Inglourious Basterds (2009) Poster

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I have NEVER seen such a performance ... ever!
tkarlmann27 February 2020
No, I'm not speaking of Brad Pitt; I'm speaking of German actor Christoph Waltz! He has won just about every award for his performance in this film, and he deserves every single one of them. Take my Challenge: Watch this film and see if you don't get the chills whenever Christoph Waltz's character is 'interrogating' his suspects! Ooooo! He is ULTRA polite with each one; and has supreme confidence in his scary, chilling, bold mannerisms. All I can say is: "You see this movie for Christoph Waltz's performance; all the rest is secondary"!
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Quentin Tarantino's style and Christoph Waltz's menace
SnoopyStyle30 May 2014
In 1941 Nazi-occupied France, "The Jew Hunter" SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) finds the Dreyfus family hidden by their neighbors. Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) escapes after her family is massacred. Meanwhile Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) has gathered 8 Jewish American soldiers to kill Nazis behind enemy lines. Their brutal scalping campaign instills fear among the Germans. Donowitz (Eli Roth) is even given a nickname "The Bear Jew" for brutally beating Nazis with a baseball bat. Then in June 1944, Shosanna has a new name and a theater. She catches the eye of German war hero Fredrick Zoller who wants a big premiere in her theater that will attract the biggest of Nazi leaders. It even attracts the Jew Hunter as well as the Inglourious Basterds.

Christoph Waltz is great as the cold menacing well-mannered Nazi. He is completely engrossing in every one of his scenes. Every word he speaks is dripping with menace. His scenes are quiet and some of the most compelling parts of the movie. Then Quentin Tarantino has injected his brutal violence into this Jewish revenge fantasy. It is nothing less than audacious and uniquely original.
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I can't believe I just now watched this for the first time.
laurabethc17 February 2020
This is a perfect Tarantino movie. It's explosive and exciting while also deep and well thought out. It took me a minute to get used to reading so many subtitles because of the variety of languages used, but I think that's a quality that makes the movie even more enticing. It is incredibly well done and it had a hold of me from beginning to end. Fair warning for any Tarantino movie, be prepared for the gore and violence. It runs rampant throughout the movie, but it's kind of gratifying seeing it happen to the Nazis.
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Who the hell is Christoph Waltz?
paulmuehlendahl25 August 2009
That's what I thought, when I heard about the cast of Inglorious Basterds. And I'm both from Germany and into movies.

That guy is older than 50 and so far he almost only played in mediocre TV series - and even there he didn't play the main parts. Obviously nobody ever noticed, what he's capable of. Now, thanks to QT, he got one shot to change that - and - let's put it this way - that was a bingo! He is the living proof of what a great caster Tarrantino is.

By the way: I think it's a great privilege to watch the movie as a German - being able to understand everything. And the German dialog is written almost as good as the English.

Now I could repeat, what many others have written here before. I'll put it short: Finally, QT is back.
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World War II In an Alternate Universe
bkoganbing8 September 2009
I take exception to the comment that one reviewer made saying that a film like Inglourious Basterds had not been made before. Not only was one made, but it was made during World War II. When Hitler, Dead Or Alive was shown I'm sure the same rousing cheers went up from the audience who really wanted World War II to end that way.

Quentin Tarantino must have seen Hitler, Dead Or Alive and decided to do a big budget version of that B film propaganda flick from the Forties. In that one Ward Bond, Paul Fix,and Warren Hymer play three German speaking gangsters who take a contract out on Adolph Hitler from some public spirited citizen. They enlist in the army, but as soon as they can they desert grab a plane with a pilot and land in Germany and set about to perform their task.

What Tarantino has given us is Hitler, Dead Or Alive with official sanction. Brad Pitt heads a group of GIs, the rest of them are Jewish so they'll have proper motivation for this job, Pitt's a good old boy from Tennessee. The purpose of their mission is to just kill Nazis, the higher up, the better. And they soon get a reputation that's come to the attention of the Fuehrer himself.

