Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist, but not the heist itself. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars an ensemble cast: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, and Lawrence Tierney. Tarantino and criminal-turned-author Eddie Bunker have minor roles. It incorporates many themes that have become Tarantino’s hallmarks: violent crime, pop culture references, profuse profanity, and a nonlinear storyline.
The film has become a classic of independent film and a cult hit. It was named “Greatest Independent Film of all Time” by Empire magazine. Reservoir Dogs was generally well received, and the cast was praised by many critics. Although it was not given much promotion upon release, the film became a modest success in the United States after grossing $2,832,029, making its $1.2 million budget back. The film was more successful in the United Kingdom, grossing nearly £6.5 million, and it achieved higher popularity after the success of Tarantino’s next directorial effort, Pulp Fiction.
Six criminals, who are strangers to each other, are hired by a crime boss, Joe Cabot, to carry out a diamond robbery. Right at the outset, they are given false names with the intention that they won’t get too close and will concentrate on the job instead. They are completely sure that the robbery is going to be a success. But, when the police show up right at the time and the site of the robbery, panic spreads amongst the group members, and one of them is killed in the subsequent shootout, along with a few policemen and civilians. When the remaining people assemble at the premeditated rendezvous point (a warehouse), they begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop.