Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 3.0

Auto mechanic Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) is getting threats from The State - specifically Mayor Vadim (Roman Madyanov) - that they want his property and won't accept "no" as an officer - obstinate, Kolya enlists a Moscow lawyer (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) to try to strong-arm the authorities. What begins as a rather rote debate - "We're taking your land!" followed by "They won't take my land!" (and so on) - morphs into something more personal/emotional as Kolya's resistance is met with the incredible power of cruel Bureaucracy and his private life is shattered (his girlfriend is unfaithful), so he turns to heavy drinking and becomes despondent (in an intriguing bit of trivia, Zvyagintsev admitted alcohol was actually being consumed on set and the drunkenness is authentic ... which I believe). The title 'monster' - echoing Hobbes (in a most extreme interpretation) - is actually the New Russia (helmed by Putin), which hides behind religion and thinks nothing of destroying anyone who opposes it: horrific times, indeed.