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Reviews & Ratings for
Reservoir Dogs More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Major disappointment, completely overrated and a film with a trailer better than the actual film. 2/10

Author: Jsedwards93 from New Zealand, Wellington
17 December 2014

Reservoir Dogs was a complete disappointment. Despite the hyped reviews and high rating on IMDb it was nothing special. Mostly consisting of dialogue of pointless banter between the characters dragging out for uncomfortable amounts of time, the story had a weak plot and built up to nothing. Although to be fair the acting was very good, it did not redeem the overall poor script and plot which has its audience checking their watches within the first 30mins. The violence factor was nothing that shocking either, nothing much more you would find in a Bond film.

Personally I do not understand how this film gets good reviews. Please do not be fooled into wasting your time with this bore of a film. I'm surprised that this was not a career-ender for Tarantino.

2/10 Good acting, very boring plot. Overall poor.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: Tom_Soprano
10 August 2013

Reservior Dogs is a classic film and Quentin Tarantino is just an absolute genius.

I really liked this film, it was gripping and suspenseful. Straight to the point and extremely well acted. A few of the scenes were very gruesome but they needed to be. Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde was just crazy but my personal favourite in this film was Chris Penn who played Nice Guy Eddie Cabot, I found him to be hilarious. The story developed at a good pace even though it was mostly set in one place with just a few flashbacks.

Overall this is well deserving of its place in the IMDb top 250 list, a classic film that everyone just has to see.


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

You Don't Believe In Tipping ?

Author: ShootingShark from Dundee, Scotland
18 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a diamond heist goes badly wrong, the gang meet back at a warehouse and try to figure out what happened. Is there a traitor in their midst ?

Reservoir Dogs is one of those truly great debut movies, like Citizen Kane or A Bout De Soufflé or The Evil Dead. Tarantino was just twenty-eight when he made it and his talent shines out, not just in his razor-sharp script and stylish touches, but also in his production smarts. He uses suspense and shocks expertly to keep us riveted despite the fact that the whole movie pretty much plays in one room. He cleverly alludes to events that we don't see, thereby keeping costs and down and retaining the creative control so crucial to his vision. What I love most about the movie though is its originality. It may pay homage to earlier heist flicks (notably The Killing and The Taking Of Pelham 123) but it's like no other crime film before or since. Characters argue about whether or not Pam Grier was on a TV show. The time line shoots all over the shop but we never feel wrong-footed. A droll DJ (the noted comic Steven Wright) plays catchy music by bands you've never heard of with names like George Baker Selection, Stealers Wheel and Blue Swede. There's more blood than a Herschell Gordon Lewis film. Everyone wears suits, except for the late great Chris Penn (his best performance in an amazing career), who wears a blue tracksuit that must be seen to be believed. The finale is about the most ambiguous in all cinema. It's great. Everybody is terrific in it, as is the delineation of the characters. Mr White is the straight-ahead tough guy, Mr Pink is the only one with any brains, Mr Blonde is the psycho and Mr Orange is the fink. Tierney - the star of 1945's Dillinger - has a wonderful turn as Joe the kingpin. Tarantino winds them up and then lets them go, slicing into each other with fizzing little soliloquies that are still buzzing in our heads when we're onto the next one. It's also highly funny in spite of the grim nature of the story; in a weird way it reminds of the Black Knight sequence in Monty Python And The Holy Grail - characters arguing with each other about details whilst they bleed to death. It's hard to believe this movie is now twenty years old, since it still seems as fresh and gripping as the day it was made. It's a modern crime classic, a bravura piece of ensemble macho man acting, and a stunningly brilliant first film from a director in full command of cinematic form.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Doctor, ain't there nothing' I can take?

Author: tieman64 from United Kingdom
14 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Reservoir Dogs" ends with Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" playing over the credits, a quirky song in which a woman "puts the lime in the coconut and drinks 'em both up" before getting a bellyache and calling a doctor who tells her to "put the lime in the coconut and drink 'em both up" which causes her to get a bellyache and call a doctor who tells her to "put the lime in the coconut and drink 'em both up".

In other words, the "cause" is the "cure" is the "cause" is the "cure" is the "cause". But is the woman stupid for listening to the doctor or is the doctor wise in accelerating the problem until her sickness goes away (possibly because the idiot's bellyache eventually leads to death?).

