Eastern Promises

2007 Drama

Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Vincent Cassel star in this David Cronenberg's thriller concerning a London midwife who unwittingly stumbles into a clandestine Russian sex trafficking ring. An unidentified Russian teen has been rushed to a London hospital after going into labor. Though midwife Anna Khitrova (Watts) does manage to deliver a healthy baby girl, the newborn's mother dies tragically during delivery. But the deceased mother's secrets did not die with her, because she has left behind a diary. Determined to ensure the newborn is placed with her rightful family, Anna attempts to read the diary and discovers a business card for a local restaurant therein. Upon visiting the restaurant Anna is greeted by kindly owner Semyon (Mueller-Stahl), who generously offers to translate it for her. But Semyon is not what he appears to be, and before long Anna begins to fear that the child could be in great danger. Semyon admits to Anna that the diary contains information about his son Kirill (Cassell) that could land the volatile offspring in jail despite the fact that Kirill is at heart a good person. As the truth begins to unfold and Anna begins to believe that Kirill and his driver Nikolai (Mortensen) - an ambitious driver seeking to ascent the ranks of the notorious Russian mafia - mean the baby harm, an underworld storm begins to brew that could consume all involved. more..

Director: David Cronenberg

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack


  • The actors and the characters merge and form a reality above and apart from the story, and the result is a film that takes us beyond crime and London and the Russian mafia and into the mystifying realms of human nature.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    19 January 2013

  • The rigor of Mr. Cronenbergâ??s direction sometimes seems at odds with the humanism of Mr. Knightâ??s script, but more often the directorâ??s ruthless formal command rescues the story from its maudlin impulses. Mr. Knight aims earnestly for your heartstrings, but Mr. Cronenberg insists on getting under your skin. The result is a movie whose images and implications are likely to stay in your head for a long time.

    A.O. Scott - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • Viggo Mortensen's performance is flat-out brilliant, and this relentlessly dramatic thriller represents a mid-life growth spurt for its director, David Cronenberg.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    19 January 2013

  • In Eastern Promises, shot to envelop by the great Peter Suschitzky, Cronenberg brings us face to face with the horror of self.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    19 January 2013

  • This is the first time, though, his (Mortensen)performance seemed so much bigger than the film surrounding it. That he manages the feat with so few wasted gestures puts him in line with the greats.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013


  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

    Academy Awards (2008)

  • Best International Film

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (2008)

  • Best British Film

    BAFTA Awards (2008)

  • Best Actor - National

    Bambi Awards (2007)

  • Best Non-American Film (Bedste ikke-amerikanske film)

    Bodil Awards (2008)