A 1962 massacre in the Soviet Union is reclaimed from its historical cover-up by Andrei Konchalovsky's pristine, extraordinary drama.
How do you commemorate a shameful history long suppressed? One way is to render it in black and white images so stark there’s nowhere for the shame to hide, a feat achieved with stunning clarity by Andrei Konchalovsky’s perversely beautiful and coldly furious Dear Comrades! (exclamation point ironic). Meticulous and majestic, epic in scope and tattoo-needle intimate in effect, this scrupulous recreation of the lead-up to and aftermath of the Novocherkassk massacre six decades ago is excoriating proof that not all filmmakers are made sloppy or slipshod by anger. Some are made ever more righteously, icily precise.
Jessica Kiang, Variety