volodya Sharapov returns to Moscow to work in MUR – Moskovskiy Ugolovny Rozysk (Moscow Criminal Police). There he meets Gleb Zheglov who is a chief of a squad which fights organized crime. Their main task is to track down a gang “Chernaya Koshka” (Black Cat) which terrorizes the city. Also, they have to find out who murdered Larisa Gruzdeva. Zheglov believes it was her husband Ivan Gruzdev, but Sharapov has his doubts about it… – Written by Boris Shafir <>

  2. The Diamond Arm (1969)Original title: Бриллиантовая рука 

    Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Crime

    Director: Leonid Gayday

    Stars: Yuriy Nikulin, Nina Grebeshkova, Andrey Mironov

    Semyon Gorbunkov goes on a cruise. In Istanbul, he slips and breaks his arm. What he didn’t know is that this was a signal for a gang of smugglers (a real smuggler – Gena – was also on board the same ship). So his arm gets bandaged with gold and diamonds. After he returns home, the gangsters are trying to get their stuff back, while the police try to catch them using Gorbunkov and his arm. – Written by Boris Shafir <>

  3. An Ordinary Miracle (1979)Original title: Обыкновенное чудо

    Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

    DirectorMark Zakharov

    StarsOleg Yankovskiy, Irina Kupchenko, Evgeniy Leonov

    A wizard invents characters who all come to life and start to arrive at his house: a King, his servants, a princes, a bear trapped in a man’s body – the usual lot. The Plot mainly rotates around the bear, who the wizard had turned into a man. The Bear, who wishes to be a bear once again, can turn into his old self if he were to kiss a princess. It gets complicated when he falls in love with that princess, that arrived at the wizard’s house. For how can they be together, if a single kiss will destroy their love? – Written by DrStrangelife

  4. The Irony of Fate or “Enjoy Your Bath!” (1975 Mini-Series)Original title: Ирония судьбы, или С легким паром!

    Genre: Comedy, Romance

    Director: Eldar Ryazanov

    StarsLiya Akhedzhakova, Aleksandr Belyavskiy, Barbara Brylska

    A group of old friends have a tradition of going to a public bathing house on New Years eve. Incidentally, too much vodka and beer makes two of them unconscious. The problem is that one of them (Sasha) has to go to Leningrad but another one (Zhenya) goes. Zhenya wakes up at Leningrad airport. Believing that he is still in Moscow he takes a taxi and goes home. The street name, building and even apartment number, the way an apartment complex looks the same and the key coincide completely – just typical Soviet-type ‘economy’ architecture. Imagine the surprise of Nadya when she enters her apartment and finds a man without trousers in her bed. What’s more – Nadya’s fiancé also finds him there… – Written by Konstantin Dlutskii <> and sergiek

  5. Andrei Rublev (1966)Original title: Андрей Рублев

    Genre: Biography, Drama, History

    DirectorAndrei Tarkovsky

    StarsAnatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko

    The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.

Already seen all of the above? Tell us which is your favorite, or recommend another great Russian film not mentioned in this list. We will publish the best reviews on our site.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Scott Robinson
Scott Robinson
June 5, 2017

I enjoy the music of Elena Vaenga and Alyona Petrovskaya, whose performances of the popular theme songs of two movies – “The Cossacks of Kuban” (1949) (song: “Kakim Ty Byl”) and “It Happened in Penkovo” (1957) (song: “Ogney Tak Mnogo Zolotych”) led me to find them and view them.

How refreshing and “wholesome” they are compared to today’s offerings. I try to listen to as much Russian dialogue as possible to improve my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the language.

June 5, 2017

These are Soviet time movies, actually. There are many more worth seeing if one truly wants to understand Russians, from “Ivan Vasilievich changes a profession” iconic comedy to “They faught for the Motherland” and “Downs are quiet here” WWII dedicated dramas.

Isabella Jones
Isabella Jones
Reply to  J.D.
June 6, 2017

Also good, on YouTube, English subs “The White Tiger”. Fascinating multi level story. Is it just war movie – SciFi – or what??

June 6, 2017

Well, of course we always watch “The Irony of Fate” on New Year’s Eve, but my favorite Russian movies are the two Bodrov (may he rest in piece) “Brother” films. The cultural references and the critical views of “New” Russia and the US at the time were priceless.

JJ Joseph
JJ Joseph
June 7, 2017

I’ve enjoyed watching the perestroika-era comedy Настя (Nastya) over and over, always laughing myself silly. I never get tired of watching it.

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