Brilliant movies where nothing happens

We're interested to see Inglorious Bastards for many reasons, but one of them has to be how Tarantino manages to tell a story where his characters can't just sit down and yabber.

More so than other Tarantino's movies, Reservoir Dogs is about talking. We concede that a few flashback sequences and some gun play breaks up the dialogue, but we'd hardly complain if they weren't included. Thanks to Tarantino's sharp pen, the need for anything other than gangster gossip and Madonna metaphors are superfluous.

One-Sentence Pitch: Some bank robbers spend an hour endlessly debating why their last heist went wrong.

Taxi Driver

Most Richard Linklater movies are renowned by being free and easy with plot, but at least most of them are based around something. By comparison, once the characters step off the train in Before Sunset, you could be anywhere.

Linklater focuses on dialogue, but it hardly hits the giddy stratospheres of Tarantino territory. Instead, laid back and easy going musings sprout forth like the characters were two freshman art students on a first date.

It sounds like a pretentious movie for people (read: students) who have time to pine for sleepless nights full of conversation and connecting with a special someone, but Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpby manage to steer it into a believable romantic tale.

One-Sentence Pitch: A man and woman walk around the streets of Vienna after meeting on a train.


When Gus Van Sant announced he was going to make a flick themed around the Columbine shootings, eyebrows collectively raised.

Little did we know that he wasn’t about to make his first exploitation flick but one of the most moving – and realistic – mediations on teenage life we’ve ever seen.

We spend most of the flick following around different kids, listening in on their average conversations, smiling at their small dramas. Then, the gunkids arrive and it’s all the more shocking because of the slow-paced intimate time we’ve spent with their targets

One-Sentence Pitch: Several characters go to school one day.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.