Reservoir Dogs

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenwriters: Quentin Tarantino


Reservoir Dogs is a gritty, modern-day crime drama packing hard-boiled dialogue, brutal violence, taut suspense, and nervous humor into a gutsy depiction of a high-stakes jewel heist gone awry. Writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s underworld story delves into the male criminal mind to scrutinize the potent codes of honor and loyalty preserved within this subculture.

Six unacquainted professional criminals are brought together by veteran thief Joe Cabot to execute an intricately planned diamond robbery. Each man is assigned a color code name (e.g., Mr. Orange, Mr. Brown, Mr. White) and a precise task. While in progress, the elaborate heist is frustrated by a police ambush, forcing a violent confrontation that leaves one thief bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound. Confused and panicked by their narrow escape, the four surviving jewel thieves regroup at the planned rendezvous spot, an abandoned warehouse, to await instructions from Cabot and his son, Nice Guy Eddie. Uneasy speculation about a double-crosser amongst them agitates the wary criminals, whose true identities are known only to Cabot, and provokes tense questions about trustworthiness, harrowing confrontations and fierce dissension as they attempt to determine the traitor’s identity.

Reservoir Dogs is a furious nuclear reaction of violence and intrigue. Its ensemble cast unites the genre’s established legends (Keitel and Tierney) with notable rising new talent. Tarantino’s eclectic and outrageous vision mixes clothing from the fifties and music from the seventies with modern references, such as a hilarious discussion on the meaning of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Inspired by Kubrick’s The Killing, Reservoir Dogs is best described as Jim Thompson meets Samuel Beckett—a fusion of pulp drama, black humor and the existentialist void by a talented young filmmaker.

Screening Details

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