Inglourious BasterdsClosed Captioning
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Brad Pitt takes no prisoners in Quentin Tarantino's high-octane WWII revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds. As war rages in Europe, a Nazi-scalping squad of American soldiers, known to their enemies as "The Basterds," is on a daring mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Bursting with "action, hair-trigger suspense and a machine-gun spray of killer dialogue" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), Inglourious Basterds is "another Tarantino masterpiece" (Jake Hamilton, CBS-TV)!
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 273
- Fresh: 242
- Rotten: 31
- Average Rating: 7.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Will Basterds polarize audiences? That's a given. But for anyone professing true movie love, there's no resisting it.
Fresh: Quentin Tarantino seems to be hanging on to a lost world of moviemaking. He may be nuts. But he's a nut who cares.
Fresh: Waltz will be unknown to most American audiences -- he was certainly unknown to me -- but he's nothing less than sensational as the silky, polyglot SS officer charged by the Fuhrer to root out the remaining Jews in France.
Fresh: The picture contains all the things his fans like about Tarantino -- the wit, the audacity, the sudden violence -- but this movie's emotional core and bigness of spirit are new.
Incredible. Tense. Deep. Profoundly acted.
Pitt's over-the-top acting proves a necessary counter-balance to this incredibly tense thriller. Attention to detail pulled me into the period and made it at times difficult to tell fiction from fact even though the historical record is beyond question. When a movie makes you believe - even for a second - that something you know to be fantasy is true, it's indeed a remarkable movie.
Mostly Good, But...
Anyone who has seen the film could probably agree there was little to no need for the Basterds to be in the film. Tarantino dedicated so much time to Shosanna's plot that the Basterds practically became a subplot; practically an excuse to bloat his running time further (as he does in most of his films). Without giving any spoilers away, 'cause that's lame, I'll tell you with certainty, after five viewings of this film, that the Basterds' presence provide nothing more than a cool ending scene. Don't be fooled by the ads describing it as something of a Jewish-themed revenge film starring Brad Pitt going around Germany with his Basterds and killing Nazis. This is 80% Melanie Laurent/Christoph Waltz's film, and I'd rather if Tarantino had simply made it 100% their film. Then, it would be 5 stars.
Close, but not quite
I love Tarantino. He is my favorite filmmaker, hands down. But this movie, had it been made before his ascent to legend status, would not carry the weight it seems to with critics and viewers alike. In the first place, This movie is really two stories, and I think it actually suffers for it. I felt like halfway through the film, I was still waiting for the motion of the plot to get going.
Now look, there are great *scenes* in here. Clearly, the actors are engaged, and ready to go all out for QT. The dialogue in these scene is mostly superb, too. But the continuity throughout the film is really lacking. Each scene is fine, even excellent on its own, but ultimately the narrative structure and arc just fail to weave it together very well.
Finally, this is basically a holocaust revenge fantasy flick, at the end. And with its references to exploit films past in its essence, I think the holocaust subject is almost as tasteless as making a slavery revenge flick. I mean, it can be done, and in being done just right, would validate its own existence by its excellence. But this film does not, in my opinion, accomplish that. And the story of this unit is in fact based on the REAL unit of jewish people who worked against the Nazis. But that story is taken, commodified, and repackaged as pulp fiction, and just not done well enough to make up for its entitled appropriation of the subject matter. This was not a respectful handling of real people, who actually existed and did brave things.
I am not one to just say "the holocaust is off limits" as action movie fodder- its clearly not. But I do think that ultimately when you are dealing with the commodification of powerful and meaningful realities to make entertainment, you better make something higher than what this is- which is a holocaust revenge flick with a side story about a love affair with cinema in the subtext. The revenge flick is the core, and the holocaust is the backdrop, and the Basterds are the source material, and the real meaning of what World War 2 was is totally dismissed except as a plot device and an inspiration for spiffy costumes.
I expect more from such a brilliant man, I expect him to grow. Making movies about how much you love movies is fine, but if thats all you ever make, then eventually thats all you will be, that guy. Challenge yourself man! GAIN SUBSTANCE AND SAY SOMETHING.
- Inglourious Basterds (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Various Artists