A deconstructed, deadpan thriller of coal-black comedy and Ice-White Landscapes


... Reteaming with his “A Dark Dark Man” and “The Gentle Indifference of the World” DP Aidar Sharipov, Yerzhanov’s eye for inventive choreography and striking compositions has never been sharper. He has to be among the foremost practitioners of the deadpan-pan, the skewed symmetry, the dry-witted interruption. 


... Despite its apparent poker-faced amorality, The Assault is highly moral, and as an equal-opportunities exposé of the hypocritical machismo of Kazakh society, its heart is as dark as its humor.


...Welcome to Karatas: you might get out alive, but you won’t get out unscathed.




Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s 12th feature is a return to genre form in this dark comedy thriller 


Prolific, genre-oriented Kazakh writer-director Adilkhan Yerzhanov delivers yet another tense, darkly humorous thriller with Assault (Shturm) his 12th feature since his 2011 debut Realtors.


… Yerzhanov’s unfussy compositional flair, with Aidar Sharipov’s widescreen images conjuring a surreal landscape of human-dwarfing electricity pylons beneath a pearlescent January sky. 


...The other notable creative contribution is provided by Galymzhan Moldazanar’s score — a genuine crescendo in that it steadily gains in loudness and impact over the course of the picture’s brisk 90 minutes. 




Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov,  Kazakhstan’s most acclaimed and exportable auteur,finds tragicomic humour in this stylish, deadpan thriller about a snowbound high school under terrorist attack.


...Prolific writer-director Adilkhan Yerzhanov has become an international film festival fixture over the last decade with his tragicomic depictions of his native Kazakhstan as a kind a lightly surreal Wild East, where rampant crime and corruption go unpunished against a widescreen canvas of gorgeous pastoral landscapes.


…for all its world-weary cynicism, Assault is a consistently seductive sensory experience. The director’s regular camera maestro Aidar Sharipov shoots these snowy Steppes vistas with a painterly sense of composition and measured, precise, elegantly slow pans. Galymzhan Moldanazar’s pulsing, percolating electronic score heightens this sense of other-worldly, menacing beauty.


…unctuated by an ominous countdown to the storming of the school, Assault toys ironically with thriller and western conventions, deflating each pulse-racing crescendo by stressing the neurotic, terrified, self-serving nature of these reluctant anti-heroes.