Little Odessa

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): James Gray
Production: Live Home Video
  4 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min


- Hello?

- It's me. It's done.

I need you in Brooklyn.

An Iranian jeweler

is giving me problems.

He needs to disappear.

He's here in Little Odessa.

Brooklyn's no good for me.

You know that.

You owe us a debt.

It's important.

Don't you want to see

the old neighborhood again?

I'll call you when I get there.

I'm taking you in, Lee.

Not a chance.

Come on out. Or do I have

to come in and get you?

- That's the whole story, Arch.

- All of it?

You didn't kill him.

I did.

Long time ago.

The day I looked away

and hoped he'd change.

I'll have to tell Jen.

I'd like to tell her myself.

- So, is that it?

- That's it.

Hold the doors.



Reuben, get the tea.

It's me, Ma.


That will kill you.

- Did you get the syrup?

- Hmm?

I forgot, sorry.

How is Mama?

She all right?

You shouldn't smoke.

Holy shit.

What the f*ck is he doing here?

Wake up, wake up, wake up.

- Come on. Get out of the car.

- What are you doing?

- Get out of the car!

- What are you doing?!

Son of a bitch.


- You're late.

- I know. I was with Mom.

I am going to be gone

for awhile, all right?

- Okay.

- Finish counting the pennies

and put them in a box.


What is it?

- Is he gone?

- Yeah.

If I let you in on something..

- promise to keep it a secret?

- Sure.

Don't say "sure," this is big.

Okay. What is it?

- I can't tell you.

- Come on. You can't say that.


Well, it's gonna cost you.

How much?


The cigarettes right there.

- Those? Okay, how about one?

- No.

- Two cartons every week.

- Fine, fine, man. What is it?

You never heard this

from me, understood?

- Yeah.

- You tell anybody, you go to the dump.

- I know. All right, what is it?

- Your brother's here.

In Brooklyn.

Where is he?

I saw him go into the Metropole

in Queens.

That's all I can say, kid.

Shh! Shh!

Go to bed.

Go back to bed.

Close the door.

She will be all right.



Josh. Hey.

It's me.

Get out of here.

Okay, then we'll meet later.

It's not safe.

Then we'll meet later,

somewhere else.

I can't do that.

I'm sorry.

You look good, though.

You're growing.

Mom's gonna die.

She's got a brain tumor.

- Does Pop still work at the stand?

- Yeah.

Be on the boardwalk,

near Nathan's

- tomorrow at 4:

- Okay.

Come here.

How'd you know I was here?

I won't do anything.

Just tell me.

Sasha Ronov told me.

Nobody can know I'm here.

Not your friends, not any

other relatives, nobody.

Don't discuss it with Sasha

or anybody else.

- Okay.

- Okay?

See you tomorrow.

Fucking Mickey Mouse.

- Who'd you tell about me?

- Nobody.

Don't insult me or I'll cut it off!

I told your brother

and the guys.

I told Victor and Yuri,

but they won't say anything.

- Yuri still run the station?

- Yeah.

You going there now?

Get up!

Get the f*ck up!

Let's go.

Volkoff's looking for you.

I know that.

This asshole picked

the wrong fucking time

to be hanging around my house.

Bad fucking luck.

He wants you bad.

He comes around all the time

asking where you are.

We got a problem.

You all know I'm here

and that's a problem.

We're gonna work together.

Don't worry, I've got

some money for you.

What if we don't want to help?


- Hey!

- Hey, Ma.

I haven't had much to say.

You were always so quiet.

Aw, so introverted.

You don't go out with girls?

Uh, none of them

will go out with me.

Oh, no you mustn't say that.

Why, don't say that.

Oh, you're beautiful.

- You think I'm beautiful.

- Yes.

Stop it!

Reuben, you are beautiful.

What's the matter?


I know.

I love you too.

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James Gray

James Gray is an American film director and screenwriter. Since his feature debut Little Odessa in 1994, he has made five other features, four of which competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Little Odessa" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Feb. 2021. <>.

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