This film is a throwback to those propaganda films that came out as morale boosters during World War II. Pitt and the rest of the cast look like they're having a great old time with this. Best performance is Christoph Waltz who plays an SS colonel who specialized in tracking down Jews who've escaped Hitler's final solution. He might just get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

As for the end, just relax and imagine this is World War II in an alternate Universe.
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Great fun, a real surprise
motta80-223 July 2009
It just goes to show how wrong you can be. I had not expected to like this film. I was disappointed by both the Kill Bill films (although i preferred the second) and Death Proof (although it was better in the shorter cut of the double-bill release). I love Reservoir Dogs, admire Pulp Fiction and think that Jackie Brown is Tarantino's most mature piece of film-making - technically his most superior - including the last great performance elicited from Robert De Niro. Since then it seems to me while his films have been okay (i haven't hated them) he has been treading water in referential, reverential, self-indulgent juvenilia.

Then i read the script last year for Inglourious Basterds - and i hated it! Sure it had some typical QT flourishes and the opening scene was undeniably powerful. There were a couple of great characters. But on page it was more juvenile rubbish, largely ruined by the largess of the uninteresting Basterds of the title. It made me seriously contemplate not seeing the film. The trailers did nothing to convince me. I only changed by mind when i had the opportunity to see the film with a Tarantino Q&A following in London. I figured it would be worth enduring to hear him in Q&A as i know from interviews how entertaining he can be in person.

So little was i prepared for the sheer exuberant fun and brilliance of Inglourious Basterds.

Easily Mr Tarantino's best work since Jackie Brown it is a triumph.

Yes the references are there but they do not interfere with the story, they are not the driving force. Yes Eli Roth is stunt casting but he works fine, with little to do but look aggressive, and does nothing to hurt the film as i had feared. While i admired Mr Tarantino for using stuntwoman Zoe Bell as herself in Death Proof in order to amp-up the exhilaration of the major stunt scene her lack of any acting ability in a key role was a problem for the film. The same could be said of Tarantino's own appearances in several films, especially Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, which Tarantino wrote.

What really makes this work is how BIG it is. The spaghetti western vibe to much of the style, dialogue and performances is wonderfully over the top without descending too far into the cartoon quality of Kill Bill. The violence is so big. The audacity so big. Brad Pitt is so big! In the trailers the Hitler moment and Pitt's performance bothered me but in the context of the film they are hilarious. Pitt is actually brilliant here, exactly what he needs to be. He is Mifune's blustering samurai in Yojimbo, he is Robards Cheyenne from Once Upon a Time in the West, there is a very James Coburn vibe to him, and of course a suitably Lee Marvin edge.

Christoph Waltz (who i did not previously known) and Melanie Laurent (who i first noticed in a brilliant French-language British short film by Sean Ellis) are sensational and i expect to see both used a lot more in the future. Tarantino has clearly not lost his eye for casting, which seemed to desert him in Death Proof. Waltz is equally large in his performance. Chilling, yet theatrical. He is Fonda from OUATITW, Van Cleef from Good, The Bad & the Ugly. And Laurent is suitably Cardinale innocence but tough, a fighter. They both dazzle here.

That every member of the cast gets the fun to be had from what they are doing while not indulging themselves in just having fun and trying to get laughs helps tremendously. The laughs - and there are loads - come organically. Only Mike Myers comes close to tipping the wink and pushing it too far but his scene is reigned in just enough - with the help of a fantastic Michael Fassbender who seems pulled directly from the mold of Attenborough's Great Escape leader.

All the actors shine and Tarantino throws in wonderful flourishes, but ones that work with the story. The introduction of Schweiger's Hugo Stiglitz is a riot. After a sensational slow-burn opening and a glorious intro to those inglourious Basterds the pace never lets up and over two and half hours flies by.

It also looks beautiful, marking this as a return to real film-making rather than just self-indulgent silliness. The musical choices, as always, are inspired from Morricone on.

The film is audacious and hilarious. After a summer when nearly every film has disappointed me it came as a huge surprise that the real fun and entertaining, but also involving and impressive film should be this one, when i would never have believed it from script form. Welcome back QT.
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Hitler's Table Talk
Theo Robertson16 February 2014
One good thing about waiting several years after a very well received film is released is that you can step back from it and judge it on its content without all the hype . Sometimes if you go against the grain you do feel you're in danger of being branded a blasphemous heretic who should be locked up in order to keep little children safe at night or worse still to protect film makers from unpopular views . To be honest I have real excuse for missing Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS except that it never popped up in front of my radar until now . After finally getting round to seeing the movie I can put my hand on my heart and say I didn't miss all that much

