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Film Film September 8, 2004
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Quentin Tarantino
Jackie Brown
1997

Within the pantheon of films adapted from the comic crime novels of Elmore Leonard, Get Shorty reigns as the box-office boss. Its upcoming sequel, Be Cool, will probably take over without much of a fight. (How can a John Travolta / André 3000 vehicle miss?) Still, I have an affection for the underbosses -- both Out of Sight and Jackie Brown are artfully crafted caper movies centered on genuinely likable characters. Of course the latter, being a Quention Tarantino flick, is incredibly violent and profane. Not to worry, though, the blood and 12-letter words are just cover for the sweetness at the movie's heart. In Brown, Tarantino does his career-rekindling magic with both lead actors, guiding Pam Grier and Robert Forster to a pair of remarkably humane performances. Samuel Jackson, on the other hand, finds his most menacing role to date, as the brutal and brutally funny Ordell Robbie.


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