Gorky Park (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gorky Park1983

Gorky Park (1983)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In the dead of a Moscow winter, three bodies are found in Gorky Park. Police Inspector Renko (William Hurt) is unable to identify the corpses, since even their fingerprints have removed. For reasons unknown to him, Renko's investigation is somehow being stymied by his higher-ups. Ferreting out information on his own, Renko makes the acquaintance of Soviet dissident Irina (Joanna Pacula), a friend of one of the victims, and Lee Marvin as Armand Hammer-style American businessman. As in Martin Cruz Smith's novel, the identity of the killer is not as well hidden as the reasons behind the killing. "Glasnost" had not yet taken effect in 1983, thus Gorky Park was filmed in Finland rather than Russia.

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William Hurt
as Arkady Renko
Lee Marvin
as Jack Osborne
Brian Dennehy
as William Kirwill
Joanna Pacula
as Irina Asanova
Ian Bannen
as Iamskoy
Rikki Fulton
as Pribluda
Alexei Sayle
as Golodkin
Ian McDiarmid
as Prof. Andreev
Niall O'Brien
as KGB Agent Rurik
Jukka Hirvikangas
as James Kirwill
Marjatta Nissinen
as Valerya Davidova
Hekki Leppanen
as Kostia Borodin
Elsa Salamaa
as Babuska
Anatoly Davydov
as KGB Agent Nicky
Black Pearls
as Russian Tea Band
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Critic Reviews for Gorky Park

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

William Hurt is superb as a Moscow militia detective caught between his desires to be simply a good cop and the unfathomable motives of the secret Soviet government, all complicated by an unexpected love for Joanna Pacula.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Neither Dennis Potter's screenplay nor the heavyweight cast can raise this adaptation of Martin Cruz Smith's best-selling spy novel above the ordinary.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

By the end of Gorky Park, we realize that it's not the solution that matters, but what the case itself forced the people to discover about themselves.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It remains a taut, clever thriller throughout, with Mr. Apted's direction establishing its intensity immediately and sustaining it well.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Some action-movie slam-bang would have been more satisfying, if ultimately no more coherent.

January 1, 2000

Has its wintry moments in the snow.

August 31, 2021 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gorky Park


Very average. It works but there's nothing to get excited about.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


I was completely intrigued by the synopsis of this one, but fairly disappointed with the film. Many boring bits throughout, but one you want to stick with to find out the outcome. It wasn't all bad, the plot was a pretty interesting one, just far too drawn out.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


When three mutilated bodies are found in Moscow's Gorky Park, Chief Militia Renko suspects KGB involvement and wants to drop the case. Encouraged to continue by his superior, his suspicions are eventually confirmed but he uncovers a larger plot involving the friend of one of the victims and an American furrier who trades in rare sable pelts. This is my favourite Cold War thriller - despite the fact that it's got nothing to do with the Cold War - based on a great book by Martin Cruz Smith filled with action and intrigue and with a first-rate script by Dennis Potter, bursting with dramatic tension and character nuance. Its best feature is the marvellous casting by Mary Selway; Hurt is sensational as Renko, a brilliantly atypical hero, gaunt and pale-faced, dogged and relentless, drab but passionate, double-crossed and always on the receiving end of beatings, but indefatigable in his pursuit. He's supported by three great actors; the elfin, amazing-looking Pacula as the key witness Irina, the solid, ever-reliable Dennehy as a New York cop whose brother was one of the victims, and the iconic Marvin, in one of his last great roles, as the decadent furrier out to smash the Russian sable monopoly. The all-British supporting cast is equally full of great players, notably McDiarmid as a creepy professor and comedians Fulton and Sayle as a KGB Major and informant respectively. Made prior to the lifting of the ban on filming in Russia, the movie was shot in Helsinki, but Paul Sylbert's production design does a fantastic job of putting us in snowy Moscow, filled with food- lines, little Lada cars and Romanov architecture. Even better is James Horner's fabulous driving score, which ramps up the tension and batters the viewer into submission at all the key moments. Filled with quotable dialogue (when Renko borrows his lawyer friend's gun, the friend says, "It's a lawyer's special issue. It probably won't shoot straight."), great scenes, rich characters and mesmerising performances, this a superb thriller from the sporadically-brilliant Apted (check out his Continental Divide and Gorillas In The Mist as well) that is not to be missed.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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