Movies Like 'Reservoir Dogs' to Watch Next

Looking for more crime dramas, sometimes with a heist twist? Discover these 10 films.
by Allison Bowsher — 

'Reservoir Dogs'


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Reservoir Dogs (Metascore 79), a film that introduced audiences to writer and director Quentin Tarantino and made skinny black ties cool again. The crime dramedy features all the elements that are now known as quintessential markers of a Tarantino project, including an impressive ensemble cast, a pop music soundtrack, a non-linear storyline, extensive dialogue littered with pop culture references, and so much violence. Plus, all the swear words. All of them.

First debuting at Sundance in January 1992 and in theaters that following October, Reservoir Dogs stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, and Tarantino as a group of professional criminals who work together for the first time on a diamond heist. When it appears as though the police were waiting for the gang, indicating that one of them is working undercover, the heist quickly turns into a bloodbath with members of the group and several civilians ending up dead. As the survivors make their way back to the meet-up spot in a warehouse, each attempt to ascertain who among them is actually who they say they are. The one thing they do know for certain is that Mr. Pink doesn't tip.

Reservoir Dogs was modestly successful upon its release in theatres but saw its audience grow two years later following the success of Tarantino's second film, Pulp Fiction, which inspired many viewers to seek out the filmmaker's previous project. Now considered a cinematic classic, Reservoir Dogs continues to inspire new projects, including several video games

Here, Metacritic highlights ten movies like Reservoir Dogs, as ranked by their Metascore. 


From left to right: John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in 'Pulp Fiction'


Pulp Fiction

Metascore: 94
Best for: Cinephiles who want to see a film that makes just about every "best" list
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , Vudu
Runtime: 154 minutes

When discussing Tarantino's imprint on cinema history, it's tough not to include his critically acclaimed Pulp Fiction (check out that Metascore!). The 1994 film stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman, with all three actors earning Oscar nominations for their performances. (The film was also nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Screenplay.) Its inventive, non-linear storytelling and memorable dialogue make it a cult classic that is filled with the violence and killer soundtrack audiences would come to expect from Tarantino. It's difficult to describe the plot of Pulp Fiction and the convergence of its several R-rated storylines, which include two hitmen, a gangster's wife, and a boxer, but explaining its cultural relevance is easy. Most viewers can't hear the words "Royale with Cheese" or Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" without thinking of Pulp Fiction

"Like Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction is constructed in such a nonlinear way that you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


Ansel Elgort (front, right) in 'Baby Driver'

Sony Pictures

Baby Driver

Metascore: 86
Best for: Fans of smarter-than-average action films with great soundtracks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Vudu
Runtime: 112 minutes

Like Reservoir Dogs, Edgar Wright's Baby Driver also uses a pop music soundtrack to add urgency and emotion to every frame in his 2017 film. Also like Reservoir Dogs, this film shows how many things can go wrong with a "simple" heist. Ansel Elgort stars as a getaway driver who wants to escape his life of crime but is pulled back in for one final job that ends in a lot of bloodshed. The Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film has a happier ending than Reservoir Dogs, but (spoiler alert!) the majority of characters still end up dead, so it has a Tarantino-adjacent vibe.

"The technical sophistication of Edgar Wright's artistry reaches new heights with the heist-cum-musical Baby Driver, which fully weds the filmmaker's signature flair for rapid but precise editing patterns with his propensity for carefully chosen soundtracks." — Jake Cole, Slant


From left to right: Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Departed'

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Departed

Metascore: 85
Best for: Viewers who like police dramas and love Boston accents
Where to watch:

, , HBO Max, , Vudu
Runtime: 151 minutes

The Departed, or The De-pah-did, as the South Boston characters would say, goes more in-depth into the world of an undercover cop than Reservoir Dogs, while still packing plenty of shoot 'em up scenes. Leonardo DiCaprio is an undercover cop working for a mob family led by Robert DeNiro, who is also undercover, but no one knows. Matt Damon is a police officer working undercover for DeNiro's character, not realizing that his father figure is an FBI informant. Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen are cops who are not undercover and are the only people who know DiCaprio is undercover. Still with us? Essentially, it's Martin Scorsese directing some of the best actors of all time to say "He's a cop/He's not a cop" on repeat for 2.5 hours with a great soundtrack playing underneath.

"When The Departed roars to life, as it does in so many of its scenes, you feel like nobody understands movies — the delirious highs, the unforgiving moral depths — as well as this man does. Welcome back, Marty." — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe


From left to right: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke in 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead'


Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Metascore: 85
Best for: Viewers who enjoy dark family dramas and non-linear storytelling
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , , Vudu
Runtime: 117 minutes

Like Reservoir Dogs, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead uses non-linear storytelling to keep audiences engaged with its darkly dramatic story of a robbery gone wrong. Also like Reservoir Dogs, director Sidney Lumet's final film has an impressive cast featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, and Michael Shannon. Hoffman and Hawke play brothers who rob their parent's jewelry store as a way to solve their respective financial hardships. When the robbery is botched and their mother is killed, their nefarious plan unravels their lives and the lives of those around them.

