Bullet (1996) Poster

(1996)

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7/10
So dark, so sad, so underrated, so REAL
pattyjones17 April 2003
This is not Mickey Rourke's best work (that title goes to "Barfly"), but it's close. It's a pity that the grittiness of this film made it unacceptable to so many, but for those of us who have known people stuck in the quicksand of inner-city life despite their best instincts (and loved them in spite of their mistakes), "Bullet" rings so sadly true. Rourke, Adrien Brody, and particularly Ted Levine elevate a depressing little gangland story to the level of an epic commentary on the degredation of life at the end of the 20th century. This one is not for the weak stomach, but it IS for the social crusader.
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Fans of feel-good movies, turn and run, now.
illiterati14 March 2002
A lot of people bitch that "Bullet" is far from standard Hollywood fare, but what that means to you depends heavily on your personal opinion of Hollywood fare. If you, like myself, don't think too highly of it, then consider this your first boarding call.

The "Bullet" spoken of in the title is the film's central character, a 35-year-old Brooklyn heroin junkie (Mickey Rourke). The film begins with his release from the pen after serving an eight-year sentence, and then proceeds to closely follow the lives of him and those around him -- the parents, an eccentric little brother, a completely shell-shocked headcase of a big brother (Ted Levine, creating yet another standout psychotic), as well as various players in the substance supply industry (Tupac Shakur makes his last screen appearance as the druglord Tank, and does a decent job in a rather thankless role). I'd summarize the plot more clearly if I could, but the fact is, these people's lives just aren't that simple.

"Bullet" is one of those rare movies which somehow leak through the cracks and make it into production with their soul (or lack thereof) intact. One of the few who dare pay attention to the dregs of society. Worse still, actual dregs of actual modern day society. The REAL dregs. The "uncool" dregs which are far less likely to break out the one-liners after offing someone then they are to strip the corpse of all valuables and sell them for drug money.

"Bullet" wastes no time whatsoever on making it's characters presentable. I admit it, there's no way this film could ever have raked in the cash. On the surface, the majority of scenes depicted in "Bullet" are the furthest thing any decent human being would classify as entertainment. But below this poverty and violence is a complex and intriguing world filled with complex and intriguing characters.

The film's craft cannot be faulted. The direction is superb, the soundtrack appropriate -- at times eerily so -- but even despite all this, most viewers will recoil in disgust at the request to tune into the lives and minds of characters as genuinely vile, violent and emotionally unstable as these. Characters that would instruct packs of ten-year olds in mortal combat. Characters that can no longer see the future beyond their next hit. Characters that assault their own image in the mirror. This is ground most viewers aren't willing to tread, and why this film was doomed to fail commercially. But that by no means makes it bad. Those who can stomach the imagery and see beyond it will not be disappointed... with the *movie*. How you'll feel once it sinks in that these kinds of things happen on a daily basis in what is supposedly the most civilized country on the planet is anyone's guess.
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10/10
Definitely a classic although rejected by many as being too dark and morose.
optimism_always14 January 2005
This, in my opinion, is one of Rourke's greatest roles. It's infinitely sad that Americans prefer movies which tend to resemble fairy tales instead of those which reflect real life's hardships. Bullet, superbly directed and acted out with a profundity which we rarely witness in movies of this genre, had been treated with utter injustice for it was released directly to video. It features the day-to-day reality which does not conform to society and its laws as well as the teachings of theologians or those professed by pedagogues in high schools and universities. I had lived in BKLN for nine years before moving to London. There is nothing more sad than wasted youth and drug-induced frustration. Bullet demonstrates that only too well. Those of you who love Bullet might enjoy watching Menace to Society, New Jersey Drive and 187. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments. optimism_always@yahoo.com
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A very underrated hood classic!
josh-hall18 May 2005
I saw Bullet about a year ago after really getting into Mickey Rourke films and i have to say i really liked it a lot. I can see why some critics flushed it, yet not all of them the film is very different from Rourke's usual work and nothing like other ghetto greats like 'Boyz n the hood' and 'Above the rim'the film has a kind of quirky way about it especially since it's story centres around a Brooklyn born Jewish junkie(instead of African-American)and his rivalry with drug dealer Tank (a small yet great cameo from Tupac Shakur)and also his social problems with friends Lester (who he thinks might be gay) and his two brothers Ruby (Adrien Brody)a painter who is looking for a way to get out of the whole street life and Louis (amazingly played by Ted Levine) who is a freaked out ex-soldier who still thinks the war rages on. So the story is very different,but in a good way i think. The acting is superb and directing from Brit Julien Temple is great. 9/10.
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7/10
Street. Real.
ms_jade_li18 February 2006
This film has a feel of a home movie mixed with real actors. It's hard to explain. Nothing is hollywoodized as far as being over the top, yet the characters are "professional" as in comfortable in front of the camera. They are almost stylized.

