Reservoir Dogs

1992

Reservoir Dogs

Critics Consensus

Thrumming with intelligence and energy, Reservoir Dogs opens Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking career with hard-hitting style.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 68

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 445,670
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Movie Info

In 1992, Reservoir Dogs transformed Quentin Tarantino practically overnight from an obscure, unproduced screenwriter and part-time actor to the most influential new filmmaker of the 1990s. The story looks at what happens before and after (but not during) a botched jewelry store robbery organized by Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney). Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) is a career criminal who takes a liking to newcomer Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) and enjoys showing him the ropes. Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) is a weaselly loner obsessed with professionalism. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) has just gotten out of jail after taking the rap on a job for Cabot; he's grateful for the work but isn't the same person he used to be. While Mr. Blonde goes nuts during the heist, the thieves are surprised by the sudden arrival of the police, and Mr. Pink is convinced one of their team is a cop. So who's the rat? What do they do about Mr. Blonde? And what do they do with Mr. Orange, who took a bullet in the gut and is slowly bleeding to death? Reservoir Dogs jumps back and forth between pre- and post-robbery events, occasionally putting the narrative on pause to let the characters discuss such topics as the relative importance of tipping, who starred in Get Christie Love!, and what to do when you enter a men's room full of cops carrying a briefcase full of marijuana. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Harvey Keitel
as Mr. White
Chris Penn
as Nice Guy Eddie
Tim Roth
as Mr. Orange
Michael Madsen
as Mr. Blonde
Steve Buscemi
as Mr. Pink
Randy Brooks
as Holdaway
Kirk Baltz
as Marvin Nash
Edward Bunker
as Mr. Blue
Rich Turner
as Sheriff #1
Linda Kaye
as Shocked Woman
David Steen
as Sheriff #2
Tony Cosmo
as Sheriff #3
Stevo Poliy
as 4th Sheriff
Stevo Polyi
as Sheriff #4
Robert Ruth
as Shot Cop
Suzanne Celeste
as Shot Woman
Lawrence Bender
as Young Cop / Background Radio Play
Steven Wright
as K-Billy DJ
Laurie Latham
as Background Radio Play
Maria Strova
as Background Radio Play
Burr Steers
as Background Radio Play
Craig Hamann
as Background Radio Play
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Critic Reviews for Reservoir Dogs

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (23)

  • And while Tarantino never quite succeeds in putting around each character the sense of isolation that marks the best noirs, he carries off this exercise in lively fashion. It's more purple than noir, but it's got juice.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • No one should go to Reservoir Dogs without prior thought. But what they will see is a riveting treatise on the theme of betrayal set in an urban wasteland that murders hope and makes redemption virtually impossible.

    Mar 20, 2018 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • The exaggerated raw violence of "Reservoir Dogs" leaves one feeling cheated in the end. For this movie isn't really about anything. It's just a flashy, stylistically daring exercise in cinematic mayhem.

    Jan 21, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The film, for all its mayhem and fury, is too distant to be truly disturbing; it treats everything with an impatient, born-too-late shrug.

    Jun 26, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A brash, brutal crime-caper film, Reservoir Dogs has enough raw energy for 10 motion pictures and more than enough rough stuff to traumatize the sensitive. But not only does Dogs have teeth, it has brains.

    Jun 26, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Tarantino's palpable enthusiasm, his unapologetic passion for what he's created, reinvigorates this venerable plot and, mayhem aside, makes it involving for longer than you might suspect.

    Jun 26, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Reservoir Dogs

  • May 24, 2016
    The debut film by Quentin Tarantino that set his career off with a bang. A powerful cast including Madsen, Keitel, Roth and Buscemi who all deliver. Witty dialogue and having the most sadistic torture scene ever, this one is a crime classic.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2016
    Reservoir Dogs is like a stage production made for film. Despite the lack of a fully satisfying conclusion, the characters have a lot of substance and keep the audience on their toes.
    Sean T Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2016
    It's location may be simple and the budget limited, but director Quentin Tarantino knocks his debut feature out of the park with fantastic performances, incredibly sharp and clever writing and edge of your seat pacing. Even though it's the beginning, it is still among his best.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2016
    Funny and brilliantly written dialogue and great story. Reservoir Dogs is the directorial debut for Mr. Quentin Tarantino and he knocks it out of the park!
    Mr N Super Reviewer

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