726 user 218 critic

The Promise (2016)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 21 April 2017 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.


Terry George
3,051 ( 715)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

The iconic "1915 Armenian Genocide" was originally produced in 1980 (digitally restored and re-released in 2010) is based on the eyewitness accounts of four survivors whose compelling story... See full summary »

Director: Mark Bedrosian
Stars: Paul Schaefer
Aghet - Ein Völkermord (TV Movie 2010)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

"Aghet - A Genocide" - On the Armenian Genocide by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It is based on eyewitness reports by European and American personnel ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Friedler
Stars: Hermann Beyer, Samuel Finzi, Martina Gedeck
1915 (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Exactly 100 years after the Armenian Genocide, a theatre director stages a play to bring the ghosts of the past back to life.

Directors: Garin Hovannisian, Alec Mouhibian
Stars: Simon Abkarian, Angela Sarafyan, Sam Page
Screamers (2006)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Internationally known director Carla Garapedian follows the rock band System of a Down as they tour Europe and the US pointing out the horrors of modern genocide that began in Armenia in 1915 up though Darfur today.

Director: Carla Garapedian
Stars: Taner Akçam, Hrant Dink, John Dolmayan
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Aurora Mardiganian, a young and beautiful Armenian girl, lives with her parents in the Turkish city of Havpoul. Her father, a prosperous merchant, was preparing to send her to the West to ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Apfel
Stars: Aurora Mardiganian, Irving Cummings, Anna Q. Nilsson
Mother (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This film recounts Henri Verneuil's relationship with his father who had brought his Armenian family to Marseille, France, in order to escape from the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Richard Berry, Omar Sharif, Nathalie Roussel
The Lark Farm (2007)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A stirring and stunning story of an aristocratic family who is unexpectedly swept into the ravages of World War I and a forbidden passion that may be the family's only hope.

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Stars: Paz Vega, Moritz Bleibtreu, Alessandro Preziosi
Armenian Genocide (TV Movie 2006)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The first Genocide of the 20th century when over a million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I, between 1915 and 1918.

Director: Andrew Goldberg
Stars: Julianna Margulies, Ron Suny, Peter Balakian
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A US Senator's son (Jaime Kennedy) who attempts to forget the break up of his fiancée, is forced to vacation in Turkey by his best friends. A para-sailing trip mishap lands him in a small ... See full summary »

Director: Gor Kirakosian
Stars: Angela Sarafyan, Jamie Kennedy, Dave Sheridan
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

How do you define classic rock? Is it a genre, a radio format, or music from a specific period of time? Filmmaker & lifelong rocker Daniel Sarkissian travels the world, interviewing iconic artists in search of an answer.

Director: Daniel Sarkissian
Stars: Suzi Quatro, Randy Bachman, Country Joe McDonald
Mother (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1915 a genocide happened in the Ottoman Empire and about 1.5 million Armenians were systematically murdered by the government of the Young Turks. This is a movie about the life of a ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Claudia Cardinale, Omar Sharif, Nathalie Roussel
Ararat (2002)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Interrogated by a customs officer, a young man recounts how his life was changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Charles Aznavour, Brent Carver, Eric Bogosian


Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Isaac ... Mikael Boghosian
Charlotte Le Bon ... Ana Khesarian
Christian Bale ... Chris Myers
Daniel Giménez Cacho ... Reverend Dikran Antreassian
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Marta Boghosian
Marwan Kenzari ... Emre Ogan
Angela Sarafyan ... Maral
Tom Hollander ... Garin
Numan Acar ... Mustafa
Igal Naor ... Mesrob
Milene Mayer ... Yeva
Tamer Hassan ... Faruk Pasha
Alicia Borrachero ... Lena
Abel Folk ... Harut
Jean Reno ... Admiral Fournet


The film tells the story of Michael (Oscar Isaac), a young Armenian who dreams of studying medicine. When he travels to Constantinople to study, he meets Armenian Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and falls in love with her, although she dates the American photographer Chris (Christian Bale), sent to Turkey to record the first genocide of the 20th century when the Turks exterminated the Armenian minority. A love triangle settles amidst the horrors of war.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Empires fall. Love survives.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including war atrocities, violence and disturbing images, and for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Spain | USA


