Bringing Out the Dead

1999

Bringing Out the Dead

Critics Consensus

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

72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 106

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,737
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Bringing Out the Dead Photos

Movie Info

Nicolas Cage plays EMS paramedic Frank Pierce. It is the early 1990's and New York has not yet undergone its renaissance of recent years. Surrounded by the injured and the dying, Frank is dwelling in an urban night-world, crumbling under the accumulated weight of too many years of saving and losing lives. The film follows Frank over the course of fifty-six hours in his life - two days and three nights on the job - as he reaches the very brink of spiritual collapse and redemption.

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Cast

Mary Beth Hurt
as Nurse Constance
Cliff Curtis
as Cy Coates
Nestor Serrano
as Dr. Hazmat
Aida Turturro
as Nurse Crupp
Sonja Sohn
as Kanita
Arthur J. Nascarella
as Captain Barney
Julyana Soelistyo
as Sister Fetus
Graciela Lecube
as Neighbor No. 1
Marylouise Burke
as Neighbor No. 2
Mary Diveny
as Neighbor No. 3
Martin Scorsese
as Dispatcher
Tom Riis Farrell
as John Burke
Harper James Simon
as I.B. Bangin'
Charis Michelson
as I.B.'s Girlfriend
Lia Yang
as Dr. Milagros
Rosemary Gomez
as Pregnant Maria
Richard Spore
as Homeless Suicidal
Aleks Shaklin
as Arguing Russian
Leonid Citer
as Arguing Russian
Jesus A. Del Rosario Jr.
as Man with Bloody Foot
Theo Kogan
as Prostitute
Fuschia Walker
as Prostitute
Matthew Maher
as Mr. Oh's Friend
Bronson Dudley
as Mr. Oh's Friend
Marilyn McDonald
as Mr. Oh's Friend
Ed Jupp Jr.
as Homeless Man in Waiting Room
J. Stanford Hoffman
as Homeless Man in Waiting Room
Rita Norona Schrager
as Concerned Hispanic Aunt
Don Berry
as Naked Man
Mtume Gant
as Street Punk
Charlene Hunter
as Miss Williams
Jesse Malin
as Club Doorman
Jon Abrahams
as Club Bystander
Antone Pagan
as Arrested Man
Melissa Marsala
as Bridge & Tunnel Girl
Betty Miller
as Weeping Woman
Sylva Kelegian
as Crackhead
Frank Ciornei
as Dr. Mishra
Catrina Ganey
as Nurse Odette
Jennifer Lane Newman
as Nurse Advisor
John Bal
as Policeman in Hospital
Raymond Cassar
as Policeman in Hospital
James Hanlon
as Fireman
Mark Girodano
as Police Sergeant
Michael Mulheren
as Cop in Elevator
David Zayas
as Cop in Elevator
Terry Serpico
as Cop No. 1
Brian Smyj
as Cop No. 2
Floyd Resnick
as Cop No. 3
Megan Leigh
as Surgeon
David Vasquez
as Screaming Man
Judy Reyes
as ICU Nurse
Joseph Reidy
as ICU Nurse
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News & Interviews for Bringing Out the Dead

Critic Reviews for Bringing Out the Dead

All Critics (106) | Top Critics (27)

  • 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.

    Sep 17, 2008 | 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Scorsese doesn't trust the power of simplicity to rock us.

    Aug 7, 2004
  • The auteur has definitely left his distinctive mark, but too seldom and too narrowly.

    Mar 19, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
    Globe and Mail
    Top Critic
  • An intense, volatile film full of sorrow and wild, mordant humor.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5
  • Despite the lack of energy and the lethargic pace, there's something darkly compelling about Bringing Out the Dead.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | 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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