Back to the realism. The family here is so real they feel like they could be neighbors. However there is an added component of the family being Jewish, and honestly, this is the first time I remember seeing a Jewish family being portrayed in middle-class, "street" style (if anyone has suggestions for other examples, email me).

By the time it's over you feel like you know the characters, or that you've met people exactly like them if you've ever lived in a moderate to large sized city. Mickey Rourke as Bullet is great, as usual. It's almost as if this role were made for him. I see him as a tragic, heroic figure, fighting against the demon heroin. His kid brother is Adrien Brody, a talented artist and headed down the same path as his brother if he's not careful. There's the 3rd brother, played by Ted Levine, who isn't quite right after coming back from the war. You will feel affection for this man before the end credits. There's the mom and dad, who could be anyone's mom and dad (watch it and you'll see what I mean). A real standout in the film is Bullet's sidekick, John Enos III. In 1996 when this movie was made let's just say Enos was a perfect specimen of the male form. YUM. (Mickey was, likewise, in *excellent* shape!) Not only is Enos gorgeous, but he plays the faithful buddy who is also very wrapped up in his looks role well. Tupac, as Tank, the villain, isn't the greatest actor but he does OK. His clothes and his style are noteworthy. A couple of the gang members have screen presence, including Pudgy and Bullet's old pal who is now one of the white guy gang leaders.

There's a day-to-day sort of realness in the plot. It shows probably a week in the life of the characters. Some disturbing images of abandoned buildings-turned-heroin houses (not sure if they are called that, but if you know what a crackhouse is like, it's the same thing but with heroin. who knows maybe heroin houses are the forerunners to crackhouses and I just don't know it.) Lots of sad junkies doing their various things (shooting up, giving blowjobs for drugs, buying, selling, ODing.) Weaknesses in the film have less to do with the plot and the actors as it does with what seems to be sh*tty editing. That's a shame too, as Bullet (1996) has many elements that could have turned it into a classic.

