Jackie Brown (1997) Short review

For me, this is Tarantino’s best effort; his most adult film. In his movies before and after this one, the characters tend to feel a little cartoonish. The characters in Jackie Brown feel more like real people. They also speak distinctively. In Tarantino’s other movies, the characters all speak with Tarantino’s voice (kind of like Kevin Smith movies).

There are some good plot twists in the film, some abrubtly shocking, but the focus is mainly on character and storytelling. The cast is eclectic, but as usual in a Tarantino flick, is a really good one.

He’s one of those directors that can get a good performance out of anyone. He can take actors that are known for B-Movies (like Forster), exploitation flicks (Grier and Haig), or just known as a bad actor (Tiny Lister) and make them look like Academy Award winners.

Pam Grier at LEAST deserved a nomination as the title character, but did not get one. She is very good here as a desperate middle aged slightly shady woman that doesn’t have things going very well for her at the beginning of the film.

Tarantino did a marvelous job setting her up as someone who doesn’t have anything to lose in her trying to outwit Jackson’s miscreant and the ATF.

Jackson once again plays a great bad guy. His Odell is a manipulative small time hood, who looks out for his own interests (himself) with extreme prejudice.

Robert Forster is also fun to watch in this as a stoic straight shooting bail bondsman. He is the polar opposite of the typical denizens that populate Tarantino’s criminal world. He plays off Grier very well.

Fonda and DeNiro play off of each other, as well, but in a much different capacity. DeNiro’s played low end thugs before, but never one quite this stupid. I say that with admiration.

Oh, yeah! Michael Keaton makes an appearance, too.

I’ve seen this more than all of Tarantino’s other films combined. It’s that good. Some of Tarantino’s fans that take everything at a surface level probably won’t appreciate this as much, but that may come later when they mature a little more.

This DOES have all of the Tarantino fingerprints on it… extended handheld shots… trunk cam… violent episodes… long banal conversations… criminal losers… anachronistic soundtrack… a 1970s look to the film…  just to a lesser degree than normal. Jackie Brown is an indication of what QT (who is a really talented writer and director) is really capable of… when he tries a little harder.

This made my Best 10 Films of 1997 and my Best 100 Films of the 1990s

5 of 5


One Response to “Jackie Brown (1997) Short review”

  1. […] there with Spielberg’s best adventure films… And who doesn’t love dinosaurs?) 7 Jackie Brown (Tarantino’s best movie. Not his most influential, but his best.) 6 Rushmore (A movie that […]

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