It's interesting that so many professional critics agreed that the best thing about the film was Christoph Waltz performance * and that this was qualified by the critics saying stuff along the lines of " I found my interest waning when Waltz wasn't on screen " . This sums up the entire problem with the movie - the scenes go on for far too long and lack a brevity of storytelling .A character sits down at a table and talks . And talks . And talks . There's a saying that jaw jaw is better than war war . Noble sentiments indeed and one hopes in an alternative universe that Tarantino is the British prime minister while Tony Blair is a cocky Hollywood movie brat but for a film lasting almost three hours there's little incident and actually feels longer than three hours

Two selling points might have been that it's a war film and that it's a post modernist film . In other words it's a film that should make intelligent fun of all those terrible B movies featuring criminals in uniform who have the choice of a hangman's noose and volunteering for a suicide mission but there's not a lot of fun to be had here . One had hoped for constant knowing cheeky winks to the audience but this doesn't happen . There's certainly very little action to the movie and most of the film is composed of characters sitting down and talking in German or French or English . Just because a film contains subtitles doesn't make it worthy and you're left feeling there's no way this film would have been produced if it wasn't for the name of Tarantino . Little of importance happens in the narrative except to illustrate the film's own underserved self importance

* Strangely enough when DJANGO UNCHAINED was released the critics once again praised Waltz as being the best thing about the movie . This is obviously critics code for " Wait for this movie to appear on television because it's overlong , arrogantly self indulgent and often boring "
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No Matter How You Spell It
bobt14525 August 2009
..."Inglorious" as our local theater decided to display its title on their marquee, minus the second word. It is terrific cinema.

I don't hesitate to recommend this film to all but the over-squeamish. Let them never know what they're missing.

I did hesitate to give it ten stars because of my experience of Tarantino's previous films. In every case, save "Reservoir Dogs," they have improved with additional watching.

So although I gave it ten stars, I did so reluctantly. It leaves me no "up" to go to.

Yes Christoph Waltz is the Nazi we've all imagined the worst to be. He is cultured, sophisticated, suave and most sadistic, the kind of man who can make a glass of milk a threat and who puts out his cigarette abruptly in a strudel, grinding it into the whipped cream as if he were grinding his heel into a victim.

To understand Tarantino's films, you need only have a sense of dialogue, color and pacing. The colors are as bright as necessary and when necessary, brighter yet. In the French farmhouse of the opening scene, they are muted and dark, but excessively so. Outside a brilliant sun is shining, but in the one room of the house, everything is bathed in shadows and black.

It is a brilliant setting for an interrogation by Waltz, as the "Jew Hunter" of the SS, who dangles his host French farmer over the precipice of revealing what he cannot reveal numerous times, then pulls him back with obsequious lines of friendship and understanding.

A second sadistic German, well-played by August Diehl, later functions as important actor in the final plot twist. Diehl's Nazi Major, who has an ear for German accents, is almost as good as Waltz....almost.

Film classes will study much from this movie. They should look lovingly at the superb pacing. Tarantino knows just how long to draw out a scene, building suspense in the manner of Hitchcock, then at just the breaking point, suddenly coming to a resolution.

For color, look for a final shot at a French Theater, where its secretly Jewish proprietor is staging a surprise for the upper reaches of Nazi leadership.

We see her, played by Melanie Laurent, awaiting the hated German dignataries who will arrive for a film preview of the latest Deutsch film masterpiece, a propaganda piece about a German hero and his dubious accomplishments.

Laurent is framed on a balcony, reflected in the glass mirrors of the gorgeous theater, her red lips and low cut dress reflecting everywhere the intensity of her designs on her guests. It is a single shot that would be worth an entire film.

There are thankfully many more such images, many more paced scenes of exquisite dialog and suspense.

