Remove ads


167 min.
Andrei Tarkovsky
Drama, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Rating *
Votes *
12.2% (1:8)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. _Bishop_'s avatar


    One of the best SciFi ever made. 13 years 2 months ago
  2. K.'s avatar


    A rich and breathtaking work of profound thought and beauty. This is not a film you simply watch, it's a film to experience. Tarkovsky never made films merely to be watched, he made films to submerge yourself within, films that challenge the viewer to think beyond the material. His films are a journey through the inner man and a quest for the spiritual nature of life, and with his films, he invites us to join in that journey and quest. His films don't tell you what to think, they challenge you to think, to think about existence, beauty, and art. He never set himself the task of explaining anything, he was a spiritual observer, and his films are philosophical meditations on the meaning of life.

    This is one of the key films that shaped my understanding of what cinema is. The pace of it may be gradual, but it's never tedious. The pacing is all part of the effect as it allows you to meditate on the philosophy and sheer beauty of the film. Ingmar Bergman once said of Tarkovsky that he was "moving freely and fully at ease" in a room that he had always wanted to enter. I understand this sentiment, as Tarkovsky did achieve something that is beyond the realm of say, Bergman. He created a world on film that goes beyond what can just be seen or explained but felt deep within - a world deeply rooted in the poetry of life, the ground between reality and dreams, the inner and outer spaces of human beings. And not to say that Bergman can't also take us here, but Tarkovsky takes us further into a place where nature and spirituality are in unity. Faith and reason aren't at odds here but interwoven.

    In this film, Tarkovsky deals with man's technological progression and goal to explore outer space, but our failure to understand our own state of existence, that is to say in other words, our looking outward and forgetting to look inward. The men of the space station are experiencing a unique phenomenon brought on by a mysterious space ocean which brings to form their subconscious, and each reacts to this in their own way based on their personal psychological/spiritual state. The protagonist here is a man in despair over his dead wife, who's committed suicide. Upon arriving at the station, she reappears before him because of the phenomenon. First, he rejects it because it's further troubling to his conscience but soon accepts her, because one, she represents what he needed from his wife, and two, because it's easier to accept the reappearance than cope with reality. Through all this, the viewer is allowed to glimpse into who this man is, as well as reflect on ourselves.

    That is part of the film's immense power, it challenges the viewer to question themselves in the situation of the space station; what are your greatest memories, desires, and fears? What appearances would you face? Would they be happy, depressing, dark, etc.? How would you react to, and handle them? These are some of the questions I've walked away asking myself since watching it. It's definitely a film that demands your patience and attention, but in the end, it's a hugely rewarding experience and a film I'll continue to return to over the years because it takes us into the purest realm of cinema, a realm that allows us to reflect on ourselves and our state of existence.
    5 years 3 months ago
  3. Siskoid's avatar


    I've used the term "glacial pacing" before, but I didn't know what it truly meant. Tartovsky's lingering on images borders on the photographic - or still life - and has a very unusual effect. The more you stare at an image, the more you start to figure out its meaning, and when that meaning is later evoked, the memory of the image is strong, not to say burned on your retina. It's not for everyone and every occasion, but I found it quite fascinating. If you've seen the Soderbergh/Clooney version, you'll have gotten something closer to Lem's original novel; Tarkovsky has other concerns, and makes this "anti-2001" about nostalgia. Nostalgia for Earth, for nature, for the people we have lost, and slyly perhaps, for pre-Soviet Russia. And I don't think enough commentators bring up Tartovsky's dry sense of humor, because it's definitely there, often deprecating his own inability to make a mainstream film. A must-see for film history buffs 7 years 11 months ago
See all comments


Login to see which of your friends have seen this movie!


  1. ghosthermione added this movie to their watchlist 4 days 7 hours ago
See more activity

In 28 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #6 in Empire Russia's 100 Best Russian Films: Readers' Choice
    Empire Russia's 100 Best Russian Films: Readers' Choice's icon

    Empire Russia's 100 Best…

  2. This movie ranks #7 in Cannes Film Festival - Grand Prix
    Cannes Film Festival - Grand Prix's icon

    Cannes Film Festival - G…

  3. This movie ranks #10 in Total Sci-Fi's The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies
    Total Sci-Fi's The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies's icon

    Total Sci-Fi's The 100 G…

  4. This movie ranks #20 in iCheckMovies's 1970s Top 100
    iCheckMovies's 1970s Top 100's icon

    iCheckMovies's 1970s Top…

  5. This movie ranks #35 in IMDb's 1970s Top 50
    IMDb's 1970s Top 50's icon

    IMDb's 1970s Top 50

  6. This movie ranks #44 in IMDb's Sci-Fi Top 50
    IMDb's Sci-Fi Top 50's icon

    IMDb's Sci-Fi Top 50

  7. This movie ranks #45 in IMDb's Independent Top 50
    IMDb's Independent Top 50's icon

    IMDb's Independent Top 50

  8. This movie ranks #46 in IMDb's Mystery Top 50
    IMDb's Mystery Top 50's icon

    IMDb's Mystery Top 50

  9. This movie ranks #51 in Stanley Kubrick, Cinephile
    Stanley Kubrick, Cinephile's icon

    Stanley Kubrick, Cinephi…

  10. This movie ranks #55 in FOK!'s Film Top 250
    FOK!'s Film Top 250's icon

    FOK!'s Film Top 250

  11. This movie ranks #68 in Akira Kurosawa's A Dream Is a Genius
    Akira Kurosawa's A Dream Is a Genius's icon

    Akira Kurosawa's A Dream…

  12. This movie ranks #69 in BFI's 100 Science Fiction Films
    BFI's 100 Science Fiction Films's icon

    BFI's 100 Science Fictio…

  13. This movie ranks #73 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
    Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema's icon

    Empire's The 100 Best Fi…

  14. This movie ranks #77 in Russian Guild of Film Critics's Best Russian Films
    Russian Guild of Film Critics's Best Russian Films's icon

    Russian Guild of Film Cr…

  15. This movie ranks #95 in 366 Weird Movies
    366 Weird Movies's icon

    366 Weird Movies

  16. This movie ranks #135 in Butler's Fantasy Cinema: Impossible Worlds on Screen
    Butler's Fantasy Cinema: Impossible Worlds on Screen's icon

    Butler's Fantasy Cinema:…

  17. This movie ranks #184 in The Criterion Collection
    The Criterion Collection's icon

    The Criterion Collection

  18. This movie ranks #208 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
    Roger Ebert's Great Movies's icon

    Roger Ebert's Great Movi…

  19. This movie ranks #215 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films's icon

    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

  20. This movie ranks #224 in Reddit Top 250
    Reddit Top 250's icon

    Reddit Top 250

  21. This movie ranks #240 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
    Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown's icon

    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

  22. This movie ranks #269 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
    Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time's icon

    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

  23. This movie ranks #285 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
    Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time's icon

    Empire's The 500 Greates…

  24. This movie ranks #315 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
    Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies's icon

    Emma Beare's 501 Must-Se…

  25. This movie ranks #548 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
    1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die's icon

    1001 Movies You Must See…

  26. This movie ranks #636 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema's icon

    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

  27. This movie ranks #829 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
    The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die's icon

    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

  28. This movie ranks #843 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
    Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life's icon

    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

View all lists this movie is in