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True Romance
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Reviews & Ratings for
True Romance More at IMDbPro »

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191 out of 221 people found the following review useful:

Enough memorable scenes and talented stars to fuel a half a dozen blockbusters.

10/10
Author: Chet Andrus from HiNella, NJ
8 April 2004



With at least 12 `starring actors' in character and supporting rolls, half of them legends or mega stars; this Tarantino tale defies a short review. The different levels on which this movie works are impressive. As a love story we begin to believe that the quirky `loser' couple is unconditionally bound together. As a pseudo `film noir' we begin to care about the fate of the central characters. In the suspense/thriller/crime drama mode there are plenty twists and turns to push us to the edge and pull us back just in time. The action scenes are deliciously violent and unlike most other films, this one gives us pinches of humor sprinkled in amidst the mayhem. Even `the King' alter ego is woven in credibly enough to improve our understanding of the Clarence Worley character.

The plot, albeit original, fresh and mesmerizing, seems somehow secondary to the characters and the characterizations. Any of several rolls could have been performed over the top by what seemed to be an ensemble cast. But director Scott lets the talent go just far enough. Even the remainder of the supporting cast is wonderful; Saul Rubinek in particular does a terrific job as the puffed-up/ego-feeding movie producer. Hollywood missed giving this movie and its cast proper recognition.

With enough memorable scenes and talented stars to fuel a half a dozen blockbusters, True Romance gives us the `best bang for our buck' in years. The Walken/Hopper scene alone is worth the `price of admission' not to mention the Gandolfini/Arquette and Slater/Oldman match ups. This can only be described as a `wonderfully wicked movie' for its tantalizing content, smart dialog and toothsome violence.

Put the kiddies to bed, be prepared for rough language, adult themes and graphic violence and enjoy a `not for the faint of heart' masterpiece.

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182 out of 215 people found the following review useful:

Top Notch Pulp....

9/10
Author: underfire35 from Chicago, USA
5 March 2003

True Romance is a celebration of film. It wallows in every possible seedy contrivance of American crime/action cinema. It is absolutely shameless in its exploitation of excessive violence, over-acting, melodrama, lurid sex, and rampant drug use...I love it. Quentin Tarantino, as I'm sure everyone knows, wrote the story, but it is the in execution that this film pays off. The cast, oh the cast: The lynchpins are Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. They both give solid performances, which prevents the film from flying off the tracks; they serve as the pilot light. The supporting roles are the gas. The Walken/Hopper show down has been oft sighted as the film's best aspect, and this is, arguably, true. Just watch this scene and then watch it again. Sparks actually shoot out of the screen and burn people about the head and shoulders. OK, you've got Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis, Brad Pitt as a disgruntled pot-smoking loser, Tom Sizemore & Chris Penn as cops, James Gandolfini (pre-Sopranos) as a reflective hitman, and you've even got Bronson Pinchot (from TV's PERFECT STRANGERS) for God's sake. Did I forget Gary Oldman? Do yourself a favor and rent every single Gary Oldman related project (they're not all good films, but...). Why is Gary Oldman not in every film ever made? Why? I ask you why? He has got to be the best actor working today, hands down. As Drexel Spivey, Oldman chews the scenery, digests it, and then expels it from every orifice. Keep in mind that he is an English actor with a normal speaking voice at home in the Royal Shakespeare Company. His performance here is second only to his turn in LEON in blatant over-the-top insanity. Tony Scott, who along with his brother Ridley, has been known to over-direct a film or two, here chooses wisely to basically set up the camera and run. The score by Hans Zimmer adds a bouncy xylophone driven theme to the film and finds the right balance. This a well made, balls-to-the-wall, popcorn throwing, cult classic. In a market dominated with stereotypical characters, this movie avoids that trap by letting the stereotypes flourish with all the grotesque absurdity it can muster. 9/10

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162 out of 210 people found the following review useful:

praise to a truly great film

10/10
Author: Samuel Hurst from kansas city
9 February 2004

"True Romance" is one of those few movies that has it all: Action, romance, drama and brilliant acting. Not to mention TR has an all-star cast, but many contribute their finest work in this film. Oldman, Arquette and Slater arguably give their best performances. Christopher Walken's scene is nothing short of pure brilliance. I loved him in "The Dead Zone" and "The Deer Hunter" as well as his brief appearance in "Pulp". I was happy with the ending, and I'm glad it ended the way it did. We've come to not expect that type of ending anymore. This along with numerous other reasons too long to explain here is why I truly believe "True Romance" is one of the greatest films ever made. Period.

