Eastern Promises

The Pitch: “The Godfather” with a Russian twist.

The Good: Viggo Mortensen owns every second he is own the screen. Armin Mueller-Stahl quietly demands to be watched and heard in every scene — which is exactly what is needed as the kind restaurant owner, family man and head of a Russian mob. The killings in the public bath — brutal, but believable. The twist near the end — I totally did not see it coming and loved it.

The Bad: The movie is slow to get started and then moves at a steady pace. The violence is there, but not as bad as you may have heard.

The Ugly: “Okay. Now I’m going to do his teeth and cut off his fingers. You might want to leave room.”

The Summary: “Eastern Promises” is a brutal look at the Russian mafia. Viggo Mortensen gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the “driver.” The violence may put some off, but it grounds the movie’s reality. I have a feeling that this one is going to grow on me as time passes.