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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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297 out of 489 people found the following review useful:

Gorgeous!

10/10
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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225 out of 359 people found the following review useful:

Instant classic, but not for all audiences.

9/10
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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163 out of 279 people found the following review useful:

This movie was brilliant!

10/10
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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117 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

An Instant Classic

Author: Cocephus from London, England
12 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`The fourth film by Quinton Tarantino', as the credits shamelessly explain, is yet another bankable classic from a director who's already changed the art with `Reservoir Dogs', `Pulp Fiction' and `Jackie Brown'.

From `Kill Bill's first surprising gunshot to its monumental cliffhanger ending (right up there with `Luke, I am your father'), the movie is relentlessly intense, tearing an audience between wanting more action and wanting a cigarette to calm frayed nerves. We follow the tale of `The Bride' (played to convincing, vengeful perfection by Uma Thurman) as she sets out to murder her former colleagues, members of the `Deadly Viper Assassination Squad', and their leader, the enigmatic, faceless Bill. After attempting to leave the group of assassins for a normal life, the Bride is tracked down on her wedding day and witnesses the murder of her wedding party, right before Bill puts her in a coma. Four years later, a very angry Bride wakes up.

Tarantino pulls no punches, creating, as one critic put it, `The most violent film ever released by an American film distributor'. Squirting blood and flying limbs abound, but the director does it all with a breathtaking sense of style. We witness one sword-dance in silhouette, one in black and white, one over a beautifully filmed snow-covered Japanese garden, and even a sequence in Anime. `KB's story is minimal, but Tarantino's aim is style: Sergio Leone, Cheh Chang and Bruce Lee are all paid homage, and then gracefully outdone.

The soundtrack, primarily Japanese artists performing American styles, is haunting: Tarantino breaks form by not using well-known American classic rock (who could forget being `Stuck in the Middle' of Mr. Blonde and a helpless cop?), but by doing so sets the perfect mood of the film. They're songs we've never heard before, but feel strangely connected to.

Yes, the movie is in two volumes. However, the end feels right, coming after an epic battle that puts `Reloaded's `Burly Brawl' to shame. `Kill Bill' is a testament to Tarantino's ability to take the craft of his idols and make it his own, mixing classic cult film style and mixing it with his own wicked sense of Cool. Not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for a `feel-good' film, but `Kill Bill' is at the very least an instant classic.

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Cinema has rarely been this exciting!

10/10
Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
15 December 2013

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.

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Fun B-flicks/low budget films: http://www.imdb.com/list/YV1Lxq7WLkU/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/

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121 out of 228 people found the following review useful:

An adrenaline-driven coaster-ride through gratingly bold and captivating martial-arts extravaganza.

Author: janyeap from Washington, DC
9 October 2003

Sure it's outlandishly violent and bloody. Can anyone expect Tarantino's movie not to be a true mind-blowing, adrenaline-pumping shocker? Of course not! Gritty and slick, his first installment of KB rocks with moody western imagery, the '60s and '70s-era of Hong Kong martial arts-action, the influences of the ritualistic samurai swordsmanship, and Japanese anime. Like in all his films, Tarantino never fails to merge dark humor with terror. It's impossible not to smile over the Shaw Bros.' iconic introduction ploy and the De Palma-esque split screens. Observe the `Carrie' blank-starry eyed image settled on The Bride's gory face as she's introduced to the audience. Perhaps, Uma Thurman in her yellow suit is a salute to the yellow-suited Bruce Lee in his last film, The Game of Death. Or is The Bride 'Just another little Western girl playing at being a samurai' - as O-Ren Ishii blatantly puts it?

This film's a sampling of the Tarantino 'fury,' short of the Tarantino customary fiery tongue. It celebrates the Tarantino trademark of avoiding the use of computer-generated CGI special effects. It's almost as if I'm watching a colorful and bloodied kabuki stage that's displaying a stunningly massive tournament of multi-layered kung-fu and female samura sword-fighting styles to dazzle the audience. It's examining how Tarantino catalogues the great stylistic elements of his favorite 'old-school' filmmakers and transforms them into a phenomenally creative and mesmerizing film. Yep, there's a great deal of captivatingly artistic boldness in this film. Powerfully portrayed and not to be easily forgotten. Violently brutal and gloriously gory without doubt, and yet so aesthetically operatic and astoundingly artful. The music and lyrics that accompany the scenes are astounding. They set the moods so appropriately with the events.

