Stealing, Cheating, Killing. Who said romance is dead?
It was directed with energetic skill by Top Gun Tony Scott, but this breathtaking 1993 thriller (think of it as an adolescent crime fantasy on steroids) has Quentin Tarantino written all over it. True Romance is really part of a loose trilogy that includes Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, with a crackling Tarantino screenplay that rides a fine line between raucous comedy and violent excess. Christian Slater plays Clarence, the comic-book lover who meets a beguiling prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette), confronts her vicious pimp (Gary Oldman), and embarks on a cross-country odyssey with $5 million worth of Mafia cocaine. Mayhem ensues, culminating in a favorite Tarantino climax--the "Mexican standoff"--in which a roomful of guys are pointing guns at each other, waiting to see who shoots first. Brutal, profane, and totally outrageous, True Romance is not for everyone, but with a supporting cast that includes Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, and Val Kilmer (as the ghost of Elvis!), you can be sure this movie will never be boring. --Jeff Shannon