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Reservoir Dogs
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Reviews & Ratings for
Reservoir Dogs More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Over rated

1/10
Author: purvesgrundy (purvesgrundy@hotmail.com)
14 November 1999

I first saw this film when I was 15. I thought it was brilliant, really original and generally great. However, now (3 Years later) I realise it is nothing more than a pretentious piece of garbage.

Sure, it looks good, but when you really get down to it it's not doing anything. It doesn't have any real substance, it's not commenting on anything, it's just a totally throwaway product. Tarantino is talking loudly and saying nothing. And THAT narrative structure - it looks and feels original, but independent and foreign movies have been doing it, better, for years and years.

A truly trashy piece of postmodernism at it's worst.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Easy on the kudos, everybody. Read and learn.

Author: Jimmy Wadd from Hell-sdale, Michigan
16 January 1999

If I read one more brainless Tarantino-phile's thoughtless salivation over this most over-rated rip-off, I think I'll vomit.

Very little has been made of the fact that this movie was totally ripped off from Chow Yun Fat's City On Fire. I've seen that movie, and take my word for it, Dogs is borrowed from bottom to top, from the heist gone wrong because of a trigger-happy sociopath, to the ring of diamond thieves infiltrated by a hotshot young undercover cop, to the relationship between the cop and the experienced professional, to the warehouse rendezvous, to the cops waiting for them there, to the curiously sympathetic professional tending to the wounded cop, to the "Mexican Standoff" (?) between the boss, the professional, and the boss's toadie. Hell, even the professional dicing policemen in their car with two semi-automatic pistols was straight out of City On Fire. So much has been made of the Scream rip-offs and Die Hard rip-offs, well, where's the uproar here?

Somebody mentioned that Keitel ties the movie together with "spooky" calmness. What movie was he watching? The Piano? It looked to me like Keitel was channeling Pacino, screaming constantly and making wild gestures. I kept waiting for Eddie to slap him.

I am soooooo sick of everybody talking about Michael Madsen's "great" performance as Mr. Blonde. Michael Madsen always plays the same tough-guy cliche, good guy or bad, and his performance in this isn't any different than those in The Getaway or Donnie Brasco. I think anybody could've played this part more interestingly. The part was written to be disturbing, and Madsen really didn't add anything to that. I would've much rather seen Buscemi or Keitel as Mr. Blonde.

The lame bear-claw joke fell flat in what was an otherwise humorous movie. It was about as out of place as Tarantino's pitiful portrayal of Mr. Brown. He's the only "actor" I know that can screw up a bit part.

Just how was Mr. Blonde gonna deal with the enormous fireball that lighting several gallons of gasoline in a tight warehouse would create? I know that he was "crazy" and all that, but it seems like a robber on the lam wouldn't want to send huge clouds of black smoke billowing out of his hideout.

Would it really be a good idea to sit in a fairly busy restaurant looking rather suspicious in your robbery duds the morning of the big heist? I know it's LA and all, but even as a restaurant patron, I would've noticed six bad-asses in cheap black suits, a fat redhead wearing a somewhat ironic jogging jacket, and an old mafia-type, sitting at one table, carrying on loudly about Madonna.

Mr. Orange was the highlight of this movie for me. His disgust at Marvin crying about how he'll never look right again was an acting triumph, and the look of sadness on his face as White murdered the cops in the car (far more interestingly explained in the script) was similarly heartfelt. Why haven't we seen more of Tim Roth lately?

I can't deny my enjoyment of this movie in spite of my extensive complaints, though it doesn't deserve the praise that unknowing moviegoers give it. Tarantino will always be, to me, a creatively constipated bad actor who got very lucky. My guess is that his skillfully-written dialogue comes from snippets of conversation he's heard here and there. I rate this a 6, 2 if you factor in that it was absolutely plagiarized.

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25 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Dumb and boring.

