In the near future, three men, each hoping for a different kind of revelation, enter a forbidding Russian wilderness known as the Zone. The Stalker is one of the few people to have entered the Zone and come out again; he hopes to find a cure for his daughter, who entered the area and was altered by it. The scientist is hoping for a rational explanation of how this no man’s land came to be. Was it truly an alien force? The reporter is trying to find some renewal of hope, something he doesn’t find in the normal world.
This is not a fast-moving film; some have called the pace glacial. But as Amazon reviewer Jeff Shannon put it: “…those who approach Tarkovsky's work in a properly receptive (and wide awake) frame of mind are likely to appreciate the film's seductive depth of theme and hypnotic imagery.”