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Overall Rating
4.12

Awesome48.05%
Worth A Look: 26.62%
Average: 14.94%
Pretty Bad: 9.74%
Total Crap: 0.65%

9 reviews, 100 user ratings


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Jackie Brown
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by robertrosado

"Tarantino's secret weapon."
5 stars

In 1994, hip director Quentin Tarantino made a splashy debut with the intense and funny crime story, "Pulp Fiction". While he was lathered with acclaim and awards, many wondered what else this new kid on the block had up his sleeve. Was he a one-hit wonder? That question was answered in 1997, when Tarantino successfully adapted Elmore Leonard's classic novel, "Rum Punch".

Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a tired, run-down flight attendant in her mid-forties. After years of clashing with the law, she finds herself at the bottom of the economical ladder. She is a woman who is very close to unemployment, and is scared to death that her life is coming to an end. She soon finds a lucrative opportunity in Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), a fast-talking weapons dealer with a lot of money to his name. In the meantime, Jackie falls in love with Max Cherry (Robert Forster), a bail bondsman who shares similar concerns with Jackie...

In adapting "Rum Punch", Tarantino made one significant change: Instead of having the heroine, Jackie Burke, be a white woman, he would change her into a black woman. In doing so, he made the character, Jackie Brown (amended to refer to Grier's classic movie role, Foxy Brown), that much more desperate, and anxious to grasp on to what she has left. One wouldn't think that the jive-talking style of Tarantino would mesh well with the classy smooth language of Leonard, but that's what makes "Jackie Brown" such a unique work, as well as a gem of modern cinema.

Pam Grier ("Coffy") is absolutely sensational in the title role. Every facial expression and line delivery brings home the attitude and fears that Jackie has about the world around her. She is close to disappearing, but she's not ready to give up just yet. Grier is strong, sexy, and emotionally available. She is a splendid protagonist. Robert Forster ("Medium Cool") returns to the spotlight to give a nuanced performance as Max. As with Grier, it is the subtle touches that give Forster his color. In his eyes, body language, and vocal inflection, we can see the world-weariness that Cherry feels in everyday life, and more particularly, his occupation.

As Ordell, Samuel L. Jackson (who gave one of the finest performances of the nineties in "Pulp Fiction") does some of his funniest, most distinctive work here. When Jackson is on screen, you cannot take your eyes off him. He is charismatic, even if his character is truly repugnant. Being a fan of "Pulp", I was not surprised to see that Jackson can also be nightmarishly intimidating. While it may seem that he has been handed a thin character in first-class boob Louis Garrell, Robert De Niro’s ("Meet the Parents") greatest achievement is actually making sense of a guy who says next to nothing for the duration of the running time. Like Forster, De Niro uses technique (and an odd sense of humor) to tell us everything that we need to know about him. Bridget Fonda ("A Simple Plan") gives her best performance yet as Melanie, the sneaky and ditzy beach bunny. Finally, Chris Tucker ("Rush Hour") works wonders in his brief role as Beaumont Livingston.

“Jackie Brown” has everything I have come to love about Tarantino’s work: Eclectic casting choices, interesting shots, challenging material, and high intensity. But it also has something a bit more than that. Everytime I view this movie, what continues to catch me off-guard in the sweet romance that blooms between Jackie and Cherry, and how genuine it is. It is refreshing to watch two beautiful, middle aged people share the same kind of intimacy that we usually see from much younger movie stars. "Jackie Brown" is the most unconventional of love stories, and that is what makes it so charming, and so alarmingly easy to connect with.

Another element that separates itself from the pumped-up action that Tarantino is so well-known for is the character development. One criticism that is constantly address is that the film moves very slowly. I have to disagree with this, as there is not one scene in present that does not either further the story along, or aid the audience in getting into the characters’ heads. The leisurely pace of "Jackie Brown" works to its advantage. By the end of the film, these are not names on a script page; these are good friends. Tarantino also deserves credit for an elaborately-staged heist in the story’s final act.

