Netflix’s Chernobyl 1986 Review: Absolutely Boring, Lengthy and Disappointing

Chernobyl 1986 review is spoiler-free

Chernobyl 1986 is a 2021 Russian film about the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear disaster that occured towards the latter half of the Cold War. The film draws from real events, however, the story in itself is fictional in nature.

The film is directed by Danila Kozlovsky who also stars in it as the lead. It also features Oksana Akinshina as Olga, Nikolai Kozak as Boris, and Ravshana Kurkova as Dina. It has a total run time of 2 hours and 16 minutes.

Netflix describes it as:

After reuniting with a lost love, firefighter Alexey retires to begin a new life — but the Chernobyl disaster suddenly plunges him back into danger.

Via Netflix

If I were to describe Chernobyl 1986 in one word, I would say this: Boring. The film manages to take an interesting setting and an equally interesting premise and turn it into something entirely absurd.

A still from Chernobyl 1986
A still from Chernobyl 1986, featuring Danila Kozlovsky

The film starts with Alexey and Olga, two estranged lovers, meeting in a chance encounter. They spend some time together and recount days from their past. Alexey is now a firefighter and Olga is a hairdresser working at a salon.

Also Read: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 3 Review: Keeping the Pace

When the Chernobyl disaster strikes, both of them are wildly unprepared to handle the aftermath. Which is quite obvious, given the seriousness of the situation and the implications of radioactive air. And yet, we see only a select few in panic, scrambling to get onto trains and buses.

The movie is confusing, to say the very least. It starts off as a love story that is entirely problematic on its own. The male lead refuses to understand consent, forcing the female lead to go out with him. And I do use the word female “lead” quite sparingly, for in a total run time of more than 2 hours, we see Olga for a measly 30 minutes. While I do want this review to remain spoiler-free, I will say this: Films like this shouldn’t be made in 2021.

During the latter half, the film turns into an action-adventure film of sorts. The reactor has erupted and it is up to the fire department to save everyone’s life. Here is where I finally expected the movie to pick up, but Spoiler Alert: It didn’t. The rest of the movie just glorifies the lead Alexey and heroism.

Funnily enough, the movie felt like a trashy Bollywood movie at best. Although this comparison may seem harsh to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, it almost seemed like the 2019 Bollywood movie War. Just a mess of an excuse to glorify male god complexes.

Also Read: Netflix’s Nevertheless Episode 5 Recap: I Know Nothing Will Change. Nevertheless

Final Verdict: Chernobyl 1986

Chernobyl 1986

It truly is sad, because the movie had the potential to be so much more, even if it was the same storyline. The things that condemned it to me, however, were far too serious to ignore, and not much can be said about a movie that seems like mansplaining personified. The female lead was great on screen, and we would have loved to see more of her on-screen.

If I made a list of the things that I really liked about this movie, it would have just one thing on it: The cinematography. While the plot does an excellent job of trying to kill you with boredom, the cinematography is ethereal. Really, it was the only way I could get through this movie.

I wouldn’t watch it if I were you.

Chernobyl 1986 is streaming on Netflix.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.


Overall Score


If I were to describe Chernobyl 1986 in one word, I would say this: Boring. The film manages to take an interesting setting and an equally interesting premise and turn it into something entirely absurd.


  1. That’s a review of person who doesn’t comprehend neither the event, nor russian culture, nor the emotional and historical connotations that connect all of them together in Chernobyl 1986. If you think that it’s boring, confusing or would like to bring 2021 political correctness to the REALITY of 1986 in Chernobyl than you are simply unable to relate on a necessary emotional, cultural or historical level to comprehend the movie. It was amazing. Truly recommend.

  2. Yes i agree with u , the reviewer on here is put too much own emotion in it . for me this movie is just nice . not more and not less .. maybe this guy really expect it compare with the so call ” HOLLYWOOD ” movie … OMG failed

  3. This reviewer is a disaster… maybe you can make a female super hero film and feel better about life on planet earth…. One word for you: idiot.

  4. The movie was just fine. This review is way too harsh in my opinion. Im a woman too but I found it annoying that you brought “feminism” (if u can call it that?) into this. There was no need to show Olga more. I liked that alexei wasnt perfect nor a hero. Also by no means was the movie boring.I can clearly see that the reviewer was kinda angry at the time of the review for some reason. I dont wanna be harsh but putting too much emotion into reviews is just kind of unprofessional…

  5. I am an American that is dying to see this…I have done soooo much research on the Reactor Accident at Chernobyl . I have Watched countless hours of Documentarys and eye witness accounts of that day and the years and fallout of all that happened after. There are so many HEROES from all over the Soviet Union that made countless sacrifices to save the lives of Millions of people who probably will never know their names..So as soon as I read “Hero” worship and glorifying , I knew the reviewer had no context or real understanding of the story that was being told. All movies add and lay some things on thick …its called Drama!! This isn’t supposed to be an exact account of that day..but I digress.
    I cant find this movie on my netflix..I tried searching by title but it doesn’t pop up..and I even called Netflix and they said that it may not be playing in North American Netflix…why would they put a release date for 7-21-21 then… Makes no sense!!!

  6. What a completely biased review full of feminist jargon and buzzwords. This sad individual is ideologically possessed, unable to analyze a movie outside the rigid framework of her political views. Consent, mansplaining, ‘glorifiing’ men, heroism, and God complexes she tried to shoehorn all the ideological nonsense she could muster into this distorted review. This movie was made in Russia where their culture has not been debased by wokeism like ours has in the US. Listen if you like action movies with a little romance to ground things, and you enjoy a historical setting of an important and tragic event give the movie a chance and you will not be disappointed.

