Bringing Out The Dead


Nicolas Cage


Frank Pierce

Patricia Arquette


Mary Burke

John Goodman



Ving Rhames



Tom Sizemore


Tom Walls

Marc Anthony (I)



Directed by


Martin Scorsese
Screenplay by .... Paul Schrader

       Bringing Out the Dead is a story of a high-strung EMS paramedic named Frank Pierce who can’t take it anymore.  He feels sick on the inside and looks sick on the outside. Bloodshot eyes, pale skin, he does not look too healthy and working in New York City probably doesn’t help. The ghosts of his dead patients haunt him. There have been a lot of lost patients lately. Frank is begging to be fired but his boss just won’t do it. He goes on a call and meets Mary. Instantly you can see he likes her.

           The best part of the film was seeing Cage interact with his three top notch costars John Goodman, Ving Rhames, and Tom Sizemore. These three men play 3 totally conflicting partners for Pierce. Goodman is his first partner. He’s not really into his job he’s more into the benefits. He’s waiting to become a captain and to get a desk job. Rhames is a part time paramedic. The boss tries to minimize his hours because he’s a little loony. Mostly what he does is preach the word of the lord and try to sweet talk the female dispatcher. From Marcel the gangsta to Marcus the devout Christian. That’s range. Sizemore is the crazy paramedic. He’s in it for the blood. Major Tom is nasty and gritty. He’s a veteran and a violent and sick man. He previously rode with Pierce but now they are back together again.    

         Marc Antony puts in an terrific performance as the very sick Noel. He is unrecognizable. I have seen his music videos and he does not look like that. Besides being a decent singer, he is really an awesome actor. His role as a reappearing crazy patient is vital to the movie and sometimes provides a necessary comic relief. Not to mention some sympathy for a character.

         It’s nice to see Scorsese back in the directing chair and not in front of the camera. He was ridiculous in a cameo in The Muse. He does have a cameo in this film as the radio dispatcher.  Every movement and expression of Cage was been perfectly carved out by Scorsese. It’s compelling. The high octane shots of the ambulance are marvelous. Some really great camera tricks were done here. The music is so perfectly chosen. Picked out carefully to match every scene. Some of the camera  angles in this film are amazing. It would take me half a page to describe them.

                  A good script with great dialogue is thrown into the mix by often Scrosese collaborator and scribe of Taxi Driver Paul Schrader . Cage’s dialogue in this film is superb. The humor of the dialogue comes out of characther desparation. The dialogue is witty. The calls the paramedics receive seem plausible.

     This movie is kind of out there at points. Some of it’s messages are very repetitive especially the one involving the teenage girl Maria. It’s goes off course at points. It’s steam is lost and it has to begin to crawl back up.

                  Everything else in the film was very good except for Patricia Arquette. She is just such a weak actress. Stigmata was not a good film and she was not good in it. She continually gets roles even though she’s a not a good actress. I’m sure she attained this role through some help from her husband. It happens all the time. I did like her in Lost Highway but basically in nothing else.

                  Bringing Out the Dead did what it was supposed to. It showed the craziness of working as a paramedic especially in a crazy place like New York. You see someone reach the ultimate low and learn from it. Scorcese and Cage make a great team.   A fun movie to watch.


Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Stars / 8 out of 10/ B+ / 83 out of 100
Reviewed by Joe Soria
Running Time: ????
Rated R for violence, language, and drug use.

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