Critics Consensus

Bound's more titillating elements attracted attention, but it's the stylish direction, solid performances, and entertaining neo-noir caper plot that make it worth a watch.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,376
User image

Watch it now

Bound Photos

Movie Info

Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly nearly set the screen on fire in this clever, female-powered twist on the standard Mob caper film. Gershon is Corky, an ex-con renovating the apartment next door to where Tilly's Violet lives. Violet is the moll of psychotic gangster Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), who uses the apartment as an occasional location for meetings and beatings, and also uses Violet as an occasional plaything for his Mob cronies. Violet is attracted to the super-sexy Corky, and the two begin an intense affair. Corky hatches a plot to escape with $2 million that Caesar is planning to give to a Mob boss, and the mayhem escalates from there.


News & Interviews for Bound

Critic Reviews for Bound

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Bound

  • Dec 02, 2012
    Awesome and rad would best words to describe the story of the film. With memorable scenes of twisted murder, Bound shows how the Wachowski brothers don't need millions of dollars to deliver a fantastic story.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2012
    It has been said many a time that there is nothing new under the sun. Surely, as we race through the 21st century, this axiom may well hold a modicum of truth, especially where the arts are concerned. There is no great impressionist movement, or realist movement, and in the case of film... the major impact films seem to all be swiped from comic books (and even then we are offered reboots of other comic book films). So here we come back to the Wachowski Bros. first film, the 1996 pseudo noir thriller Bound, which contains a Blood Simple double dealing plot that also pays homage to earlier mob based films as well as adding a bit of dark humor for seasoning. One may argue that you've seen this film before (or parts of it), and you would not be wrong - but where Bound stands out is in the juggling of the mixed genres. The Bros. do a fine job of keeping the pacing tight, even when the script runs off the boards a bit in the final quarter - the viewer is still kept at the edge of your seat. Helping the unbelievable seem almost real are standout performances by the three main characters - and what interesting character studies they are: from Gina Gershon's macho yet somehow vulnerable lesbian act, to Joe Pantoliano's mid level mob thug who expertly ping pongs from manic to an edgy calm. He is flawed, riddled with paranoia and greed that make him near Shakespearian. These are very good performances, but it is Jennifer Tilly who really makes the film sing. Perfectly cast as Joe's girlfriend, complete with that requisite tiny voice, she portrays a woman who knows exactly where her place is in the world and offers no excuses for taking advantage of what is thrown her way. As the byzantine story unfolds her strength of character shows in spades and gives the film an extra level to enjoy. The film has some beautiful lines and utilizes the close up very well, using it for impact in a non-intrusive way. The paper thin walls play an important part in the film and the Bros. do a nice job of filming - showing the walls to be a barrier to things almost but not quite within reach. A very solid 8.5 in my book.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2012
    [img][/img] This cult film demonstrates the supreme artistic talent of the Wachowski's. However not as much as The Matrix Trilogy or Speed Racer. It's just neither groundbreaking nor overwhelming, even for a neo noir genre film. The character study isn't as deep as other films in the genre, I wish I could have learnt more about the two leads. Also it's not extremely stylish and their is very little slickness as the narrative unfolds. However it succesfully reconstructs all elements of gangster flicks as it is both suspenseful and sexy. Character chemistry is shared through out, and at times the humour is very witty. Some moments with Joe Pantoliano stole the show for me, as his performance was very realistic of a small time gangster. A whole lot of it is similar to but not as, smart as early works of Quentin Tarantino. Despite this it's still an amazingly intense and gripping watch.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 14, 2011
    This is the movie Johan S. wanted me to watch. Here it is. In the movie 'Seed of Chucky' a half decent-at-points self aware slasher sequel, Jennifer Tilly plays herself and one of the killer dolls Tiffany. When she asks a few fans of hers in the movie what their favorite movie starring her is, this one is always the one that they mention. And it's not for the acting chops or the character driven plot. Read the synopsis if you don't know what I mean. Acting/characters: Seriously, Jennifer Tilly is an alright actress but her 85% whisper voice gets a little irritating especially when she spends 85% of the movie whispering! It got a little irritating after a while. I don't mind Jennifer Tilly as an actress, but her voice delivery can get a bit irritating. I thought that Joe Pantoliano who played Caesar (who would go on to star in The Matrix as Cypher) and Gena Gershon who played Corky were definitely the best in the film. Tilly was alright but not as good as the two of them. I have no major complaints about the acting in general. It was pretty good all around. 8.5/10 Plot: It is an original plot I must say. it kept my interest throughout the entire film. What's even more interesting is that this one was pre-matrix for the Wachowskis so they were actually trying to make something original as opposed to another Matrix (or Matrixesque) film. It was a good plot that had some good character development and it was really entertaining. I think that is all it was meant to be: entertaining. If it tried to be something more I missed it I guess. But it was decently entertaining. 8.5/10 Screenplay: It wasn't too bad. It didn't have any lines that stood out to me at all (except for when Violet asked Caesar "Who you gonna call?" to which I dutifully responded "GHOSTBUSTERS!") it didn't have any really cringe-worthy lines in there which I really appreciate. It was just okay. Noting outstanding but nothing too horrible either. It was simply okay. 8/10 Likableness: I enjoyed it well enough. Was it something that I would have watched if it wasn't suggested to me? Probably not. But I am glad that I have seen it especially since it was interesting to see some pre-Matrix Wachowski stuff. It was a decently entertaining film that I could watch again. It was nothing utterly outstanding but I enjoyed it just the same. would I suggest it to people? If you like crime films then yes. Otherwise...maybe. It depends on the person. But it was alright. 8.5/10 Final Score: 33.5/40 83% (N) Tomatometer Rating: 91% Tomatometer Rating if my review was added: 91% TRIVIA TIME: 1. This was film that convinced the studio of the Wachowski's talent as directors so that they could make the The Matrix, a screenplay/story they had come up with during the filming of their first screenplay, Assassins. 2. Joe Pantoliano was instructed by the Wachowski Brothers to watch The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and base his Cesar character on Humphrey Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs. 3. The film was financed with the understanding that Jennifer Tilly was to play the role of Corky. The actress playing Violet dropped out of the project shortly before shooting began, however. At this point Gina Gershon became available to do the film. At first she was to play Violet; but since she was better suited to Corky, she and Tilly switched roles. 4. Joe Pantoliano later said that his role as Caesar was his favorite role.
    Lord N Super Reviewer

Bound Quotes

News & Features