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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 11.11%
Average: 7.22%
Pretty Bad: 1.67%
Total Crap: 5%

4 reviews, 156 user ratings

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Reservoir Dogs
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by Brian McKay

"A classic freshman effort full of bark AND bite"
5 stars

After the disappointing KILL BILL 2 a few weeks ago, I decided to revisit Tarantino's roots, just to get a taste of the masterful old Q.T. that seemed to be missing in action throughout much of KB2. What I rediscovered was a hardcore film full of bullets, bloodshed, and mesmerizing exchanges of dialogue, well worthy of its "instant classic" status. While a bit rough around the edges, RESERVOIR DOGS remains on-par with what is widely regarded as Tarantino's best work, PULP FICTION - only without the hindrance of a somewhat laggy middle act.

Focusing on a diamond heist gone terribly awry, Tarantino introduces us to the eight men involved in said heist in a hilarious opening scene set around a coffee shop table. As the band of theives exchange jokes and barbs, we instantly get a clear sense of who everyone is and how they fit into the group dynamic. Joe (Lawrence Tierney, giving a brilliant and hilarious performance) is the mastermind, who along with his sleazebag son "Nice Guy" Eddie (Chris Penn), has recruited six men to rob a jewelry store during a major transaction. Insisting that they do not use real names or share personal information during the course of the job, they go by the names of Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Orange (Tim Roth), Blonde (Michael Madsen), Pink (Steve Buscemi), Brown (Quentin Tarantino), and Blue (Eddie Bunker).

But when the robbery is revealed as a setup, and a too-sudden police presence results in a bloodbath, the four survivors flee to a rendezvous point at an abandoned garage. One is an undercover cop, another a cold-blooded killer, while the remaining two are just trying to figure out what the fuck went wrong and who set them up.

Tarantino builds tension between the characters masterfully, while liberally sprinkling the narrative with non-linear flashbacks that give us a clearer picture of just who everyone is and what they're about. Except for a few outdoors chase scenes and shootouts, most of the story takes place inside the derelict warehouse. Yet the film never slows down or feels tedious (wish I could say the same for those scenes with Butch (Bruce Willis) and his annoying French girlfriend in Pulp).

As much as a top-notch script and a clever directorial style, the performances in Reservoir Dogs really sell the package. Keitel's character posesses the most depth, as the thief with a conflicted soul who is unsure of who to trust. Madsen is truly unnerving in the infamous "torture" scene, and Roth gives one of the most unsettling and realistic portrayals ever of a man who's been gutshot and is quickly bleeding out. Steve Buscemi, whose career really took rise after the role of Mr. Pink, gives a perfectly convincing portrayal of an oily but distinctly level-headed crook.

It's too bad that Q.T. could only muster a portion of the wit and verve that went into RESERVOIR DOGS when he was slapping together KILL BILL VOLUME 2. But while DOGS is probably his most unpolished work, it strongly contends for the distinction of being his best.

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originally posted: 05/19/04 10:30:22
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User Comments

