During the 1980s, Soviet authorities hunt for a serial killer who picks his victims in railway stations and commuter trains and lures them into the woods.



(book), (teleplay)
2,089 ( 137)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky
Radu Amzulescu ...
Mrs. Burakov
András Bálint ...
Géza Balkay ...
László Váradi Balogh ...
Zsolt Biro ...
Older Gay Man
Balázs Csapo ...
Gayy Partner
Imre Csuja ...
Front Detective


Based on the true story of a Russian serial killer who, over many years, claimed over 50 victims, mostly under the age of 17. In what was then a Communist state, the police investigations were hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and those in power. The story is told from the viewpoint of the detective in charge of the case. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You don't want to know what he does... You just want to know when he's caught. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong, graphic violence and related language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciudadano X  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie Child 44 (2015) is based on the same events (albeit from a fictionalized account published in 2008). See more »


On the day of Chikatilo's arrest, the trees bear green leaves, despite it being late November in Russia. See more »


Fetisov: Goddamn it! What is happening to me? My heart is pounding, my collar feels tight; what the hell is this?
Burakov: Passion.
See more »


Referenced in Playboy: The Best of Pamela Anderson (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best movies I've ever seen about a serial killer
16 September 1999 | by (Indianapolis) – See all my reviews

This has to be one the best movies about serial killers that I've ever seen, and this is coming from someone who absolutely loved Silence of the Lambs. HBO has hit the jackpot here. This film is compelling from the first moment until the last.

This film has so many underlying themes its hard to tell exactly what it is about. It chronicles the decade-long search for the Russian serial killer Andrea Chikatilo. Stephen Rea gives a brilliantly reserved performance as the inexperienced forensic expert who is put in charge of the investigation, and Donald Sutherland gives an even more involving performance as his cynical superior, and the only person in the Russian government willing to help him. Both of their performances are subtle masterpieces---Rea begins naive and unwilling to compromise, while Sutherland begins detached and almost amused by the situation. Towards the end, Rea becomes more world-weary and beaten by the system, while Sutherland finds himself more passionate and idealistic.

In any other movie, I would have said that Sutherland's performance stands out above the rest, but here even it is rivaled by Jeffrey DuMann, as the serial killer himself. DuMann brilliantly creates a character here who inspires empathy rather than the hatred we think we would find---he is a monster, but he doesn't want to be, and we get the idea that he is just as disgusted with what he does as we are. He is tortured, ashamed, but vicious as well.

If you can take the incredibly dark subject matter, (and it is *very* disturbing), then you should see this movie.

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