Regardless, Quinten Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" finds a gang of foul mouthed low-lives trapped in a similar, inane loop. After a botched jewelry heist, a group of criminals gather in an abandoned warehouse where they try to ascertain who amongst them is an undercover cop. In other words, there's a poisonous lime in a group of coconut nut cases, and they're all busy trying to smoke him out.

As arguments ensue, one of the gang members, whilst waiting on a doctor, begins to die slowly due to a bullet (ie belly ache) in the gut. Meanwhile, tensions escalate to such an extent that the men shoot one another to death. The wounded man with the bullet hole belly ache is then revealed to be the poisonous rat. Had the others let him die, they'd have been fine.

So it's the "lime in the coconut" scenario; uncovering the cause of the stomach ache equals finding the rat, finding the rat leads to stomach aches, stomach aches are cured by finding the rat, finding the rat leads to stomach aches...etc etc, until the patients all die. Cue the coconut song.

Tarantino typically makes modern versions of 1970s exploitation films. But while "Reservoir Dogs" has the seediness, cool posing, macho vulgarity and blood quota of 1970s exploitation cinema, its actual framework owes more to 1950s noir. In this regard it unfolds like a stage-play, is dialogue driven, possesses a bare aesthetic, sparse, stripped down sets, and ends with a fatalistic noir climax in which everyone dies.

And while the film pulls from 70s blaxploitation, Hong Kong cool, Lam's "City on Fire", Kubrick's "The Killing", the original "Oceans 11" (all those slow motion men in suit shots), and Peckinpah's blood operas, Tarantino's overall tone is much more playful. He's more akin to David Mamet, using freestyle dialogue to toy with conventions. What matters is not the content of the film, or even the characters, but the farcical playfulness of it all; the way it moves, skirts around expectations and then joyously self destructs. Today, with most artists now with an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, such that they can, like Tarantino, spin entire tales out of bits and pieces in a matter of days, the challenge is to slow down and let go of the mix-tape. This kind of "I can do this, but should I?" questioning is itself the core dilemma of Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds".

"Reservoir Dog's" bloodiness was deemed sensational back in the 90s, but that's largely because Hollywood's previous 15 years were dominated by a kind of sanitized, blockbuster violence ("Indiana Jones", "Star Wars" etc). Many complain that the film relies too heavily on designer brutality, cool, gratuitous violence, and that its characters are simply pop culture chewing posers, but while that is true, the film is also unique in Tarantino's filmography ("Basterds" excluded) in that it actually plays like a warped morality tale. Shakespeare with guns, the film rejects any sanctimonious message, "crime doesn't pay" or otherwise, and instead lets us eavesdrop on a bunch of psychopaths who, quite hypocritically, view themselves as professionals with ordinary jobs. Throughout the film our criminals thus view with scorn a psycho played by Michael Madsen. They're not like him, you see. They have ethics, codes, rules and professional courtesy. But when push comes to shove they nevertheless all degenerate into reservoir dogs, cruel, psychopathic and little more than petty hoodlums.

Like most of Tarantino's films, "Reservoir Dogs" is a film about film. Here the characters are all artifacts chewing on pop culture artifacts, except Tim Roth, who plays an undercover cop. While Keitel does a phony tough guy routine and Michael Madesen does a cheap Clint Eastwood, Tim Roth's the chameleon actor who infiltrates their school play and brings their curtain down. He even starts by killing their director.

7.9/10 – Worth two viewings. See Mamet's films, some of which do this stuff better.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Edgy, engrossing and still holds up well as a heist film over the years

Author: Flagrant-Baronessa from Sweden
13 September 2006

"I feel like a director who has not yet directed, therefore I don't exist." Said an idealist, enthusiastic Quentin Tarantino back when he was working at Video Archives in the early 1990s, eager to start climbing the directorial ladder in Hollywood. At this time he was just a screenplay-writer, penning early works such as Natural Born Killers (a baby of his he felt he stabbed in the heart when he gave up to Oliver Stone to rewrite), True Romance and From Dusk Till Dawn—all initially fruitless fares that no one dared to green-light. Production companies were choosy, cliquish and wouldn't give an untested director like Tarantino a break. Not even for Reservoir Dogs.

Growing increasingly frustrated at navigating the world of hard-to-please production corporations to OK his project and pass him the director's chair, Taratino approached producer Lawrence Bender—arguably the best choice of his career (he's been working closely with him ever since). Bender loved the script of Reservoir Dogs—and who wouldn't? It pours crime, gangsters and humour into an exquisite blender and sprinkles it with heavy doses of edgy style. Together the two of them set out to do this film, and soon caught the eye of Richard Gladstein at Live Entertainment in Van Nuys, who would later agree to finance the little project.

