Pulp Fiction 1994

Critics score:
94 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: This movie gets its charge not from action pyrotechnics but from its electric barrage of language, wisecracks and dialogue, from the mordant '70s classicism of its long-take camera style and its smart, offbeat, strangely sexy cast. Read more

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: If you smile at David Mamet's dialogue, you'll laugh out loud at the words of Quentin Tarantino. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The result, especially in the scenes involving Bruce Willis as a nervy boxer, can be long patches of dialogue that must have tickled Tarantino but will not necessarily resonate for anyone else. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: In terms of mood and style, it could be the most influential film to come along since Blue Velvet. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Whether you call it razzmatazz, pizazz or sizzle, Pulp Fiction's got it, enough style for a dozen movies and, truth be told, enough story for five. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: At 153 minutes, the movie does occasionally flirt with tedium, but the risk is worth it: The whole is finally greater than the sum of its pulpy parts. What could have been an anything-goes pastiche has surprising rigor and narrative clarity. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity and vibrant local color. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: The overall project is evident: to evict real life and real people from the art film and replace them with generic teases and assorted hommages. Don't expect any of the life experiences of the old movie sources to leak through. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Tarantino's dialogue, with its densely propulsive, almost lawyerly fervor, its peppery comic blend of literacy and funk, has more snap and fight than most directors' action scenes. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Scintillating. Read more

Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter: Tarantino's lined up a fine cast to play his assorted snotwads, grimeballs, sleazoids, small-timers, druggies and bulletheads in this 1990s version of a down-and-dirty 1940s pulp fictioner, the kind Dash Hammett and the boys used to crank out. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The talk is dirty and funny, the violence always waiting just around the corner. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: It resurrects John Travolta from "Look Who's Talking" hell, it makes Bruce Willis into a serious actor and it honors the power and fancy of intelligent dialogue (written by the director himself). Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: All the details are executed to perfection. Ironies abound in the smallest situations. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie resurrects not only an aging genre but also a few careers. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: There's a special kick that comes from watching something this thrillingly alive. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It's the movie equivalent of that rare sort of novel where you find yourself checking to see how many pages are left and hoping there are more, not fewer. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Just when you thought the last thing the world needed was another violent, self-conscious, hipster homage to film noir, along comes Tarantino to blow away your deja vu. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Tarantino's guilty secret, which the international critics should have noticed, is that his films are cultural hybrids. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: It's the way Tarantino embellishes and, finally, interlinks these old chestnuts that makes the film alternately exhilarating and frustrating. Read more

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: The way that this picture has been so widely ravened up and drooled over verges on the disgusting. Pulp Fiction nourishes, abets, cultural slumming. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A spectacularly entertaining piece of pop culture. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Brilliant and brutal, funny and exhilarating, jaw-droppingly cruel and disarmingly sweet. Read more

Rita Kempley, Washington Post: The experience overall is like laughing down a gun barrel, a little bit tiring, a lot sick and maybe far too perverse for less jaded moviegoers. Read more