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La Femme Nikita (1990)
"Nikita" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  April 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 52,717 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 147 user | 77 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Duret ...
Patrick Fontana ...
Alain Lathière ...
Laura Chéron ...
Jacques Boudet ...
Helene Aligier ...
La pharmacienne
Pierre-Alain de Garrigues ...
Patrick Pérez ...
Flic pharmacie (as Patrick Perez)
Bruno Randon ...
Vincent Skimenti ...
Roland Blanche ...
Joseph Teruel ...
Jacques Disses ...
Stéphane Fey ...
Président tribunal (as Stephane Fey)


Nikita est très jeune, elle a vingt ans, mais elle a emprunté une mauvaise voie. Pendant un hold-up avec sa bande, elle tue un policier et est condamnée à la prison à vie. Les services secrets, par contre, lui offrent une voie de sortie : devenir un agent spécial, prêt à tout, à leur service. Nikita accepte et commence ainsi un apprentissage très dur qui concerne non seulement les différents modes de tuer, de prendre la fuite ou de faire face à des situations imprévues, mais aussi la manière de se comporter en femme qui a de la classe, capable de se conduire avec aisance dans tous les milieux. Sous la conduite de Bob, Nikita arrive à freiner son caractère rebelle et à surmonter la terrible épreuve finale. Elle semble être devenue une personne différente et tombe amoureuse. Mais faut-il faire confiance aux services secrets ? Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sie tötet. Um zu leben. (She murders. So she can live.) See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Femme Nikita  »

Box Office


FRF 50,000,000 (estimated)


$5,017,971 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first scene Nikita appears in was the first scene Anne Parillaud shot. Despite having only one line Luc Besson had Parillaud deliver nearly a hundred takes. Parillaud later found out that he used the second take in the movie. See more »


When Nikita ambushes Bob with the metal chair, Bob anticipates the stunt by bracing himself, looking away, and closing his eyes before the chair hits him. See more »


[after Nikita obliterates her target with a large automatic pistol]
Professeur de tir: You've used one of these before?
Nikita: Not on paper.
See more »


Referenced in Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina (2007) See more »


The Dark Side of Time
Performed by Eric Serra
Words by Luc Besson
Backing vocals by Yvonne Jones & Slim Batteux
See more »

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User Reviews

Exciting, romantic, and stylish!
27 September 2005 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

I fell in love with this film from the moment I first saw a brief clip of it on an entertainment program. At first I was drawn to the action elements (being young and somewhat immature in my dramatic tastes), but I was blown away by the romance and character interplay. I loved the composition of the scenes, the noirish lighting, and the quirky humor. This movie, along with Pedro Almodovar's films, really opened my eyes to European films, particularly those with a signature style.

The performances are great across the board. Anne Parillaud plays all facets of Nikita well, from her rebellious, drug-hazed beginning, to her growing confidence, and her near breakdown as her mission falls apart. Tcheky Karyo made a huge impression, mostly through his body language and his eyes. He says more with an expression than most actors do with dialogue. Jeanne Moraeu is a treasure, a truly beautiful woman in appearance and spirit. Jean-Hughues Anglade has the harder part, the "normal" guy who Nikita falls for. He is adept at comedy, but is tender in the love scenes. He carries himself well in his face-off with Bob. Finally, the actor who really stands out in memory, Jean Reno. Reno oozes charisma and talent, even in bad films. He steals the film the moment he enters.

Luc Besson is a tremendous stylist. His films are beautiful, even when the story is a bit obtuse. He is adept at using light to portray and enhance emotion and his compositions are stunning. His main fault is that he lets style overtake story, but he gets away with it because the style is always interesting. He is a fine writer, although more care seems to go into the scripts he directs than those he has written for others.

Finally, one can't discuss the films of Besson without discussing the music of Eric Serra. Serra creates an atmosphere that is much a part of the setting as the lighting or set decoration. His compositions convey mood and emotion, adding another layer to the story. His signature bass and percussion gets your heart pumping during action sequences, while the melodies bring a softness to intimate moments. He demonstrates the proper way to use synthesizers, to transform the music, rather than make up for lack of an orchestra (or talent). Serra's soundtracks were the first that I bought for instrumental music, rather than for pop songs used in the film.

This is a film that appeals to many audiences. There is plenty of action and intrigue for thrillseekers, unique character studies, quirky humor, and above all, romance. It has spawned many imitations (Point of No Return, Black Cat, Nikita TV series) but has never been equaled. If you are a fan of film noir, action/espionage, character drama, or romance, you should see this film; then you should own this film. You'll want to watch it again and again.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Couldn't they cast a better Nikita? stillpals
Nikita's letter at the end davril2052
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