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"PULP FICTION"
(1994) (John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Heavy None Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two hitmen must deal with their ever-changing job requirements.
PLOT:
Marsellus Wallace (VING RHAMES) is the king daddy of gang lords in L.A. Feared by many, his control over his domain is vast, particularly since his two hitmen, Vincent Vega (JOHN TRAVOLTA) and Jules Winnfield (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) are so "good" at what they do. While Vincent doesn't think about what he does, Jules begins to reflect on his life and leans toward getting out of "the business." When Marsellus asks Vincent to entertain his wife, Mia (UMA THURMAN), for an evening, Jules worries that his partner may meet a nasty end should anything go wrong. Of course it does, and Mia overdoses on some drugs supplied by Lance (ERIC STOLTZ), a buddy of Vincent's. This all happens as the men are ordered to take care of Butch Coolidge (BRUCE WILLIS), a boxer who's on the run after not following orders to take a fall in the ring. And they must also deal with two small-time thieves/lovers, Pumpkin (TIM ROTH) and Honey Bunny (AMANDA PLUMMER), and with covering up an accidental and messy murder.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids won't, but teens who've heard of this movie will probably want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong graphic violence and drug use, pervasive strong language and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
None of the characters can be considered good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


OUR TAKE: 9 out of 10
Nominated for many 1994 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor and both Supporting Actor and Actress roles, "Pulp Fiction" is a disturbing, yet powerful film that instantly became a cult classic, and did extremely well at the box office. After this movie's success, many copycat films followed, but none could compare to this wild, highly inventive movie. Featuring an amazing script filled with rich, but at times unrealistic dialogue, the plot breaks the traditional boundaries of a linear storyline that only adds to the film's imaginative delivery. Never knowing where or when the film will go, the audience has no choice but to be glued to the screen. While the script is very cleverly written and creates memorable characters, a great deal of the dialogue is unrealistic -- truly, would hitmen be comparing the names of hamburgers in different countries, or making other, deeper philosophical comments? This is a slight problem, since so much of the movie is the dialogue and script, but its unique approach makes it easy to swallow. The fact that these characters discuss other matters while going about their business not only makes them more human, it makes them that much scarier. Dim-witted villains are bad enough, but when you get philosophical ones that spout religious passages and can carry on deep conversations with their victims -- now that's frightening. This film not only blasted director Quentin Tarantino into the mainstream, but also single handedly resurrected John Travolta's career. His performance is downright amazing and is only overshadowed by Samuel L. Jackson's and both were nominated for their tremendous performances. Everyone else is superb as well, from Uma Thurman's nominated performance to Willis' usual fine delivery. Easily capturing the hip retro 70's comeback -- c'mon, didn't everyone think this was set in the 70's, what with the soundtrack, afros, clothes, etc... -- the film's style is one of its other strong points. Many people were put off by the nonlinear story, the matter of fact violence, and other objectionable material. Granted, there's a great deal that may offend some, but the sheer brilliance of the directing and script clearly overshadow those faults. Of course some would say that they didn't need to include all of the "bad stuff," but without it, there would really be no story. This film is about that dark, underbelly of life, and that gritty quality only adds layer upon layer to this feature. Definitely not for kids or those upset by the often harsh material, the film is a must for film lovers as it's probably one of the better films of the 1990's. Wildly inventive, never boring, and visually fun to watch, we give "Pulp Fiction" a 9 out of 10.
OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
This movie is filled to the brim with stuff that many will object to. Profanity is extremely high as are the bad attitudes among many of the characters. Violence isn't overly abundant, but what's there is extreme, including a man being raped by other men and several murders. While little nudity is seen, activity and discussion occur that when added with the above rape give that category a heavy rating. Enough varied drug use is present to warrant an extreme rating, and the amount of blood is heavy, although one scene has more disturbing descriptions of a bloody mess than are actually seen. Since many older kids will want to see this film, we strongly suggest that you check out the content listings to determine if this film is appropriate viewing for them.

ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Vincent talks to Jules about the availability of hash in Amsterdam.
  • Jules has a beer in Marsellus' bar.
  • Lance sells heroin to Vincent and asks him if he wants to hang around and get high, but Vincent says he has to leave. Before going, however, he does prepare to use the drug (lighter under the spoon, closeup of the syringe being injected), and later is rather high as he drives down the street.
  • Vincent pours himself a drink at Mia's place.
  • Mia snorts cocaine from a mirror at her place and then later in a restaurant bathroom.
  • Mia finds the drugs that Vincent bought and she snorts the powder and then overdoses.
  • A woman inhales from a bong in Lance's house.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a closeup of a needle going into an arm and the burst of blood back into the syringe before the drug is injected.
  • Mia overdoses on heroin and blood runs from her nose. Later, Vincent finds her with foam also flowing from her mouth.
  • Butch shoots a man who's then bloody, as is the door into the room where he was shot.
  • A good amount of blood runs from Butch's nose after a car wreck.
  • Marsellus' face is bloody after repeatedly being punched.
  • A man is sliced with a sword and has a bloody and long cut down his chest.
  • A man's crotch is bloody after being shot.
  • Vincent accidentally shoots a guy in the back seat of a car, and blood splats onto the back window as well as into Vincent and Jule's hair. The bloody inside of the car is later seen, but more graphic is the description of picking up pieces of brain and skull and sopping up pools of blood (none of which are seen). Later, the two try to wash the blood from their bodies.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously both Vincent and Jules (in addition to Marsellus) have extreme cases of both as they are very casual about killing people. In fact, nearly everyone in this film has some (or a lot) of both.
  • Pumpkin and Honey Bunny are small-time thieves with a penchant for danger, and use guns to rob places. Additionally, they talk down about foreigners working in convenience stores.
  • Some may be put off by Jules quoting Bible passages, although at the end it's religion that stops his violence spree. He attributes this to divine intervention when he and Vincent survive an attempt on their lives.
  • Marsellus asks Butch to take a fall in his boxing match and pays him money to do so.
  • A man refers to Vietnamese people (pertaining to the Vietnam War and told from a POW viewpoint) as gooks and yellow-skinned.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Viewers may find scenes listed under "Violence" as tense.
  • Jules and Vincent go on a hit that takes a long time to develop even though we know what's probably going to happen (that's what makes it tense).
  • Mia overdoses and Vincent takes her to Lance's place where they prepare to inject adrenaline straight into her heart via a syringe. This also takes a while to happen, and thus is tension filled as well.
  • Butch returns to his apartment knowing full well that Vincent and/or Jules will be waiting for him and he slowly sneaks his way in, preparing for the worst.
  • Pumpkin and Honey Bunny hold up a diner that Jules and Vincent just happen to be in.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns: Used to threaten or kill several people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Samurai sword: Used to kill a man.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Let's not just suck each other's d*cks yet," "Nigger" (said by black and white people), "Bitch" (about women), "Pissed," "Retard" and "Dork."
  • With the help of a trained professional, Vincent and Jules manage literally to get away with murder as they clean up any evidence of it occurring (and the man makes it seem very smooth and hip while doing so).
  • Lance's wife's body is pierced nearly everywhere we can see (eyebrow, lip, tongue, etc...) and places we don't (nipple, genitals).
  • Though questionable about how imitative it is, we must mention that a man talks about hiding a watch up his rectum during the Vietnam War. While a watch is unlikely, some people do hide/transport other items in that same cavity.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Vincent's gun accidentally fires and blows a man's head off (we just see the blood).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 260 "f" words (40 used with "mother" -- with another written on a wallet -- and 4 used sexually), 80 "s" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" word), 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), 44 asses (4 used with "hole"), 7 damns, 5 hells, 1 S.O.B., and 24 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Jesus Christ," and 1 each of "God" and "Jesus" used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Vincent and Jules talk about a man being killed because he was giving Mia a foot massage (and a jealous Marsellus then threw him out a window). They then compare that act to oral sex and make comments such as "Is it as bad as eating her p*ssy out?" And "Sticking your tongue in the holiest of holes."
  • Lance's wife mentions that certain private parts of her body are pierced (but aren't seen). When asked why she wears a stud in her tongue, she replies, "It's a sex thing....Fellatio."
  • Mia mentions that her character's speciality (in a TV pilot) was sex.
  • Vincent talks to himself in Mia's bathroom and tells himself that he'll go out, say goodnight and then go home and "jerk off" (masturbate).
  • Butch lies up against his girlfriend and runs his hand up her thigh. He then does something with his hand (that we don't see), that seems to take her mind off worrying about their safety. Later, she asks him, "Will you give me oral pleasure?" He replies, "Will you kiss it?" She agrees but makes him go first. He then moves down her body, out of view of the camera, and she's obviously pleased at what he's doing and some moaning is heard.
  • Butch comes out of the shower with a towel covering his privates, but the side of his butt is briefly seen as is a glimpse of pubic hair. We also see some bare parts of his girlfriend's butt as well as some glimpses of her upper thigh.
  • A store owner and his buddy are into S&M, and have another man, the "gimp," chained and dressed in leather. The men then anally rape Marsellus (mostly heard) but we do see one of the men's hips moving although no nudity is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Nearly all of the characters smoke, with Vincent and Mia doing the most.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • That despite the moderate glorification of the hitmen (by making them look cool and slick), they're really thugs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Pumpkin and Honey Bunny pull out their guns and threaten others during a robbery.
  • There is talk of Marsellus throwing a man from a window to his death several stories below.
  • During a hit, Jules pulls out his gun and shoots a guy lying on a sofa, killing him. He then upends a table and shoots another guy in the arm. Moments later, both Jules and Vincent shoot this guy many times (seen twice). Later, another guy races out from a nearby room and shoots at them until his gun is empty, but misses. They then shoot him many times (we only see them).
  • Vincent crashes his car into the front of Lance's house.
  • Vincent stabs an adrenaline syringe into Mia's chest.
  • Though not seen, it's reported that Butch killed his opponent in the ring (but didn't know about it until later told).
  • Explosions and machine gun fire are seen in a movie on TV.
  • Butch heaves a TV across the room when he realizes his heirloom watch is missing.
  • Butch shoots a man dead with a machine gun.
  • Butch drives into Marsellus, flipping him over, and then crashes in his car. Marsellus gets up, sees Butch and shoots his gun at him, but hits a bystander instead. He then follows Butch into a store where Butch grabs and punches him many times, and then prepares to execute him. The store owner stops him, however, and then knocks Butch out with the butt of his shotgun.
  • Two men anally rape Marsellus (mostly heard, but the end is seen). Butch breaks free from his bindings, punches another man, and then retrieves a samurai sword. He uses it on another man, first slicing his chest and then stabbing him with it. Marsellus then shoots a third man in the crotch with a shotgun.
  • Vincent accidentally shoots a guy in the back seat of a car, killing him and causing a bloody mess.



  • Reviewed August 9, 1997

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