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Reservoir Dogs More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 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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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of the most original and explosive films of the 90s

Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA
10 October 2006

"Pulp Fiction" is often acclaimed to be Tarantino's masterpiece. Sure, it is the definitive film of the 90s and probably the more well developed and made of his first two films, but for re-watching value I'll always prefer "Reservoir Dogs". It has all the trademarks that make Tarantino leagues above all the imitators he spawned - great dialog, interesting characters, not to mention a cool as hell soundtrack.

The thing that causes Tarantino to be so enduring is his combination of style and story, both of which are often forgotten when a director is concentrating on the other. The non-linear narrative, the kinetic editing and effects, and the soundtrack all meld together to make one stylish and atmospheric film. It was obvious from the beginning that Tarantino knew a lot about films, as nice homages to "The Killing", "Dillinger", and most memorably "Django" are all present. Some have accused Tarantino of plagiarism, but I'd more call it tributes. I appreciate someone with such great taste in films making their own movies.

In addition to the style is the story. Sure, it may be told non-linear, but its intriguing and not entirely complex (even though the conclusion is considerably open ended). Plus, the character development is superb. In Tarantino's world, there are no good or bad guys. Every character has their positive and negative aspects. Take Mr. Blonde for example. In the film's most notorious sequence, he shown to be a sadist and tortures a kidnapped police officer. However, he also has a touching and loyal friendship with Joe and Nice Guy Eddie.

None of Tarantino's followers got it right. Just watch "The Boondock Saints" to prove this point. Skip the shoddy imitations, go straight to the source. (10/10)

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7 out of 11 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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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Violence for violence's sake might set a bad precedent

Author: FilmCriticLalitRao from Paris, France
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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21 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Sorry, but this is a overrated movie !!!

Author: hven from Netherlands
8 September 2003

First, I love Tarantino, because he is able (as a director) to follow his own unique style and made a very good movie like Pulp Fiction. But when making Reservoir Dogs, he was (in my opinion) maybe just searching for the borders of what other directors did not dare to do. A movie as RD with (just) a strong focus on violence is not enough for me to give it a high rating. Of course the acting and directing was very good, but I was missing a real strong script. And thats why I could not enjoy this movie and was just very disappointed because my expectations were very high (also based on the high rating on IMDB). So, when you not only like violence, but also care about a good script (story) than you also want to watch the Mob-movies of Martin Scorsese like Good fellas and Casino.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Just.. why?

Author: Mimi Fox
8 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only reason I give this 3 stars instead of 1 is because of the funny moments in the film. Now what in the hell do people like so much about this? It was just a literal bloody mess, none of the main characters make it, a cop is saved just to be brutally murdered later, and the only people who seem to be friends and you sympathize with, one of them kills the other in the end, just before the cops could've come and save them both! Just a brutal, bloody, cruel, sadistic picture, it's beyond me what kind of people enjoy this. I've seen a few Tarantino movies and they were similar, didn't like them, now I'm convinced, I'm never watching a Tarantino movie again, I wish I hadn't wasted my time on this.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tarantino Lets His 'Dogs' Out in Testosterone-land!

Author: sandnair87 from India
23 April 2015

Tarantino has an almost impenitent appetite for blood-spattered barbarism, we all know that. But in his gritty, brutal crime-caper Reservoir Dogs – a tantalizing debut feature that put the name Quentin Tarantino into the cinematic spotlight - his testosterone level is off every chart, as he happily wallows in his own adolescent love of criminals, violence, and vulgarity. So much so that, the movie appears to be set in a theme park called 'Testosterone-land', where nature isn't only red in tooth and claw, it's black as the heart of man and dank as any rag and bone shop of the human spirit.

Tarantino gets things off to a spectacularly engrossing start, as Reservoir Dogs begins with the iconic sequence involving the coffee- shop banter of six morally ambiguous outlaws. Yes, they are meant to be an urban wild-bunch, but damn, if they aren't charming and charismatic! Decked out in matching black suits and thin black ties, they've been brought together by a mob kingpin specifically to pull off a heist, and they've been kept deliberately ignorant of one another's identities, knowing each other only by their color coded pseudonyms. The heist is to be a one-shot deal - one job and they scatter to the winds. Soon after masterful opening gabfest, when you start settling in with the idea that Tarantino has made a heist movie, he pulls a coup by skipping right over the robbery itself. Instead, it cuts straight to the aftermath, as we find our wolf-pack hole up in a warehouse after the heist goes belly up, each trying to figure out which one of them squawked to the police. Dissension and suspicion run high and soon, it becomes clear to the audience that at least one of these guys is a snitch, but which one?

Tarantino's glitziest stroke in his heist drama is never to show the main event: the film's 'action' occurs after the heist. Tarantino expertly builds tension, interweaving scenes of the aftermath of the thieves' foiled heist with scenes depicting them getting ready for the heist, backtracking in time and point of view half a dozen times. Each flashback reveals just enough information to fill in a piece of the puzzle. His palpable enthusiasm, his unapologetic passion for what he's created reinvigorates this venerable plot and, mayhem aside, makes it involving for longer than you might suspect. His trademarks of amplified violence and vulgar dialogue are in full force, as are the flurry of obscure to not-so-obscure pop culture references woven into the dialogue. Part of the appeal of Reservoir Dogs is the way it makes all of it feel terribly authentic, a veracity that is a tribute to the skill of its actors, particularly Michael Madsen who is awesome as the sadistic yet painfully cool Mr. Blonde and Steve Buscemi who is deadpan funny as the always-on-the- edge Mr. Pink.

Reservoir Dogs grabs you by the throat and digs its claws in deep. It may seem hideously ugly on paper, but in the sure way it's made, it's inconveniently dazzling - driven, beautifully made and completely wacko at once. It's pure outlaw art!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Reservoir Dogs - great independent film

Author: nmcgraw123
11 October 2014

The master piece that is "Reservoir Dogs" is hands down one of the most underrated movies in history. The independent film was directed by Quentin Tarantino, the genius behind "Pulp Fiction", the "Kill Bill" series, and "Django Unchained". Running at an hour and a half, every minute is filled with blood, violence, and foul language. Three factors that would go on to define Tarantino as a director. The movie revolves around six strangers who come together to perform a heist on a diamond store. Unfortunately the heist goes bad and leads the six men to figure out who among them is an undercover police officer. The film has received many great reviews (IMDB=8.4 / Rotten Tomatoes=8.8) such as Empire magazine calling it the "Greatest Independent Film ever made". Since it was an independent movie it only managed to produce $2,812,029 in box office sales. This falls way below the amounts seen on the All-time Box office earnings list. This statistic is not surprising but it does prove that independent movies should be taken seriously and that box office revenue is not a suitable way to measure a films quality.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great movie!!

Author: elle Kutaladze from Georgia
13 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tarantino's movies never goes as it was planned, as usually accidental moment engineers the hole film. At this time everything changed the woman, who accidentally had a pistol in her car, so she shot a policeman and everything started. As we know this film is one of the first movies of Quentin Tarantino's work and i think he said a new word in the history of cinematography, because this movie is about spoliation and there is no scene of spoliation, movie is a crime and was filmed in one room, characters are gangsters and their names are Mr. pink, Mr. White, Mr. orange, Mr. Brown and Mr. Brown. For these innovations i think this movie deserves 9 from 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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