Jackie Brown

Review No. 461

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt”…to tell me they didn’t like “Jackie Brown”.

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay by: Quentin Tarantino
Based on: “Rum Punch” by Elmore Leonard
Jackie Brown: Pam Grier
Ordell Robbie: Samuel L. Jackson
Max Cherry: Robert Forster
Melanie Ralston: Bridget Fonda
Ray Nicolette: Michael Keaton
Louis Gara: Robert De Niro
Beaumont Livingston: Chris Tucker
Also Starring: Aimee Graham, Diana Uribe, Hattie Winston, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Michael Bowen, Sid Haig, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr.

Distributed by Miramax Films on December 25, 1997. Produced in English by the United States. Runs 154 mins. Rated R by the MPAA–mature themes, profanity, infrequent violence, infrequent drug content, infrequent sexual situations.

Jackie Brown was watched on April 5, 2013.

“My ass may be dumb, but I ain’t no dumbass.” –Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson)

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker, but first and foremost, he’s a film fan. The man was born and raised by his mother, who had separated from his father before he was born, and exposed to violent, exploitative movies at a young age. He worked a VHS rental shop for several years, before making his now-lost short vehicle My Best Friend’s Birthday, and then becoming one of the most influential (and iconic) modern day indie directors.

Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a stewardess working in California. She can’t afford to lose her job, but she’s come all too close: she’s caught on her way back from Mexico with several hundred dollar bills and a significant amount of cocaine in her luggage. When she is bailed out of gaol…let’s just say she tries to use that money–500 grand–to her own advantage.

Jackie Brown shows this all in a two-and-a-half-hour nutshell. The movie is a tour de force full of style, comedy, and mania. Even if you can’t tell that this is an homage to the blaxploitation genre of the 1970s, it’s impossible not to rock along with it. The guy calls shots flawlessly. He could be as blind as anything, and he’d still be feeling the film like Ray Charles feels music, with a cast full of Liberaces. No, this isn’t the role I would expect De Niro in, and it shows–but if this couldn’t garner Samuel L. Jackson and Pam Grier Oscars (let alone nominations) for going so outstandingly over the top, nothing will.

Jackie Brown is a fun movie. Much of the time, we’re so in love with the characters that we don’t really see who could be (or is) “the antagonist.” And at times, it doesn’t exactly explain perfectly, but it’s difficult not to pay endless amounts of attention to. And that’s all you really need in a movie sometimes–but like Jackie herself, Quentin puts a cherry on top. Boo-yah.




Taxi Driver


10 thoughts on “Jackie Brown

  1. It’s a good one, but not a great one. But still, you got to give it to Tarantino for giving us the old-school type of thriller we all need to see that isn’t about an extraneous amount of guns, violence, and sex, but talking. Lots and lots of talking. Good review.

  2. I know how excited you were to see this one, so I’m really glad you liked it so much. That Ordell quote you highlighted is one of my favorite from the entire film – Jackson simply kills it in this movie.

    Boo-yah indeed!

  3. I loved Jackie Brown! It’s a fun movie.
    I wasn’t a big fan of how De Niro was used here though. I thought there should have been more considering that this is Tarantino and De Niro teaming up we’re talking about. That was just about the only complaint though, Jackie Brown’s really good but there’s just some Tarantino-ness missing. He doesn’t really go up to eleven I guess. It’s still really good and a really enjoyable film though. I loved the underplayed romance between Max and Jackie though; the Delfonics thing really got to me.

    • Ah yes. I bought “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” a few days after seeing this. Crazy awesome song once you can think back to how Tarantino used it.

      I really thought De Niro was miscast here though, especially the more I think about it. It just doesn’t seem like his character at all. He’s usually vocally reserved, but his acting speaks his characters’ personalities. Not sure Tarantino noticed that in him.


Comments are closed.