Little Odessa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Odessa Reviews

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December 26, 2016
Joshua Shapira (Tim Roth), 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 Reuben (Edward Furlong), who adores him, talking with his dying mother Irina (Vanessa Redgrave), who still loves him, and yes, arguing with his abusive father Arkady (Maximilian Schell), 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...

"Little Odessa" was written and directed by James Gray, in his directorial debut. The film earned a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association. It also earned admiration from French master Claude Chabrol. The storyline in "Little Odessa" with a dysfunctional family in the centre is not something new, but the approach to use Brighton Beach, known for its high population of Russian-speaking immigrants, as the focal point in the film makes "Little Odessa" stand out. I have wanted to see this film for a long time, but in the end I was still not fully happy. Yes, it was James Gray´s directorial debut, and you can see that as the editing is not 100% for example. Some scenes makes no sense and there´s no good flow in the film in my opinion. Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Maximilian Schell, Moira Kelly and Vanessa Redgrave are all great, but there´s something missing for this bleak, cold and gritty thriller to be something more than a 3 out of 5 in my book. Trivia: Great quote by Tim Roth´s character Joshua: "We'll wait 10 seconds and see if God saves you" when he is about to make a hit.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 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.
June 16, 2015
It appears I've been sleeping on James Gray. The plot is a little too familiar, and Edward Furlong is Edward Furlong, but I loved the patient, apocalyptic tone, and Gray's camera, though obviously limited by budget (and a typically bad DVD transfer) is gorgeous. Even though I really liked this, I look forward to him transcending technical limitations.
½ May 8, 2015
Just not the important movie the producer and director wished to make.
½ April 23, 2015
This was basically American History X 3 years before it came out, with a gangster setting.
Super Reviewer
August 29, 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.
½ July 3, 2014
bad ass movie , i love tim roth and edward furlong.
March 11, 2014
Watched this a while back, really good and excellent film with a good pace and a story that was intriguing due to environment and culture. Really an under-appreciated film.
October 15, 2013
The cast is impecable, especially Tim Roth and Edward Furlong. At only 25, James Gray made a tragic and touching film about family and crime. It has one of the darkest soundtracks I've ever heard too, which helps adding even more drama to Little Odessa. The ending can be predictable as pratically all movies of the genre but the script is intense and intriguing.
½ August 10, 2012
Don't remember the film all too well, but I do remember it was very athmospheric and well shot (framed). +-1star uncertainty.
March 30, 2012
It was a pretty good movie. Good acting, directing, script, etc. In the end, though, it was just another forgettable crime drama.
January 16, 2012
I found this film compelling from the very beginning. To me, it was riveting. A no nonsense film. As far removed from Hollywood as possible.
Super Reviewer
½ November 15, 2011
Billed as another Goodfellas, Little Odessa is the story of a mafia hitman returning home to do a job, as well as seeing the poor immigrant family he left behind. The story is great, the movie is not. Tim Roth is fantastic as the disowned, disgraced, murderous son. Roth always gives a very strong performance and does so again here. Edward Furlong, one of my favorites, unfortunately does not do as well. I've seen him in enough things to know, it's not his fault, it's the writing. This film is so dark and painfully slow that I barely made it through. Very little is explained and the dialogue is laughable, even at times non-existent. There are huge plot holes to go along with an ending that makes little sense. The writer was trying to tell his story more through imagery and symbolism in a genre that is based on action. You can't pull off something like this without explaining more of the story and using it to move things along. It's not the worst film I've ever seen, but to be honest, I was bored from start to finish.
Super Reviewer
½ April 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.
½ December 9, 2010
Der Film hat so seine Längen... und ich befürchte, dass ich auch die Story nicht vollständig verstanden habe.
October 24, 2010
Hardly a joy to watch with its misery piled upon misery, yet the performances keep you hooked.
May 22, 2010
U havent seen Little Odessa?
½ April 17, 2010
Average movie. Hate the way it ended...
½ March 8, 2010
Couldn't get into it, much as I like Tim Roth.
January 26, 2010
While desperately trying to say something complex and difficult, it only manages to look as if it said something that is of import.
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