Jackie Brown (1997) – Quentin Tarantino

One of my favorite Tarantino films is the up next thanks to the What Else to Watch list in DK Canada’s The Movie Book, which recommended the previously reviewed Pulp Fiction.

His only film to date that is based on previously published material, Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Tarantino’s film is top-notch and lets the stunning Pam Grier take center stage surrounded by a top notch cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Micheal Keaton, Bridget Fonda, and an Oscar nominated performance by Robert Forster.

Grier plays the titular Jackie Brown, a flight attendant, who gets caught up between a pair of government agents, and the arms dealer she smuggles laundered money for, Ordell (Jackson). Caught up with her, is the bail bondsman that Ordell uses, Max Cherry (Forster).

And so begins a con, and a story that takes you in with Tarantino’s typical crackling dialogue, and ear for some great music.

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I’ve seen this film a number of times now, and each time I watch it, I enjoy it more than I did the previous times. Grier is fantastic, and is wonderfully paired with Forester. And despite the fact that it’s mentioned in the dialogue a number of times, this is the first time I clued in to the concept that a number of characters are feeling their age. It’s a nice touch, and adds a realism to the heightened reality of a Tarantino film.

And for a change, at least for a Tarantino movie, it’s told chronologically, and everything is in service to the story. The editing remains top-notch, and the sense of motion in the film is constant, whether it is the characters moving, or events moving them, there is lots to see and take in.

But it’s the small quieter character beats that I really enjoy, the looks that cross Brown and Cherry’s faces. There are a number of just these wonderful little character beats, the kinds that not all filmmakers would take the time for, but that bring the character to life.

Yes, the language can be a little harsh, and offensive, but it works. You believe that these people talk like that, and that is due to the script, the performances, and the way the film is shot.

Sure, I know Tarantino has had some big films, and I enjoy them all to varying degrees, but if pressed, I would say that Jackie Brown is far and away my favorite film that he has made. And honestly, this film just makes me love Grier and Forster that much more.

What’s your favorite Tarantino film? Maybe it’s in DK Books’ The Movie Book, pick one up and find out today, or discover an all new to you classic.

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