Soviet and Russian cinematography, for a long time, was well positioned on an international level. From its very beginnings, more than a hundred years ago, it has been evolving; we can see significant differences between the film “Acorazado Potemkin” and the latest Russian movies from the 21st century. There is a great variety of movies that are great for learning Russian, which is why we wanted to make a selection of Russian movies for those who are learning it, or for those who are simply interested in its culture, as it is a great opportunity for learning Russian and its mysterious culture. Obviously, this can only happen if we see Russian movies without dubbing.


The Best Russian Movies for Learners

We’ve selected some movies which are very useful when starting out with Russian. You can also take a look at our resources to learn Russian which go hand-in-hand with watching Russian movies when learning this language!

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears movie poster depicting two young school girls in front of a Russian cityscape.[Москва слезам не верит – USSR- 1980 – Directed by Vladimir Menshov – Comedy, Drama – synopsis]

A work of art you shouldn’t miss. This movie is about the life of three friends living in Moscow. It is a romantic movie that shows how life was in the capital between 1958 and 1978. We discover the daily life and disappointments of these three friends as well as life in the Soviet Union at that time: work, social life, and the hopes and dreams of the people.

In two hours and a half, we are fully immersed in the context of the film. The conversations are based on daily events, and there is a lot of dialogue (perfect for beginners).

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The Irony of Fate

The Irony of Fate movie poster[Ирония судьбы или С лёгким паром – USSR – 1975 – Directed by Eldar Riazanov – Comedy – synopsis]

A comedy you just have to see if you’re interested in Russian culture. It’s one of those movies Russians watch every year during a celebration or at a party. It will answer questions you may have about Soviet society, and you will hear many funny jokes in Russian!

A group of friends celebrates the new year with vodka, drinking so much that they don’t even know in which city they find themselves. The similar, typical Soviet architecture completely confuses them when they feel it’s time to head back home. It turns out that they have the right address, but are in a completely different town!

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The Return

The Return movie poster. Two shadows of young boys staring our at the calm sea.[Возвращение – Russia – 2003 – Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev – Drama, Suspense – synopsis]

After having been absent for 12 years, Ivan (12) and Andreï’s (14) father comes back. He doesn’t give any explanation as to his absence, nor as to why he has returned. The father, who is both cold and mysterious, decides he should build a bond with his sons by taking them fishing on an island. However, the relationship between this complete stranger and his sons can’t be easily repaired. A very good Russian movie; it can be hard to understand, but it will captivate you.

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Russian Movies, Russian films, learn Russian, study Russian, Best Russian movies online for free[Рассказы – Russia- 2012 – Directed by Mikhail Segal – Drama – Synopsis]

A modern and dynamic movie.

A manuscript arrives at a publisher and mysteriously starts to influence the life of those who read it, because the stories written in it become reality.

This movie is divided into four different stories, questioning the ethics, society and culture of modern Russia.

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Russian Movies, Russian films, learn Russian, study Russian, Best Russian movies online for free[Стиляги – Russia- 2008 – Directed by Valery Todorovsky – Comedy, Musical – synopsis]

My favorite Russian movie: fresh, dynamic, entertaining, and with a very interesting view of Soviet society, especially its music and lifestyle. Mels, a young student from Moscow falls in love with a girl who is like none other. She likes jazz and dressing up as Americans do. In the Soviet society of the 50s, living this lifestyle was frowned upon. The young protagonist starts frequenting these types of people in order to get her attention, but because of this, society starts to reject him.

Easy to understand and with catchy songs.

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The House of the Sun

The House of the Sun movie poster. A young man and women stare into each others' eyes. The background is a bright halo of light around them surrounded by vivid red, orange, and yellow colors.[Дом солница – Russia – 2009 – Directed by Garik Sukachov – Drama – Trailer]

During the 70s, Sasha, a young woman who has recently finished medical school in Moscow, gets to know Sontse (which means sun in Russian), the leader of a hippy group. She falls in love with him and discovers the alternative world of the hippies of the 70s.

The story of the movie is similar to that of “Hipster” (above) but gives a different view of Soviet society.

Watch it here for free


What did you think of our selection of the best Russian movies in their original version? If you know of any other great movies for learning Russian, tell us in the comment section!

About the author: Tom is in love with learning languages, especially Russian. He is the creator of the French website,, where he shares tips with those who are interested in learning Russian.