Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Critic Consensus: Thrumming with intelligence and energy, Reservoir Dogs opens Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking career with hard-hitting style.
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as Mr. Brown
as Mr. Orange
as Mr. Pink
as Mr. White
as Mr. Blonde
as Background Radio Play
as Nice Guy Eddie
as Young Cop / Background Radio Play
as Joe Cabot
as Shocked Woman
as K-Billy DJ
as Mr. Blue
as Marvin Nash
as Shot Cop
as Background Radio Play
as Background Radio Play
as Sheriff #2
as Background Radio Play
as Shot Woman
as Sheriff #3
as 4th Sheriff
as Sheriff #1
as Sheriff #4
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Critic Reviews for Reservoir Dogs
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.
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.
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.
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.
A much-acclaimed revisionist gangster film that I found to have more style than substance.
Audience Reviews for Reservoir Dogs
A bloody, violent and darkly-humored crime movie that already showcased Tarantino's talent for crafting stylish narrative exercises full of energy and elongated exchanges of dialogue even if one can see that this was an intelligent filmmaker still at the start of his game.
"Somebody's stickin' a red hot poker up our asses and I wanna know who's name's on the handle" Before becoming a cinematic auteur a young Quentin Tarantino worked in the film rental store Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, and would often recommend little-known titles to customers. On one occasion, he suggested Louis Malle's "Au Revoir Les Enfants", to which the customer mockingly replied, "I don't want to see no Reservoir Dogs." And so the title of Tarantino's blistering debut film was born. It was originally planned as a $30,000 personal film with his friends, before Harvey Keitel showed an interest in the script and came onboard as the star and co-producer which helped hike the budget up to $1.5 million. The rest, as they say, is history. Tarantino had finally made his mark on the movie map and has since become one of the most highly praised directors of his, or any other, generation. Crime lord Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) and his son Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) assemble a crew of trusted criminals who they appoint with colour coded aliases to protect their identity: Mr. White, (Harvey Keitel), Orange (Tim Roth), Pink (Steve Buscemi), Blue (Eddie Bunker), Brown (Quentin Tarantino) & Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen). Their plan is simple: rob a jewellery store and make off with the diamonds to a prearranged rendezvous. However, the robbery doesn't go down well and those that are left alive suspect that they have a police informant amongst them. Few debuts have made as much of an impact on cinema goers as Reservoir Dogs has. It heralded the arrival of an energetic new writer/director and opened up the floodgates to numerous crime imitations thought the 1990's. Few, if any, achieved the same impact. However, there were some that criticised Tarantino for being a plagiarist. There were obvious references to films like Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham 123 and most notably Ringo Lam's City on Fire. Without a doubt, Tarantino was influenced by these movies but stealing is a very strong accusation. Now, many years and several more films down the line, I think it's fair to say that Tarantino has an extensive film vocabulary and often pays homage to some of his favourite filmmakers. Film knowledge may be deemed esoteric by some but in Tarantino's case it helped him craft three of the best films from the 1990's - along with Dogs there was, of course, Pulp Fiction and the vastly underrated Jackie Brown. And besides the point of plagiarism, it was Tarantino's dialogue (entirely his own) that received the most praise for it's true originality. His characters talk fast and the words seem to jump of the screen and that's exactly where Reservoir Dogs' strengths lie. If it wasn't for the non-linear, chronology of events it would essentially be a chamber piece. Set largely within the confines of an abandoned warehouse, each character talks through what actually went wrong during their bungled heist. The heist itself is never witnessed as Tarantino decides to focus on the aftermath of the robbery rather than the event itself but it's the sharp and descriptive dialogue that allows these events to come to life in our imagination and each of the actors are allowed to spout their words with as much colour and vibrancy as their blood soaked shirts. There are many highlights amongst the ensemble but the three that stand out the most are the loyally professional Harvey Keitel, a highly-strung and opinionated Steve Buscemi and the cold, psychopathic Michael Madsen. If I had any issues with the cast at all, it would be Tim Roth's tendency to overplay his work. He, by no means, delivers a poor performance but too often over acts and his personal section of the story interrupts an otherwise precisely structured flow. This is a small gripe as Tarantino still has a solid handling on the material and executes it with the deftness and skill of a director twice his age. On this evidence alone his extensive, esoteric knowledge of film certainly paid off - not only for him but for the viewer. Heavily influenced by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Brian DePalma, among many other filmmakers, Tarantino was certainly not the first to use non-linear storylines, Steadicam techniques or distinctive soundtracks but he was a luminary to ambitious young directors that followed, and a lot of that came from this breathtaking film that set a whole new benchmark. One critic described Reservoir Dogs as "...a bloody, brash, brilliant heist thriller that grabbed audiences by the lapels and kneed them in the crotch"... I couldn't have put it any better myself. Mark Walker
At the beginning of the nineties, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana looked in disgust at the formulaic, soulless lumbering cash cow guitar music had become and using cues from grittier, purer classics of the past singlehandedly swept away the self serving excesses of the genre and revolutionised it forever. Quentin Tarantino did exactly the same thing with cinematic crime drama. He examined the logistics of both being an undercover cop and planning a heist and introduced believable characters who spoke like real people; they weren't just posturing stereotypes punctuating another set of pointless explosions and car chases. He created an ensemble cast of actors for their charisma and ability, not their box office drawing power. He scored it with wit using obscure music from the past that complimented the action rather than trying to make a fast buck selling yet another insipid rock ballad to people who don't listen to music. Tarantino has often been accused of plagiarism, and this script does 'borrow' from City On Fire and The Taking Of Pelham 123. But if you ask me, an original but bad film is still a bad film, while an unoriginal but brilliant film is still a BRILLIANT film.
Reservoir Dogs Quotes
|Nice Guy Eddie:||I don't even know a fuckin' Jew who'd have the balls to say that.|
|Mr. Orange/Freddy:||He's convinced me, gimme back my dollar!|
|Mr. White/Larry:||This is what he was doing. [mimics randomly shooting innocent bystanders]: Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam.|
|Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega:||Yeah, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. I told 'em not to touch the alarm - they touched it. If they hadn't done what I told 'em not to do, they'd still be alive.|
|Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega:||Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?|
|Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega:||Are you gonna bark all day, lil' doggie, or are you gonna bite?|