While "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" are Tarantino's more well-known works, "Jackie Brown" is a masterpiece that I hope will find an audience over the following years. It is deep, suspenseful, leisurely paced, and unexpectedly humorous. The best part? You don't even have to be a Tarantino fan to enjoy it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=95&reviewer=394
originally posted: 03/29/05 06:40:28
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User Comments

6/16/13 Mr Right Blends crime thriller, black comedy & wistful romance -- and succeeds wildly at all 3 5 stars
12/21/11 John Habig Everybody is great in this but Pam is still the sexiest badass even in her 40s 5 stars
9/23/10 PAUL SHORTT ABSORBING THRILLER WITH GOOD PERFORMANCES 4 stars
6/11/10 Flathead King The films benefits from Tarantino taking a more mature approach to his filmmaking. 3 stars
8/28/09 Jeff Wilder Superb. 5 stars
3/28/07 fools♫gold Like (superior) "Chinatown",the rest of the movie makes up for its rather unfulfilling end. 5 stars
12/27/06 Agent Sands Those who've overlooked it, buried in the hype of Q's others, you're really missing out. 5 stars
9/29/06 Leslie Stone A must-see love story with superb plot and character development. 5 stars
6/19/06 Indrid Cold Can somebody explain why Tarantino is supposed to be such a genius? 3 stars
2/13/06 Eden Tarantino's most complex, mature film. Probably his best 5 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands Elmore Leonard is actually my favorite author, and this is his second greatest adaptation 5 stars
9/21/05 Jonathon Holmes another great Tarintino movie 5 stars
8/25/05 Eden Slow but excellent characters and direction. Tarantinos best but most underated 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Okay... 3 stars
7/07/05 Isaac Baranoff Quentin Tarantino + Elmore Leonard = GOLD! 5 stars
6/12/05 DM Slow at times, but proof that Forster and Grier are both very talented. 4 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon say what you will about QT, but there' hes a master @ character direction 5 stars
5/30/05 Jake A Delicious Crime drama from Quentin Tarentino 5 stars
4/20/05 Chris Stephens Way to long 3 stars
4/16/05 Linda Denisen I enjoyed this movie but dodn't "just Love it". 3 stars
4/08/05 Lina Correa Great Ride of a movie, lots of action and well developed characters 4 stars
4/05/05 killbill03 Amazing. Slower paced and wonderfully directed 5 stars
3/31/05 hannaho One of Tarantino's best films. 5 stars
2/17/05 C Vega not tarantino's best but still good 4 stars
2/13/05 romeo not that good but still alrite so yeah 5 stars
2/07/05 Danielle R. Tarantino's best film. An underrated masterpiece. 5 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Though it's one of Tarantino's lesser achievements, it's in no way a bad film ... 4 stars
12/06/04 John Bale Although long strong characters and clever plot twists make this very entertaining. 5 stars
10/24/04 ODH Boring. Big letdown, big waste of time... 1 stars
10/22/04 Daniel good but was destined to be called a lesser film than pulp fiction, 'pulp' was just amazing 4 stars
9/27/04 Smitty It's not Pulp Fiction - it's better. Perfectly cast and played deliciously slow. 5 stars
9/18/04 R.W. Welch Overlong but well played caper pic. Forster & Jackson right on. 4 stars
5/24/04 Peter Understated, easy-paced, great dialogue 4 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean A slick, but mild mannered Tarrantino that still delivers interesting storytelling. 4 stars
5/18/04 Jack Sommersby Smart and endearing. Tarantino's best film, and a showcase for the magnificent Forster. 4 stars
5/18/04 y2mckay Meanders for quite a while, but comes together nicely in the end 4 stars
4/28/04 sean Awesome soundtrack, story, characters, and comedy. 5 stars
4/06/04 Miss Julie I don't know who I wanted to make out with more, Grier or Forster. Great flick. 5 stars
1/24/04 CC Amazing 5 stars
12/15/03 Phil M. Aficionado Strong yet breezy; 4.5 but round it up for Pam Grier and Robt Forster performances 5 stars
11/15/03 Ultron Easily as good as Pulp Fiction 5 stars
11/05/03 ND not hardcore as RD or PF, but still awesome casting and plot 4 stars
10/24/03 Curious George Decent 4 stars
10/14/03 Hank Your reviewers got it wrong; this flick is about Jacky, nothing else. 5 stars
9/23/03 Jon Lyrik Excruciatingly boring and stiff. Like looking at a rock for 2 1/2 hours. 2 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus i love Tarintiono's twists and Turns!! Fucking Brilliant! 5 stars
8/30/03 Peace Frog Bridget Fonda is hottest than three hells! I would have lasted longer than 3 fuckin' min.! 5 stars
5/25/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng My favorite Tarantino movie. I love the theme song, "Across 110th Street". Wicked movie. 5 stars