Even at 'The House Of Blue Leaves', we get to see Tarantino weaving the artistic styles of Lucio Fulci, Chang-Che, Sergio Leone, Kurosawa, Zhang Yimou and Busby Berkeley to bring the audience a stylistic exhibit of remarkable montage grandeur. The themes of betrayal and revenge come off strong. Every camera shot and scene seems to scream out, non-stop, `Kill Bill and all of Bill's DVAS members.' My adrenaline's still flowing as I'm recalling the scenes. Tarantino has make a solid point with this film to show that martial arts scenes should stick to the artful and realistic choreographic treatment to sustain the true spiritual spirit of martial arts. A+

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126 out of 243 people found the following review useful:

The problem with Tarantino

1/10
Author: stefano1488 from Italy
8 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*SPOILERS*

First of all, let me warn you. I've always detested Tarantino, so I didnt'go see this film free of prejudice.

That said, I can't think of a worse film I've seen lately, except "The Matrix Reloaded". The reason is that Tarantino shows too much violence, and that he doesn't show anything else. "But that's the point!" some will say. The point of what? Ok, lets' make a film and let's show a rape and say that that's the point. Does that mean that the film is good?

Tarantino has always been overrated (I disliked "Pulp Fiction" as well). The reason is that he manages to feel unconventional and artsy, so many will feel smart by saying that he's a genius, that his films are masterpieces and all that crap. The plain truth is that he's either a sadistic voyeur or a cunning man who's found a way to make pots of money by exploiting people's naivety. Or both.

Although I don't like gore or black humour, I sometimes appreciate it (eg some films with Vincent Price). The point is trivial, but worth making: black humour has to be, well, humorous. The problem with Tarantino is that he's nothing. A vacuum.

Some reviewers have said that if you don't understand what this film is about, you just won't get it; that it's a mockery and so on. The problem is that if one treats himself to shallow, uninspired, unoriginal, uninventive films, who are shot chiefly for the purpose of using some glitzy special effects and for solvin someone's money problems for the rest of his life, you may find such a film creative or inspired, instead of just the trick it is.

Tarantino is in quotations. He quotes all the time. But a film full of quotations and references is a trick that is worth doing once or twice. After that, it can't hide any more the outright lack of creativity that hides behind the references.

If you watch a gory b-movie (or any b-movie, for that matter), you may like it, even love it, but you'd never go so far as to claim it's a work of "art". Tarantino is "hip" (for the time being), so it's fashionable to call this lame director a genius.

But time will tell.

Remember David Lynch.

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86 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

Style rules substance

9/10
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 slicing...like 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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112 out of 217 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic

10/10
Author: mjw2305 from England
23 January 2005

Probably Tarantino's most universal movie to date, with a little less character dependency than most of his films and a more linear approach than usual, Kill Bill Volume 1 is a great place to start for anyone new to his movies. I don't mean to imply this is a shallow film (far from it), i simply found it easier on the mind than Tarantino's other movies.

Uma Thurman, left for dead by her ex-boyfriend (Bill) doesn't die and begins her quest for vengeance, by hunting down Bill's gang members in a search for Bill. Armed with a Samurai sword and a deadly blend of martial arts skills, Uma delivers action, violence and passion as she plays out the character with beautiful precision.

Need i say, this is excellently directed, brilliantly scripted and cast, and should be in everyone's Tarantino collection.

10/10 Second only to Pulp Fiction. Although it has wider appeal (I think)

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87 out of 168 people found the following review useful:

No story to the movie

1/10
Author: l8apex32 from Boulder, CO
28 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert!!! I like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. The story line was strong in RD and less so in PF. PF, though, had interesting sub-plots that loosely wove together to make a good movie.

I also see the genius in the dialog in RD and in the characters in Pulp Fiction. I was expecting to see something in this movie.

Unfortunately, Kill Bill was not interesting, nor genius and did not have a plot. Basically, the main character was screwed over in a previous time in her life and made a top 5 hit-list of people from which to extract revenge.

The way she extracts revenge is to engage in hand-to-hand or martial weapon on weapon combat. Of course, the protagonist wins the fights and the people are checked off the list.

I think Luci Liu (sp?) is the 3rd person on the list. The movie goes into a 20 minute section on how she gets a Okinawan curved sword. Now armed with the best weapon, she takes on Liu's whole team of trained martial artists - and whips them all single handedly. I'm talking 20, 30, 40 individuals who all attack her at the same time in the same room. She still wins.

Then, she battles the "board leader", and after sufficient scenery changes, she wins again.

Each of these battles is full of graphic violence and blood, as you'd expect from the director (I won't try to spell his name). But, you can only show an arm getting lopped off and the resulting gieser of blood so many times. Wait, my mistake, you can show it for 2 hours if you are the movie Kill Bill.

After the Liu's character is killed, #3 is checked off and the movie ends.

There is no plot. The special effects and battle scenes were state of the art, but do not make a movie.

I have no interest in "Part 2" because I have no interest in any of the characters or in more film about Uma killing people with swords. 2 hours was 1.5 hours too much.

Two thumbs down. Don't believe the (if any) hype.

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