In short, see it. I'm sure you'll see it again and again.
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A Comedy Of Horrors
abelardo643 October 2009
Brad Pitt sticks his index finger in Diane Kruger's leg wound and keeps it there until he gets what he wants. Funny, horribly so. The invented yarn takes "The Dirty Dozen" for a ride and sometimes abandons it to pay tribute to other movies. Lots of fun. Even "Paris when it sizzles" is mentioned in a delightfully organic piece of dialog. I was thrilled by Christoph Waltzer's character and by his sensational performance. Brad Pitt creates a true original. I love the actor's lack of vanity. There's a quirk in the character that is pure Brad Pitt. Tarantino visits a new universe but. fortunately, his hand. his brain and his heart are visible all over the place.
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Hey, It's Tarantino!
Hitchcoc15 July 2014
I've read so many of the naysayers. Giving this a one rating seems really spiteful. They speak of Walz's excellence in his role. If there is an actor of such incredible skill, how can one give it one star. Yes this is violent. Yes it is gratuitous. Yes it stretches the bound of reality. But Tarantino pushes the envelope at every turn in every movie. My God, what about "Django Unchained." There will always be flying body parts and characters of almost supernatural proportions. The plot that leads to the face-off in the movie theater is very intricate and does stretch our believability meter, but it is really engaging. Yes, the Germans are interesting in their own ways. Remember, this is not a propaganda film. We are put into a setting that is not for one instance a real portrayal of an historical event. But it does draw out the evils of war and makes a serious statement. It does have heroes and heroines. I know at times I was left a bit confused as to the point, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the movie itself.
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Not for critics, but people who love a good movie
Jawsphobia22 August 2009
Some critics might claim to need a code key to interpret what Tarantino means by this revisionist adventure film, but I'd say it's right under their up-turned noses: There's a great little scene where Mike Meyers plays a British military man who anticipates attacking a Nazi film premiere so he brings in an a film critic as an adviser. This may or may not be necessary but it does allow for a dialogue exchange like: Meyers: What do you do? Critic: I am a film critic.

Meyers: What are your accomplishments? Even though the critic goes on to list some compilation books, it may as well be a rhetorical question.

Tarantino thumbs his nose at convention and that is part of the movie's appeal. His movies are often about movies as much as they are about the content at hand. Yet he still manages to sustain genuine tension. The opening Nazi interrogation of a French farmer and a later a tavern basement guessing game scene must have had whopping page counts but they play out as chapters and remain engrossing high stakes set pieces. In the same film he can introduce a character by throwing a title onto the screen as if this member of the "Basterds" was cool enough to have his own movie, or play a 1980's David Bowie song while a woman prepares to do battle in her own way while Nazi flags hang outside the window.

The movie takes place in an alternate universe that could either be a dream or the unreality of the grind-house era Tarantino has celebrated in Kill Bill and, well, Grindhouse. Anyone with a brain will get that. If that sounds good, see it. I notice now there are blurbs about "how Jewish critics feel" about the movie. Well, those who go to a movie with a deliberately misspelled title knowing it is a revisionist fantasy and can't bear to see the character of Hitler as the butt of the joke don't have an opinion worthy of note. If you are an expert on NASA, your views on George Lucas' Star Wars movies are not necessarily of use to me. In fact it's a little galling that such a critic-proof designation as "Jewish critic" should be trotted out. They can say what they like about a sensitive document with the intentions of Schindler's List and God bless them. But if someone gets his boxers in a bunch over slapstick Nazis or clueless Hitler autographing the Grain Diary for Indiana Jones, then they just aren't going to be the right audience for Inglourious Basterds. In fact they shouldn't be watching fun movies at all. They should try staring at a blank wall and talking to themselves rather than type up their blather.

But it's not all fun. Sad things do happen and unfortunate events occur in this movie. The tension even in dialogue does come from the danger of having a Nazi at the table or someone daring to ask him to leave. But when you get reviewers comparing the Basterds to Al Qaida I think we can excuse those critics from the table as well. Or call Eli Roth over to them and yell "Play ball!"
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A failure to fuse different movie genres into one feature.
CineCritic251711 September 2009
Tarantino was in my opinion a master in fusing different movie genres into one. But he miserably and painfully fails to do so in Inglourious Bastards (IB).

Where in the past in movies like Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill saga there is a constant mix of both comical and gritty scenes which are consistently applied throughout these movies, in IB Tarantino tried to only loosely paste them together. The result is an unfocused string of scenes in which each displays another facet of the different genre. In one scene it's drama and violence followed by one that would have perfectly fitted into a Naked Gun type of film. This simply doesn't work and I found myself being highly irritated watching this failed experiment ruin an otherwise fine movie idea.

Another failure of the movie is to not present the viewer dialogs which are actually worth the elaborate time it takes to conclude them. The dialog often proceeds at glacial speeds and likewise just as easily melds and vaporises as time progresses, leaving a pile of scattered moraine in stead of something actually contributing to the, as it already stands, paper thin plot.