I decided to watch Bullet for 2 reasons: 1) Mickey Rourke; and 2) it was going to be on HBO at a time when I was looking for a movie to watch. I was glad I watched it. I'll watch it again too. Give it a chance and see what you think of it.
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10/10
On Bullet.
peegeedee320 January 2005
Sometimes I wonder how many people who watch these movies, (gritty street, criminal activity types), know what they are seeing? Being black, and growing up in the 60s and 70s, this was everyday life. People did act like this. Don't you know how precisely Mickey Rourke portrayed an ex-con? Especially one that was tired of the life? Man, why don't you give the man the credit he is due as a great actor, I have seen every one of his films, and he is so wonderful in each and every one of them, it makes me cry. When I re-watch a movie like Diner, or Johnny Handsome? When I see him go from cocky private eye to hysterically sobbing scared human in AngelHeart, and know that he is neither of these people? Or Henry Chinowski in BarFly!! The effeminate sharpshooter in the Last Outlaw? Give me a break! He's fabulous!!!
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9/10
Another classic from Mickey Rourke
phibes01200025 May 2005
Not long ago I saw Sin City, and I was crazy about Mickey Rourke's character Marv. This character was actually a comic book monster (with a heart), and since I loved Marv so much I have sought out other Rourke films. This one is just another one of his best rolls. He plays Butch or Bullet who has been in prison for eight years for a crime he didn't commit (he kept his mouth shut and suffered for a friend). He's a junky that is sick of the life and wants to die...really...'cause nothing is going to change ever. Tupac Shakur plays a thug that is after Bullet for blinding him in one eye. The way the revenge plays out reminds me of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, especially when Rourke says to Shakur, "You want your pound of flesh...your business is with me." (Not a direct quote) I thought this film would be like a Die Hard type film, but I was very surprised. Ted Levine and Adrien Brody play Bullet's brothers: Levine's character could rival his Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. This film never played theatrically (I think), and its a shame. Good drama always deserves its audience. I hope all reading these comments will give "Bullet" a chance: you won't be disappointed.
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Pretty Damn Good Movie
yamisohott1 March 2002
I stayed up one night till 3am and i put this in and at first i thought it was gonna be a waste of my time and i could juss be sleeping, but i was wrong. tupac dissapointed me actually, even tho im a huge fan of his music, but mickey rourke was looking real good. I wouldnt recomend it for the family or young kids, but this was a really good movie, full of alot of truth if youve ever lived in the city, the bad section, you will know exactly whats goin down. I would recomend this for anybody looking for some urban drama, action, its great and while youre at it, go rent the last boy scout w/ bruce willis and damon wayans, that movie is great too, its an action movie. Bullet is real gritty tho. A lot of cursing and drug use and some sex and some homosexual themes but overall a great rent.
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Nothing is Better than this Movie
tarablakely6 September 2002
This is the absolute best movie ever. I have never been able to find a movie with more priceless quotes in it that this--unfortunately I can't mention most of them--but here's a few--"Ma where's my teef" "Alright Stanley up against the car" "Shut the **** up Oprah" "Git yer mama's titty out your mouf." "It's dead it just don't work" Ted Levine should have been given 100 Academy Awards for his brilliant portrayal of Louis Stein. My friend Billy hasn't even seen it and he thinks its great and uses these quotes all the time. No other movie in my life has given me such amusement and I haven't even seen it in like 3 years--but there is no need I think we have memorized the entire script. If you have an extremely sick sense of humor then this is the movie for you.
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8/10
SUCH a sick movie
Ben Outerbridge4 May 2009
since i watched the wrestler i've been on a kick of renting mickey rourke movies and aside from the wrestler i'd say this is his best performance i've seen so far. he was just so good in this movie. he shows so much emotion and still pulls off the whole tuff guy bad ass thing. mickey rourke is effing cool man.

the guy who plays bullet's older brother also really stands out to me. he definitely had crazy, paranoid war vet down.

and bullet's best friend was funny as hell. what a joke.

i heard mixed reviews about this movie so i decided to go in without expecting much and i was pleasantly surprised. i really enjoyed it.

it's not a feel good movie. it has lots of funny bits (for those of us with a sick sense of humor) but at the same time it is quite serious and i think people can learn from it. it may sound cool to be hard and tuff but watch this movie. i think the main intention of the movie was to show kids what street life can do to people (which of course had been done before in other films but its still good).

anyway... they say that this one of mickey rourke's few good moments in that point of his acting career and i would definitely encourage people to check it out.
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misunderstood and underrated
whoTheFuqRyou9 February 2003
At first I drifted through this one 'cause it was just there but when I really sat down and watched, they really went in-depth about Bullet(Rourke) and his family. It really makes you realize you can't take life for granted and just how wicked the streets really are, worlds do collide in this. the dude who played Paddy was decent, Jermaine Hopkins holds his own in a small role as Pudgy, and I had no idea that Michaek K. Williams(Omar from The Wire) was in this he too had not too big a part. Tupac as Tank, Bullet's long time rival, gives a tight performance in this as well. This movie is not for everybody and it wouldn't have done well if it was in the theaters anyway, I thought it was decent cause I actually sat through this and tried to understand it...

not that bad 6/10
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10/10
A remarkable piece of film.....Real as it gets
Anchor814 August 2007
Bullet ...This film can be put as raw, seedy, grimy ,realistic,dark and depressing. So that explains why this movie never got the respect it deserved as most people like to avoid these films as these stories of dysfunctional family's ,gang wars etc make the news everyday in our lives,except we only see the headlines and a brief story ,but with 'Bullet' we see the full 99min unrated story of a broken family and street life.

