Little Odessa

1995

Little Odessa

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

61%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,099
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Movie Info

A somber portrait of organized crime and family trauma, Little Odessa centers on the trouble caused when hit man Joshua Shapira (Tim Roth) returns to his old neighborhood of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. A hired killer for the Russian Mafia, Joshua is given an assignment in his hometown, where he renews contact with his younger brother Reuben (Edward Furlong) and an old flame (Moira Kelly). But others do not welcome Joshua's return, particularly his harsh, estranged father (Maximillian Schell), who had disowned Joshua years before and currently attempts to keep him from visiting his seriously ill mother (Vanessa Redgrave). The pressure of these family crises combine with Joshua's deepening involvement in the local crime scene, ultimately triggering a bloody confrontation. First-time director James Gray creates a solemn, oppressive atmosphere that emphasizes the already grim nature of his story. The slow pace and familiar crime narrative were attacked by many viewers, contributing to a mixed critical reaction, but Little Odessa nevertheless won admiration for Gray's visual sense and the skilled performance by Roth in the unsympathetic lead role.

Cast

Tim Roth
as Joshua Shapira
Edward Furlong
as Reuben Shapira
Moira Kelly
as Alla Shustervich
Vanessa Redgrave
as Irina Shapira
Maximilian Schell
as Arkady Shapira
Paul Guilfoyle (II)
as Boris Volkoff
Mina Bern
as Grandma Tsilya
David Ross
as Anatoly
Ron Brice
as Man with one leg
Jace Kent
as Mechanic
Gene Ruffini
as Janitor
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Critic Reviews for Little Odessa

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (7)

  • [Little Odessa] is neither a family drama nor a crime melodrama, but a series of disconnected scenes that play like exercises -- some of them very good ones.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • This dark, brooding family melodrama, set against the context of Brooklyn's Russian-Jewish mob, is well acted by Tim Roth, Maximillian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave, and Edward Furlong.

    Mar 13, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Desperately trying to say something complex, it only manages to look as if it said something that mattered.

    Mar 27, 2006 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Odessa

  • Apr 18, 2015
    With an unrelatable psychopath at its center and only the strong performances to commend, especially from Tim Roth and Maximilian Schell, this is a failed combination of family drama and crime thriller that falls flat as both, seeming pointless and empty in its poor attempt at saying something.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2014
    You can see brief flashes of potential brilliance, but the fact that none of them amount to anything only makes the film more disappointing. Also, I hope that whoever was the boom mic operator for this never worked again . . . it's embarrassing how often you can see it.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2011
    Never quite reaching its' full potential, Little Odessa still stands as a testament as to the underrated abilities of Tim Roth, while also offering a dark, more realistic look into the mob world than most films.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2008
    Good film, good performances.
    Chosen 7 Super Reviewer

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