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Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown

Genders: Crime, Thriller, Drama

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Elmore Leonard

Actors: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Year: 1997
Run time: 2h 34min
IMDB score: 7.5
Updated: 3 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Jackie Brown

Genders: Crime, Thriller, Drama

Imdb Score: 7.5

Runtime: 2h 34min

Released: 25 Dec 1997

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Elmore Leonard

Actors: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Company: Miramax Films

Imdb Link

Jackie Brown Available Subtitles

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French subtitles Jackie Brown4 years ago
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English subtitles Jackie Brown5 years ago

Trailer


Review

Less showy than Pulp, but a more mature story that is just as enjoyable

5/10 Jackie Brown is a 44 year old air hostess who also acts as a money carrier for her boss, gun dealer Ordell Robbie. When one of Ordell's other employee's is caught he is forced to kill him, however, before he can get to him the employee tells the police about Jackie and they pick her up. With Jackie facing jail or being killed by Ordell she strikes a deal with both the police and him to bring in a large stash of money. However to help her retirement she plans to play the game to her own ends.

Coming as a follow up to both Dogs and Pulp, this film was going to be the `greatest movie ever made' or it was going to be met with a critical response that seems to be a bit negative. It was the hype and hyperbole around anything baring the name Tarantino that perhaps was giving every film he did higher and higher standards to meet, it is wasn't Jackie Brown that was met in this way it would have been the next film, or the next one. However the reviews were mostly good, but it did get some unfair reviews from critics who expected this to continue the upward trend. In a way I believe that this film did show Tarantino's growth as a director.

Where Pulp Fiction was dizzying in it's style and pace, Jackie Brown is much more of a mature, balanced film that is satisfying in a more traditional sense that the design of Pulp. Developed from a Leonard novel, the plot is a solid crime thriller with a good plot that still gives room for Tarantino to do some time shifting as he reveals some key scenes from different perspectives to allow us to see the bigger picture. As a story it fills the rather generous running time pretty well and is enjoyable throughout.

The film is still full of Tarantinoisms for the fans - the heavy soundtrack, the pop culture references, the witty, slick dialogue. However where the film stands out is that the characters are actually better than in his previous films where they never really went beyond the story and dialogue. Here not only are they better but they also include well-written female parts! While some of the characters are as good as they need to be within the confines of the basic crime story, it is in Jackie and Max where Tarantino has grown up a bit - although in fairness this was an adaptation rather than his own script, but he still manages them better than some of his own thin characters.

Following the praise for Pulp and Tarantino's ability to rejuvenate careers, he must have had no problem cherry picking for this role. Grier gives a great performance and should be grateful for the role in an industry that generally ignores middle-aged women (not to mention black women!). The only thing surprising about her is how poorly she has taken this big lead role and used it to take her career on. Her performance embraces her age and uses it well, but it is Forster who gives the standout performance here. Not an actor many will be aware of apart from this film, he got an Oscar nomination for this and I think he deserved it. His performance is very low-key and quite moving - I think I will appreciate his work here more as I
get older. Jackson does what is expected of him and has no real character, but his energy and skill are there to see. De Niro plays a little against type and is an interesting, but underused character. Fonda is really, really sexy and has some good lines while the rest of the cast do good work in small roles with people like Keaton, Tucker and Bowen in there.

Overall I enjoy this film and can understand why it will never be loved to the extent that Pulp was and is. However to me this is a more satisfying film with an enjoyable plot and a more traditional delivery. The development of actual good characters beyond snappy dialogue is what impressed me the most and it sadden me to see him regress about a decade into style without substance with Kill Bill Vol. One.

4 years ago

Tarantino's sleeper. An underrated gem of a movie.

5/10 Many people were disappointed with 'Jackie Brown' when it was first released as it didn't live up to their expectations created by the more flamboyant 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction'. I admit that I was one of those disappointed fans. But as the years have gone by I have come to appreciate this movie more and more, and if you deal with what it IS and not what you thought it was going to be, you'll see that it is an underrated gem of a movie. 'Jackie Brown' is much more character driven and leisurely plotted than Tarantino's previous two movies. I haven't read the Elmore Leonard novel on which it was based so I can't tell whether this was a conscious decision by Tarantino himself, or it's because of the source material, but it might be a stumbling block for those with MTV-style attention spans. 1970s crime movie buffs will find it much easier going. The big names in the cast like De Niro, Jackson and Fonda are all very good, but the real standout performances in this movie are by 70s blaxploitation icon Pam Grier ('Coffy', 'Foxy Brown', 'Black Mama White Mama',etc.etc.) and a revelatory one from Robert Forster. Forster back in the day showed plenty of promise in movies like 'Medium Cool' but quickly found himself stuck in b-grade exploitation movies like 'Vigilante' and 'Alligator'. Fun stuff, but hardly Oscar material. Max Cherry is the best role he has ever been given, and he is superb in it. The fascinating thing about 'Jackie Brown' for me is that Tarantino's critics accuse him of making shallow and violent self-consciously hip crime films, but the central story of this movie concerns an inter-racial Middle Aged romance, something I haven't seen done in a believable or realistic fashion by Hollywood before. By doing this so well Tarantino shows he has much more depth, and is a much more interesting and braver film maker than his more acclaimed contemporaries. 'Jackie Brown' is a fine movie that hopefully one day will get the kudos it deserves. Don't overlook this one just because it isn't 'Pulp Fiction The Next Generation'!

4 years ago

Quentin strikes again.

