True Romance (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

True Romance (1993)



Critic Consensus: Fueled by Quentin Tarantino's savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott's True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.

Movie Info

Quentin Tarantino scripted this wild and wooly blend of action and dark comedy, which reached theaters a year before his breakthrough hit Pulp Fiction. Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is a well-meaning but socially unskilled comic-shop clerk whose idea of a big night out is catching a Sonny Chiba triple-feature at a downtown grindhouse. Clarence is celebrating his birthday in just such a manner when he meets a beautiful girl named Alabama (Patricia Arquette), and it's love at first sight for both of them. Clarence's enthusiasm isn't dampened much when he discovers Alabama is actually a prostitute who was paid by his boss to bump into him; she's only been in the business for a few days, and is more than eager to give up streetwalking to be with Clarence. However, Alabama is certain her pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman), will not be happy; he's an ill-mannered sort with mob connections and a fondness for violence. Chivalrous Clarence offers to break the news to Drexl and collect her belongings, but he doesn't tell her he also plans to kill Drexl while he's there; a melee breaks out that leaves Drexl and his henchmen dead. Clarence grabs a suitcase that he thinks contains Alabama's clothes, but he discovers it instead holds five million dollars' worth of cocaine. The couple hits the road for California, planning to sell the dope and enjoy the good life in South America with the proceeds, but soon a group of very unhappy underworld characters are after them, as well as the police. True Romance also stars Dennis Hopper as Clarence's father, Christopher Walken as a mob boss who wants his cocaine back, Brad Pitt as a cheerful stoner, and Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis Presley. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 30, 1997
Warner Bros.

Watch it now


Christian Slater
as Clarence Worley
Patricia Arquette
as Alabama Whitman
Dennis Hopper
as Clifford Worley
Val Kilmer
as Mentor
Gary Oldman
as Drexl Spivey
Brad Pitt
as Floyd - Dick's Roomm...
Christopher Walken
as Vincenzo Coccotti
Saul Rubinek
as Lee Donowitz
Bronson Pinchot
as Elliot Blitzer
Michael Rapaport
as Dick Ritchie
Chris Penn
as Nick Dimes
Conchata Ferrell
as Mary Louise Ravencro...
Lawrence Mason
as Floyd "D"
Christopher Penn
as Nicky Dimes
Tom Sizemore
as Cody Nicholson
Said Faraj
as Burger Man
Gregory Sporleder
as Burger Stand Custome...
Frank Adonis
as Frankie
Michael Beach
as Wurlitzer
Joe D'Angerio
as Police Radio Operato...
John Bower
as Detective
John Cenatiempo
as 1st Squad Cop
Dennis Garber
as 1st Lobby Cop
Scott Evers
as 2nd Lobby Cop
Hilary Klym
as Running Cop
Steve Gonzales
as Internal Affairs Off...
Laurence Mason
as Floyd `D'
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for True Romance

Critic Reviews for True Romance

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (11)

If shoot-'em-up, gobble-'em-down movies like The Fugitive and Jurassic Park are rated PG-13 these days, what does an R-rated action adventure look like? Like True Romance: violent to a fault, glam to the max.

Full Review… | August 16, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Provides some amazing encounters, bravura acting turns and gruesome carnage. But it doesn't add up to enough.

Full Review… | November 19, 2008
Top Critic

If the romance seldom seems 'true', the spiralling violence (script, Quentin Tarantino) does succeed, in a brutish, cod-Jacobean kind of way.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This film's various outrages are committed unapologetically, and are very much in the service of its bizarre story.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This is the best film Quentin Tarantino never made.

Full Review… | November 22, 2015
Observer (UK)

Quentin Tarantino's dirty, funny and unpredictably violent genius powers True Romance, directed by Tony Scott.

Full Review… | November 19, 2015
Times (UK)

Audience Reviews for True Romance


Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring some of the best talent in Hollywood today, "True Romance" is just as much a great romance as it is a terrific action thriller. I loved every bit of this film, and the dialogue really is what drives this awesome picture. It may go off the rails a bit for me in the end, with a bit too much action and less substance, but the first half of the film has so much substance, that you can forgive the second half for wanting to be more exciting. I can't see myself wanting more from this film, aside from a few more scenes like we saw in the first 30 minutes, focussing on the romance of the two leads. Those scenes were so well-handled that I felt the need to see so much more of that, but I understand that we eventually had to go on to bigger and better things. If it wasn't for the performances by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, I would not have liked this movie as much as I did. Overall, it's a terrific story that is executed by Tony Scott in the best way possible. Highly recommended.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


True Romance is a stellar romantic crime film that is brilliantly directed by Tony Scott with a well written script by Quentin Tarantino. With a great cast of terrific actors, True Romance is a must see crime picture that is sure to delight movie buffs. This is an exhilarating and highly entertaining film from start to finish that illustrates the brilliant direction of Tony Scott and original writing style that has Quentin Tarantino famous. This is one of the best crime films that I have seen, and the cast itself is one that is sure to delight filmgoers everywhere. Every actor here gives something to the film to make it that much better, and the two leads were great as well. There are some darkly humorous parts here and there to compliment the serious tone of the film, and everything works well enough to keep you engaged from start to finish. Over the course of his career Tony Scott has made some great films. Forget Top Gun as being his best, it isn't. This is his strongest effort. I feel that he really became a confident director with this movie, and he felt even more comfortable behind his camera. Top Gun was a decent affair, but quite overrated. But True Romance is his masterwork. This is simply put an effectively well directed picture that has a truly unique, crazy plot with a memorable cast of talented actors. Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino have created something great here, and it delivers a truly awesome film going experience that you soon won't forget. If you come across True Romance, definitely give it a view, you won't be disappointed. Tony Scott would direct much more exhilarating films in terms of pulse pounding action, but they would also be fairly hit and miss. But with True Romance, he uses the basics of a simple plot, and it makes for a much more convincing and enjoyable movie.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

pulpy, hip, clever, funny and endearing the way 90s cinema was.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

True Romance Quotes

Drexl Spivey: Now see, we're sitting down here--ready to negotiate. And you've already given up your shit. I'm still a mystery to you. But I know exactly where your white ass is comin' from. So if I ask if you want some dinner, and you grab an egg roll and started chattin' down, I'd say to myself "This motherfucker, he's givin' out like he ain't got a care in the world" and who knows? Maybe he don't. Maybe this fool is such a bad motherfucker. He don't have to worry about nothin'. He just sits down and watch my motherfuckin' TV. See?
– Submitted by Villie Emmanuel S (16 months ago)
Drexl Spivey: No thanks? What that mean?
– Submitted by Villie Emmanuel S (16 months ago)
Drexl Spivey: Now I know I'm pretty, but I'm not as pretty as a pair of titties.
– Submitted by Villie Emmanuel S (16 months ago)
Vincenzo Coccotti: What we are doing is having a game show and tell. You aren't telling me anything, but you're showing me everything.
– Submitted by Brendan C (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss True Romance on our Movie forum!