Little Odessa (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  19 May 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 5,445 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 29 critic

This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer, returns to his Brighton Beach boyhood home for a "job." He knows it will be difficult to... See full summary »



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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alla Shustervich
Irina Shapira
Boris Volkoff
Natalya Andreychenko ...
Mina Bern ...
Grandma Tsilya
Mohammed Ghaffari ...
Dmitry Preyers ...
David Ross ...
Ron Brice ...
Man with One Leg


This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer, returns to his Brighton Beach boyhood home for a "job." He knows it will be difficult to return to the Russian-immigrant community of his youth--in his eyes, we see anticipation of the inevitable emotional pain and psychic turmoil that seeing his forsaken family and estranged companions will bring him. To do his job, and try to maintain some semblence of sanity, he has had to wall off his humanity from even himself. Seeing his kid brother, who adores him, talking with his dying mother, who still loves him, and yes, arguing with his abusive father, begins to wreak havoc with his personal defenses. As his steely demeanor begins to dissolve, we are shown the soul of a hit-man crumbling away, piece by piece. Finally, all that he now allows himself to admit that he loves is agonizingly torn away from him and he is left with the ultimate punishment for his transgressions. Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Brothers in blood. Partners in crime. See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong shootings, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 May 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contract Killer  »

Box Office


$2,300,000 (estimated)


$1,095,885 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It took director James Gray two years to get the financing in place to make the film. See more »


Obviously shot out of sequence because snow can be seen in some shots and not the next. See more »


[first lines]
Joshua Shapira: It's done.
See more »


Referenced in Il giorno della prima di Close Up (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A family movie...
16 April 2000 | by (Malmö, Sweden) – See all my reviews

The settings are located to some Russian hole in Brooklyn. The snow is falling and people are poor. We meet a family that seems quite normal - and the lost son comes home... He is a killer with some bad folk after him. It´s one more hit before good-bye.

The lost son meets up with the youngest brother in the family. The mother is sick. Father is cheating her with another. And so the trouble begins with the father and son. Family problems, crime syndicate, a fast running past...

The acting is great a la Truffant (loss of feelings) and the tension is well conveyed in the stark camera work and cold violence that culminates with great effect in the ending.

This is not a truly original film, but it doesn´t (like so many others) fall into some it is good.

Well, rent it alone and think about your family.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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