Lukas Beck
Owen Gleiberman
May 13, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Revanche

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
121 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/01/09
performer
Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko
director
Götz Spielmann
author
Götz Spielmann
genre
Drama

We gave it an B-

This terse Austrian drama, an Oscar nominee this year for Best Foreign Language Film, starts off as a lethally honed depiction of life in a brothel. As long as Revanche focuses on the relationship between Tamara (Irina Potapenko), an indentured Ukrainian prostitute, and Alex (Johannes Krisch), the ex-con gofer and would-be tough guy who wants to help her escape, it’s riveting. But then there’s an accidental shooting death, and a countrified cop and his wife enter the picture. The movie turns into a bizarrely ambivalent, drawn-out tale of vengeance: a revenge served so cold that the drama cools off. B?

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