In the end IB is nothing more than a mismatch of ideas with a steal from Pulp Fiction here and a pinch from Reservoir Dogs there. These rehashed ideas, far superiorly employed in the past, will perhaps fool the younger moviegoer into believing they are watching something fresh and innovative, but people who have seen these other movies by QT surely wont be impressed. The movie ends at two and a half hours featuring long, drawn-out scenes that could have been easily compressed into one and a half. And like with Death Proof, there is far too little pay off to warrant stealing people's time and attention over these all-heard-before and talky routines.

Through most of the duration of the film I contemplated suggesting to my friend, who was clearly not being entertained either, to leave, but I decided to see it through till the end. Suffice to say I have never been so glad the ending credits finally rolled so I could get up and make my way to the exit.

The pro's:

Excellent acting (apart from a horrible Pitt who was clearly miscast) and good cinematography in a film with some solid and interesting ideas.

The con's:

The film's criminally in need of an editor and serves perhaps a bit too much dialog in a foreign language for the average moviegoer to swallow. Not enough suspense to justify bludgeoning the audience with endless routines of mere dialog and no character development to make the audience care about whatever outcome these scenes, and ultimately the whole movie, might bring.

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Words as weaponry
ametaphysicalshark26 August 2009
Note: this comment was edited to meet IMDb length guidelines.

I first saw "Inglourious Basterds" in late July and concluded that it would flop and Tarantino would never again be relevant. Needless to say, I didn't like it and didn't even expect to see it again. Late August and Tarantino certainly seems relevant again. His biggest opening at the box office, rapturous media reviews, and a surprising amount of hype. Word of mouth is excellent. It remains to be seen how steady the movie's box office performance will be, but after the tepid reception at Cannes, the movie proved an unlikely hit. Two viewings later and "Inglourious Basterds" is probably my favorite movie of the year.

Why I initially reacted the way I did is increasingly mysterious to me, was it expectations of a men-on-a-mission film unfulfilled, the then seemingly tedious and over-written verbal jousts? Consciously or subconsciously, I didn't want to like the movie. I tutted at the glee with which the movie portrayed the violence the basterds inflicted. I resisted the charm of the film's construct, acknowledging that it was more than I expected it to be while at the same time lamenting Tarantino's juvenile and silly handling of such serious subject matter.

The truth, which has been revealed to me by two further viewings of the film, is that "Inglourious Basterds" might very well be Tarantino's greatest film, eclipsing even his most mature work to date "Jackie Brown". This is a glorious subversion of the dreary holocaust drama, a Spaghetti Western with WWII iconography, a love letter to the movies, and it is, every step of the way, aware of exactly what it's doing. In the end it basically comes down to personal opinion on whether this was a success or not, but what seems plainly obvious to me is that there is absolutely nothing about this film that is clumsy. The time and care taken with the screenplay is obvious, as is the time taken to edit the film. The Cannes cut wasn't longer, but it was apparently different in construct and differently-woven. When we're talking about a movie which depends entirely on: a) tension built through dialogue and character interaction, and b) the pacing of those scenes and how the scenes fit together, this could explain the significant difference between the reception at Cannes and the critical reception upon actual release.

The performance of the cast collectively is probably the most obviously praise-worthy aspect of the film. The Basterds are lovable and humorous, but also portray just the right amount of savagery to make it clear that what they're doing isn't child's play, and Brad Pitt is a standout as Aldo Raine, giving a fun comic performance but also creating perhaps the most sympathetic character in the film outside Melanie Laurent, whose Shosanna Dreyfus is the emotional core of the film. She also feels more like a film character than a real person, something Tarantino is aware of, as she is written as a classical tragic hero, complete with a deliberately clichéd romance and a climax to her story which really sums up everything this movie is about in its self-aware artifice and theatrical grandeur. Diane Kruger impresses as Bridget von Hammersmark, despite being given the tricky job of playing an actress. Undoubtedly the performance of the film, of the year, is Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa. It's perfect. It's exactly what it needed to be, and the wrong actor in that role would have destroyed the film.

In Tarantino's own words, "Inglourious Basterds" is about the power of cinema bringing down the Third Reich. An even better description would be the power of words challenging the power of violence. Intentionally or not, that is one of the most interesting parallels drawn in "Inglourious Basterds". In more than one scene verbal battles turn into violence, but in as many scenes the threat of violence is kept at bay by the power of words and acting, a major component of cinema. Tarantino's wordplay here isn't just characters saying cool stuff to one another, it's the entire language of the movie, the weapon of choice for his characters. Many say Tarantino should write plays if he's just going to have characters talk to each other for ages, but that wouldn't make sense because he delights as much in the conversation and his actors' performance as he does in their context in his film, and his films always feature the cinematic, except for "Reservoir Dogs".

