2010s The Bomber (2011)

Published on October 10th, 2011 | by Chris


The Bomber (2011)

Reviewed by:
On October 10, 2011
Last modified:October 3, 2012


The Bomber is definitely worth the foray if you can get a copy (its not out in the states to my knowledge) and can sit down for a few hours, and actually get involved in a decently thought through story. You won't be disappointed.

Finally got a chance to sit down with "The Bomber," and although I had to watch it in segments over the busy weekend (its three hours long!) I'm glad I did.

Short version:  Russian Bomber pilot Andrei Grivstov (Nikia Efremoy) is shot down over German territory, along with his love and radio operator Katia (Ekaterina Astakhova), and his Navigator, who was able to parachute before they crash.  They are separated, as he goes to prison, escapes to fight with guerillas and eventually work his way back to "the world", while Katia is able to infiltrate the German command.  The both of them at times are unknowingly close to each other, but never meet again, until the end (whoops! spoiler! But you knew it was coming....)  His navigator, well, I'll have to let you watch it for that.

I say short version, because a) This movie is three hours long, and b) It is really fairly complex as far as the plot goes.  Forget about a nice, simple, romance set in WWII Europe.  The romance is pretty ancillary to the rest of the movie, as is the entire "bomber" premise.  Really the aviation aspect only plays out in the first section of the movie, as Grivstov and his crew are nearly shot down once, then actually shot down shortly thereafter.

What you do get, though, is a complex web of a tale of loyalty, intrigue, combat, and betrayal.  I'm not even going to begin to try to explain the finer details of the plot.  It manages to take several different twists and turns, and does so without that "meandering" feel that can sometimes happen.  From their initial crash landing, separation, their separate stories which nearly brings them together a couple of times, the tension between pilot and navigator, the German-induced subversion....  like I said, it can get complicated.  But it all pans out in the end.  Keep in mind this was initially a TV miniseries, so with that in mind, it makes even more sense.

A big theme of the film (as I saw it with my western eyes) was the ruthlessness of the Russian command.  From the beginning where Grivstov is nearly labelled a conspirator for no good reason, to later on when he actually is labelled such (again for no good reason, with no evidence but a photo).... and contrasted with the German command....   Its a fair portrayal of the lesser of two evils.  The Stalin regime basically not being much better than what they were fighting, but having to defend their homeland out of necessity....

Production wise I was suitably impressed with The Bomber.  Any preconceived notions about the Russians making substandard movies should be chucked right out the window.  The only failing to my untrained eye was the CG airborne effects at the beginning.  They're still quite excellent, though.  Historically accurate? I can't say, but I "bought it", if you take my meaning.

The acting was really the high point of the film, though.  The two (three?) principals here really held their own throughout.  I can't give enough credit here.

But the action, especially during the final "train" combat sequence, was really, really excellent.  Coupled with the aforementioned attention to production (think blowing up trains and bridges) and I was never let down.

If there was a major flaw, I'd have to say it was the subtitles' translations.  I don't know Russian to save my own life, but some of the translations given either didn't make sense, used incorrect words/phrases for the context, or were themselves a mash of "foreign english."  Leaving out words/grammar that we would consider normal.....  A minor nitpick, I know, but a times could leave you having to translate the translation.

And, like I said, don't worry about the "love story" getting in the way.  It doesn't.  It is what drives the film to its final conclusion, but really at no point does the film really make any concessions to it.  That's just my opinion.

The Bomber is definitely worth the foray if you can get a copy (its not out in the states to my knowledge) and can sit down for a few hours, and actually get involved in a decently thought through story.  You won't be disappointed.

(Amazon link/info below is to the UK site... FYI)

The Bomber [DVD] The Bomber [DVD]
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DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio:
Audience Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over
Manufacturer: Revolver Entertainment
Original Release Date:
  • Ekaterina Astahova
  • Vladimir Lliin
  • Nikita Efremov
  • Nina Usatova
  • Victoria Tolstoganova


  • The Bomber (2011) ( Ballada o Bombere ) ( Ballad about the Bomber )
  • The Bomber (2011)
  • Ballada o Bombere
  • Ballad about the Bomber


Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic,'old school' war film you'll enjoy, 21 July 2014
Kanenberg (West Coast,USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Bomber [DVD] (DVD)
At 3 hours long be prepared for a lot of war movie here but you will enjoy it. Reading the other reviews, it makes sense that this was a mini-series edited into a film. The story involves 3 main characters; 2 very heroic and 1 a traitor to his country. The battle scenes are very well done and the romance story while a little 'cheesy' perhaps by western film standards, is similar to "Enemy at the Gates" staring Ed Harris. The subtitles often don't make sense in this film in terms of how the words are arranged nor the description they are providing. But that doesn't really matter in the scope of things; its a war film, you know who the heroes & the bad guys are so just enjoy the movie. And one more thing western viewers might not be ready for is the transitions between scenes. Over & over a scene ends--simply by fading to black with little explanation how you arrive at the next one. But if you just roll with that you'll find this a very enjoyable movie about the Russians turning... Read more
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic!, 1 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Bomber [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film on a whim while browsing and I am so glad that I did. It is an unexpected gem. For me its rawness adds to the immediacy and incredible tension that is maintained throughout. In fact I was sitting on the edge of my seat for almost the entire three hours of the film. I cannot imagine what it must have been like having to wait a whole week for the next episode when it was originally broadcast.

Most of the action is outdoors and the locations are perfect; all with excellent vehicles, planes, armaments, buildings and steam trains; costumes, props, extras; everything brilliantly well done. The acting is superb.

Although one reviewer's comments imply that around 100 minutes have been cut from the original serialised version, this film did not come across as being at all episodic. To me it seemed to be extremely well edited into a very coherent story.

A story of the toughest of the tough, yet while struggling, resisting, fighting for their... Read more
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed WWII film, 10 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Bomber [DVD] (DVD)
Great movie which is just stunning to watch. I've enjoyed other recent war films that take slightly different angles than the usual epics (Female Agents/Max Manus). Bomber is similar, taking a Ukrainian perspective of two Soviet fighters stranded in Nazi territory. It's very classic looking, full of really impressive, high budget action sequences, and is genuinely moving. Perfect if you enjoy WWII/Russian history.
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The Bomber (2011) Chris



User Rating: 4.6 (1 votes)

About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

2 Responses to The Bomber (2011)

  1. B Hellqvist says:

    It is a pretty good movie, even if it suffers from being an edited down miniseries. The main plot device, the V-2 rocket intended for Moscow is a bit lame though; at that time of the war, the V-2 wasn’t operational, and it didn’t even have the range to reach Moscow from where it was intended to be launched.

  2. steven says:

    Just viewed parts 1-3, wow, daunting music, such tradegy, actually lost sleep thinking of how ruthless civilizations can be. If we had to deal with this on our own soil. Should I view movie or stick w series?

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