Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 43
  2. Negative: 5 out of 43
  1. 100
    Kill Bill: Volume 1 shows Quentin Tarantino so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through "Flight of the Bumble Bee" -- or maybe an accordion prodigy setting a speed record for "Lady of Spain."
  2. 100
    The worst thing about the first Quentin Tarantino picture in five years is that after 93 minutes of some of the most luscious violence and spellbinding storytelling you're likely to see this year, Kill Bill ends.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    Although this installment is a beautiful stand-alone thang (check out how its chronology-juggling storyline creates a perfect circle, structure-wise).
  4. 100
    "His eye is incredibly sharp and amazing, in regard to visceral cinema," says Uma Thurman, who has worked with Tarantino on both Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. "He's a great storyteller. He's very seductive as a filmmaker."
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    By next semester, some grad student will be writing a thesis on the B-movie influences on this A+ film.
  6. 100
    Delivered with such high panache and brio, it's mesmerizing.
  7. The film may be bloody, but it's also bloody gorgeous: a grandly fetishized epic of cinematic aggression. It's a tale of vengeance that hinges on Tarantino's love of ferocity as spectacle -- his immersion in action and exploitation, his addiction to the jazzy catharsis of junk-film kicks.
  8. Reconfirms Tarantino's status as the master of pop cinema and puts a sense of excitement into the year. He has matched, if not eclipsed, the power and scope of 1994's "Pulp Fiction," though not its human charm.
  9. 89
    Don’t leave until the final credits finish rolling or you’ll miss what many are considering Kill Bill: Vol. 1’s best bit. Trust us on this one.
  10. 88
    In Kill Bill, Tarantino brings delicious sin back to movies -- the thrill you get from something down, dirty and dangerous.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    Bill re-establishes that Tarantino ranks with "Boogie Nights'" Paul Thomas Anderson as one of the few Hollywood filmmakers of the past 25 years with the stuff to win a lifetime achievement award.
  12. Simultaneously a spectacular act of movie-making and a slight movie. Or is that impossible: When the means are so gloriously abundant, can the end ever be merely trivial?
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 671 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. WowW
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    69 critic and 6.2 user average ratings??? Are people mad? Though I liked part 2 better, part 1 is way up there, and both DVDs are excellent transfers. Yes, it's graphic, but the violence isn't senseless, just like all of Tarantino's other films... why is Kill Bill treated so differently? Excellent acting, intricate screenplay, character develop and cinematography make it a must-have. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2011
    9
    Kill Bill Volume 1 is a gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance whose only real fault is that it isn't as detailed or captivating as Volume 2. Kill Bill tells the story of The Bride who was betrayed and left for dead in a church in El Paso by her once lover Bill and how when she awoke from a 4 year coma all she wanted was revenge. However that is not the only thing going for it as it is also a satire and a tribute to Kung Fu films in general. Of course Tarantino brings his own directorial flare to the film as well as his signature dialogue but the first volume plays more like a tribute than a film of its own where as the 2nd shines on its own merits and story. If anything it is the concentration on lesser characters like O-Ren Ishii that brings the film down because she is the weakest of the main group of characters (although Lucy Lui's acting is fantastic as always). This concentration seems like a mistake but in a way it does help set up the 2nd by showing how hard it was to take on only 2 of the 5 targets The Bride goes after. However the Hatori Hanzo section of the film does work especially well as it embraces Kung Fu and Samurai film conventions while also allowing for certain comedic elements and also fleshing out The Bride's excellent character before getting into the more action heavy second half of the film. Overall it is one of Tarantino's best works but is just overshadowed by Volume 2 which just does everything that Volume 1 does but does it better. Full Review »
  3. Dec 14, 2012
    7
    What do u get when u fuse anime-esque characters with interesting yet ultimately mediocre fight scenes that have been done to death in decades of Chinese Wu-Shia films and mix it all with 70's martial arts music and artstyle all packaged in a sloppy plot that acts as merely an excuse for the over-the-top-to-the-point-of-comedic violence? You get Kill Bill Vol 1, the first part of essentially an elaborate revenge, murderous rampage plan of the so-called ex-killer, 'The Bride' Kiddo. In many respects, the violence in some aspects overshoots its intended artistic form and becomes rather disturbing, even for a fully-grown 22 yo male like myself who indulges often in gory video games. Uma Thurman is brilliant and some visual cinematography is brilliant. The homage to Chinese Wu-Shia and Japanese Samurai films will provide nostalgia for many (like myself, who is 1/4 Japanese and 3/4 Chinese) while if you're not really into those types of films, you may be disappointed. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is very much just a violent showcase of bloodlust and dismembering fetish, where you will laugh, grimace, cringe and get high all at the same time. Its an experience, an unique one that's not for the faint-hearted. If you're expecting a crime/mafia revenge tale, this is not the film you're after. If you want to watch a single, Caucasian blondie cut her way through dozens of human beings all in great, bloodthirsty detail with the occasional backstory, this is that film. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is not a movie. Its a visual, bloodfest with chaotic martial arts sequences that at times, just dont feel fluid or flow as well as the the major martial arts blockbusters from China or Japan. Save this for those drunken nights where you have ran out of anime to watch (unlikely), manga to read (even more unlikely) or decent games to play (impossible). Full Review »