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147 out of 194 people found the following review useful:

My favorite movie of all time

10/10
Author: gs-web from Paradise, California
1 September 2004

True Romance is my favorite movie of all time. The reason I love it so much is that you might think you know what is going to happen, but you are wrong! You don't know what is going to happen next. You're watching this movie and you're in a groove, when suddenly the movie takes a left hand turn and you are heading in the completely opposite direction.

The acting and directing is fantastic. This is a violent, violent movie, but the violence works. Patricia Arquette is wonderful as Alabama. I am a woman and I don't really want to see another woman's cleavage, but in this movie, the cleavage works. In other words, the sex and violence in this movie don't feel gratuitous, but rather a part of a great plot.

Christian Slater is such a great actor. This is a star-studded cast, including Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman and more. Most people watch this movie and don't even recognize Gary Oldman.

I've seen this movie about 20 times now and, although I'm no longer surprised by the plot twists, I am still fascinated by the cast, the music, the direction. I like this movie quite a bit more than Pulp Fiction. This film was written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott and came out a few years before Pulp Fiction. If you are really interested in this film be sure and get the DVD with all of the comments from the cast, producers, director, writer, etc.

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97 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

Under-rated

10/10
Author: (roryhill@jerseymail.co.uk) from Jersey, C.I.
1 January 2003

I've seen Reservoir Dogs, I've seen Pulp Fiction & I've seen Jackie Brown, but for me this is Tarantino's best crime caper. Completely engrossing from start to finish, the story of the two lovers who are on the run is not entirely believable, but seriously enjoyable. You get your fill of guns, sex, style and pop-culture, and the usual array of celebrity cameos in a film that seems a whole lot more 'close'. Whereas Pulp Fiction felt like one long trailer, with every line razor-sharp and a load of hip music that made the film go so quickly, True Romance offers you the chance to savour every moment, as the film moves at a (slightly) slower pace. Enjoy the blazing finale, and just wonder how it might have turned out if Tarantino had got his hands on the camera...

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84 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

Tarantino's most "personal" writing; Scott gives commendable direction to all-stars

10/10
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
20 September 2003

True Romance is the work of two men, known for making movies (as TBS would say) for guys who like movies, and have one of the pick of the litter in the genre from the early to mid nineties. Quentin Tarantino sold his script to fund Reservoir Dogs, and Tony Scott (Top Gun) got picked up to direct. Some have complained that Tarantino should've directed this film, that it's so much his (which I agree with considering the story of the film was taken from his 1987 experimental film My Best Friend's Birthday, which refers to Clarence in this film going to the Sonny Chiba movies) that his own style as a director would've complimented it. It's a nice thought, though that's not what we as the audience are left with, and so with the final product there is much to admire about the style that Scott uses in the film. He films Tarantino's script (from a Roger Avary script originally) very much like he's shooting a Hollywood movie (as he knows how to with DP Jeffrey Kimball), with all the cut-aways and editing timing that is expected in a conventional crime-drama-thriller, then by hearing the snapping dialog from the script, and the cast performing them, Scott does become an important piece of making True Romance a success.

The story is a throwback to the old 'lovers on the run' formula, among others- Clarence (Christian Slater in one of his finest) is an employee in a comic book store in Detroit, loves kung-fu movies and big guns and such, who gets set up unwittingly with a call girl named Alabama (Patricia Arquette). The two fall in love, and Clarence feels confident enough by a certain voice in the back of his head (provided by Val Kilmer) to go and free Alabama for good from her vile pimp and drug dealer Drexl (Gary Oldman in one of the better villain roles of the time). He does, and through a couple of accidents Clarence and Alabama wind up with millions worth in cocaine, and high-tail it to LA to sell it, as the original (mob) owners of the coke follow after, with explosive results.

For fans of the actors, in particular the supporting cast, True Romance is one of the treats of treats in modern movies, on par with Pulp Fiction's roster of know-ables: Christopher Walken as a gangster (who would've thought?), Brad Pitt as a stoner roommate, Tom Sizemore and Chris Penn as cops, a few good lines for Samuel L. Jackson, an early plum for James Gandolfini, and my personal favorite of the lot, Dennis Hopper as Clarence's ex-cop father. Another thing that makes True Romance one of the (dare I say) most accessible of Tarantino's works is that a viewer who might not know this is his work on first viewing (this was me a few years ago, sad to say) will stay tuned through the whole thing if it's on TV just because of the star power; indeed, before Oldman's Detrix is introduced into the film, TR seems to flow like it'll be a romantic drama with light overtones. All I can say is by the end of this film, you will see that good taste can prevail no matter how much bloodshed gets on the screen, or how many obstacles get in the way of love (and Elvis!).