"Inglourious Basterds" is all about the cinema, and where the movie references in "Kill Bill" were part of a pastiche of B-movie cinema, "Inglourious Basterds" works the references seamlessly into a genuinely involving story, albeit one with a healthy dose of silliness and dark humor. Where I initially thought Tarantino failed most significantly was where he succeeded most greatly: in his attempt to create a grand love letter to the power of cinema. Tarantino proves literate in more than just junk film here- for all the allusions to macaroni combat films and spaghetti westerns, it's ultimately a gonzo celebration of high art. The entire film is burlesque in nature, best seen as a deliberately artificial cinematic recreation of WWII rather than straightforwardly as a WWII war film of any nature.

More than any of his other movies, "Inglourious Basterds" is about cinema. It's not just subtext, it's the reality of the film which is so tied to the world of cinema. The film may be total fantasy, and it has no qualms about depicting the cathartic power of violence, but it's ultimately taut, tense, entertaining, funny, and most importantly sort of beautiful in its own grandiose, bizarre manner. As Aldo declares his final act of brutality in the film his masterpiece, Tarantino seems to be declaring this film his own. Call it kosher porn, call it whatever you like, what I ultimately see this as is a tribute to cinephilia made with far more heart than I expected.
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Tarantino and His Italian Critics
claudiaeilcinema4 October 2009
You should hear the Italian critics talking about Tarantino and "Inglorious Bastards". They run out of superlatives. One of them last night actually shouted "Tarantino is my God". Wow! I, personally, suspect that Tarantino is the result of a generation of TV and bad (now cult) exploitation movies. I enjoy him, don't get me wrong, but I'm not shouting miracle when I still have "The Great Escape", for instance, so fresh in my mind. "Inglorious Basterds" more than any of the other Tarantino films is all about appearances. There is nothing underneath other than references to other movies. Nothing wrong with that in fact I like it but I refuse to treat Quentin Tarantino as a sort of Deity. I can't buy it. I think he should be placed exactly where he belongs among the best of his kind but what kind is that? Never mind, it works. Italian critics who are so prepared to destroy their own - you should read some of the reviews for "Baaria" - are prepared to fall to their knees in front of Tarantino. This are the same critics that last year, the year of "Milk", "Slumdog Millionaire" "Edge Of Heaven", The Wrestler" etc, gave the David de Donatello Award for best picture to "Grand Torino" I want to make sure that I'm making my point clearly. "Inglorious Bastards" is a terrific comedy with most of Tarantino's trademark tricks in place. You'll have a great time with Brad Pitt and an incredible Christoph Waltz as the ultimate Nazi villain but don't expect a masterpiece as declared by some critics. That kind of review damages the film and me the spectator. It forces something on me. As if I was suppose to feel the same otherwise there is something wrong with me. No. I liked it, I recommend it for what it is. Period.
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A Rip Roaring Yarn
uhmartinez-phd7 October 2009
An fun, engrossing, beautifully crafted piece of nonsense, the likes of which we hadn't seen in a long long time. The silliness of the story is marvelously camouflaged with great dialogue and some superb performances. Christoph Waltz must be thinking already about his acceptance speech. What a performance! The civilized monster, polyglot, refined and deadly. He gets us going from the first, sensational scene. Brad Pitt is also wonderful. Was he putting a Mussolinni chin while impersonating (hilariously) an Italian? I thought so. His character's name sounds like Aldo Ray and I'm sure that's no accident. The film is full of movie references. Another character is named Fenek, as an homage to his 1970's sexpot, Edwige Fenech. What is already one of Tarantino's trademarks is his sure step along the most immediately recognizable bits of pop culture. He's clearly not a cultured man but a pop expert, king in a world where people get their news from TV, don't read, other than magazines and comics, etc. That's how it happens, to be in the right place at the right time. For better or worse this are Tarantino times.
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Where Tarantino fantasizes about dirty war in war
RJBurke194218 February 2010
Okay – here's the story, in a paragraph: a bunch of American soldiers terrorize German infantry for years, in France, behind enemy lines. They become infamous to the Nazis, resorting to intense cruelty to the Germans. Even der Führer wants them caught. Meanwhile, in a French town, a lovely French-Jewish femme fatale plans to blow up her cinema when a famous German action flick is shown to the German hierarchy – including Hitler, Goering, Goebbels and Borman. Coincidentally, those infamous American soldiers are sent to do the same job. Also, there's a very nasty Nazi colonel who just loves to hunt down and kill Jews – and he smells a rat in the House of Cinema. How it all turns out, I'll leave up to you to discover – that is, if you see this film.

