Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

“Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger. Vincent, ever have a Big Kahuna Burger?”

Director Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs) has distinguished himself as a unique and innovative moviemaker. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he’s important. I consider Pulp Fiction to be his finest film. Starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson, this is a wild, entertaining ride, brimming with wit and style as well as Tarantino’s signature grit and violence. You’ll probably feel a bit like a modern gangster while watching this. Tarantino takes the world of the modern professional criminal and brings it to life in a way that few other filmmakers do, showing what happens in-between crime hits as well as the hits themselves. It’s a unique view that’s highly stylized and extremely entertaining, and it earns its spot on this list of great movies.

The plot shows multiple stories using most of the same characters, all revolving around crime boss Marsellus Wallace and his hitmen, Vincent and Jules. The hitmen are the real stars of the show. We see them prepare for and carry out a hit, as well as perform some mundane (for them) tasks like take the boss’s wife out for dinner and clean up a mistake they make. It’s these little tasks and the down-to-earth conversations they have that really bring this world to life.

English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

Tarantino’s writing and direction are better here than anywhere else. He’s a very witty writer with a strength for banter, and that strength is out in full force here. There are a lot of movies about criminals, but few that show this amount of detail into their lives and relationships. The art direction in this film is also outstanding, from the music choices to the larger-than-life acting to the distinct cinematography with long shots. This is a highly stylized film bursting with personality, and it’s very charming in a very non-traditional way.

Uma Thurman and John Travolta dancing in Pulp Fiction
This dance scene was unexpected, hilarious, and awesome.

Pulp Fiction is indeed violent and even brutal at times, but that’s dressed up in an over-the-top style that makes it a little more palatable. You may not know it from a description of the events, but this is a really fun movie. Even during scenes of graphic violence, I had a smile on my face. I like to think this says more about Tarantino’s skills as a director than my twisted mind, but make of that what you will

Pulp Fiction is an amazing achievement in independent filmmaking and storytelling. It’s witty, oozing with style, well-acted, and most of all, unforgettable. It’s also fondly remembered as the last time John Travolta was cool. The violence and language are intense and may be too much for some. But this wild ride is one of the coolest movies you will ever see. Also, if you haven’t seen a Tarantino film yet, this is the place to start.

View my complete list of classic, essential, or just plain good movies!

Runtime: 2:34
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Year: 1994
Genres: crime, independent
Rating: R

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