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90 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

Tony Scott vs Quentin Tarantino. The winner? Us!

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
4 June 2002

Cynical, seen-it-all-before smart ass that I am, I can't but help love 'True Romance'! On paper it looks like a sure fire recipe for disaster. A typically hip pop-culture saturated Quentin Tarantino script directed by schlockmeister Tony Scott, the man responsible for rancid Simpson/Bruckheimer "blockbusters" like 'Top Gun' and 'Days Of Thunder'. But some how it really works! The movie is especially helped by a dynamite cast, one of the most impressive in many years. Possibly only Julian Schnabel's underrated biopic 'Basquiat' can rival its mixture of star power and cult faves. Slater, Arquette, Walken, Hopper, Oldman, Kilmer, Penn, Sizemore, Jackson, Rapaport, Gandolfini, Argo, Corrigan, etc.etc. These are many of the finest actors working today. Add them to an electric story of love on the run, jam packed with amusing, highly quotable dialogue and plenty of action and laughs, and you have yourself a genuinely entertaining update of a classic 70s drive-in movie. 'True Romance' is a wild ride not to be missed!

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110 out of 177 people found the following review useful:

If that's true, then tell me, 'Am I Lying?'

9/10
Author: t1n02112 from United States
9 November 2004

Required viewing. A modern masterpiece. The scene between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper is absolutely classic(the last last line is what I quoted in my summary). A 'learn how to be cool' movie. It's funny, thrilling, sarcastic. He's got an imaginary friend...and it's ELVIS! The juice of Tarantino. The birth of Scaggnetti (and Tony Soprano.)

Quotes are all over this flick. 'Do I look like a beautiful blonde with big tits, and a ^$#%#@ that tastes like ice cream?.....then why are you lying to me?" Choose a f$$$ing lane! Don't give me the finger,I 'll have you f###ing killed!"

"I always liked you Clarence...." "The first time you kill somebody, that's hardest one....the second one ain't no f##### mardi gras, but it's still hard. The third one....you level off. ...Now I do do it just to watch there expression change.", James Gandolfini (Pre-Sopranos) showing raw talent as a cold-hearted killer. Brad Pitt hitting the bong and talking to shotgun wielding mafiosos with Soundgarden in the background..."You wanna hit?"....chick-chick(shotguns) "Ok, Well, you go down Santa Clara for a while, then turn left, and keep driving for a while...."

It's true romance... He kills her pimp, and she takes a Royal beating for him. BUT the movies's not over. You have to have pulled some crazy s*** in your life to totally appreciate this movie, but it is awesome.

"When you get out in two years you'll be so in touch with wife needs cuz you'll know what's like to get f##### up the a##!"...Scagnetti

"If it's anything this last week has taught me, is that it's better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it."

"Tell me I'm the dumbest motherf##### you've ever seen, or I'm gonna pump two into your face right now!" ...Clarence

Non-stop action. Ups and downs. Irony, and a realistic ending. Cameos...up and coming actors... it's all here. And most of all, "True Romance", which I believe is a totally accurate title. Absolutely brilliant. A movie you can watch many times.

You have to see this outstanding piece of work.

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73 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Romeo and Juliet for the 90s

Author: Erik A. Riveros (eriveros@nb.com) from Manhattan, New York
27 April 2000

True Romance has everything necessary to create art on celluloid. From the writing expertise of Quentin Tarantino to Tony Scott's brilliant directing to its cast of gifted actors, the movie is all that one would hope for.

Beginning in Detroit and ending in Mexico, a loner that never really made his mark on the world meets a call girl who falls as deeply in love with him as he does with her. Filled with drugs, gangsters, Hollywood and of course romance, the movie's story becomes only stronger as the movie goes on.

With exceptional performances by Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken (the scene they share is without equal), Gary Oldman and Christian Slater, the action and violence only help to develop the plot and accentuate it's intricacies. Its superb ending has since been imitated - by Tony Scott's own Enemy of the State for one - but never as cleverly.

A must see for any movie lover.

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77 out of 125 people found the following review useful:

The Gun Had A Trigger

8/10
Author: daveisit from Melbourne, Australia
7 December 2000

I cannot ignore the influence Quentin Tarantino's script had over the style of direction in "True Romance". The scary part is, if Tarantino had directed, it probably would have been even better. The sacrifice he made ended out being well worth it though. The good acting from a strong cast completed this great movie.

Christian Slater's wardrobe however, steals the show.

8 out of 10.

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