Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kill Bill: Volume 12003

Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)



Critic Consensus: Kill Bill is admittedly little more than a stylish revenge thriller -- albeit one that benefits from a wildly inventive surfeit of style.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Photos

Movie Info

An entire wedding party is slaughtered during a dress rehearsal in a rural chapel: the pregnant woman in the blood-splattered wedding dress is Black Mamba, better known as The Bride. The assassin, Bill, and his circle known as The Vipers left The Bride for dead, but unluckily for them she was merely comatose. Four years later, The Bride suddenly awakens from her coma and realizes what has been done to her. She sets off on a ferociously focused mission, setting out to seek revenge on her former master and his deadly squad of assassins. One by one, she kills the various members of the assassin group. She saves Bill for last.

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Uma Thurman
as The Bride/Black Mamba
Lucy Liu
as O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth
Vivica A. Fox
as Vernita Green/Copperhead
Daryl Hannah
as Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake
Michael Madsen
as Budd/Sidewinder
Sonny Chiba
as Hattori Hanzo
Chiaki Kuriyama
as Gogo Yubari
Julie Dreyfus
as Sofie Fatale
Chia Hui Liu
as Pai Mei
Jun Kunimura
as Boss Tanaka
Yuki Kazamatsuri
as Proprietor
James Parks
as Deputy Sheriff Edgar McGraw
Gordon Liu
as Johnny Mo
Kazuki Kitamura
as Boss Koji/Crazy 88 Bodyguard #2
LaTanya Richardson
as L.F. O'Boyle
Akaji Maro
as Boss Ozawa
Goro Daimon
as Boss Honda
Shun Sugata
as Boss Senta
Bo Svenson
as Reverend Harmony
Larry Bishop
as Larry Gomez
Kenji Ohba
as Hanzo's Sushi Bar Assistant
Sakichi Satô
as Charlie Brown's
as House Band
Toshituri Morishita
as Tokyo Business Man
Ambrosia Kelley
as Nikki Green Bell
Tetsuro Shimaguchi
as Crazy 88 Bodyguard #1
Toji Bora Tanaka
as Crazy 88 Bodyguard #3
Issei Takahashi
as Crazy 88 Bodyguard #4
So Tamanaka
as Crazy 88 Bodyguard #5
Juri Manase
as Crazy 88 Bodyguard #6
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News & Interviews for Kill Bill: Volume 1

Critic Reviews for Kill Bill: Volume 1

All Critics (231) | Top Critics (44)

A strange, fun and densely textured work that gets better as it goes along.

May 7, 2008

Even more gory and adolescent than its models, which explains both the fun and the unpleasantness of this globe-trotting romp.

May 7, 2008 | Full Review…

It's all bang, bang; no kiss, kiss. But this is still bravura film-making from a prodigious talent, and Thurman may yet prove its saving grace.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There is no ironic overlay in Tarantino's movies, no 'commenting' on the pop schlock he's replicating. He simply wants to remake in his own way the kinds of movies he's always loved, and he's about as uncynical as a movie geek can be.

August 7, 2004

I would argue that, in a bizarre way, Mr. Tarantino empowers women as no action-genre director before him ever has.

October 16, 2003

Simultaneously a spectacular act of movie-making and a slight movie.

October 12, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Kill Bill: Volume 1


Quentin Tarantino proves with Kill Bill Volume 1 that he doesn't care two bits about three-dimensional characters, or coherent storyline, or anything really other than style. The script is particularly weak, with lines that only he could pass off saying, and even then he'd look ridiculous. When they're being said by actors, they serve only to confuse or to cringe, whichever is more appropriate. You could take any line in this, put it in any of his three previous films and change the names around, and it wouldn't look out of place, proving once and for all that he has only one voice and only one line of interest, namely violence. Most of the acting in this first part is questionable. Uma Thurmann, who was half decent in Pulp Fiction, is completely unbelievable as the so-far-nameless assassin on a revenge trip to kill the people who beat her up at her wedding, finishing with the master who trained her. The film begins with her beating up the second person on her list of five, before flipping back and forth in time as Tarantino sees fit. Proof that Tarantino is only interested in the spectacle, particularly the spectacle of violence, is to be found in this opening scene. His choreography of the knife fight is brutal and his camera work is good, taking you into the heart of the action. But despite the amount of blood being shed, and the cries of pain coming from the actors' mouths, not once in the scene do you either feel the characters' pain or care about their fates. This is followed by a wooden exchange between the two characters when her daughter comes home from school. This lasts a reassuringly short amount of time before the violence breaks out again. Throughout the film Tarantino plays various visual tricks on the audience in a vain attempt to show us that he is a not simply a splatter freak, but an artist. Part of it is shot in black-and-white; part of it is in extended slow-motion; and part of it is animated by the same people who later made the video for 'Breaking The Habit' by Linkin Park. While that video made sense, being only 3 minutes long and entirely animated of the band's performance, in this it just feels out of place; it feels like Tarantino used it because he couldn't get the blood to spray out right in real life. Other problems include the ridiculous fight in the club, where Uma Thurmann manages to defeat over 50 highly trained martial arts warriors by barely touching them. There follows a highly dubious sequence of Thurmann fighting a teenager dressed as a schoolgirl wielding a mace. The obsession with bloodshed and pain-which-isn't-pain eventually becomes tiresome, as does Lucy Liu who appears to have crafted a performance based entirely on shouting and squinting. After Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, this is a very bad comedown for Tarantino. It's not terrible, it's just really, really frustrating and, to be honest, quite boring.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

The last 45 minutes of this thing are pure cinematic heaven. The steps taken to get to this point are slightly less satisfying, but ultimately 'Kill Bill: Volume 1'' is a fitting tribute to the various action flicks of the 60's and 70's.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

Kill Bill is just another piece of over-hyped fanfare with no real merits. Like many of QT's other products, there is a shock-value installed through violence which does nothing but make the film gratuitously brutal. If you remove all graphic scenes from KB you are left with a sadly inept script, bad acting and a "funky" if not cacophonous soundtrack (sound like Reservoir Dogs?). Luckily for us, QT knows Americans can remember violence much longer than great writing so he can reap his rewards. I'm not even going to compare this film to the thousands of Asian KungFu knockoffs. Everyone knows a Hollywood-produced movie will succeed if it's the first time an American audience "discovers" it (The Matrix, Jackie Chan flicks, etc -- none of which are consdiered novel by HK cinema standards).. Why can't QT make a picture with the qualities of other acclaimed directors like Kubrick, whether it's visual (2001), dialogue-driven (Paths of Glory) or both (A Clockwork Orange)? Leave the violence behind and jump on a more creditable bandwagon. 1/2 star 05-2007 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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