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3.3 out of 5 stars34
3.3 out of 5 stars
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2000
It's unfortunate that this came out so soon after the 'Tarantino' media mayhem. Unfortunate because it should not have been compared / contrasted to anything to do with the man - Roger Avary holds his own as quite possibly a revolutionary director here. The film is tense, brutal but possesses a spirit missing from many films of the same ilk. Eric Stoltz is excellent as a man caught up in the whirlwind events - drifting with no purpose it's almost as if he's suddnely shocked by life and 'woken up' by the events that unfold. A great cast, superb score and a dark pretext make this a fantastic film. I'm looking forward to the DVD!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2003
Inspite of being released far too soon after the Tarantino hype, this beats Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs hands down. On the surface it's just a bank robebry film, which semi-explores issues of morality, AIDS, death, drug abuse and prostitution. However, look a little closer and a weaving line of complexity appears which slowly dances through the plot, backed up with some excellent photography, set design and stunning lighting effects, considering the budget.
Personally, I really enjoyed this film, it was both mature and beautiful, exploring issues that not many would have the nerve to. A very intelligent and well though out plot and some excellent sets - a red bank vault?
As with all films of this subtle complexity, I don't think it will be to everyone's taste, but if you liked Donnie Darko, and managed to unravel the sub plot to Mulholland Drive but like a less surreal film, try this one on for size. Films that make you think, now there's an idea?!?!?
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on 10 May 2015
I had this on VHS during the mid to late 90's and watched it many times. I was an early adopter of DVD (bought my first DVD player in April 1999) but never replaced this film. Over the years I never gave it much thought, recently I saw an advert for it in an very old magazine from the 90's (I was sorting out old boxes from the attic) and I wanted to see it again. I checked to see if there was a Blu-ray available as I have now moved on from DVD and the VHS Tapes and player have been thrown away, given away over a decade ago and found out that there was a French released edition with the English Language Track. Brilliant I thought I don't mind Non-English Language packaging as long as the product is viewable and I can change the audio language.

The first half of the film when they are out for the night in Paris is fine almost all of the dialogue is in English (with some background, side dialogue in French), but as soon as the second half starts when they get into the bank 99.9% of the dialogue is in FRENCH. There are no forced English subtitles that the VHS had and no English subtitle option for the film on the disc. Why go to the trouble of having an English Language Track when it only covers half the film. Eric Stoltz character cannot speak French so the only lines of English dialogue after they enter the bank are when he has to speak to someone and that's about 8 lines of dialogue.

The Blu-ray picture quality is excellent, but if like me you do not speak a word of French get the DVD or wait for a U.K. Blu-ray Release. I ordered item from Amazon France and it only cost me 17 Euro's with postage and arrived in 3 days (so not a big loss). If not for the lack of English Subtitles this would have got 5 Stars from me.

I know that this is a French Release, but it would have been nice to be able too understand the film in other Region B territories as Region B covers Europe, Australia, U.K. Regardless of the Language of the packaging a DVD/Blu-ray Disc should have the language and subtitles needed for the entire Region it covers. I have many German Released Blu-rays that I struggle with the Menu's as I don't speak a word of German either, but the film is viewable and understandable as the disc have the English Language Track and Subtitles if needed.

I only purchased as it stated that there was an English Language Audio Track, if it had said that it only covers half the film and you have to try and guess the rest. I would not have purchased the French Released Blu-ray.
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on 9 January 2014
On first seeing Killing Zoe back in about 1995 I thought of it as one of the better Tarantino clones of the era, if nothing special. Only OCD got me to buy the DVD. God knows how it worked its' way to the top of the pile of a hundred and odd discs I've got to watch.

However, watching it again I see the film somewhat differently. Superficially it is just a standard bank heist film with the ramped up gore and language of the mid-90s. But there's a lot more happening here.

Most praiseworthy is Eric Stoltz's performance as the apathetic Zed. The man is a passenger the whole film, not making any serious effort to protect Zoe or later the bank staff from Eric, not bothering to find out what Eric's plan is or whether he's stable enough to bring it off, not objecting to a moronic night of drugs with Eric's awful friends, not keeping tabs on the disintegrating situation above when he's working on the safe. One minute he's mercy-killing a guard (while at the same time ignoring the man's request for a final bit of human contact in one of the film's most fascinating scenes), the next he's distracted by the safe opening. He's basically saved by Zoe and it's highly unlikely the character finds any redemption from the events he just coasts through. It's a wonderfully scuzzy, blank, passive performance.

And as for Eric - the man and his gang of idiots are the antithesis of the slick, wise-cracking Tarantino criminals. Eric kills out of boredom and a lack of better ideas, his humour is a barrage of spit and misogyny. It's a fantastically spiteful, bitter turn from Jean Hugues Anglade - it'd be too easy to go for the Alan Rickman/Gary Oldman charismatic panto villain routine. Eric's just a plain old piece of s*** - as are his men; instead of pop-culture observations on Madonna they indulge in interminable, telegraphed, unfunny jokes about unhygenic prostitutes.

It is an incredibly nihilistic film when you stop and look at it. Only Julie Delphy's Zoe has even a trace of humanity to her, and she shacks up with a criminal without morals good or bad who might well have HIV (let's be honest, in this film's universe, does have HIV). It's that sort of movie. It's not easy to watch but it does deserve a second look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2001
At the start this film is pretty average, but stick with until the final third and it really kicks in. The bank scene is superbly done and its just a same that the drug taking is a bit long and overdrawn.
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on 8 April 2000
I don't know what's wrong with the people below (maybe they were on drugs while seeing this film) but this film does not deserve THAT bad a review. If Romeo and Juliet of 1997 (the version with Leonardo) can get a 5 star review, this film ought to get a least the same. It is full of violence and drugs which all leads to a bloody bank robbery, which in the pinnacle of the film takes place in the most beautiful and exciting scene of the film. A film filled with beautiful scenes and at a prize @ only £5.99 it's a bargain.
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on 19 August 2015
This review is for the 2015 Blu-ray release of Killing Zoe. I can not recommend buying the Blu-ray release because the picture quality is at VHS level. Colour and contrast are the worst I have aver seen on a Blu-ray. My US DVD release from Artisan has way better picture quality than this terribly botched Blu-ray. Don't even think about sepdning a dime on this.... it is really not worth it. I would have loved to replace my DVD with this Blu-ray but it is going back to Amazon.
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on 4 September 2013
Saw this film many years ago and it is still compelling viewing albeit occationally shocking in the thorough disregard for human life, the compulsive greed and gratuitous violence. I liked the feminist conclusion with Zoe saving the day for Eric Stoltz, the only survivors of this disasterous robbery gone wrong due to no exit strategy, oh and doing a whole load of smack the night before.
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on 10 August 2015
i love this film.. but this blu ray is beyond belief!!. its like watching a vhs tape & its cropped so heads are cut off in some scenes.. its so bad that ive sent it back for a refund!.. the french blu ray release of this is stunning (but no english subs) so god knows what this UK release is so bad!! AVOID..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is a great little film, starring Eric Stoltz and Julie Delpy. Set in france it's the usual Tarantino mix of violence, drugs, guns and great dialogue. This film reminds me a lot of True Romance - as it is basically a love story - centred around a bank robbery that goes horribly wrong. Great stuff!
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