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Overall Rating

Awesome: 31.4%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Pretty Bad: 9.09%
Total Crap: 7.44%

10 reviews, 61 user ratings

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Bringing Out the Dead
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by Erik Childress

"Not Scorsese's Best - But Still Good"
3 stars

Bringing Out the Dead (***) Ė Martin Scorsese is a master at doing these kinds of movies. No matter how grim the subject matter or how bloody it may get, there is a hypnotic quality to every one of his works. No matter what you think of The Age of Innocence of Kundun, you know that the visuals from those films can be hung on your walls like paintings. You may not want to sit through them more than once the way you can films like Goodfellas, Casino, Cape Fear, Taxi Driver, or Raging Bull, but you know Scorsese is serious about it.

Thatís how most people will feel about his new film, which starts out blazing along for about 45 minutes until it slows down to examine its lead character more closely. The title, Bringing Out the Dead is, in fact, a reference to the classic scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, not to be confused with the audience I saw the film with, including the gentleman sitting next to me, who fell asleep and then openly snored. This film is hardly a snoozer, just perhaps a victim of two people, over-writer/under-writer Paul Schrader and actress Patricia Arquette. It takes someone like Scorsese to truly bring a Schrader script to a point above the level of an extreme haze. If you doubt it, witness two of Schraderís directorial efforts, Affliction and Light Sleeper. Nicolas Cage is the epitome of perfect casting for a Schrader script. With his weary eyes and able to shift between extremely mellow and extremely hyper, Cage envelopes our interest in his character. John Goodman and Tom Sizemore are both good as two of Cageís partners, but Ving Rhames steals every scene heís in, and of all the performances here, heís the one likely to get a Best Supporting nod. But Patricia Arquette, who is one of the worst criers on record (perhaps she should take lessons from Claire Danes), is more depressing to watch than anything going on with Cage because she comes off as so lifeless. Even when she gets upset she seems to be dead. And itís her performance that undermines what the film is supposed to be about and thatís Cageís journey, since she becomes an integral part of it. This is a 3 Ĺ star film until her character becomes so crucial for Cage. For Godís sake, how bad is Arquette as an actress when Scorsese was able to get a good performance out of Sharon Stone.

Bringing Out the Dead is chock full of other goodies surrounding her role though. The film is very funny in spots. It gives us a fresh look at the hospital ward, if not providing the commentary that Critical Care and The Hospital gave us or the anarchic nature that was M*A*S*H* (the movie, not the TV show). Scorsese is on his horse once again and he always gives us something to see, even if the film is almost destroyed by a single actress.

