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Reservoir Dogs

38. Reservoir Dogs

Tarantino's first film, arguably his best, and my personal favorite, Reservoir dogs is a brilliantly small film, with great use of unity of space and time (keeping things confined to a single setting and a small timeframe). The story is of a heist gone wrong, starring Harvey Keitel as the de facto protagonist, Mr. White, Tim Roth as Mr. Orange, Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde, Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink, Edward Bunker as Mr. Blue, and Quentin Tarantino himself as Mr. Brown. There's an undercover cop among the group of nameless (for now) criminals and the story plays out trying to figure out who it is that gave them up.

Tarantino does an excellent job with this film, his renowned screenwriting ability on full display as there is a lot of talking in this film and the dialogue all comes off organically, and all the performances are great too as every line is delivered well. I'm a big fan of Tarantino's work (it was difficult not to have more of his films on the list), and the reasons why he's so respected are on full display in this film. His trademark nonlinear storytelling is also utilized well in this film, as the film bounces from plot point to plot point efficiently and out of sequence in a way that you wouldn't expect but remains engrossing the entire way through.

Often it is debated what Tarantino's best film is between Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction (and even a few of his other films) and while I love both I think I'd give the edge to Reservoir Dogs simply because I think it's a more tightly written story. Pulp Fiction is a very different film from this one in how it's narrative is structured, and while that definitely was successful as Pulp Fiction was fantastic, I think Reservoir Dogs just works a bit better and is more entertaining overall. It goes by much quicker (obviously in part because of a significantly shorter runtime) and was more engaging for me when I watched it. I think it really comes down to preference but to me the best film Tarantino has made thus far is Reservoir Dogs.

An extremely exciting and intense crime film with great dialogue, performances and music, Reservoir Dogs was fantastic from start to finish.