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Pu-239 (2006)

Paddy Considine , Radha Mitchell , Scott Z. Burns  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paddy Considine, Radha Mitchell, Oscar Issac
  • Directors: Scott Z. Burns
  • Producers: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Peter Berg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010YPT7Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,767 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pu-239" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pu-239 (DVD)

Gloomy but soulful, PU-239 is the story of a Russian nuclear plant worker, Timofey (Paddy Considine), who is exposed to a lethal level of radiation due to general incompetence at the facility. When a cover-up ensues, Timofey is forced to go on unpaid leave with little time left to care for his wife (Radha Mitchell) and son. Stealing a portion of weapons-grade plutonium from the plant, he smuggles it to Moscow and meets up with a black marketeer, Shiv (Oscar Isaac), who hopes to sell the material and pay off a debt to a powerful gangster. The simplicity of the idea, however, is undercut by a series of misunderstandings and bad intentions, leaving both Timofey and Shiv dangling and increasingly endangered. The moody feature is helped a great deal by colorful performances from Jason Flemyng as a loose-cannon associate of Shiv's, and Nikolaj Lie Kaas as a criminal baron who has to suffer the foolish likes of Shiv until he's quite had enough. Mitchell is very good as the spouse who gradually figures out how bad off Timofey is, watching helplessly as anonymous authorities dismantle her life to obscure evidence of their nuclear irresponsibility. Writer-director Scott Z. Burns gracefully captures the tragic cycle of events and manages to inject a trace of humor here and there (especially around Flemyng's character). He also catches some extraordinary, nighttime images of Moscow's busy streets, a look that perhaps hasn't been seen quite this way in a movie before. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Do you want to buy some Pu?" May 1, 2008
A film with such an unusual title is bound to be interesting, and "Pu-239" certainly delivers. Timofey (Paddy Considine) is a worker at a Russian nuclear plant who receives a lethal radioactive dose and sets about providing for his family in the few days he has left to live. He does this by purloining Plutonium, chemical symbol Pu-239, not quite as well known as its cousin U-238. Shot on location, "Pu-239" is an English-language foreign film, with some familiar faces such as Rhada Mitchell as Timofey's wife, and the usual cast of colorful but unknown Russian gangsters. Least expected is the fact that Plutonium is hilarious! Paddy hooks up with Shiv, a small-time crook, and his two out-of-control associates who resort to stealing windshield wipers and dog-napping as sources of income. Laced amidst the dark humor are startlingly insightful meditations on light's wave/particle duality, or the substance of a mushroom cloud consisting of fear. Facts sprinkled throughout the movie are all accurate, such as an interesting sidebar about the painters of radium-dial watches in West Orange, New Jersey who began to die from hideous oral cancer, as they tended to moisten their paint brushes with their mouths. The combination of story, dark humor, nuclear fact, and philosophy render "Pu-239" an intelligent and worthwhile film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie.... July 13, 2008
PU-239 is a relativately unknown movie. I came across the preview on some other movie a few months back and was intrigued by it.

The other reviews have summed up the plot pretty well, so I won't bore you with more of that.

PU-239 is a dark suspense Russian gangster movie, with alot of comedy mixed in. The acting in the movie is pretty good, considering the mostly unknown cast.

A great dvd to check out if your looking for someting a little out of the ordinary!

Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid HBO film June 1, 2009
Set in 1990's Russia, this compelling drama follows a scientist (Considine) who suffers severe radiation poisoning on the job. His employers claim the incident was his fault and refuse compensation, even going so far as to produce a false radiation test that downplays the extent of his exposure. Out of work, dying, and with a wife and son to look after, the desperate scientist steals a vial of plutonium with the intention of selling it on the black market. He subsequently becomes involved with some dangerous criminal types, the type that became so common in this time period in Russia, and his life becomes intertwined with theirs. The tragic drama unfolds as the man desperately seeks to make some money for his family before his inevitable death. The film, although sad and serious, is laced with dark humor throughout. Considine's character also narrates the story, and I enjoyed the rather poetic element that this adds to the film. This movie is good for both the individual story and as a glimpse into this turbulent time period in Russia in general.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Who wants some PU?" August 4, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Another winning movie set in Russia. A worker in a nuclear plant, of the usual unsafe Russian design, is caught in an accidental radioactive steam leak. He is isolated behind sealed doors and sees his comrades look at him and walk away. When the event is over he is showered and his dosimeter badge is taken. He is told that his exposure is survivable but the ultimate blame is laid on him rather than the faulty design and protocols. He is now home with his wife and child with no job, no income, and a suspicion that he is being lied to. He finds his original dosimeter badge and sees that he has received a lethal level of exposure. Again, a Russian is dealt a deadly hand. Soon his body begins to fall apart. His hands need to be bandaged. His appearance is frightening. True to form, he hatches a plan to steal some Plutonium 239 and sell it on the black market so that his family will be able to survive without him. Nothing left to lose.

The theft itself is a little hard to believe, but when we see this poor dying man going out into an open air market with a cardboard sign reading merely "Pu239" we step into the other world. Our logical western minds shy away and say that this cannot be happening. This man is accosted by a street thug who thinks he controls the local market. Best line of the whole movie is when the thug asks our hero "What is Pooh?" What follows is a classic story of desperation, ignorance, greed, and simple stupidity. As westerners we might find this movie as being highly improbable, but as a Russian I can vouch for the reality and anguish of this film. By viewing it, Americans can maybe appreciate how dangerous the world we live in is without the added artificial threat levels being screamed at us everyday by our 'leaders'. By viewing foreign films such as this we can begin to be citizens of the world and realize that "they" are just like "us".
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3.0 out of 5 stars accents? July 28, 2014
when you undertake a professional film project where accents are involved, it goes without saying that you employ a language advisor. what you need to take into further consideration is that not all actors are linguistically gifted, in which case the overall result will be cheapened through no inherent fault of the actors. alternatively, you hire foreign actors for the parts with accents for authenticity's sake OR you make the movie in unaccented english. moreover, writing an authentic screenplay with consistent syntax for non-native speakers requires a good deal of expertise.

to my mind, the directors should have made the movie either only with accented foreign actors or all in english. the result is disturbingly mediocre from a language point of view, which is tragic because i'd otherwise give both the plot and premise five stars!

granted, i'm a phonetician and an instructor of russian language, so i might be considered "picky"; nevertheless, i found it difficult to enjoy the jumbled accents and syntax of the actors and screenplay to the point where an otherwise five-star movie became a difficult-to-enjoy three-star experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you for this fantastic item
Published 3 days ago by Ron B
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's Ok
Published 1 month ago by A'Yuh
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Moving Story
This is a frightening story about nuclear poisoning told from a father's perspective. He meets another father desperate to provide for his child too. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Escher
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
I thought it was okay. EXhusband loved it. I don't know why I didn't just love it but it didn't hook me like it did him. It went with him when he moved.
Published 13 months ago by Donna S. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible To Forget Experience
Superb acting, great script but oh what soul searing tragedy,what desperate men will do at wit's end.The continuing monologue is real poetry without the pretension. Read more
Published 15 months ago by aslanbek
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating movie
All I can say is "Wow". This film is truly astonishing and would appeal to those who enjoy searching for meaning in life. Read more
Published 15 months ago by michael t. forrester
2.0 out of 5 stars not about the chernoble meltdown
I ordered this as a gift for my brother. Who found the storyline weak and slightly confusing. In no way informational about the russian disaster
Published 19 months ago by william j mcdonough
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, tragic movie

When a technician at a Russian plutonium processing station becomes exposed to deadly levels of radiation, he is terminated. Read more
Published 21 months ago by R S Cobblestone
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!
I love this movie. It's touching without being over the top. Beautifully done! Movie came exactly as advertised. Works great. No cmplaints!
Published on November 27, 2011 by Mik
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking ending
Very good movie if you have the slightest interest or knowledge of nuclear physics. If you know nothing of this subject matter you can still watch it and enjoy it, but to really... Read more
Published on October 9, 2010 by Ian Turner
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