A group of criminals tries to weed out who among them is an
undercover cop after their jewelry heist goes terribly wrong.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi,
Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney,
Edward Bunker, Quentin Tarantino, Kirk Baltz
Reservoir Dogs is one of the most important films in history because it's the movie that gave Quentin Tarantino the mainstream success he rightly deserved. It's a phenomenal film that continues to hold up thanks to its smartly written plot and brilliant cast of character actors. The film revolves around a jewelry heist that we never actually see, though we are treated to the tense aftermath as the surviving criminals try to uncover the identity of the rat among them.
Tarantino proves his worth right out of the gate with a solid script that builds on the growing paranoia and complete lack of trust that each of these hardened criminals has with one another. Loaded with a super groovy 70's soundtrack (and a monotone DJ voice provided by comedian Steven Wright), this film introduces us to the pop culture-driven, profanity-laden, violence-fueled, and ultimately highly entertaining world that only Tarantino can create. You can see many of the trends he would continue to use throughout his career, including trunk shots, badass soundtracks, and random conversations about some form of popular culture. In this case, it's the real meaning behind Madonna's "Like a Virgin," a monologue that Tarantino himself delivers in the first bit of dialogue we ever hear from his movies.
Reservoir Dogs is a fantastic heist film that never forgets the skill of its cast and the importance of its music. After all these years, I still cringe when I see Mr. Blonde torture the cop while "Stuck in the Middle with You" plays ominously in the background. Very few filmmakers have the talent to create films with staying power like this, but I am absolutely certain that Reservoir Dogs is never going anywhere.