34. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino's graphic, violent and captivating masterpiece absolutely blew me away the first time I saw it in 1994. The story, which is a set of vignettes surrounding the different people in the seductive underworld of drugs and violence, was so different from anything else seen before. The film's title comes from the type of cheap magazines that existed and featured vignette-like stories that were all interconnected and of a graphic nature. It is too complicated and full of spoilers for me to describe but suffice it to say, the bulk of the movie focuses on John Travolta's slick and cool hitman, Vincent Vega, and Bruce Willis' down and out boxer, Butch Coolidge. There are so many iconic moments and images from this film that people remember (like Ezekiel 25:17, the dancing at the 1950's-themed diner or The Gimp). Led by Travolta and Willis, the ensemble cast is just genius, especially Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman (who both received Oacar nominations, as did Travolta). Other fine performances include Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Harvey Keitel, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz and (in one of his many bizarre cameos) Christopher Walken. The graphic nature of the screenplay, while controversial, still won over the Academy as Tarantino and co-writer, Roger Avary, received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (it probably should have won more than that, but you can't win them all!). It is Tarantino's finest work and will never be forgotten.
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