This movie in my view is a 'masterpiece' like many other movies out there ,but this never got enough attention, but now its gaining more attention and becoming a classic gem. The direction in this movie is excellent,some great arty shots of the streets in Brooklyn's and flashbacks from bullet himself... excellent music score also. As for the characters they all play superbly . Bullet is the street thug who just got out of the pin and cant come to terms with normal life ,whilst an old friend is on his trail for revenge,as bullet trys to step on his turf. This is 'Tank' played by Tu Pac ,this has to be one of the best ruthless thug characters i have seen played on screen since the 80s.

Rourke is amazing as the bullet,he roams around the streets with his bad addiction.....taking one day at a time, he looks cool in this movie,their's so much i could say for his character,but id be here typing for weeks ,so just watch him for yourself.... also 'Ted Levine' plays a superb role.

I seen this film in 96, i loved it then ,but didn't understand it as much then,i just loved the characters. But now my eyes are open and i can see the message, don't slip, cause its tough and mean out here. This movie tells the story of the street thug and all that comes with it like no other,forget menace to society etc...this is the 'real' deal....

'You ain't gonna make it out there,take long hard look in the mirror'- Butch Stein (bullet)
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7/10
Very good movie
addaam78-116 December 2005
I saw this movie in the beginning of 1998 for the very first time. It was on TV and I never heard it was in movie theaters, that's why it struck me - is that Mickey Rourke? He played this ex con... with a serious heroin problem and his paranoid brother... trying to get a new life, but somehow getting tired of not getting anywhere. The sinister, dark atmosphere only amplifies this spiral "not getting anywhere" except for the places where he has already been.

I must say it's a very good movie about life. I'm not surprised it was so underrated. Americans want energetic criminals who know what they are doing, who are invincible... or either succeed or get killed. Rourke however is a criminal... a criminal addicted to heroin with a demented brother... with no money, and no chance of getting out of it. Just like a life of a criminal really is.

I recommend this movie to European fans as it is very European, even though it was made in USA. Again - very good.
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7/10
gritty and underrated!
fap8885 September 2007
when i first saw this movie it was for tupac. after the movie it was all about mickey rourke! he is a great actor. this movie takes place in the ghetto of queens. mickey rourke plays butch "bullet" a dope fiend just released from prison after doing a seven year bid for something he didn't do but did take the blame of. tupac plays tank. a big time drug dealer who has had beef with bullet for a long time but also have respect towards each other. the movie is a must see by tupac fans. it is very dark and gritty and it is def not for the weak of heart!!! it is very real of how the streets back then realt were about and how getting out of prison really messes with ur mind and it teaches us a valuable lesson at the end of the movie!! great acting especially by rourke and the nut who plays rourkes older brother in the movie lol. 7 out of 10
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7/10
Gritty street characters and a compelling revenge story ............
merklekranz29 March 2010
The movie has a feel to it, that I can only describe as gritty. It certainly portrays the street life in a very potent way, everything from the bottom feeder users, to the dealers, are depicted in a hit you in the face manner. The acting varies. Mickey Rourke is doing his usual Mickey Rourke imitation. Tupac Shakur seems strangely detached from the story, while Adrian Brody and Ted Levine shine in supporting roles. All I can say is that "Bullet" delivers what it promises, and that is totally acceptable for a "B" movie. The expected language and violence is all there, along with a compelling revenge story. Unexpectedly good, and recommended of it's type. - MERK
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8/10
Great dark movie starring Mickey Rourke!
Frankie Knuckles22 December 2008
I really enjoyed this dark movie which follows the life of Butch 'Bullet' Stein played by Mickey Rourke. The movie shows you the life of 'Bullet' from when he first gets out prison and the events that follow. I like how the film makes you feel like you are there following his life. I also enjoyed the other characters in the film and feel they were portrayed very well and had depth. Pitting 'Bullet' against 'Tank' played by Tupac Shakur worked perfectly. I was really impressed with this film overall and have watched it several times. Remember though, it is dark, and not a positive type of movie so it may not be for everybody. But, for those who like a tough, gritty Mickey Rourke it's a must see!
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10/10
Bizarre study of a dysfunctional loving family gone wrong
Rokko10010 May 2006
It is a movie that has invoked tremendous feelings in me, due to how closely related I am to this family situation. A family that loves each other but never can admit it. The cold, sarcastically funny environment and characters that come to light in this film make it real. The musical score that Mickey Rourke personally did is outstanding! Even at the beginning of the movie when they pan the upstate New York setting as John Enos and his brother come to pick him up from the penn, the music goes from classical to hip hop beautifully with the change of seasons and finishes with Barry White. Just a trippy movie with believable characters who we all grew up with in one way or another. The family dynamic is quite bizarre but real too. Any one who grew up Jewish and not wealthy can relate to it. I really dug this movie and ended up buying it. Check it out and try not to get all caught up in how you cannot relate to these people, flawed as they are but how you do relate to them on many levels.
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classic, but !!
james-36024 February 2004
classic in in the ganster way, easy to follow plot ,mickey plays the Quintessential white /gansta come Brother, son, with a love-hate of himself