7/08/20 Louise (the real one) A great piece of cinema! 5 stars
5/09/19 Anne tuned in 45 min late, watched for 45 min 1 stars
9/22/17 morris campbell savage & smart 4 stars
10/03/15 Anne one of the best movies I ever saw 5 stars
5/25/15 stanley welles dynamite on a short fuse 5 stars
10/07/13 David One of the most OVERRATED movies I've ever seen. Usual Suspects is way better! 1 stars
9/28/12 roscoe GOOD CAST, BUT BAD STORY. ONLY OKAY. 3 stars
6/03/11 Chris Conley The use of the n- word and the sadistic ear cutting scene almost ruin it. 3 stars
3/01/11 Captain Slog Chew your fingernails to the bone tension. Incredible movie 5 stars
9/06/10 Rick Peterson The most overrated film ever. It relies way too much on style and not enough on storyline. 3 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King The only good film that Tarantino has made. 4 stars
7/23/09 Meatbog Plays through as an unpredictable rollercoaster leaving you giddy but wanting a second trip 5 stars
5/25/08 Reza Tayebi Overrated! 3 stars
5/23/08 magaafi absolutely SHITS on pulp fiction, and redefines 'style' 5 stars
3/24/08 ladavies A classic! Quentin got the best performances from all his actors. 5 stars
3/07/08 Quigley Not as good as Pulp Fiction, but still entertaining. Buscemi and Keitel are spetacular 4 stars
10/27/07 Carlos Idelone Great Acting, Directing. Keitel is fanrastic! 5 stars
5/08/07 Mike mind blast that stays with you 5 stars
3/26/07 Eric R Classic QT. Definitely check it out.. 5 stars
2/01/07 Melissa Tokarczyk I love this movie. One of the best! 4 stars
12/31/06 Angela Awesome from beginning to end! Tim Roth rocks! 5 stars
10/06/06 Lancelot FUCKIN AWESOME, Thomas you are a twat for saying its awesome 5 stars
6/19/06 Indrid Cold I guess I'm off base, but am I the only one who fails to see what's so great about QT? 3 stars
6/06/06 Thomas VERY OVERRATED.Watch The Usual Suspects instead 1 stars
1/15/06 Jerome Bosch Funny as hell! Side splitting fun. 5 stars
10/30/05 Dr. Lecter Most fiery ensemble acting I've ever seen 5 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands A tightly written auspicious debut from an inarguable cinema master. 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Amazing filmmaking. Stuck in the Middle with You scene is very memorable. Classic opening. 5 stars
9/25/05 Arse Poet Pretty great, but not up to the standard of Pulp Fiction. 4 stars
9/24/05 Anthony G "It turned into a fucking bullet festival" Great dialouge 5 stars
9/21/05 Jonathon Holmes an instant classic 5 stars
9/02/05 Eden I'd say Tarantinos worst - but still an amazing film 5 stars
8/29/05 Dr. Zoidberg QT's most intense, best-acted movie 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Almost as good as Pulp Fiction! A definate masterpiece! 5 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma I thought this was better than "Pulp Fiction", but, eh, that's just me 5 stars
7/07/05 Isaac Baranoff Cool as hell! 5 stars
5/30/05 Jake Slick fun! 5 stars
5/21/05 Jeff Anderson Two words: MICHAEL MADSEN! That's it! 5 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold What is supposed to be so great about this movie? "Look at me, I'm hip" says Quentin. 3 stars
3/01/05 keithers.. an anstonishing film with good story telling.. 5 stars
2/13/05 romeo not that good but still alrite so yeah 4 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton One of the best films ever, an astonishing debut; cool and artistically done. 5 stars
1/10/05 Steve Michaud One of the best neo-noir crime films of the last 20 years; mesmerizing from start to finish 5 stars
12/28/04 Archanist_101 It's better a second time around... They should really consider a REMAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
8/02/04 Raf Milis Great opening, great michaell madsen but it pretty much dies out near the end... 3 stars
7/16/04 John McIntyre Crime, action, blood, what more do you want? 4 stars
7/04/04 The More You Know slick & sanguinous, somehow feels incomplete though 4 stars
5/30/04 R.W. Welch Mainly an excercise in style. Absurd ending has phantom bullet. 3 stars
5/25/04 C Vega surely the best movie tarantino has made 5 stars
5/24/04 Peter a great "film" as opposed to just a movie 5 stars
5/23/04 da hood anything with steve buscemi is awesome! 5 stars
5/19/04 Jack Sommersby Quite wonderful and colorful to start, but it eventually grows tiresome and grating. 2 stars