But, I don't recommend at all. Let me tell you why.

First, it's billed as drama/thriller/war. Well, I guess it does contain all of those attributes, but they forgot about fantasy. Because, this story is, at core, a spoof about war and sheer fantasy, in addition.

Second, in its effort to establish and develop character, it's often boring because it's way too talky for a thriller; you see character from what people do, not from what they say. Brad Pitt (as Aldo Raine) is okay as an over-the-top parody of hill-billy Americana – and he does it well. But, even his character becomes too talky. The nasty Nazi, Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) is talky also, but at least he's a detective (in his own words), so he has to ask a lot of questions. The rest of the cast do their best with a script that varies between intense dread, only occasionally, to high camp, often – especially concerning the German hierarchy.

Third, the whole story is preposterous. Let's face it – any war story that purports to show the entire German hierarchy being blown up in a cinema can only be regarded as coming from another planet Earth in another universe. And the (way too long) card game scene in the café basement is screechingly contrived coincidence and just too stupid for words. So, if you do see it, leave believability (the prime requirement for good stories, especially war) at the door. You've been warned.

And, finally, although Quentin Tarantino started well with his filmic revelation, Reservoir Dogs (1992), and followed up with his much better Elmore Leonard story, Jackie Brown (1997) – his best to date – this one is his nadir, in my opinion. Technically very good, especially with the editing, this basterd of a story nevertheless kills the whole experience. If he was trying to show war in the raw, look no further than the battle scenes in The Thin Red Line (1998). If he was trying to create a thriller, stay with the Bourne franchise. If he was attempting drama in war, watch From Here to Eternity (1953) or Twelve O'Clock High (1949), and too many other superior films.

To be fair, it has its moments: the frenetic shootout in the café basement is editing at its best. And the opening scenes at the French farm are a tour de force in building dread. However, the cardboard cutout characters left me totally indifferent to the fate of any of them: in sum, a dead story about death at its worst. It'll be interesting to see if Christoph Waltz gets the Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor. Miracles do happen, though.

I note that Roger Ebert gave it four stars. Is that out of ten? I hope so – I give it four also.

Oh, heck, see it if you must, but just keep in mind it's a fantastic spoof.
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Quentin Tarantino is a Crazy Basterd
Billy_Costigan23 August 2009
I can't imagine a director whose thirst for blood and violence is greater than Quentin Tarantino's. (At least in his films) Inglourious Basterds is no different. We all know Tarantino, the guy who exploded on the scene in the early 90s with cult classics, such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Since, he has been a disappointment for some. Well, I am relieved to say, Tarantino has not lost his touch. He brings us his best since Pulp Fiction and thankfully so.

We know the story, a WWII tale told only as Tarantino can. (Fictional of course) A war film hasn't been done like this before. Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine leads the Basterds in Nazi occupied France. Their goal - killin' Nazi's. Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa plays a similar role on the other side. He's know as the "Jew Hunter" and goes about his business as ruthless as no other. The third sub story consists of a young Jewish refugee, Shosanna Dreyfus, who witnesses the slaughter of her family. And she, of course, wishes to plot revenge on the Germans for her devastating lose. There actually is three stories here intertwining and connecting with each other. If you know anything about Tarantino or his films, this is nothing new for him.

War has never been been so fun. The Basterds, are haunting, but at the same time, very funny, at times even hilarious. The dark comedy aspect play a big aspect in this as in many other Tarantino films. The entertainment and hilarity is led by Brad Pitt. I found him extremely funny and entertaining. I couldn't wait to see him on screen again. Even with his crazy accent, he works in this type of film. Also making great impressions were Mélanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, who were tremendous. The film was filled with noteworthy performances.

The story itself, has so many historical inaccuracies to even count, but so what? It isn't meant to be a documentary. Tarantino wanted to have fun with, as should we. The cinematography department deserves big props with beautiful vibrant colors highlighting the film. You've really got to love the last line in the film... but Pulp Fiction remains his masterpiece.