i purchased the movie from amazon in jan 2004 for my collection, only to discover the production company had cut 10 mins from the opening , thus missing that classic drive through upstate new york ,carried along by the sounds of barry whites " Never Gonna Give You Up" . to remove this scene above all others in the movie in my opinion is a crime. lets hope in the next run they will re edit to include what i think is the most important part of the movie, its sets the cool, calm, sexed up pace to follow
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6/10
worth it only for Rourke's performance
movieman_kev1 October 2005
Mickey Rourke (who also co-wrote) stars as Butch "Bullet" Stein, a Barry White loving, Jewish racist, just getting out of prison after spending the last 8 years there and trying to get reacquainted into his life as a violent junkie goon. He pisses off drug dealer, Tank (the deceased, depending on who you talk to, Tupac Shakur). And the game is on. Worth watching, if only for Rourkes great performance as a going nowhere dead-end loser piece of human excrement. Bruce Rubenstein said he wrote this partly from his own experiences and if that's true I hope I never meet the guy.

My Grade:B-

DVD Extras: both R and Unrated versions in both widescreen or fullscreen; and a 5 and a half minute featurette on the movie (including the trailer)
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7/10
One Of the Best Movies Ever!
Comeuppance Reviews7 August 2004
This is an excellent movie! Mickey Rourke is at the top of his game. He looks hilarious as a homie hood who comes out of jail. Rourke's character is the title character (and yes his name is "Bullet"). He wears a hoodie for most of the movie and you know he is down and out.

I'm laughing just writing about it. You can't take this movie too seriously. I've seen worse movies and this is really not that bad and Tupac put in a decent performance as the main villain. Overall, it's a pretty tough movie with a touch of goofiness. Other good Rourke flicks are "The Year of The Dragon", "Angel Heart", and "Wild Orchid".

For more insanity please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
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10/10
From Russia with love
supercool-614-96611621 December 2009
I'm from Russia, and i watched this movie when i was 10, my older brother showed it to me, since that time i watched it thousand times, and i still think- this is most beautiful movie what was performed ever. You know, i think 'Bullet' is a one of the symbols of 90-'s like that song 'i like to move it'. We have a very popular web site in Russia- 'vkontakte'- one of the topics there is a 'Bullet', People who sent their comments there know every word from this film, every move, i like this film very much too, but when i started to read what they write there, i realized, i'm not SO 'crazy' to write something new to this topic EVERY DAY. So we have some fans of the film here too.

