Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Nicolas Cage
Patricia Arquette
Nicholas Cage
John Goodman
Ving Rhames
Tom Sizemore.
Directors
Martin Scorsese.
Screenwriters
Paul Schrader.
Running Time
121 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Gone Girl
4 Star Empire Rating
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Bringing Out The Dead
Scorsese's nightmare movie about 56 hours in the life of a haunted paramedic.


submit to reddit


Plot
Nicholas Cage plays a despairing paramedic buckling under the pressure of attending casualties in Hell's Kitchen, dragged further into hell by a succession of manic partners, but possibly saved by an ex-junkie whose dad is dying from a heart attack.


Review
For his 18th feature film as director, Martin Scorsese has gone back to his roots. After dilly dalai-ing with Eastern spirituality in Kundun, the world's most vital film director has returned to New York, damaged heroes and the filmmaking fireworks that got the world excited about the man in the first place. And if Bringing Out The Dead is not vintage Scorsese, it's still an original, blistering slice of virtuoso moviemaking.

Riding shotgun with old writing cohort Schrader, Scorsese's adaptation of Joe Connelly's novel fairly fizzes on kinetic energy as it follows haunted paramedic Frank Pierce (Cage, reining in the histrionics) through three nights and two days working for New York's Emergency Medical Service. As Pierce and partners - food obsessed Larry (Goodman), bible bashing soul brother Marcus (an electric Rhames) and borderline psycho Tom (a terrifically manic Sizemore - revive cardiac arrests, bring overdosers back from the brink and attend a virgin birth (kind of), Scorsese's breathless directorial mastery is at full tilt: finding fantastic variety in a film rooted around the exteriors/interiors of an ambulance, we are treated to an onslaught of breakneck pans, funky framing, crackerfire editing and perfectly deployed music that tangibly articulates the in-your-face brutality and adrenaline rush of the graveyard shift.

By comparison, the less successful daytime sequences are eerily sedate yet unmoving as Pierce hooks up with Mary Burke (Arquette), the daughter of one of Pierce's patients, whose withdrawn drug dependent life mirrors his own. In the latter stages, as Pierce seeks solace in narcotics, Scorsese goes into overdrive - speeded-up imagery, spectres emerging from the streets - underlining his unparalleled genius at depicting troubled psychosis through searing visuals.

This could all be unrelentingly unwatchable, but it isn't. In fact, it is the funniest Scorsese movie since After Hours, plying a nifty trade in pitch-black humour: be it Pierce begging his boss to fire him or the cracking dialogue exchanged en route to accidents. But far from being insensitive, it is abundantly clear that their caustic worldview preserves the paramedics' sanity. With its plotline of a troubled loner cruising NY's streets in a metal box, Dead strongly echoes Taxi Driver. It may never attain the feverish intensity and staying power of the earlier film, but a slightly off colour Scorsese is better than 98 per cent of most directors firing on all cylinders.


Verdict
An exciting, invigorating return to old preoccupations. Welcome home, Marty.


Reviewed by Ian Freer

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Bringing Out The Dead
Empire Star Rating

Taking place over the course of 3 nights in the life of an insomnia suffering paramedic, this picture takes Scorcese back into the nitty gritty New York pictures that he made his name with, though this has lead to an unfair comparision with Taxi Driver (Both films being of course written by Paul Schrader) in which this piece would look substandard. However this picture has a lot to recommend about it. For one New York is suitable caputured thanks to the beautiful cinematorgraphy of Robert Ri... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The900MidNightBee at 19:31, 30 August 2008 | Report This Post


Deals with similar themes as Taxi Driver, but is'nt as good still worth a look for the cinematography and Nicholas Cage's performance. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Naweed_1 at 21:21, 13 March 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Interstellar Newsstand Cover Has Arrived
Plus a full preview of what you'll find inside our brand new issue

The Future Of Film: British Film Will Thrive (If Tax Breaks Allow)
Or how Harry Potter saved the British film industry, and could again

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)