It really was a "little" project, too, with a budget of a mere $1,200,000—which meant that the '65 Yellow Cadillac that you see in the film is Michael Madsen's own. Yet breathless and excited at becoming a debut-director and finally getting to tend to his baby himself which this position now afforded him, Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender began the process and the mega cult hit that is "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). Harvey Keitel was first approached to star as Mr. White and with his name on-board, he himself convinced several star-actors to grace the cast list along with him. He told them they wouldn't get much money for it, but that the script alone was worth jumping on-board for. They agreed.

That's some basic back-story for you on how this film came to be, and I feel it is important to keep in mind the fervent enthusiasm and gratitude with which Quentin Tarantino embarked on his debut-director journey. It translates in the eager, rapid-fire dialogue between the characters, the clever pacing of the story and the fresh edge of the narrative. This is a man with a deeply-rooted love for films and who wanted nothing more than to make his own--and now that privilege had been granted, and not a minute too soon. Upon the release of "Dogs", Tarantino was rightly vaulted into the great directors' fame and, I imagine, became even more enthusiastic about film-making.

The end product is a very good film that sees five anonymous hit men team up for a big heist – an armed robbery on a Diamond warehouse that will be central to the wide variety of eccentrically quirky characters who all lend their skills to the job. The heat of the police clings onto them during this task because there's talk of a rat in their group... but who is it? The film starts at the end of the robbery, zooming in on a chaotic bloody state and then backtracks in flashbacks–non-chronologically and a bit babbling, but it still works–in an attempt to answer this question. Does it? Yes, but perhaps not in the way you think.

Although this fare is devoid of any profound message, morals or statement and there's no discernible kind of symbolism, it is extremely enjoyable on a basic level. In fact, maybe its straightforward approach to a story–but with criminal diversions, twists and plot-devices–is what makes it so great. This is a clever heist, just take it or leave it. The interactions and actions between the characters are at focus, placing environment in the backseat; this means that Reservoir Dogs can proudly boast of having one of the greatest dialogue-driven scenes in film, and it takes place at the beginning at the diner when Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) explains to the other guys why he does not tip waitresses--the others are compassionate and argue that they are minimum-wage workers no rely on tip, but Mr. Pink is stern: "Do you know what this is? Its the world's smallest violin playing just for the waitresses. "

The film is full of gems like these, full of great colourful gangster performances (in particular Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde--the most badass character in history) and full of clear-eyed and gory style. As far as heist films go, this is a grand accomplishment. If anything, it is a bit short (99 minutes). These characters are so interesting that we never feel as though we get to know them enough--it's a little rushed and a little dizzying at times. This is no surprise as Reservoir Dogs was originally written as a short film, barely stretching 20 minutes and with characters that weren't meant to be particularly developed or dimensional. They are more so in the final, long version, but it's still a little too rushed. Although I suppose is intentional on Tarantino's part to signify the hectic pace of the heist and the cops chasing them.

Tarantino sported a modest wallet and a modest ego that had not yet swelled to a "Cro-Magnon forehead"--as ex-friend and Natural Born Killers producer Don Murphy would describe it--when he wrote and directed this film. Indeed, this aspiring filmmaker loved films so much that he would make a lot of enemies and lose a lot of friends during the course of climbing the directorial ladder in Hollywood. No friends were harmed in the making of this film.


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Could have been a bit better

Author: pretzel man from Singapore
4 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maybe its because I watched Pulp Fiction a good six months before I saw this, but Reservoir Dogs seems lacking in its potential.

The plot is extremely intriguing, what you would expect from Tarantino. Multi-layered, with interesting characters and some classic lines (I can't help it, but it all appears...inferior to PF). Superb acting from Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel, though Tim Roth clinches it. It's also nice to see the many references to Fiction (or vice-versa? Which one came out first again?) and of course Tarantino himself.

Still, was it me or did RD seem far too short? Most of the film was taken up by Buscemi's paranoia and the other character's monologues, which is where I felt it stumbled. The conversations in Fiction flow well although they are surreal, but in RD it was clunky and awkward. Plus the set got boring after a while, it was an abandoned warehouse after all.

