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Stunning and compelling, Scorsese and Cage succeed at satisfying the audience. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After a disheartening and haunting career wears him down, New York City paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage) begins to collapse under the strain of saving lives and witnessing deaths. Through the course of a few nights, three co-workers (John Goodman, Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore) accompany Pierce as he grasps for sanity and pushes to be fired. Before Pierce falls off the edge, he still has a hope when he forms a friendship with a victim's daughter (Patricia Arquette).

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Critic Reviews for Bringing Out the Dead

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (31)

  • The new picture comes supplied with the same tension [as Taxi Driver], but, though I hate to say so, it feels like a package.

    April 14, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Its hard-to-pin-down tone is frighteningly original -- simultaneously world-weary and adolescent with an aura of perpetual anxiety, as if the characters and filmmakers were in pursuit of a catharsis everyone knows will never come.

    September 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • An exciting, invigorating return to old preoccupations. Welcome home, Marty.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Of course, it's immaculately crafted and exhilaratingly paced, but in the end it's never as emotionally involving as it could and should be.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Scorsese doesn't trust the power of simplicity to rock us.

    August 7, 2004
  • A very different and, in many respects, very impressive film.

    December 2, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bringing Out the Dead

  • Feb 24, 2013
    Complex, unsettling, and unsatisfying, but undeniably smart and technically proficient
    Jeff L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2013
    Frank Pierce: I'd always had nightmares, but now the ghosts didn't wait for me to sleep.  Bringing Out the Dead is a very interesting film that is another character study from Martin Scorsese, much like Raging Bull or Taxi Driver. Now, it isn't as good as either of those, but it's still Scorsese and all the signs of his presence are there. Much like Taxi Driver, he brings the city of New York into the story as another character, almost. The city is filthy, the hospitals jam packed. Many people can't even get treated because there's just too much for the doctors to handle.  Frank is an ambulance driver in New York City. He hasn't been getting much sleep lately and we see three nights of him on the job. He's being haunted by those who have died on him, especially an 18 year old girl named Rose that he lost 6 months earlier. He's cracking, he's losing his mind, and he's an alcoholic. The first night we see him take in an older man who just had a heart attack. Frank soon forms a sort of bond with the mans daughter.  Nicholas Cage is perfect in the role of Frank Pierce. This is the type of role that he was born to play and that he thrives in, as it plays right to his strengths. It allows him to be eccentric, but also lazy. It's much like his performance in Leaving Las Vegas. The rest of the cast is well picked too. John Goodman, Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore, and even Patricia Arquette(who I am not a fan of) are great in their respected roles. In the end, this is always going to be a forgotten Scorsese film. It doesn't quite live up to his standard, but it's still an extremely well made and tense film. So what it's labeled "lesser-Scorsese." Whenever Scorsese is in the directors chair, you can be certain it's going to be a film worth watching, and Bringing Out the Dead is no exception. Don't expect another Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. Just expect some more solid filmmaking from one of the greats.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2012
    A modern Taxi Driver. Bringing Out the Dead it's more a great masterpiece by Scorsese, which, unfortunately, doesn't had the attention that deserve. Nicolas Cage also present an outstanding acting on the screen.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2012
    Bringing Out the Dead is a dark and edgy character drama from director Martin Scorsese. The film follows a paramedic that becomes unhinged after going several months without saving anyone's life. The cast includes Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, Ving Rhames, and Tom Sizemore, who all deliver strong performances that are able to balance the dark comedy and serious tones of the film. However, there are some storytelling issues and problems with keeping a cohesive plot. Still, Bringing Out the Dead is an entertaining film that tells an interesting story.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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