Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in his feature-length debut. It stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Tarantino, and Edward Bunker as diamond thieves whose planned heist of a jewelry store goes terribly wrong.
The film depicts the events before and after, but not during, the heist. It incorporates many motifs that have become Tarantino’s hallmarks: violent crime, pop culture references, profanity, and nonlinear storytelling.
The film is regarded as a classic of independent film and a cult film, and was named “Greatest Independent Film of all Time” by Empire. Although controversial at first for its depictions of violence and heavy use of profanity, Reservoir Dogs was generally well received, with the cast being praised by many critics. Despite not being heavily promoted during its theatrical run, the film became a modest success in the United States after grossing $2.8 million against its scant budget. It achieved higher popularity after the success of Tarantino’s next film, Pulp Fiction in 1994.