Nikita [1990]

The same year that River Phoenix made Running on Empty, in which he played the son of '60s radicals on the run from the law and hiding in plain sight, he also made this film, which is even less interesting than the vastly overrated Running. And, in this one, he plays a kid whose parents are, in fact, deep-cover Soviet moles (oops, the Berlin Wall is coming down--bad timing there) who are about to be brought to the surface. But Sonny Boy is being indoctrinated by a kindly FBI agent (Sidney Poitier)--and is torn between battling those dirty Commies and helping them because those dirty Commies are Mom and Dad. As silly as it sounds, building to an ersatz action finale. --Marshall Fine

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