1/10
Author: Leon-56
28 June 2002

What to say.. a cliche story, badly told, with non believable characters 1/4" deep. I rented this movie because a friend told me it was the best movie ever, unfortunately it was pretty much the opposite, especially the whole setup. I saw Saturday morning cartoons that were more interesting.

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26 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Pure undiluted crap

1/10
Author: inframan from the lower depths
7 July 1999

Vintage Tarantino. Totally boorish, tasteless, boring, repetitious, tedious & moronic. Everything his loving audiences deserve.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

What a load of trash with no redeeming value.

1/10
Author: swessels from Boulder, Colorado
26 May 2000

It also has no entertainment value - it was a chore to watch.

It's all about stupid people killing each other. The senseless violence is extremely offensive and although I could see the language being typical of the type of person, I found that offensive too.

I could have spent my time better lying on my bed watching the ceiling for 99 minutes.

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18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A Disgusting piece of GARBAGE!

1/10
Author: Gunn from Minnesota
2 December 2001

What is wrong with Quentin Tarantino? The guy thinks of nothing but vile, despicable violence. His worst piece of trash is Natural Born Killers, but piece of crap..Reservoir Dogs is really disgusting. But what is more disturbing than the film is how so many people revere it. What have we come to? This film made me gag and want to throw up. What possible message comes from a film such as this? All I can say is God help us!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

These 'Dogs' bark a lot, but they bite, too ...

10/10
Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
9 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bloodily violent, irreverently shocking, politically incorrect, inventively funny and so on and so forth… I'm trying to find the right expression to describe "Reservoir Dogs" and I finally got it, it stands in three letters: N-E-W. There was something waiting in the abyssal wombs of cinema, so repressed it was waiting for deliverance with a fierce impatience, a deliverance with a quite original and cool-sounding name: Quentin Tarantino, the new incarnation of modern violence with STYLE. "Reservoir Dogs" is more than a debut; it's a sensational entrance that consecrated Tarantino among the most influential directors of his generation, and THE reference in independent film-making.

Tarantino invented a new style that would never desert his films, and would make each of his creation, the epitome of coolness. It's so fresh to watch "Reservoir Dogs" now and to realize how new it was at that time. I remember the first time I watched the film, I was 17, and the movie literally blew me away in every single aspect, and I guess the fact that I wasn't familiar with the Internet or IMDb was a good thing since it didn't intercede with my approach of the film. I didn't want to know what's so cool about Tarantino, I just discovered him with his film, shortly after watching "Pulp Fiction", and for some reason, I loved "Reservoir Dogs" a little more. Tarantino quickly became my favorite director as a teenager, and in my early 20's because of this level of creativity in the writing, the directing, and the editing.

The writing is Tarantino's trademark and his greatest quality, the movie starts with a whole discussion about the meaning of "Like a Virgin" told by a fast-speaking Tarantino, himself as Mr. Brown, then a whole debate starts about tipping and non tipping. That's the question raised by the first minutes of "Reservoir Dogs" and the least we could say is that the talk is so trivial it sounds real and authentic in its rawness and makes the characters more human, if not sympathetic. More generally, the whole characterization is driven by dialogs so delicately vulgar you never miss the action, or wait for something 'to happen'. Script 'happens' in Tarantino's films, like meals you've already eaten but with a new special taste, something juicy, creamy, and spicy. It's almost an indigestion of creativity … I don't need to tell you the lines, if I start them, you know the rest : "You shoot me in a dream …", "Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie?" etc. etc. And these dogs not only bark, but they do bite a lot.