  7. looool exactly, alexy was an asshole, the story was nothing like reality. Seems like a shit job at answering to the Chernobyl series that blamed russia, lmao yall really get drawn into propoganda, hilarious. thanks for the honesty hahahaha

  8. Finally! I completely agree with the reviewer.
    Honestly, don’t let the hate get to you. I feel sorry people feel that feminism should not be added to movies as well. This is the 21st century guys. Get with the flow.
    The Chernobyl disaster was so sad, and all of this was overshadowed by Alexy, just because he couldn’t get his shit together. How is one man responsible for saving millions. Did no one else have anything to contribute? A fireman does the whole thing practically by himself! It’s unbelievable. And even after getting exposed to the radiation he has the least amount of radiation burns. I’m sorry, but that is not the way it works. I wish this was one of the more honest movies, and showed more of what actually happened rather than all of this. “Hero Worshipping” alright.

  9. Nothing but facts here. Before the haters in the comments all go “oh it’s drama and hero worship is fine” understand the context and the environment in which this movie was made. Y’all fall for Russian propaganda shit like this, y’all are walking right into their trap. Stop shaming women trying to speak up about mainstream misogynistic characters and understand what and why they’re saying. Look beyond your privilege, understand the scenario and perhaps then your junk of a brain can finally comprehend what the review is trying to say 🙂

  10. so if they had a female lead that took more screen time than, lets say, alexei would u say the same? Wheres your “”feminism”” now? And did u even watch the movie? Alexei was by no means a hero.Also there was a female doctor that had a lot of screentime lmao. If they were misogynistic they wouldnt include other female actors. Not gonna say anything about you being a racist and saying its russian “propaganda”(i actually think u have no idea what this word means) just because its a russian movie

  11. im 100% convinced yall who agree with this review are either active twitter users (aka “woke” idiots) or you didnt watch the movie. None of your reasonings make the slightest sense. There were no misogynistic comments, the movie portrayed russian covernment as the bad guys (so there was no propaganda, you potatoes) and i have no idea why people need to bring feminism, politics into EVERY MOVIE. ” HeY wHy wErEnT tHe pRotAgOnIsTs VeGan!!1 gEt wItH tHe FlOw!1!1 #lookIuseTwitterCuzIhaveNoLife
    1. Alexei wasnt a hero, hell he contributed very little.
    2. Olga was portrayed as an independent woman, same as that female doctor who helped the sick. Idk sounds like feminism?
    3. Whoever tries to bring political “””awareness””” needs to delete twitter from their lives.

  12. Dear god, the fireman saves whole of europe from disaster and sacrifices his life and the reviewer cries about mansplaining? Boohoo patriarchy is bad. Men should not be allowed to sacrifice their lives while stealing screentime from the women. Women most affected.

  13. I really feel concerned too, this shit has gone way out of control…

    Since it’s situated in Russia during the 80s, the movie also doesn’t fit the woke requirements for at least 50% people of color and doesn’t nearly have enough gays/lesbians in it. I agree. :)) NOT

    It seems this lady wants to make real life, even if it’s situated in the past, fit her own ‘woke’ feminist worldview, what a lame way to write a movie review, GOSH! If we would only be allowed to see movies that are ‘politically correct’ cinema would become boring as hell.

    They even started censoring Fawlty Towers for ‘racist content’ , even though the character of Basil Fawlty is in fact a hilarious parody of someone who is actually racist. If you don’t understand that, you’re not allowed to have an opinion about it either. This whole ‘woke’ community is very similar to the religious fanatics who are offended by some cartoon, if YOU are offended by something it’s probably a good idea to not watch it, go on with your life and certainly not write reviews about it since you cannot think like a free mind.

  14. See the Russian trolls out in force. As someone who does understand Russian culture and history, this film was boring, long, a wasted opportunity. Alexei is a boorish man, selfish. He is not really altruistically sacrificing himself. Even in 1986 Soviet Union stopping a bus to force a woman to go out on a date would not happen. Nothing romantic about it. Seriously Russians can make some great films but please enough of stuff like this.

  15. There was, however, at least one word of explanation as to why the Chernobyl disaster happened: “human error.” It was human error.

  16. Please stop all whining. It’s a fine little foreign artsy movie, not the Russian propaganda I was expecting. You WILL be disappointed if you were expecting a documentary or big American action film, or something comparable to HBO’s miniseries. The music, pacing, flow and feel are very different from American movies, but that’s not wrong in a Russian movie. True, the story is confusing at times, and the characters & motivations could have been fleshed out more. It helps to know some history of disaster before watching. But as others have said, the cinematography is wonderful. It’s very watchable, in fact I liked it better the second time I watched it, if only to count how many times Danila smirks and grimaces toward the camera. It’s the kind of movie that grows on you, once you recalibrate your expectations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Midnight Asia (2022) Review: The Nectar of Nightlife in Asia’s Most Popular Metropolises

Explore and delve deeper into the nightlife bliss in Asia's most popular metropolises with Netflix's Midnight Asia.

Looop Lapeta Promo: Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin Serve the Essence of a Time Loop

New Looop Lapeta Promo starring Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin.

The Royal Treatment (2022) Review: Laura Marano Starrer is Another Generic Rom-Com

The Royal Treatment experiments with nothing and walks down a familiar path. Well, at least the leads are gorgeous, so that's something to look out for.

Next Story