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originally posted: 02/15/00 14:14:50
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell bringing out the boredom too it blows 1 stars
10/07/13 David An absolutely wonderful film 5 stars
9/17/13 mr.mike One of Scorcese's lesser films. 3 stars
8/19/09 Jeff Wilder Effective. Not on the level of Taxi Driver or Goodfellas. But still takes a piece out. 4 stars
11/27/08 CTT Not Scorsese's best, but still watchable 4 stars
12/17/05 Jeff Anderson Very disappointing. See Scott Ziehl's brilliant BROKEN VESSELS instead, a MUCH better film! 2 stars
8/23/05 ES Could have been better 3 stars
6/13/05 Agent Sands One of the darkest movies I've ever found funny. Good, riveting stuff from Sir Scorsese. 5 stars
5/25/05 Jake Disappointing effort from Martin Scorsese 3 stars
3/08/05 Mason great remake of Taxi Driver, should have been called Ambulace Driver 4 stars
12/29/04 Steve Newman Could not get into this film - worth a watch only 4 stars
6/27/03 cochese Being a Paramedic, I can say this movie is disturbing- yet it is entertaining. 4 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Visually interesting but emotionally aloof. Cage is merely adequate. 2 stars
1/13/03 Stevo not one of the better scorceses, but still an engrossing, traumatic, very good movie 4 stars
6/14/02 erick an absolutly amazing fillm 5 stars
4/06/02 Junshi For some reason, all I remember was how much I laughed. 3 stars
3/05/02 natasha an almost religious experience; visually stunning and emotionally wrenching 5 stars
11/21/01 daniboy amazing. even marc anthony. 5 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean Great cinematography, great director, aimless movie 3 stars
8/29/01 Sarah No heros here, just normal ppl trying to get through their day sane 4 stars
7/03/01 J My 1st experience with Scorsese and I wonder if this will be my best. 5 stars
11/23/00 Kimberly Joubert wonderful enlighting scorsese film 4 stars
11/18/00 2sleeepy great sound effects 5 stars
10/02/00 Madoc69 very dark and very good M.S. and Cage at their best 5 stars
9/30/00 Jed Clearly one of the best films of 1999. I hope M.S's other films are this good. 5 stars
8/28/00 Add Very powerful, excellent visuals, great performances but maybe 2 different 4 some people. 4 stars
7/14/00 Bruce Scorsese shows that he still has it. 5 stars
7/02/00 Trina M. Barnard the dumbest movie I've ever saw, turn it off it was so boring. 1 stars
6/29/00 Monday Morning Nic at Nite...or good. Film was pointless though. 3 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island Great acting on this one; don't expect typical hollywood (i.e. fluff) though! 5 stars
6/20/00 Ulatekk Two hours of my life I will never get back... 1 stars
6/12/00 Andrew Incredible 5 stars
6/04/00 Dallastech I sucked because of the plot or shall i saw lack of..... 2 stars
5/21/00 Jess Damn good performances and visual stimulation. 4 stars
5/18/00 michael visually stunning, wonderful sound, great script what more do you want?! 5 stars
5/13/00 The Bomb 69 scorsese was all over the place and most of it sucked 2 stars
5/12/00 Overflow Bitch Sensational. Dark yet inspiring. Cage is incredible as usual. 5 stars
4/25/00 John Lyons Absolute waste of Nick Cage! Wasted my money on this one. 1 stars
4/24/00 Belinda I walked out - RUBBISH 1 stars
2/22/00 toneely the worst movie ever..HORRIBLE 1 stars
1/14/00 Matthew Bartley Remove Arquette and it would be damn near perfect. 5 stars
12/11/99 xiong But how to explain Patricia Arquette's career? 4 stars
11/28/99 Chet Patel Great film about a man questioning his life, and what he has accoplished in his job? 4 stars
11/23/99 PJ Visually brilliant and intense. Not his best, but better than most of h'wood's other shit. 5 stars
11/09/99 pipeman Scorsese shoots, he misses. He really fucking misses. Ack! Ptui! 1 stars
11/09/99 Dominique This was more frustrating than entertaining or enlightening. Shame! Shame! Shame! 1 stars
11/06/99 Roman No real plot but had some funny moments 3 stars
11/02/99 shiraz hallucinatory taxi driver on speed; critics love it but watch it only for film class 3 stars
11/02/99 PhilmPhreak It was OK, but no Taxi Driver. 3 stars
11/01/99 john worst movie Ive seen in years 1 stars
10/31/99 C.A.T.M. Maybe it's getting better ratings than it deserves, but it was intense never-the-less. 4 stars
10/29/99 Hojo Premium stuff from Cage, Sizemore, Rhames, & Goodman, & a well-made (if boring) story 4 stars
10/27/99 Mr Showbiz Stunning to look at, but dramatically unfulfilling. 4 stars
10/27/99 Gi & Ty Almost all of the ten people in the theater were sleeping and bored out of their minds 2 stars
10/27/99 Linda W I liked the camera work alot the theme was to schizoid and frantic I needed a valium. 3 stars
10/26/99 TheAngryMob This movie was great!!! 5 stars
10/26/99 Max Lethal Good, but left me feeling like I deserved more... 3 stars
10/25/99 danimal super cool, and good to see M.S. back 5 stars
10/24/99 Janet Hold on, Lady, we go for a ride! Cage at his edginess. 5 stars
10/23/99 gezick style, in the ultimate, never since Taxi Driver have we seen such exquisite fast motion 5 stars
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  22-Oct-1999 (R)


  20-Apr-2000 (R)

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