As 'Child 44' opens in cinemas this weekend, novelist Tom Rob Smith is praising Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace as the perfect actors to bring his characters to life on the big screen. But since the story is set in the Soviet Union, Russia's officials have had a very different reaction to the movie.

Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy in 'Child 44'
Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy in 'Child 44'

Indeed, Russia's culture ministry has banned the movie across the country, saying that it "distorts" historical facts. The story is a fictionalised version of the true case of a serial killer who was executed in 1994 for killing 52 children and women. The film, by contrast, is set at the beginning of the Cold War in 1953.

More: Read The Review For 'Child 44' Here

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky wrote, "Films such as 'Child 44' should not go out in our country on mass release, earning money from our cinema audiences, not in the year of the 70th anniversary of victory, not ever." The anniversary refers to the "Great Patriotic War", as Russia calls World War II.

Medinsky went on to criticise the film for it's harsh depiction of Stalin's rule, including Soviet army officers who are portrayed as "blood-thirsty ghouls" who randomly shoot people, "especially gays", while women are expected to offer sexual favours to "avoid being sent, as is customary, to the Gulag," he added ironically.

Watch The Trailer For 'Child 44' Here:

Even worse, he wrote that the film portrayed Soviet comrades as "physical and moral subhumans, a bloody mass of orcs and ghouls" living in a Russia that resembles J.R.R. Tolkien's Mordor rather than reality.

But film producer Alexander Rodnyansky believes that banning the movie is bad for Russia and its film industry. "Before, films where Soviet and Russian heroes were presented not in the best way have been released in Russia, but nothing similar happened," he said. "But now everything to do with history must clearly fit into a kind of framework set by the culture ministry."

More: Tom Hardy Debuts Yet Another Fine Accent In Ridley Scott Thriller 'Child 44'