May 24, 2022

Five must-see films by Timur Bekmambetov

Timur Bekmambetov has long consolidated his status as a Hollywood director and unlocked the secrets of producing box office “hits”. The Russian-Kazakh filmmaker oscillates between action and drama, moving mountains on set and beyond.

Russia Beyond now on Telegram! To receive our articles directly on your mobile device, subscribe for free at

Bekmambetov became a household name in 2004 with his iconic vampire movie Night Watch and the sequel released in 2006, Day Watch.

He made his Hollywood debut with Wanted (2008) with Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. As a producer, Bekmambetov dabbled in almost every genre, working on comedies (Frills, 2011) and horror films (Unfriended, 2015 ; Unfriended: Dark Web, 2018), des thrillers (Searching: Missing, 2018), war dramas (The Persian Lessons, 2020), space sagas (The Spacewalker, 2017) and historical dramas like The Current War: Pioneers of Electricity (2017), which he co-produced with Martin Scorsese.

5. Ben Hur (2016)

This is a screen adaptation of Lew Wallace’s bestselling 1880 novel Ben-Hur and a remake of William Wyler’s 1959 masterpiece, which won eleven Oscars.

Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and his half-brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) were inseparable as children. But like all things that seem too good to be true, their friendship quickly turns into a rivalry. Driven by jealousy, Messala wants to prove what he is capable of as a mercenary in the army. For his part, Judah marries and leads a peaceful life. The two brothers meet again eight years later, when the gap between them has become abyssal.

The Romans had in ancient times a “bread and games” formula. Apparently, the famous slogan has lost none of its appeal. Bekmambetov’s take on the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur is loaded with action and drama. His Ben-Hur is an enjoyable, family-friendly Hollywood blockbuster that boasts action-packed scenes and spectacular adventure sequences.

>>> Ten Russian actors under 40 who deserve to be known

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

The American writer Seth Grahame-Smith has taken the story of a family subjected to the onslaught of evil spirits to a new level; years later, the protagonist, having become an adult, decides to devote his whole life to the fight against evil. Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) will go to extreme lengths in an effort to exterminate the vampires before they accomplish their malevolent plan to take over the United States.

A born filmmaker, Timour Bekmambetov knows how to immerse viewers in a torrid action film.

Fans will enjoy the dazzling stunts and powerful action elements ofAbraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which turns out to be a stimulating discovery for all vampire lovers.

3. Wanted: Choose your destiny(2008)

Timur Bekmambetov proved his worth as a highly visual director by turning a simple comic book story into a fairly realistic narrative. The story tells what happens to an average person (played by James McAvoy) when she meets a bright blue-eyed woman with a killer instinct (Angelina Jolie).

Celebrity names surely guarantee box office hits, but it’s not just that here. Wanted is filled with action, suspense and intrigue, the same way the spring air is filled with warmth and sunshine. Roaring subway trains, compelling close-ups, death-defying stunts and slow-motion sequences – the full visual gamut of Wanted is designed to work on your nerves, your emotions and your adrenaline, keeping viewers in suspense!

With its perfect blend of action, drama and flair, Wanted is an ideal blockbuster.

2. Profile (2018)

A freelance journalist poses as a Muslim in hopes of securing the capture of an Islamic State recruiter (Daesh, a banned terrorist organization in Russia). But things go wrong, and the British daredevil finds herself in danger.

Amy (Valene Kane) begins communicating with Bilel (Shazad Latif) on Skype, gathering more and more information for her report, while gradually falling under the terrorist’s influence. Interestingly enough, the action in Profile takes place strictly and only on a computer screen, in the format Screenlife, viewers getting a glimpse of the reporter’s computer through Facebook, Facetime, YouTube, web browsers and messaging apps.

Profile s’inspire du best-seller international In the shoes of a jihadist by French journalist Anna Érelle. The drama had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Panorama Audience Award.

1. V-2. escape from hell(2021)

The film is based on the true story of Mikhail Deviatayev, a Soviet fighter pilot taken prisoner of war in the summer of 1944. First sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, he was then transferred to the island of Usedom , in the Baltic Sea.

By a twist of fate, the island is also home to a Nazi test site, where new fighters and ballistic missiles are being developed. Deviatayev (played by Pavel Prilutchny) faces imminent death, but he tries everything to escape. According to Bekmambetov, his film is above all about a sense of priorities, of justice and honor, of choices and results. The action film is inspired by Mikhail Deviatayev’s autobiographical account of his survival written in 1962 and aptly titled escape from hell.

V-2. escape from hell is full of drama, action and jaw-dropping suspense, with video game technology adding a touch of authenticity to the film. It is also the first big-budget film shot entirely in vertical format for smartphones.

Till Lindemann, the lead singer of German rock band Rammstein, performed a touching Soviet song titled Lioubimy City (“Darling City”) specifically for the film. Look at him, because he sang it in Russian with great talent.

In this other publication discover five films by Andrei Zviaguintsev that you should watch as soon as possible.

When using Russia Beyond content, attribution is mandatory.