There are still some things I don't get about RD. What was the message? There didn't seem to be any (apart from, don't be an undercover cop) whilst Pulp Fiction was clearly about redemption. The significance of *spoiler* Mr Pink the only one who survives? What, cowardice pays off? And although the whole torture scene didn't fit, I'll accept it because really it's nothing compared to the randomness of "the gimp" incident in PF. What gets me is that people are STILL yakking on about how gruesome it was (Mr Blondes torture scene, that is). It's just a prosthetic ear and some blood.

Ah well. Could have been more, but good nonetheless. Seven out of ten.

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Violence for violence's sake might set a bad precedent

Author: FilmCriticLalitRao from FIPRESCI/Cinema of the world
19 July 2007

Everybody knows that criminals are big losers but still there is a strong tradition in American cinema especially in Hollywood of making films which glorify criminals.Everybody knows that Godfather,a film about a mafia family is hailed as a classic film.People know well as to what kind of things mafia do and how harmful they are to human society in general.Reservoir Dogs is one such dumb film which through its antics champions the cause of crooks without morals.Tarantino is believed to be a humorist however his humor is undoubtedly bland and mainly consists of filthy abuses.A word about the violence in the film: by showing macabre scenes of senseless violence Tarantino has shown that in the name of creative freedom and in order to gain easy publicity all rules can be broken and more the violence the more controversial the film is going to be.Good that this film has not been emulated by other film makers. It is a good development that till now no studio has come forward with the idea of making a sequel of this film.God save America who has Quentino.

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20 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

If this is a gangster movie where are all the cool robberies that gangsters are supposed to do?

Author: seedofchucky87 from Australia
25 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

People were forcing me to get this movie, so I eventually got it. I watched it waiting for the action and waiting for them to show us the robbery. How can this be called a gangster movie if they don't even show you a robbery? It said everywhere that this movie is a classic. What's classic about it? Robbers who cuss and act childish all the time waffling on about a robbery? All they do is talk and swear for 94 minutes, that's all they do. And it was very predictable who the cop was. There was no surprise. The reason I knew it was Mr. Orange was because Mr. White was treating him like a little 5 year old and he still treated the others like they were a piece of garbage. The direction was poor. The pacing was off. The humor with them discussing body functions and people's religion, etc was way off. They tried too hard to be funny when it came to he humor. There are 2 great songs in this movie, but that's it. The only thing that's original about this movie is the color names. The movie just seemed pointless, especially after the ending. They all shoot each other. What was the point in that? Them waffling on about a robbery, then nd up killing each other? What sense is that? I guess people love Quentin Tarintino so much that they'll accept anything he gives you. The dialog wasn't even good. Gangsters talking about their life and trying to be humorous, BORING!

A lot of people will probably abuse me for this review, but i'm sorry, this is what the film is about and you fall for such poor movies like this. The reason I type this is to also warn others to let them know that you'll be expecting nothing more from this film than gangsters (Who they don't even act like) waffling on about a failed robbery that they don't even show you. 1/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tarantino's most moral and complex parable.

Author: Shunandra from United States
2 March 2013

UNC professor Kent Brintnall stated, "Tarantino's film is, on one reading, a reductio ad absurdum on the cult of masculinity"; film-maker and critic Robert Hilferty noted,"violent language and violent acts define the power politics of male sexuality, on which Reservoir Dogs is a virtual tragicomic essay".

Every frame in Reservoir Dogs exists to expose the damaging consequences of our society's warped view of masculinity and how it is intertwined with violence. The film's emotional core, and what elevates it to greatness, is the profound bond that exists between Mr. White and Mr. Orange. Their non-traditional dynamic (in which they both exhibit "feminine" traits; White's compassion/tenderness, Orange's vulnerability) is presented as something superior that exists outside of the masculine. The way 12 Angry Men is a film featuring white men while exposing the trappings of white male privilege, Reservoir Dogs is a film featuring hyper-masculinity that celebrates gender non- conformativity. It is Tarantino's most moral and complex work.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: sreekanthreloaded from Singapore
24 August 2014

Too many overrated comments here.. This just proved how much i should ignore opinions posted in IMDb. This movie, and Pulp Fiction too, were too much overrated and didn't live up to those ratings.. IMDb need some kind of breakdown on ratings based on age/country etc to filter out those which are opposite of your liking.. I feel really bad for wasting my friend's time recommending to watch this movie together. I had to stop it halfway and watch another movie instead. I will never trust IMDb comments ever again. I don't want to go into the details, but I feel most people aged less than 35 might feel the same way I feel after watching this movie.

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