5/19/04 Idiot's Mouth In light of his later work, this is QT's best. Still a ripoff, but at least showed promise 4 stars
5/19/04 homer J. simpson it would be a dream to work with such outstanding actors 5 stars
5/03/04 Martin bad 1 stars
5/03/04 Jean So groudbreaking yet so full of influences, perfect in all aspect, a great one 5 stars
3/30/04 Samuel Truly badass. 5 stars
11/27/03 John yes it's that good 5 stars
11/08/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) Excellent & overflowing with talent in all departments. Violent, arresting, & funny. 5 stars
11/03/03 Sammy I don't understand why people don't like this movie.. It is a classic! 5 stars
10/21/03 Curious George great flick 5 stars
9/26/03 tui ruti 1 stars
9/08/03 dayzednconfused f*cking amazing of all time!! michael maden is sexy too :D 5 stars
7/22/03 TLH Best "first date" movie I've ever gone to! 5 stars
6/27/03 Bananaman A real groundbreaker - shocked many, but the depth and slickness really made up for the ear 5 stars
6/23/03 AD tarantinos first wow 5 stars
6/21/03 Ghetto Smurf Easy to understand and decipher. One of my favourites. 5 stars
5/23/03 Biff Boffo The quintessence of why actors figuratively give their right nut to work with QT! 5 stars
5/20/03 Ryan F. Best independent film ever made. Much better than Quentins other two films 5 stars
5/13/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back, Mo'fos!!!) A groundbreaking, landmark masterpiece that kicks major ass. 5 stars
3/29/03 WestcoastPunk Quentin Tarantino is a GOD 5 stars
3/25/03 Shams Huque I liked it. 4 stars
3/16/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik defines cool 5 stars
3/12/03 Butterball Cenobite stylish, very clever (and very bloody and amoral) film 4 stars
3/11/03 Tommy Linds This movie is a total masterpiece, i can watch it again and again!! 5 stars
3/08/03 Jack Sommersby Two-fisted macho junk. Incredibly empty and monotonous. 2 stars
2/14/03 Monster W. Kung Overrated like hell. Lots of caricatures talking about stupid things. Few good scenes. 3 stars
2/11/03 Andy Hambleton Excellent 5 stars
2/09/03 sammy its good but im black it offends me a little but it was funny . 4 stars
1/12/03 Mike All Tarantino Movies Rock Ass .. Especially This One 5 stars
12/30/02 Femme_Fataleaa Good movie 4 stars
12/16/02 Sugarfoot A freakin classic! 5 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 One of the most over-rated of the early ninties...horrible, horrible 1 stars
10/10/02 LIAM JACKSON This film is fucking oustanding andi love it.the ear hacking scene is horrible but funny 5 stars
9/26/02 Morally Sound The greatest first film effort of all time! Tarantino RULES! 5 stars
9/04/02 Joe Zappa QT's first movie goes strictly by what Chef ADogg's 'badass' quote. 5 stars
7/18/02 Cris Abisale If you don't like violence.If you don't like Tarantino.You will surely love Mr.Blonde.GREAT 5 stars
7/18/02 javier pretty good 3 stars
6/18/02 Film Dude Wow. 5 stars
2/03/02 Andrew Carden I Thought I'd Hate It, but It Was Very Good. 5 stars
1/11/02 Iain Anglin My All Time Favorite Movie, Tarantino Fucking Rocks 5 stars
1/03/02 Scream-Mania Gory, violent, disturbing... but it's GREAT..! 5 stars
10/25/01 Henry Ginsberg it wasn't as violent5 as most people say it is,but it still rules 5 stars
10/09/01 Mark Conway not bad, not as good as from dusk till dawn, but still enjoyable. 4 stars
10/08/01 James k "was that as good for you as it was for me" 5 stars
9/29/01 mansour imanian 1 stars
9/13/01 Butterbean A movie that can stir emotions with little budget can be classified as a classic 5 stars
9/06/01 spaceworm Grateful to have first seen this on VHS; rewound and hit play again immediately. 5 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk beautifully written...the cast is perfect. Tarantino's first film is original and cooool. 5 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Kick ass! 5 stars
7/15/01 kristoff I love it. The dialogue is raw & humorous. Dig the soundtrack! =) 5 stars
6/28/01 Steve A touching love story. 5 stars
5/13/01 Pete Wrigley bump 5 stars
5/05/01 The Chosen One hilarious and witty 5 stars
3/30/01 badger hot like a cream pudding 5 stars
3/02/01 Scott This movie is ferociously paced and should be viewed by all wannabee action film directors. 5 stars
2/07/01 Kottonmouth Another convoluted piece of shit from Tarantino. Overly violent as well. 1 stars
1/27/01 Asbury Park Awesome movie, Keitel, Buscemi & Roth were great, but Madsen was brilliant!! 5 stars
