''Pulp Fiction'' (1994)

By EW Staff
August 09, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Pulp Fiction: Kobal Collection

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson made our list of favorite movie hitmen

PLAYED BY John Travolta (Vincent) and Samuel L. Jackson (Jules)

THE LOWDOWN Saddled with two of the most unfortunate haircuts in film history, Vincent and Jules make the rounds for Los Angeles crime boss Marsellus Wallace, performing odd jobs, like whacking people who cross the boss and retrieving that mysterious, glowing briefcase. Vincent also takes up Marsellus’ order to show Mrs. Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) a platonic night out on the town.

WEAPONS OF CHOICE Besides their handguns, Jules also arms himself with a fiery passage from Ezekiel that he uses to intimidate his victims.

REDEEMING VIRTUE Vincent saves Mia from a heroin overdose with a dramatic jab of an adrenaline needle to the heart. He also helps her win a twist contest trophy. Jules finds religion after he emerges miraculously unscathed from a gun battle, and he defuses an armed robbery without violence.

WHY THEY MADE OUR LIST They may not be the most effective hitmen in movie history (there’s that messy accidental shooting in the back seat of their car), but they sure are the chattiest and most entertaining. Travolta and Jackson display unrivaled chemistry as they discuss the Big Questions — God, spirituality, hamburgers, and foot massages. With these two, Quentin Tarantino reinvented the hitman as hipster philosopher — a character that quickly became a tired cliché in the hands of numerous imitators. But Vincent and Jules remain the original gangsters.


  • Movie
  • R
  • 154 minutes
Complete Coverage