Is there honor among thieves? Yes and no, according to Quentin Tarantino’s inaugural feature. One character goes to prison to protect his boss but amuses himself by torturing people. Another character has compassion for a wounded comrade and causes his own downfall.
This gritty contemporary film noir chronicles a jewel robbery that goes disastrously wrong. The resulting bloodbath rattles its participants into suspecting that someone is a police plant.
Reservoir Dogs arrived unheralded at the 1992 Sundance FIlm Festival and showed what to expect from its brash filmmaker is the unexpected. Simultaneously, it established trademarks for the films that followed: glib gangsters with the gift of gab, ironically black humor, and plenty of violence. Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, and especially Tim Roth turn in razor-sharp performances, and Tarantino’s tight framing and invasive close-ups keep both characters and audience off balance.
Thanks to Miramax for providing a brand-new 35mm print for this special 25th anniversary screening. An extended Q&A with Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender follows the screening.
RUN TIME 99 min