Indeed, if the movie was all dialogs, it wouldn't have had the same impact. It's like Tarantino already knew his lesson, and wanted to make something big, from the beginning. From the iconic slo-mo walking scene down the alley with the opening credits, you get the idea that this "Little Green Bag" song will be the 'hallelujah' glorifying the birth of a new style of film-making, and instinctively, you know something special will happen after these credits, and you're not disappointed by what follows. Blood, blood all over the car seat, and probably one of the most convincing painful screams ever. You really can feel for Tim Roth in that scene, it's like the real actor got one real bullet, and the rest is the touching expression of a growing friendship between Roth as Mr. Orange, and Mr. White, his mentor played by Harvey Keitel. He combs his hear, whispers something that provoke Orange's cute but heartbreaking smile: the chemistry is so believable, you understand that the movie is not just about cool dialogs. Then, comes Mr Pink as Steve Buscemi, asking who the rat is! Because this is the first serious element we have. It's the story of a botched jewel robbery, with a traitor among these gangsters. This question will be the starting point of the narrative with three specific back stories told in flashback.

The three characters depicted in flashback are Mr. White, Mr. Orange, and Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde. And in the memorable-action department, the winner is undoubtedly Mr. Blonde: the one who provided the most iconic and recognizable moment of the film. The iconic ear-cutting scene with the "Stuck In the Middle With You" music, like a reminiscence of "A Clockwork Orange" rape scene with 'Singin' in the Rain' as a musical background, the scene is disturbing, violent, bloody, but also … iconic. The violence is not meant to be cool, but just to show how psychotic Mr. Blonde, one of the most twisted gangster villains, is. And his torture is also crucial because it will unmask Mr. Orange as the snitch, and will make his relationship with White, even more complex. In one minute, the movie raises a new dimension, deeper and more tragic.

Forget the cool and raunchy dialogs, the creative editing, where flashbacks interfere with parallel stories, as when we witness a great scene where Orange tells a story within another story. Too many insertions as to create a confusing feeling until the last iconic scene : after the slo-mo opening, the ear-cutting, the Mexican stand-off, as the last memorable scene that would lurch this movie into Pop Culture. Forget the wonderful ensemble cast with so many colorful characters (literally) and such believable actions and reactions like childishly arguing about nicknames instead of preparing a serious job. All these elements are great, but it would have been nothing without the tragedy …

The beauty of the film relies on this profound relationship between Mr. Orange and Mr White, made of respect and honor, and the last minute of the film was something that reminded of Peckinpah's films, a moment of honesty and loyalty, incarnated by Orange's last confession, and White's heartbreaking gesture as to redeem the act of a man he still loved as friend … Keitel's last look before the movie ends will haunt me forever.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Shallow, unintelligent and pretentious

3/10
Author: N667 from Finland
5 November 2003

Quentin Tarantino seems to concentrate his movies very much along the lines of "cool" and "tough" and pulpy storylines and characters. To me, his scripts come across as done by someone who reads too many B-grade comic books, mainly because his movies have very similar content.

The story is very thin, and to sum up the what you see on the screen most of the time: there's a bunch of cookie-cutter emotionally retarded tough-guys who compete over who can deliver the coolest and toughest lines to each other and wave their shiny guns at each other with the right sort of swagger. That sort of thing is just so ho-hum, clichéd, and juvenile that I felt like tuning out right away.

Mixed into this macho posturing is some gratuitious violence (even to the point of being repulsive at times, for example when Mr. Blonde gets his way with the cop) and a couple of "cool" stories in the vein of Pulp Fiction's story about McDonald's in France (what depth). Too bad it's pretty much gloss over content. The only flash of intelligence in this movie is right at the beginning where Mr. Pink delivers his speech on tipping. That's what kept me somewhat interested at first. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

This sort of movie doesn't appeal to me at all, although I'm sure it has some appeal to teenagers who consider the like of _The Fast and the Furious_ to be "cool". Me, I guess I'm just too old (27) to be impressed by this sort of trashy stuff. Had I seen it ten years ago, my review then might have been somewhat different.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

For the dogs.

