Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most characters are unrepentant jewel thieves.


Gunfights, bleeding wounds, sadistic torture.

Not applicable

Almost every line of dialogue is peppered with obscenities. Sexual joking and sexually-based insults traded by characters.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoking tobacco and drink. A character smuggles a suitcase of drugs past police.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a film that focuses on a group of jewel thieves in the aftermath of a botched robbery. The dialogue features a constant stream of obscenities as the characters verbally spar with each other. Copious amounts of blood are featured throughout the entire film as a character is shown bleeding to death. Another character is tortured by being tied to a chair, having his ear cut off with a knife, and having gasoline poured over him with the intention of setting him on fire. The final shootout among the thieves is tense, emotional, and bloody.

What's the story?

RESERVOIR DOGS is the film that put Quentin Tarantino into the cinematic spotlight. Not only did he write and direct the film, but he is also featured in the role of Mr. Brown, one of a seven-member group of jewel thieves. His trademarks of amplified violence and vulgar dialogue are in full force, as are the flurry of obscure to not-so-obscure pop culture references woven into the dialogue. Cleverly, and famously, the heist is never actually shown, and in truth, the crime itself is not the point. The presence of an undercover cop amongst the thieves exists as the dramatic crux of the film.

Is it any good?


Resevoir Dogs ranks as one of the finest, and most gut-wrenching, crime dramas ever, but is certainly not for the faint of heart. Even at this early stage in his career, Tarantino does expertly builds tension, interweaving scenes of the aftermath of the thieves' foiled heist with scenes depicting them getting ready for the heist.

The film also features great performances from a knockout cast including Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, and Tim Roth.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence and language here. Would the story have been as powerful if it had been less explicit? Do you think the mature material makes it more appealing to younger audiences?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1992
DVD/Streaming release date:March 18, 2003
Cast:Chris Penn, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth
Director:Quentin Tarantino
Studio:Artisan Entertainment
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and language.

This review of Reservoir Dogs was written by

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Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 December 11, 2011

Great movie!

Best of the Tarantino films!saw it when I was 9!not that bad and language is ok if your kids don't learn it and use it in school.worse things happen in real life.there are shoot outs and massacres every day and this is not even half as realistic Quentin rocks!Forgot to add,the torture scene was awesome.
Teen, 14 years old Written byantoineisthebest June 20, 2011

I love it

I saw this movie when I was 6 and love it but I just found out this a movie for teen not young teen but teen
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bySacko November 10, 2012

Not for kids at all

Reservoir dogs is an adult cult gangstar movie which also has partial sexual references