Fedor Bondarchuk, 2013

Sony Pictures

Russia has a proud tradition of producing fine art-house films. This is not one of them. This is about outdoing Hollywood – anything the Americans can do, the Russians can too. The result? A battle that changed the course of the second world war is reduced to video-game combat scenes, complete with slow-mo bullets, martial arts heroics from the Soviets and a pounding, patriotic orchestral score. Vasily Grossman, on whose epic novel Life and Fate this is partly based, would be turning in his grave. Still, it was a hit at the Russian box office. Putin would surely approve.

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