Todd McCarthy

... Nikita Mikhalkov's widely dismissed Burnt by the Sun 2. Exodus was something of a guilty pleasure for me, simply because it's an old-fashioned, large-scaled World War II epic the likes of which one seldom sees anymore. Designed to expose Russia's youth to some of what that country's "greatest generation" went through to beat the Nazis (a job it didn't do because it has already flopped domestically), the picture has a vast scale, lots of big action scenes, a wonderfully Morricone-esque score by Eduard Artemiev and flavorsome reverberations that bounce off Saving Private Ryan, such official Soviet classics as Ballad of a Soldier and The Cranes Are Flying, and Mikhalkov's own Oscar-winning Burnt By the Sun. But don't look for it on the art-film circuit. ...