"The action is violent, messy, and threaded through with dark humor. This is a movie for grownups, for sure, but it has a mulish kick that most such pictures consider themselves to tasteful to aspire to." — Glenn Kenny, Premiere


'The Usual Suspects'

Gramercy Pictures

The Usual Suspects

Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of whodunnit dramatic thrillers
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Vudu
Runtime: 106 minutes

Professional criminals make up the main cast of characters for Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, just as they do in 1995's cult classic, The Usual Suspects. The film follows career criminal Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey) as he explains to police how he was only one of two people to survive a massive fire on a ship that was supposedly filled with drugs. According to Verbal, the men onboard were being controlled by criminal mastermind Keyser Söze, a character now considered one of film's most notorious villains. The Usual Suspects won Christopher McQuarrie an Oscar for Best Screenplay and features Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Stephen Baldwin, and Gabriel Byrne as the titular suspects in Verbal's tale.

"Goes straight to cult status without quite touching one important base: the audience's emotions. This movie finally isn't anything move than an intricate feat of gamesmanship, but it's still quite something to see." — Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times


Denzel Washington (left) in 'Inside Man'

Universal Pictures

Inside Man

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of thrilling dramas with an impressive cast
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, Vudu
Runtime: 129 minutes

Writer Russell Gewirtz and director Spike Lee team up to tell the story of a so-called "perfect" bank robbery, a phrase that can't be said by the characters in Reservoir Dogs. Mastermind bank robber Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) leads viewers through his plan and execution, which includes taking dozens of people hostage and demanding a jumbo jet as his getaway vehicle. Denzel Washington is Detective Keith Frazier, a man with the seemingly impossible task of ending the robbery without any casualties. Christopher Plummer plays the bank owner with a heinous past and Jodie Foster plays the fixer hired to put an end to the robbery. The film also stars Willem Dafoe and Chiwetel Ejiofor, with every member of the A-list cast committing scene-stealing performances. Robbery pun!

"It's got style and charisma to spare, with all the characters acting from fiery reserves of self-interest, including Christopher Plummer as a bank president with a secret in his safe-deposit box." — Jami Bernard, Daily News


'The Wolfpack'

Magnolia Pictures

The Wolfpack

Metascore: 75
Best for: Documentary fans who want to see, firsthand, the power of film
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 90 minutes

The Wolfpack may not feel like an obvious choice for this list, but it earns a spot because of its ability to show the power of film, including Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. Film student Crystal Moselle had a chance meeting with the six Angulo brothers on a street in New York and connected with the group over their shared love of films. Moselle quickly learned that the brothers also had a dark secret that included their father keeping them and their mother confined to the family apartment for months and even years. The documentary shares the brother's story, including how watching and reenacting their favorite films gave them a portal to the outside world.

"The Wolfpack is frustrating in how much it doesn't tell us about the Angulos and the legal tangle that comes with their release. But once you've met these kids, you won't forget them — or the film that puts a hypnotic and haunting spin on movie love." — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


'The Town'

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Town

Metascore: 74
Best for: Action fans who want films with depth
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Runtime: 125 minutes

Ben Affleck co-writes, directs, and stars in 2010's The Town, which features the Boston native as a career criminal in his hometown. When Affleck's Doug falls for a bank teller (played by Rebecca Hall) he and his crew take hostage, he decides it's time to get out of the family business. That's not easy to do, especially with Doug's friend Jem (Jeremy Renner) pressuring him to stay and an FBI agent (Jon Hamm) tracking him. The Town isn't your average shot-em-up bank robbery action film. It garnered some impressive award show accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Renner and a posthumous BAFTA nomination for Pete Postlethwaite.

"Affleck is more interested in the people in the midst of the action than he is in the action itself, and that gives this accomplished genre piece considerable and compelling depth." — Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer


'The Hateful Eight'

The Weinstein Company

The Hateful Eight

Metascore: 68
Best for: Tarantino fans who like extended cuts of films
Where to watch:

, , , Netflix,
Runtime: 187 minutes

While The Hateful Eight doesn't match Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in terms of critical acclaim, it does feature a somewhat similar premise. Eight strangers with dark pasts and many secrets find themselves trapped together in a tavern during a blizzard. As the group attempt to uncover who is telling the truth and who is lying, bodies begin to pile up (this is a Tarantino film, after all). Like Reservoir Dogs, much of The Hateful Eight takes place in a single setting with extensive dialogue and impressive cast performances from Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh often making the film feel more like a stage play than a movie.

"Tarantino seems to have no shortage of creativity or inspiration. What he needs to find is someone who isn't afraid to occasionally say, 'Cut.'" — Bill Goodykoontz


'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'

Gramercy Pictures

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Metascore: 66
Best for: Viewers who enjoy criminal capers with closed captioning
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , Vudu
Runtime: 107 minutes

Much like Tarantino, writer and director Guy Ritchie has a unique aesthetic to his filmmaking, making his projects recognizable by their pop-driven scores, quick cuts, and densely populated ensembles of quirky characters. Ritchie's penchant for memorable, if sometimes undecipherable dialogue delivered by criminals is firmly established in his feature debut. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is an exploration of all the ways making a quick buck at an underground card game can go wrong for a group of friends.

"A half-funny, half-ugly comedy about underworld ineptitude." — Mike Clark, USA Today