It's startling to realise that this is now twenty years old. This is still a shocking piece of work. Although, for a gangster film, there isn't really all that much violence, what there is is powerful and dark. It's also a masterpiece of plotting on a budget. Set largely in a warehouse, where a gang of criminals are set to meet after an armed robbery that has gone wrong, it's a tight claustrophobic setting, where the confusion of the robbers as to what's gone wrong is matched by our own, as the film is told out of sequence. We see the bloody aftermath before we even know what they are trying to do. As they piece together who's alive and who's dead, and whether it all went wrong by accident or if there is a rat in the house, so we piece together who is in this gang, and what roles they all played in it.
There are examples of Tarantino's now famous naturalistic dialogue, where a bunch of guys just sitting around a restaurant table, or cruising in a car, really can sound like a bunch of guys just sitting around a restaurant table, or cruising in a car. The characters come to life, and the plot keeps us glued to the screen - we're involved but always playing catch-up - a tight line that Tarantino walks with perfection. Complete with great dialogue, iconic scenes - any bunch of guys walking down the road in suits, or especially in sunglasses too, will always get someone commenting on it, or starting to hum the tune that goes with it, or how about the Mutually Assured Destruction showdown between Keitel's Mr White and Buscemi's Mr Pink ("I didn't create this situation. I'm dealing with it!") and the infamous scene involving Michael Madsen's Mr Blonde with a captured policeman - this film still feels fresh and dangerous, and I get the feeling that is unlikely to change. With this as a debut feature, and following it up with Pulp Fiction, Tarantino established himself as one of the most important names in 90s cinema.