Rob Simpson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Looking back at his frightening accomplished debut it's easy to see why the world lost its mind with this and Pulp Fiction. Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino at his most pure and raw. The dialogue which he has consistently been complimented for has few of the tropes that would later define his style - if anything it feels real instead of mannered. The performances follow suit with that sort of liberated freedom too. I don't want to call filmmakers wrong, but those directors who cashed in on the style of his breakout took the cool, references and fast-paced dialogue as inspiration. Whereas for me the thing that stands out [now] is how effortless it feels, their performances feel improvised as does their dialogue and within the canon of crime cinema, this makes for a massively fresh film even now, 27 years later. That freedom has often been used to craft slow, deliberate cinema and the one thing you could never call this director is slow or boring, Reservoir Dog has incredible flow.
The other thing that stands out on this viewing is how tame it feels. Sure, there's lots of blood and Michael Madsen (who is very good) does cut off someone's ear. Beyond that though, it doesn't feel as nasty and dangerous as it once did, on that front the plotting and narrative services that nastiness now. I think the reason for this is twofold, Tarantino has fully committed to making violent movies as such he went far further in his following movies. But also, I have watched films that make the assertion that this is a violent film feel quite twee. Teenage Rob wasn't as well versed in violent cinema as thirty-something Rob is, younger me was too obsessed with Hong Kong Action & Japanese horror to notice anything else.
Whatever way you look at it, it's always cool to look back at where directors came from.