Rolling Stone - 11/02/1995
"...Elmore Leonard's deliciously profane dialogue gives a great cast, led by John Travolta, a feast to dine upon....GET SHORTY gets it wonderfully right..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/1996
"...GET SHORTY is certainly entertaining..."
USA Today - 10/20/1995
"...Sizzling supporting performances by Dennis Farina and Delroy Lindo....[Travolta] oozes cool without breaking a sweat..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
Entertainment Weekly - 05/31/1996
"...All the elements finally jelled, goosed by a terrific John Travolta performance..." -- Rating: A-
Variety - 10/09/1995
"...GET SHORTY is good, sly fun. With John Travolta putting on a dazzling demonstration of what being a movie star is all about..."
Los Angeles Times - 10/20/1995
"...The film does a good job with the book's gentle digs at the inane way the movie business tends to function..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/20/1995
"...A small jewel..."
Uncut - 04/01/2005
"[A] faithful adaptation of Elmore Leonard for a change....Memorable."
Total Film - 05/01/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "Barry Sonnenfeld's GET SHORTY film is arguably the most satisfying incarnation of any of Leonard's stories and instigated a renewed appreciation for his work..."
This slick adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1990 novel features John Travolta as Chili Palmer, a Miami loan shark who's been sent to L.A. to collect on a bad debt from trash movie producer Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), the maker of the stunning flops "Grotesque" and "Slime People." But this is Harry's lucky day, because Chili is also a film buff, and when he's done talking tough he starts pitching Harry a script idea. As everyone knows, the best background for the motion picture industry is the criminal underworld, and Chili is smoothly launched into the life of a producer: romancing a B-movie scream queen, schmoozing superstars, getting reservations in the hottest restaurants in town. However, Chili's not the only mobster wanting to turn producer. It seems that a thug named Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo), another of Harry's lenders, also wants a piece of the action. Add in a group of angry drug smugglers and there is an abundance of double- and triple-crosses, as well as plenty of wisecracks and Hollywood insider jokes. GET SHORTY crosses the line of life imitating art--and vice versa--many times, including the real Ernest "Chili" Palmer (on whom the character is based) playing a Mafia henchman. Barry Sonnenfeld's entertaining romp is a wild look at the celebrity life in Hollywood, featuring numerous cameos of stars playing themselves.
Loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is ready for a new career, so when he's sent to L.A. to collect on a bad debt from trash filmmaker Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), he decides to get into the movie industry. The skills Chili learned in the criminal underworld launch his successful start as a film producer: schmoozing superstars, romancing B-movie bimbos, actually getting reservations at the hottest restaurants in town. It would all be easy for Chili if it weren't for the angry gangsters and the drug smugglers who keep getting in the way.