Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Tarantino's love letter to old Hollywood is entertaining but feels a little empty - 7/10

by Movies-Graded

Performances: 5/5
Screenplay: 3/5
Costumes/Makeup: 5/5
Editing: 3/5
Cinematography: 4/5
Score/Soundtrack: 4/5
Verdict: Quentin Tarantino's 9th and supposedly next to last film is finally here. And while I certainly found aspects of it enjoyable and entertaining, I have to admit that it may be my least favorite film of his that I have seen (which is all of them apart from "Death Proof" and "Jackie Brown").
I'm definitely not saying that it's a bad movie. Far from it. The performances and dynamic between the characters, notably Leo's and Brad's, were excellent and even at times hilarious. Tarantino also states that "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is his most personal film to date, and you can immediately tell that it really is the case. The project is first and foremost a love letter to a perfectly captured old Hollywood, and witnessing it on the big screen was by far the film's highlight. Technically, and like every other Tarantino flick, the movie's cinematography and soundtrack are exquisitely handled, especially when recreating scenes of (fictional) old movies,
What somewhat tarnished my experience a little was, however, how empty the story ultimately felt. I honestly still cannot tell what the movie was about, and a lot of it seemed to focus on misleading the audience as much as possible to lead to sort of a "gotcha" moment. The runtime of nearly 3 hours was also problematic and never felt entirely justified in my opinion. It really felt at times that Tarantino tailored the film for himself and no one else (the excessive and distracting shots of feet are here to prove that). I just felt a little disconnected to the narrative, which usually never happens when watching something made by Tarantino. I do want to give it a second chance before having a clear opinion on it, but for now I can't really call it a great despite having thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of it.

Connect with Movies-Graded

View other reviews by Movies-Graded