1/25/01 dog an all time great movie wich only gets better every time you watch it . steve gets 5 stars 5 stars
11/18/00 The Bill Head A true modern day classic...wonderfully written, acted, and directed. 5 stars
10/29/00 steven hargreaves CLASSIC BRILLIANT LOVE THIS FILM 5 stars
10/14/00 The Bomb 69 way better than Pulp Fiction, classic cinema, Keitel and Buscemi are gods!! 5 stars
10/14/00 comeasur Top 5 all time.Better each time viewed.Rememberable dialogue.Must see. 5 stars
10/07/00 dave sperrazzo too violent 2 stars
8/25/00 Joep buscemi plays a wonderful role. beauty film!! 5 stars
8/23/00 Arjan Boekel Just see it 5 stars
8/23/00 Lisa Baker Pink and White are parts of me where I come full circle. 4 stars
8/04/00 Sillyboy Fucking brilliant. One of the best ever. 5 stars
6/06/00 Michael Margetis Excellent character development,Excellent Actors,Excellent movie, it doesn't get any better 5 stars
5/24/00 Mike Leskow Interesting characters, a brilliant plot, solid acting. Tarrentino shines here. 5 stars
4/15/00 malcolm see City On Fire - the Hong Kong film that inspired RD; stars Chow Yun Fat 5 stars
4/12/00 Eric Hinckley The Best Action/Shoot em up movie ever 5 stars
3/07/00 Matt Fucking cool film,If you like PulpFiction, see this movie NOW!And go see Boondock Saints 2 5 stars
3/02/00 bryan beckwith fuckin' amazing...if you liked this movie you'll absolutely love "BOONDOCK SAINTS" 5 stars
1/16/00 Paul I just didn't have the patience for this, dull, predictable and completely Tarantino 1 stars
1/16/00 machine Worth another rental a la DVD just to clarify the final shootout once and for all... 5 stars
12/04/99 PervertedPixie Still Tarantinos masterpiece! This is endlessly brutal! Roth bleeds to death beautifully. 5 stars
7/26/99 Michael Grimm Mr. Pink is the coolest movie personality of all time 5 stars
7/24/99 Hagbard Celine Mr. Pink is my role model. 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Decent, but script is so well written, I can't just enjoy the blood. Not campy enough. 4 stars
7/03/99 Daria I still prefer Pulp Fiction, but that was great too. 5 stars
5/11/99 Robert Williams Great fun. Well put togrther and extemely well acted. Pink ruled. 5 stars
5/03/99 The Bomb 69 Better than Pulp Fiction, Buscemi is God!!! 5 stars
4/28/99 the DUDE, fucking great man-penn&tierney ha 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson pretty fuckin' cool 5 stars
3/09/99 Go Swans That ear scene! 4 stars
2/14/99 Van Noble great movie 5 stars
2/05/99 Vick Di Brecci I prefer Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown but I was intrigued when I saw this before either 4 stars
2/03/99 Michelle Me Belle Buscemi is just the greatest! I think Mr. Pink is possibly the COOLEST character ever!!!! 5 stars
2/03/99 James E. Laczkowski The 70s-action genre transforms into original and compelling crime story. 1 word: FLAWLESS! 5 stars
2/02/99 Matthew Bartley Yawn. Go away Quentin and come back with something interesting 3 stars
1/26/99 donkey_dew "Mr. Pink sounds like Mr. Pussy." "Well Mr. Brown sounds like Mr. Shit." 5 stars
12/14/98 Jules One of those movies you can watch over and over for ever. The birth of cool modern film. 5 stars
12/13/98 Binky An awesome film that is even more awesome on stage. 5 stars
12/10/98 Freyja A guy movie. Big time. Doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. 3 stars
12/09/98 Cage Great film, but not nearly as good as you all give it credit for. 4 stars
12/05/98 tj one of the best movies ever made 5 stars
11/27/98 G Tarantino is amazing. Shit it's almost as good as Pulp Fiction 5 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink "Why am I Mister Pink?". "Because you're a faggot, allright!!". 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Tarantino's best movie. Hands down. 5 stars
10/30/98 Silent Rob A 90 min expansion of the last 20 minutes of City on Fire. Simply great, greatly complex! 5 stars
10/27/98 cyanide rush y do i have to be cause your a faggot alright 5 stars
10/20/98 Johny As good as (if not better) than PULP FICTION 5 stars
10/20/98 {{{OZ}}} Phenomonal. A ripoff, but if you're gonna steal you might as well steal this well. 5 stars
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  02-Jul-1992 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006


  02-Feb-1993 (R)

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