Best Movies by Farr
La Femme Nikita Poster
Released Runtime Category
1991 117 Action/Adventure, Foreign Language
Director Language
Luc Besson French
Anne Parillaud, Tcheky Karyo

La Femme Nikita

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What's it About

Convicted of killing a cop, punky heroin addict Nikita (Parillaud) is saved from execution by French intelligence operative Bob (Karyo), who offers to school her in the ways of stealth political assassination. Resculpted into a chic, well-behaved killer spy, Nikita assumes her new identity with flair, but soon begins to experience pricks of conscience.

Why we love it

Besson's flashy "Nikita" was a huge hit for the French director in 1990, inspiring an American remake and even a TV series. But those versions lacked an essential component of the original's success: the feral, leggy, crazy/cool/beautiful Parillaud, Besson's then-wife. (He also landed the great Jeanne Moreau, who cameos as Nikita's femininity coach.) Combining elements of the "Pygmalion" story with vivid visuals, high-fashion costumes and sets, and the cold brutality of classic noir, Besson concocted a female-driven action formula that continues to influence movies today. For fun, fast-driving entertainment, "Nikita" fires on all cylinders.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"