English | Armenian | German | French | Turkish

Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Promise See more »

Filming Locations:

Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal See more »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,095,718, 23 April 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This feature film was fully financed by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who was of Armenian extraction and whose family had lived through these events. When he owned MGM in the early 1980s, he couldn't even persuade his own studio chief, Frank Yablans, to greenlight this picture in part because of Turkey's pressure on U.S., which has military bases in Turkey. Because political tension dated back to the early 20th century and one of the roles was originally intended for Clark Gable. See more »


Near the end, Michael, as the narrator says that Yeva joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (actually, he says "Women's Army Corps, a common movie mistake) after the Japanese attack on Pearl, but she is wearing a U.S. Marine Corps uniform. See more »


[first lines]
Mikael Boghosian: [narrating] Our village sat high in the mountains of Southern Turkey. It was half Turk, half Armenian. I was the local apothecary. For 200 years the Boghosians made medicines using formulas handed down from our ancestors. All right. We treated everyone alike... Muslim and Christian, rich and poor. Every morning and night. I was proud of our craft. But making potions from herbs and minerals was not enough. My greatest desire was to study medicine at the imperial school in ...
See more »


Featured in Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction (2017) See more »


Written by Serj Tankian
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"The Promise" is a powerfully engaging and enlightening drama.
14 April 2017 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

The most infamous genocide in history, Adolf Hitler's murder of 6,000,000 Jews during World War II, was not the first genocide to take place, or even the first one of the 20th century. Nearly three decades before the term genocide was even coined, from 1915 to 1923, the government of the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey) killed 1,500,000 ethnic Armenians within their borders. Under the cover of World War I, the Ottoman government carried out mass executions, subjected able-bodied men to forced labor and drove women, children and the elderly on death marches into the Syrian Desert. As with any human tragedy, personalizing the story brings about greater understanding of the events that took place. That is what the drama "The Promise" (PG-13, 2:12) attempts to do, drawing its inspiration from historical events and adapting part of Franz Werfel's 1933 novel, "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh", the first book that brought the story of the Armenian Genocide widespread attention around the world.

Mikael Boghosian (Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac) is from a small Armenian village, but dreams of becoming a doctor so he can be of service to his people. He is engaged to Maral (Angela Sarafyan) and, with the blessing of her and her family, plans to use her dowry to go to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) to study medicine. Mikael promises Maral that he will return to her as soon as he graduates. In Constantinople, he meets people who would later have a big impact his life, including fellow medical student (and son of an Ottoman military officer) Mustafa (Numan Acar), American journalist Chris Myers (Oscar winner Christian Bale) and Chris' girlfriend, a beautiful Armenian named Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), who was raised in France and is serving as nanny to the children of Mikael's uncle in Constantinople.

As World War I turns Ottoman society into a military state, Mustafa helps Mikael avoid being forced into the Ottoman Army, based on his medical student exemption. This deferment is short-lived, however. When Mikael tries to help his uncle who has been arrested, he himself is sent to a forced labor camp. Mikael escapes and returns to his village where his mother (Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo) urges him to take Maral and hunker down in a cabin in the woods, unaware that Mikael has fallen in love with Ana. Meanwhile, Chris is jeopardizing his freedom and even his life by steadfastly reporting on the military rounding up ethnic Armenians. The intensifying Ottoman campaign against the Armenians causes Mikael to repeatedly cross paths with Ana and Chris, as they all fight to survive, to help the Armenian people and, ultimately, to resolve the very personal issue of their complicated love triangle.

"The Promise" is a powerfully engaging and enlightening drama. The film's story is similar to that of "The Ottoman Lieutenant", which was released earlier in 2017, but "The Promise" has a more widely and deeply talented cast. It also has a better script, written by Terry George (who also directs this film and previously co-wrote and directed 2004's "Hotel Rwanda"), along with Robin Swicord. As deeply as the movie goes into the suffering of the Armenian people, it never loses touch with the individual human stories which drive its plot. There's plenty of drama on the personal level, as well as in the overarching political and military realms. The romance subplot, which could have ended up sappy or emotionally manipulative in the hands of a lesser director, further adds to the film's impact. Although the "promise" isn't as integral as the title implies, this is an otherwise exceptional film. "A-"

47 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 726 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed