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Kill Bill: Vol. 1
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 More at IMDbPro »

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323 out of 552 people found the following review useful:


Author: Emma from Sweden
1 March 2005

A lot of people have come up to me and said "How can you love Quentin that much, he is just too extreme!" or "Oh come on, Kill Bill is just SO not realistic.." Yes. No.

Mr. Quentin Tarantino is rather extreme, yes, and it's lovely! And No. Kill Bill is not realistic, but it's not meant to be realistic! Just like... Lord of the Rings, that's not realistic either! But because it has clear unreal elements, like wizards, it's acceptable?

You don't go to see Kill Bill, or any other Q.T-film to see "Stepmom", in the same way you don't go to a Marilyn Manson concert hoping that they will play some Spice Girls..

Kill Bill, both volume 1 and 2, is absolutely gorgeous! The art direction is beautiful! The camera angles are perfect... just Gorgeous! The lighting, the sound, the dialogs... and of course, the details! No one works with small details the way Quentin does. I must also say that the soundtrack is brilliant and the whole film is just so well casted! Uma Thurman is perfect in the leading role, Darryl Hannah has never been this good before, ever! And Chiaki Kuriyama, even though she has a quite small role, is excellent, even better than she is in "Battle Royale". David Carradine is painfully perfect, Michael Madsen is ALWAYS excellent, but never as good as when he works with Tarantino. I must also say that Sonny Chiba was great. I've never been a big fan of Vivica A Fox until now, and I used to think that Lucy Liu was just your average actor but she turned out to be fierce. Pretty much everyone who is in this film is ten times better than they've ever been.

But above all things, Kill Bill is artistic, beautiful... Perfect colors, perfect everything... gotta love it.

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235 out of 403 people found the following review useful:

Instant classic, but not for all audiences.

Author: The_Angry_Critic from Kunsan, South Korea
6 March 2005

I know it's a couple years late, but I had to write a review for some of the few people that haven't seen one of my favorite and refreshing I've seen over the last few years. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is yet another quality film of Tarantino's short, but distinguished list.

Kill Bill involves a nameless woman (Uma Thurman) who is slowing seeking revenge on her former hit squad the Viper Squad and her boss Bill (David Caradine.) Her former hit squad wronged her by gunning down her closest friends and family during her wedding and putting her into a coma while being pregnant. A few years later she awakens in a hospital, without child, and tries to track down each member of the squad. As the story progresses (through this film and the sequel), you find out who she really, why Bill wanted her dead and the fate of her daughter.

The movie is really a combination of Tarantino's love for the 70's over-dramatized Kung-Fu movie era and story of revenge with rich dialog. Yes, this movie is violent, but in a cheesy way. This created some controversy and really had audiences stirred up, failing to realize it was supposed to be over the top without no sense of realism. Like I said, it was supposed to be a tribute more so than a gruesome action flick. With all cheesiness aside, I can understand how some people could feel a little woozy after seeing someone lose an arm and having 4 gallons of Kool-Aid red blood shoot out of the body like a whale's blow hole. What really makes this movie is Tarantino ability to make bad to mediocre actors seem like good ones, a smart and hilarious dialog and a good storyline. Of course, this is what he does in pretty much in all of his movies.

There are various plot holes in the story, but we are really meant to ignore them unlike most movies. Just like the gory scenes, come to grips to the fact that the most of the implausibilities are there just to fill in the gaps of the movie. The movie also features a couple of classic Tarantino showdowns, including an unforgettable one with the Japanese infamous crime lord, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lui.) Once again, Tarantino puts his imagination at work again in his story telling by using some of his old techniques like jumping timelines and some new ones like adding Japanese animation for character backgrounds.

I wouldn't really recommend this film to someone who is really not from the Pulp Fiction era. This film is really just homage to flicks that frequently appear on Sunday Samurai Showcase, revenge and Tarantino's continuous fascination with Uma Thurman. This film contains extreme violence and sometimes strange dialog coupled with some pretty good acting and directing. If you're not a fan of Tarantino's films, you should pass on this one because it is doesn't stray to far from his other stuff. If you like his other works, this is a must see due to its originality and quality. And, if you just don't like Tarantino himself, and find him annoying like everybody else, I don't blame you but it's still worth your while seeing.

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44 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Cinema has rarely been this exciting!

Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
28 October 2015

Having seen Tarantino's 3 previous films, going into the cinema, my expectations for 'Kill Bill' were already over the roof. However, regardless of my high hopes for quality entertainment, I was not prepared for this film. I was dumbfounded. I was blown away. I had quite simply never seen anything even remotely like it.

In 'Kill Bill', the revenge plot serves only as a larger story arc, thus allowing Tarantino to play with as many different genres as he likes, and boy - what a mix he dishes out! With complete disregard for the conventions of filmmaking, he paints an expressionistic masterpiece in his own unique style, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Cinema rarely gets this exciting. With 'Kill Bill', Tarantino proved once and for all that all the hype around his persona is justified: he IS the most daring, original - and entertaining! - filmmaker of his generation. Simply amazing: 10 stars out of 10.

Lesser-Known Masterpieces:

Favorite Low-Budget And B-Movies:

All-Time Favorite Films:

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183 out of 330 people found the following review useful:

This movie was brilliant!

Author: Rooster99 from Paris, France
14 March 2005

Man, what a film. As a fan of 70's martial arts movies, it was great to see all of the references. I also thought the use of B&W throughout was extremely effective. The cartoon sequences seemed a bit much, but did fit in with the overall feel of the film. I have seen many people posting about the sheer amount of blood and guts, but you have to remember this was Tarantino's homage to Bruce Lee-era action pictures. In those movies, the stories were very similar epics of revenge, and they never had much of a budget for good "gore" effects. It was more or less "throw some fake blood on the guy who just got killed" type of effects, which were duplicated accurately by some of the deaths in this movie. The plot also followed closely the plot of most 70's Kung Fu movies; something despicable happens to the weak hero (whole village razed, family slaughtered, etc..) and the hero goes away for years to learn the secrets of a particular style of Kung Fu. All of these movies contained the "secret move" which the master normally does not teach, except of course, in this rare instance. That move, as depicted in Kill Bill Vol. 2, is always used on the evil leader of the clan whom had brought death and chaos to the hero.

Kill Bill was a terrific modern take on those movies which were always set in ancient China. I was very impressed with Uma Thurman's swordplay, at no point did I feel that it looked scripted or fake. Even when fighting against more than 50 Crazy 8's, it replicated admirably the incredibly one-sided fights from some of the best martial arts movies made 30 years ago.

All in all, a great and original film! R.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

plenty of action + no story = bad!!

Author: El Cheecho from Germany
24 May 2004

i'll make it short:

the fight scenes are filmed quite good. problem i have with it is that uma thurman's swordplay by no means matches that of any asian martial arts actor. the only reason it looks kinda good is that they made a cut after each of uma's swing. it must have taken an eternity to film. the sword fights in hero or zaitoichi are far more impressive. heck, any asian martial arts movie will show you more impressive scenes. but they might have something this film doesn't have: a story!

and that is my main gripe with this 'piece of art'. a 247 minute movie cannot consist of only a handful of action scenes with no story. it gets boring quickly. normally i don't have a problem with long movies, but kill bill's simple story would even be insufficient for a 70 minute movie, let alone a four hour movie!! it's ridiculous. a good movie (especially if it's in the top 100) must have a good story. only good action's not sufficient.

but you have to be realistic and see what kill bill is: a remake of scenes from old action films and a minimal, bound together by a ridiculous plot, made up in 15 minutes. i can't see anything original in here, except for putting it all together in one (or two) movies. even the camera angles are 'borrowed'. same with music, story, scenes,...

save yourself some time and money: don't watch it. watch the originals..

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90 out of 176 people found the following review useful:

Style rules substance

Author: Wix_Moran
24 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Do I think this movie is absolutely brilliant? Yes. Do I think this is the all time greatest movie ever, or even a top 50? Nope. I find the dichotomy between people who hate this movie and those that think it's the greatest film ever made is interesting. Even more interesting is the apparent split between fans of Volumes 1 and 2. Like the thread says, I think most of it's a matter of those who prefer style to substance. For my past, Volume 1 destroys Volume 2, but I concede that everyone has their own tastes and experiences and that no one pinion has any more weight than the other. Two scenes in particular really make this movie brilliant in my opinion, and both are fairly subtle in their portrayal but fascinating by their tone and the cinematic elements that come together to carry them off:

1.) The scene where Oren and the Crazy 88 enter the House of the Blue Leaves. Absolutely magical. The score, the pacing, the atmosphere....simply magnificent. The slow motion pull away and the obvious hierarchy of characters, Lucy Liu was absolutely made for that part and that part was made for that scene. The beautiful and menacing Gogo Yubari and the goofy 88s trailing behind. You can also feel the tension the owners feel at having such esteemed guests but one's who admittedly exude as much fear as they do respect. Add to this the nameless, faceless people dancing who are oblivious to the regality (and lethality) of Oren's entourage.

2.) Oren is called out by Kiddo who subsequently whacks off Sophie's arm in a highly symbolic gesture. Words can't describe how moving that scene is. The score is superb and the timing is nothing short of perfect. I especially love the way the crowd pauses after the arm they're all stunned or still convincing themselves it rally happened...then all rush out screaming. Kiddo makes a slow, deliberate plod through the panicked crowd, a march to destiny filmed from several perspectives that combine holistically to give the segment a life of it's own.

One aspect of this movie that puzzles me is the emphasis it's critics make of the gore. For my part the gore was so outlandish it's hard for me to see how anyone could take it seriously, and that was part of the appeal. Buckets of blood spraying 15 feet in the air is so beyond the realm of reality how could you possibly take it seriously? For my part it was borderline comical and really brought out the flavor of the scenes, rather than being their focus. And regardless of what you think of Tarrentino as a director, the man is bar none the best at matching musical scores to a scene in the business. A few other noteworthy scenes...

*The end-fight between Oren and Kiddo....marvelous stuff. The backdrop of the snow and the water, the smooth silence interrupted by the fountain, again, a great accompanying score. Fine piece of film craftsmanship.

*Kiddo's overhead film shot while walking to the bathroom of the House of the Blue Leaves. Simply amazing. 5,6,7,8s performing live is just quirky yet proper enough to really add some depth and the unique filming make this a scene to behold.

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16 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A huge dissapointment... Best part of the movie was the end when it finished before we thought it would!!

Author: kyrirules
20 February 2004

Some people might like this! People who love watching arms & legs being cut and blood spread all over will love this... I really wonder how this movie is getting such high ratings.. Just because of producer & actress? I haven't seen a more serious trash in a very long time! I was so relieved when the movie finished! The first time in a long time I felt like asking for my money back.. Such a disgrace for filmmaking!

I've read here some reviews saying that some people bash it because they do not understand it?! What is there to understand? And really how sick someone must be to enjoy a "bloody master piece" as you call it?

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

The Tarantino touches were not suited to this movie.

Author: preslopsky from Washington, DC
18 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This could have been a great movie if Quentin Tarantino had not directed. He really has no idea how to film martial arts scenes. (The second volume, which contains very little fighting, is terrific).

One reviewer on IMDb wrote that a good martial arts scene makes you wish it would keep going on. For instance, you could watch 3 hours of one continuous Jackie Chan fight scene and never get tired. I would add that another quality is that is stimulates the little, imaginative, childish nerve in all of us and makes us want to do martial arts. This movie had neither quality. The fight scenes were embarrassing--I was cringing, waiting for them to end. They looked ugly and absurd.

There was, however, some kind of strange, perverse beauty in how quickly the Bride could kill. Had Q.T. focused on that, he could have compressed this into about 20 minutes, and combined both movies. There was no real plot, and the dialogue was horrendous, so compression could only help.

Not only were the fight scenes choreographed badly, they were filmed badly as well. The battle with the crazy 88s: Too many people on the screen, poor camera work, and then Q.T. makes it even harder to see whats going on with stupid tricks, like going black and white.

An English professor of mine gave me some wise advice, saying "A good artist knows what to leave out." Too many things should have been left out because they had no point, and did not move the plot. For instance, the Bride sitting on airplanes and people driving places filmed in what I suppose was meant to be an "artsy" way added 20+ minutes to the film. When an artist indulges himself and not his audience, he insults his audience.

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15 out of 28 people found the following review useful:


Author: greghem
28 January 2004

This movie is the worst example of pseudo-artistic junk prepackaged for retro-trenders. I don't care if the movie is a throwback to horrible F-grade kungfu revenge movies, those films are bad, and this one is too. I don't care if the movie is tongue-in-cheek, since the movie was designed obviously to appease the popular culture. This film is all style zero substance. An air-thin plot plods along at a snail's pace (yet they had to split the movie into two parts... the entire story could be filmed in 80 minutes tops.) Completely pointless "artsy" camera angles are the order of the day (which ruin otherwise respectabel aspects such as the lighting.) The action sequences are generic and violent for all the wrong reasons (and why does the camera switch to greyscale? That doesn't make it more "epic" at all...) The anime sequence in the middle was not only pointless but further gave credence to the fact that the movie is nothing but teenage pop culture fodder. The (once again retro-trend inspired) soundtrack blares irritatingly at certain moments. I *really* wish I left the theater after the first 20 minutes of this disaster... too bad I carpooled there.

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19 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Kill Geek

Author: Mark Hale ( from United Kingdom
9 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm so glad that I didn't go to the cinema to see "Kill Bill". I mean, I should like Quentin Tarantino's films. I thought that "Reservoir Dogs" and "Jackie Brown" were superb and I sort of liked "Pulp Fiction". Tarantino hadn't done much for a while before "Kill Bill" so there was a high level of expectation before the film's release.

What put me off the cinema release was the "Volume One" tag. I didn't want to pay to sit through a film that I wasn't going to like and that only took me halfway through the story. Now that the film has made it to TV in the UK, I'm disappointed to tell you that my suspicions were correct.

Major problem: Kill Bill Filler - (1) The faux anime sequence that gives you the back story of Lucy Liu's character. Presumably the budget wouldn't stretch to having piece done by a real Japanese anime studio, so we get some American guy's version of what he thinks anime should look like. Wrong. Just to pile on the disappointment, it's predictable and pointless, a complete waste of screen time. (2) Tarantino also drags us back to the blood-drenched chapel too many times. OK, The Bride's been left for dead by a bunch of murderers, Quentin. We've got that. Can we move on please? (3) The Bride emerging from her coma, la la, drone drone, sexual perversion, violence, drag drag, shuffle shuffle, more violence, pimp my ride, drag drag, wiggle your toe, yawn, wake me up when it's over. I'm not sure how long all this filler guff goes on for but I knew that I'd been watching for ALMOST 2 HOURS OH GOD THE PAIN by the time the credits rolled.

The action sequences are impressively staged but are too "stagey" to be exciting. In particular, the showdown with the Crazy 88 gang plays out like the climax of a TV Batman episode. The bride deals with wave upon wave of sword-wielding goons before reaching the "Boss Level" and despatching Lucy Liu's character in a couple of minutes. After watching a Japanese schoolgirl and the entire Tokyo Branch of the Reservoir Dogs Fan Club line up to get slaughtered, I was expecting something more interesting and involving.

Tarantino's dialogue is well written and well observed, and he has a knack for creating fully-formed characters in short order. Unfortunately in "Kill Bill" he has eschewed the intelligent side of his film making skills in favour of crude splatter, pointless-endless violence and more cheap TV/film references than you can throw a katana at. This is what happens when you let a film geek loose with a big budget and carte-blanche. It's one of the few times that I've wished the Hollywood Suits had reined in a writer/director. "Kill Bill"? More like "Overkill, Bill". You'll have to look elsewhere to see a good example of Quentin Tarantino's talent.

Finally, there's the issue of the supposedly Star Trek Klingon proverb used in the opening titles. (A) "Revenge is a dish which is best served cold" is used in "Star Trek II" by Khan, a genetically-engineered human renegade, not by a Klingon. (B) the phrase "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid" was originally coined by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderios de LaClos in his classic novel, "Les Liasons Dangereuses". If you're going to use an over-quoted phrase, Quentin, at least acknowledge the correct author.

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