Excerpt: As I think on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I find that this is something I did not expect: a Quentin Tarantino film with a genuine heart and compassion for the characters, in particular Sharon Tate. It is not only a shrewd portrait of careers in crisis but probably the most respectful cinematic portrait ever made of Tate, one of the most tragic figures in entertainment history.
Excerpt: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is as well-made, deliciously unhinged, and entertaining as any of Quentin Tarantino’s films. However, the impeccable recreation of 1969 Hollywood — from the sun-drenched cinematography to the lived-in costumes — can’t keep its thin story afloat.
Excerpt: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an unabashed love letter to Hollywood, a masterful fairytale fueled by loving nostalgia while saturated in a sense of doom and melancholic tragedy.
Excerpt: We may have come to witness what sort of chaos Tarantino injects to alter the course of history during the last thirty minutes, but it’s this more introspective and often resonant journey beforehand that truly soars.
Excerpt: In the roving eyes of Tarantino, the conception of old-time Hollywood (and its contemporary standing of gloss and gumption) is much like his branding of cinema-a high-wire act without the comfort of a convenient safety net.
Excerpt: In-depth, character-driven, ultra-violent, over-long, and near-perfect… all the movie sins Tarantino has been criticized for over the years coming to a head in the most wondrous and cheer-worthy payoff any film fan could want.
Excerpt: Making so many fairy tales with a fat creative license to revise whatever he wants, fancy, zeal, and style are never Quentin Tarantino’s problems. This one is a dippy mix of sunny sauntering and tiresome puzzlement.