Author: yarborough from northridge, ca
15 October 2001

The idea that Quentin Tarantino could be seen as a great filmmaker for "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" is ridiculous, and "Reservoir Dogs" is proof exhibit A. "Reservoir Dogs" is simply one of the most shamelessly plot-driven movies I have ever seen. First of all, what is the point of the commode story? In the movie, the crooks are supposed to keep their mouths shut, but Tarantino has Mr. Orange go on and on, pointlessly, about the commode story just so Tarantino can make an attempt at art filmmaking by showing Mr. Orange talking to the actual police officers in the bathroom and dry his hands in slow motion. Talking that much would only make it more obvious that Mr. Orange is a policeman, anyway. Also, as one viewer pointed out, Mr. Orange doesn't shoot Mr. Blonde before Mr. Blonde cuts off the police officer's ear. Want to know why? Because Tarantino needed Mr. Orange to hear the bad guys say they were going to return to the warehouse after ditching the cars, but he also needed the ear-cutting scene. What else was there to do except make Mr. Orange not give a damn about the police officer, which is totally ridiculous. Also, why in God's name was Mr. Blonde going to set fire to the police officer? Wouldn't that have drawn attention to the warehouse hideout? Sure, it would. But Tarantino threw out that logic just so he could make a "thrilling" scene as Mr. Blonde prepares to set fire to the police officer. Also, what sense does it make to have the warehouse in the middle of a neighborhood? What a bunch of smart crooks. It's no wonder they couldn't snoop out the undercover cop.

This movie shouldn't even have made as little as it did (one million, I believe). And it figures that after about three years Tarantino's name dropped out of sight.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Don't Believe The Hype - It's Not That Good

6/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
14 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

RESERVOIR DOGS exploded onto cinema screens in 1992 and I can still remember the shock waves it caused due to the excessive violence . If memory serves me right Glasgow Council came very close to banning it from cinema chains in the city and they weren't alone in trying to do this either as newspaper headlines and word of mouth screamed how violent the movie was as Quentin Tarantino became the most infamous and influential movie director of the mid 1990s . RESERVOIR DOGS was finally allowed a British network TV transmission in the Summer of 1997 on channel 4 . I was rubbing my hands in anticipation at seeing this movie . After seeing the movie I felt disgusted . Not because it was a movie whose violent content had sickened me but because I'd fallen for the hype like a total shmuck . This must be the most overrated movie of the 1990s

!!!!! SLIGHT SPOILERS !!!!!

First of all the characters meet in a diner . If you're carrying out a heist is it a good idea to gather in a public place where potential witnesses can identify you ? And would a bunch of robbers be interested in discussing the lyrics of Madonna or the films of John Holmes ? It might be cool and trendy to discuss pop culture but in the context of this movie it's illogical . Soon the narrative switches to a warehouse where the robbers have arrived after their disastrous heist and we're treated to some very obvious exposition : " F***in' sick f*** . Why'd he do that ? Did you see what he did to that girl ? How old was she ? Nineteen ? F***in' sick motherf***er " After the movie finished this is what bothered me - I had expected the movie to end by showing us the massacre at the bank BUT THIS NEVER HAPPENS ! and I can't describe how cheated I felt . Okay we're shown the various robbers making their getaways but not once are we shown the much referred to robbery itself which made me feel very disappointed , not because I wanted to see teenage girls get murdered but because it instinctively felt like it should have been the centrepiece scene / climax scene of the movie

As for the rest of the movie's reputation for violence it's ill deserved . There's buckets of blood but many , many movies also feature buckets of blood and gore and don't receive half as much attention as RESERVOIR DOGS . Remember the much criticised scene of the cop getting his ear cut off ? Didn't anyone notice that this actually happens off camera ? Ironically enough the only murder that did disturb me - " What this cop ? " BANG - is chilling because it's committed so coldly not because it's graphic in any way .

Is there anything I like about RESERVOIR DOGS ? Harvey Keitel is the type of actor I'd watch even if it involved him reading out his shopping list , and the scene where it's revealed who the undercover cop is memorable along with the compelling " How's he going to explain that to the bad guys when they return ? " storyline . But at the end of the day I can't help thinking RESERVOIR DOGS is ruined by its much hyped reputation . WHITE HEAT is a very similar movie and a much better one

RESERVOIR DOGS gets six bones out of a possible ten

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