5/10 Where does a director go after making two colossal worldwide hits?

"Reservoir Dogs" (1992) and "Pulp Fiction" (1994) were two of the greatest movies ever made, and they launched director Quentin Tarantino into the realm of Mainstream Hollywood Director. Most of the time, a director faced with this reality will sink into a slew of really bad movies, but so far Tarantino has been either extremely lucky or extremely talented - his third feature film, although lacking in the brutality of its predecessors, contains just as much wit. Based upon the Elmore Leonard novel "Rum Punch," it's packed with the clever dialogue that Leonard is known for in his writing. It's also got a good amount of style, too. It's not a typical Tarantino movie, but is that necessarily a bad thing? In this particular instance, no.

Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a flight stewardess forced into running jobs for Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson), a ruthless criminal who has no respect for life - or death, for that matter. However, during one of her smuggling efforts, a couple of FBI Agents (including Michael Keaton) nab her and offer her a deal: If she helps them get Ordell, she will be let free from custody. The Feds do not know who Ordell is, but they know he exists, and that is where Jackie comes in. She reluctantly agrees to participate in their sting operation, but all is not what it seems. And when $500,000 dollars disappears from his retirement fund, Ordell stops, thinks, and arrives upon the conclusion that we all anticipate with glee: Jackie Brown did it.

His partner in crime, Louis (the wonderful Robert De Niro), also decides to double-cross Ordell, with the help of a sexy blonde ditz named Melanie (Bridget Fonda), The movie's twisting plot line and intersecting story lines is very reminiscent of "Pulp Fiction," and De Niro's underrated performance is a real stand-out. The movie's quite well made and enjoyable.

Don't misinterpret what I'm saying. This is no "Reservoir Dogs," nor does it want to be. It's not in the same vein as Tarantino's other movies, at least not at a superficial level. However, it is extremely entertaining, helped along by a great cast and a terrific script. The only difference here is that Tarantino did not come up with everything by himself. He adapted the screenplay from another source, something he usually doesn't do. But there's also a little-known fact that Roger Avary co-wrote some of "Dogs" and "Fiction" with Tarantino, as well as sparked the idea for some of his films. Here, Quentin adapts Leonard's novel and does justice. People who say it isn't as good as his other movies because it's recycled obviously don't know what they're talking about.

Tarantino started out as a video store clerk, and is the movie buff's filmmaker. Not only does Tarantino share a deep passion for films, but he also knows what most of the real movie enthusiasts want. He has yet to disappoint me with any of his directorial efforts. His own life story would make an interesting movie, and indeed it did with "True Romance," partially based on Tarantino's own self-image of himself. (A geek working at a comic book store falls in love and goes off of an adventure into a new realm -- in Tarantino's own case, it was film-making. For Clarence, from "True Romance," it was drugs and murder.)

Tarantino has a flair for raw energy in all of his films, and "Jackie Brown" is no exception. The movie is bursting at its edges, packed with wild antics and the occasional fierce brutality. The movie was criticized by Tarantino's die-hard fans for being too different from his other films. However, the mistake of many directors is to repeat the same formulas over and over again. One must at least give Tarantino credit for trying new things in each of his films. If anything, the only thing that Tarantino likes to insert into all his films is a large source of energy. And is that a bad thing?

4.5/5 stars.

4 years ago

No Fancy Fireworks needed

10/10 Contrary to Pulp Fiction which had a very unusual editing and flashy situations, Jackie Brown focuses more on characters that are basically humans with very focused problems, for instance getting older which is an eminent theme tackled in the film. No one's evil in all this. They all have interestingly real personalities and I felt strangely comfortable watching them talk, eat, kill and argue with each other. Tarantino is an excellent storyteller and I wish I could write dialogues as interesting as his. The film flows with a slower pace than Pulp, with all it's many streched takes and lenghty scenes, but by doing so leaves us more time to grasp the characters with all their differences. A more mature Tarantino. Still loving what he does. And he said it himself before the film came out: "This one is at a lower volume then 'Pulp.' It's not an epic, it's not an opera. It's a character study."

4 years ago

Solid film, never a dull moment, great characters

8/10 Although different than some of Tarantino's more violent precursors, such as "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" and "True Romance" this is an excellent film. Where it lacks in violence however, the film makes up for in language earning it an "R" rating in the US. In certain scenes, I thought it Tarantino went to far with the explicit language and it seemed awkward and artificial, but that does not cast a shadow of over what I thought was an otherwise fantastic film. The editing and directing is excellent. There is good character development of the main characters, yet there is not one scene where the movie drags throughout its entire 150 minutes. I couldn't tear myself away from this movie until the very end.

Especially enjoyable is the performance by Robert Forster whose character I thought was outstanding. Max Cherry, played by Forster, is a tempered bail bondsman who cautiously handles his unscrupulous clients. One day he is approached by Ordell Robbie, played by Samuel L. Jackson, to post a bond for Jackie Brown, a middle aged flight attendant for a low cost airline who gets caught smuggling Ordell's fortune in Mexico into the US. The initial meeting between Jackie and Max sets up a relationship between these two characters on both professional and personal level and that changes Max from a methodical and business man to almost an innocent young boy with a crush. The last scene in the movie between these two characters is absolutely brilliant.

I highly recommend this film and it's fun to watch Tarantino mature as a director. The little extras littered throughout the film such as "Chick with Guns", the fabulous locations such as the Cockatoo Inn, and the excellent characters make this film well worth a view.

4 years ago