Sometime after The Departed came out, I found myself wondering why we don't see more films about non-Italian organized crime, especially the Russian mob which seems to be the up and coming thing. Then I saw a preview for Eastern Promises, a film about Russian gangsters (and to some extent their Chechen rivals) in London, and I thought it looked terrible. But Chris Orr said it was good and I went to see it and . . . it's good! It contains a lot of what people liked about David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, but I thought it added a deeper sense of place and rootedness reminiscent of screenwriter Steven Knight's fantastic Dirty Pretty Things from a few years back.

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