5/24/03 Andrew Carden Flawless Masterpiece; Grier Gives A One-Of-A-Kind Performance. 5 stars
5/17/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) Not as good as Dogs, Pulp, and Romance, but it's a great great story & great soundtrack. 4 stars
4/03/03 dave you call yourself a critic ? it was awsome! 5 stars
1/27/03 alex another one of Tarantinos classic movie landmarks 5 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Tarantino's best. Forster is extraordinary! 4 stars
11/28/02 Zack W. Young Tarantino directing Bridget Fonda, Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, and Sammy. 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Good cast in a bloated, heavy film 4 stars
9/26/02 Morally Sound I loved this movie. The music fits like a glove. Awesome. 5 stars
9/04/02 Joe Zappa Hip, diverting, and funny. 4 stars
8/10/02 Film Guy The acting is spectacular. The Directing is Spectacular. but that doesnt make a movie 3 stars
8/08/02 I Can't Swim Excellent in all respects but Grier & Forster reach for the stars & obtain them 5 stars
7/21/02 Croweater A very good film, I liked it a lot.Great acting,scripting,direction. 5 stars
4/10/02 70's Love I love how Tarantino used the same music that was used in Grier's Foxy Brown and Coffy 4 stars
2/09/02 Jay Fox I love this film. Quentin Tarantino's dialogue and direction are genius along with Leonards 5 stars
1/15/02 Murray Castles Very good film. The entire cast was great. 4 stars
11/18/01 Gary Entertaining if overlong. Grier is excellent & there's great support from Fonda and Forster 3 stars
11/16/01 John Greer and Forester deserved nominations. 5 stars
10/25/01 Henry Ginsberg not as good as pulp fiction,but still brilliant 5 stars
9/06/01 spaceworm Clearly the third place Tarentino, still... 5 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean Why don't someone give Jackson an Oscar? Great performances all around, but mediocre movie 3 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk Tarantino's return is more than welcomed. A cool adaptation of the book. 5 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Elmore Leonard's an idiot, but the movie's great. 5 stars
4/20/01 James Brilliant 5 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L Totally overrated movie. Not Quentin's best... 2 stars
3/16/01 Elvisfan Is that Rutger Hauer? No, its Helmut Berger. 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja FUCKING AWESOME!! 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake I enjoyed it. Jackson was phat! 4 stars
12/30/00 Gerald F. Judd Mutherfuckin' Great! 5 stars
11/25/00 The Evil Penguin Pulp Fiction meets its partner, Jackie Brown 4 stars
11/01/00 Buffalo I may have liked it more than Pulp Fiction. Nah, maybe not; but it was a damn good film. 5 stars
5/26/00 Bruce It more than holds it's own against "Pulp Fiction" 5 stars
4/29/00 markus great! 5 stars
4/22/00 JonnyAngel Hmmmm... 3 stars
4/12/00 the Grinch Understated and very engrossing movie. Too bad some people wanted Pulp Fiction 2: Pulpier 5 stars
2/21/00 Kyle Broflovski Great script and hip, juicy characters. Damn good movie, motherfuckers!!! 5 stars
11/04/99 Karahde Khan Not as good as Pulp Fiction, but almost. Maybe QT's most mature film. 5 stars
10/30/99 Bozo "no, its Helmut Berger" 5 stars
9/29/99 Glitter Berry Forster was great, Grier was great, plot a bit weak for Q.T. 4 stars
8/20/99 Japtalian AK-47, when you absolutely, positively wanna kill every motherfucker in the room. 5 stars
8/04/99 Dax Not Tarantino's best (Pulp Fiction), but still a damn good film. 4 stars
8/04/99 Ed Wood much better the second time around 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan This film is so under-rated. This is easily as good as Reservoir Dogs. 5 stars
6/15/99 Ver-Jun Tarantino revives the blaxploitation genre. Christmas has come early. 5 stars
4/13/99 Jon Jackson I really wanted this movie to kick ass, but it just tickled ass. 3 stars
2/18/99 Bishop I'll kill him n' 10 other niggaz look just like him. 4 stars
2/09/99 Gary I liked the plot even though you knew where it was leading. MF'n good movie. 4 stars
2/02/99 Vick Di Brecci Very good, underrated despite showing Tarantino's increased range. 4 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob QT taking his time to infuse life into someone elses words. It worked for me. 4 stars
9/09/98 Bruce Willis' mama. Could have been better. Dragged on but mostly enjoyable. 4 stars
9/04/98 Badass A masterpiece! Tarantino proves he is very versital. A somber, desperate and smart movie. 5 stars
8/16/98 J-Guy too long. too boring. the time fucking was cool. 3 stars
8/14/98 {{{OZ}}} 70's production values in a Pulp Fiction suit. My buddie walked out. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Dec-1997 (R)
  DVD: 10-Aug-2004

UK
  20-Mar-1998 (18)

Australia
  05-Mar-1998 (MA)




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