And something else. Micky is going to have a role in Russia, in Moscow, this is so cool, my favourite actor through 13 years of doing nothing plays in big movie again, in my country, and all this time i believed he is the best, it's a great feeling. But he sad something like 'i think the wrestler is my best role' he was wrong, Bullet is the best.
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9/10
A good thing
BuLLeTsGuRL16 September 2001
I feel that "Bullet" was a good movie. It had an EXCELLENT moral to it. You know, it wasn't saying that doing drugs and using violence is cool, regardless of the contents of the movie. It basically was showing that Bullet knew he was going to be going soon, and he knew he'd made too many mistakes. He was basically being the "bigger brother", and teaching whomever was paying attention to keep your life straight, do what your good at, make something better of yourself, don't put yourself in a bad situation, take care of friends and family, and be a role model and pass this GOOD stuff on.

I don't feel that it is your average gangsta-thuggin'-violence 'n druggin' movie. It had a serene point to it. I just felt it powerful. The writers came up with a good story and plot/
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9/10
One of my favorite movies!!
Don Sanger7 January 2005
This movie rocks. It is a Jewish version of Rumble Fish. Brooklyn style, people,and characters. I highly advise seeing this movie. It totally shows there is good and bad in all races. Although not a racial film, it can be seen as such in some parts, but that's what it's like in some situations. If you will it, it can be. Not sure if this one of Tupac Shakur's last films, I believe Gang Related was one of them, but he proves he can act, as well as be a gifted poet in this movie. If he was still alive he'd be in a top box office hit right now. I Haven't seen Mickey Rourke in anything lately, but I felt his family members and the supporting actors in this came through beside him and he didn't look like he was in a B movie.
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10/10
Brilliantly written, genius dialogue.
varsania5 November 2003
This film is of the highest order. From the Show & A soundtrack to the excellent script to the brilliant acting.

I wonder how they came up with some of the lines in the scenes, pure genius. Characters are very well defined and entertaining, as they should be. Louis is fantastic, Butchie is brilliant, Tank is pure gangsta. Cookie, Sal, Frankie Eyelashes, Lester. This film is banging from the door!!

Loved the scene when Louis was training his elite army. The end of that scene shows Louis' gentle nature, when congratulating Stanley on his good demonstration. Basically everything Louis says or does is entertaining. "Would you like to eat Louis? I'm making Schmoltsen Gurdle soup, it's your fathers and Butchies favourite." Louis replies, "No thank you ma. The Pretzki's have left the cat out, I'll just nosh on that."

The toilet club scene is also top class. Just think about it. Those 2 punks Brian and Jamie, robbed and humiliated by Bullet in the Projects earlier on, decide to get revenge by planning to do him over with 3 more of their friends in the toilets. To think that they must have been watching him and planning their actions all this time. The 5 of them follow him to the toilets, 5 against 1 would seem like a lot but Bullet is seriously tough and the punks are pussies. Jamie pulls out his little flick knife which is very brave considering that Bullet has a penchant for stabbing peoples eyes out. Jamie acts tough, Brian too, their 3 friends watch on. Jaime goes for Bullet with the knife, Bullet grabs them both, throws them against the wall and scares the hell out of them. Obviously the 3 friends they called for backup run for it. "You didn't say this guy was crazy! We out of here!"Brian says "Fuckin' pussies!Please don't hurt him" which I find strange as they are both thrown against the wall, not just Jaime. Bullet lets them go, lectures them and they make their way out. I would love to have seen a follow up scene where Jaime and Brian catch up with their friends. I bet Jaime said he beat Bullet up or something. Absolutely brilliant. However this film is full of brilliant scenes. Dinner scene, fight scene, death scene, end scene, all scenes involving Tank. I would highly recommend this film to everyone.
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8/10
A Great B-movie
itsluis13 August 2009
This is a film that shows how good a b-movie can be. It's not perfect in any movie-making sense, but the qualities that it does hit it hits on the mark. It's not a 10; it's too one-sided in its darkness to be perfect.

If you actually grew up in places like this, you are just awed by the accuracy of tone and cadence in the portrayals of street life, drug culture, prison mentality, etc. Yes, Rourke's character is pathetic, but that's the point!

This is not a film for the tame; it is full of morbid humor that is often laced with mysoginistic or racist undertones. These characters are all flawed, and that is the point. There is also beauty in that darkness.
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