Little Nikita

1988

Little Nikita

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

58%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,193
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Little Nikita Photos

Movie Info

In this espionage story, River Phoenix stars as Jeff Grant, a seemingly normal California teen who learns that his parents are Soviet "sleeper" operatives who've spent the last two decades in the United States waiting to return to duty.

Cast

Sidney Poitier
as Roy Parmenter
River Phoenix
as Jeff Grant
Richard Jenkins
as Richard Grant
Caroline Kava
as Elizabeth Grant
Richard Bradford
as Konstantin Karpov
Loretta Devine
as Verna McLaughlin
Lucy Deakins
as Barbara Kerry
Robb Madrid
as Sgt. Leathers
Tom Zak
as Brett
Newell Alexander
as Drill Sergeant
Ingrid Rhoades
as Corp. Hogan
Lisa McCullough
as Water Skier
Richard Holden
as Young Russian Diplomat
Kim Strange
as DMV Clerk
Lou Hancock
as Nursery Customer
Biff Wiff
as Bucky
Tasha Stewart
as Dolphin Trainer
John Spafford
as Trainer No.2
Jonathan McMurtry
as Tour Boat Guide
Charles T. Salter Jr.
as Trolley Conductor
Rick L. Nahera
as Trolley Passenger
Jim Parrott
as U.S. Border Patrolman
Martine Van Hamel
as Princess Aurora, in Ballet
Robert Hill
as Prince Desire, in Ballet
Michael Owen
as The Fairy Carabosse, in Ballet
Christine Dunham
as The Lilac Fairy, in Ballet
Arlin Miller
as TV Announcer
Julio Medina
as Soccer Announcer
View All

Critic Reviews for Little Nikita

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (5)

  • Never really materializes as a taut espionage thriller and winds up as an unsatisfying execution of a clever premise ...

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • This lacklustre espionage thriller is bogged down with the sort of clichés you'd expect from the height of the Cold War.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Richard Benjamin's strategy in directing ''Little Nikita'' seems to have been to paper over the holes in the plot with routine moves from spy shows past, in hopes of making the improbable passable.

    May 21, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It turns all of the characters into chess pieces, whose relationships depend on the plot, not on human chemistry. Since the plot is absurdly illogical, you're not left with much.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Little Nikita" would be nothing without River Phoenix's hair. It's the most engaging, the most watchable thing in the film.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Sidney Poitier, 10 years absent from the screen, is now back with a vengeance.

    Oct 11, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Nikita

  • Apr 05, 2010
    Jeff Grant (River Phoenix) is a San Diego teen who discovers his father Richard (Richard Jenkins) and mother Elizabeth Grant) are KGB agents. When he applies to the Air Force Academy, a routine FBI check leads to the shocking news. Soon the suburb of Fountain Grove becomes the focus of international agents and espionage. FBI agent Roy Parmenter (Sidney Poitier) helps Jeff absorb the shock and he battles KGB agent Konstantin Karpov (Richard Bradford) in a race to capture the Soviet agents. The excellent performances from Poitier and Phoenix are the highlight of this feature.
    Martin D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2009
    usually not a fan of sidney poitier but was here and it's the first time i've really seen river phoenix in anything, and it's a shame he's dead coz he seemed like a good young actor, almost a bit ballsy like edward furlong the first time i saw him in terminator 2
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2009
    Ever have one of those days when you find out that your loving and caring parents are actually KGB spies? Weak cold war dramatics elevated by strong performances from Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix. Otherwise, it's completely forgettable.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2008
    Well-crafted, old-fashioned espionage story about the awakening of "sleeper" agents. Sidney Poitier is fabulous as the FBI agent tracking the situation.
    Dean M Super Reviewer

Little Nikita Quotes

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