Quentin Tarantino among all other things, is an entertainer. WWII, is one of the most tragic events in history, but Tarantino some how manages to make it fun. Inglourious Basterds is a fun film, it's tremendously entertaining, shocking, dramatic, suspenseful, and funny at the same time. Jam packed with everything you look for in a movie, done with that certain Tarantino style, it's worth being checked out. It's time to experience for yourself what war is like through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino.
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Disaster Movie: probably the worst "film" I have ever seen....
rbrb18 August 2010
Shame on IMDb saying this is a drama/thriller/war film. Nothing of the sort. "Saving Private Ryan" would come into that category, not this dreadful mess of a movie.It looks and feels like the writer/director so called has made it up as he goes along as the whole thing is uneven and drifts from drama to farce and various other genres.

It is part parody, part fantasy, part black comedy(without being funny)and proved to be a total waste of my time and goodness knows why I did not bother to turn it off sooner. Brad Pitt is a complete embarrassment as he looks like he got out of his VIP chair to ad lib his role. And the actor playing Hitler is also an absolute joke but humorless.

In brief the scenario is that a bunch of Jews in the 1940's go to get revenge on Nazi's, and the climax of this takes place in a cinema in Paris where all the German leaders will be present.

The picture has unnecessary and needless violence, the plot and story are outrageously ridiculous and whilst Christopher Waltz steals the show even he cannot save this movie.

Now have to ask rhetorically:

Why do the members here give this movie over 8/10 on average? Further, why have are the box office takings almost twice the apparent budget? Seems that a few influential but totally out of touch film reviewers and some clever misleading marketing has duped a lot of people into believing there is some worth in this disaster of a movie.

My verdict:

What a load of rubbish,

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Top 250!? Are you kidding me???????
coldwaterpdh27 January 2010
"Inglourious Basterds," a title which is stolen from a superior Italian trash flick by Enzo Castellari, is pure pretentious drivel.

The opening scene of the movie is the only one which can compare to films from the glory days of Quentin Tarantino. The rest of the movie just descends down a long and boring hill and putters to a stop. It never builds any kind of strong characters. We are given a glimpse into ONE of the 'basterds' past but none of the others. It's like Tarantino said every few days of shooting: 'You know what would be freakin' kewl? If we did ....this....' It's all a jumbled mess with no theme even. It bounces from Spaghetti Western, to Italian Exploitation to Eastern martial arts and back around again. I got lost in the 'coolness' of it all.

Brad Pitt who I happen to think is a fine actor, fell way short in this. His little southern accent gimmick wears off after about 10 minutes and his character just seems comical. And Eli Roth as 'the bear jew ?' What the heck is that!?

This Tarantino guy just happens to be the ONLY film maker in Hollywood that is brash enough to steal from the masters (Leone, Fulci, Castellari, Argento, etc) and doesn't mind adding a dash of modern Hollywood lameness to it. It's ashame Americans are dumb enough to fall for it and we don't seem to have room in our hearts for more creativity in films these days.

A total example of style over substance. It will not stand the test of time. I'll stick with the originals. Blue Underground releases a good handful every year! This is not a good movie. 2 out of 10, kids.
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The Jewish Scalphunters of Quentin Tarantino
terrygiu20005 October 2009
Once again, revenge is at the center of a Quentin Tarantino movie. This time a Jewish dirty dozen takes things on their own hands. Tarantino re-writes history and shortens WWII with a comic stroke that is as entertaining as it is vacuous. A fantasy that re-arranges some controversial historical points. Okay, it's a movie and as such it works for most of its two and a half hours. Christoph Waltz opens things up in the most promising way. The opening sequence is filled with a subtle but unbearable tension. Weltz amalgamates all the Nazi villains we have loved and hated in the movies into one glorious creation. (I will advise my countrymen to see it in its original multi-language version - the Italian version is another movie altogether. Some of the extra pleasures are in the dialog that, naturally, are not to be found in the Italian version) Brad Pitt, rapidly becoming one of the best character actors in the world, with a leading man's face and billing, is truly fantastic. Diane Kruger makes a credible Barbara Bouchet (one of Tarantino's muses from trash action Italian movies from the 70's) and the rest of the cast has some exquisite touches like Rod Taylor as Winston Churchill. Highly recommended for a Sunday afternoon.
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Brilliantly offbeat wartime western
Sandcooler20 September 2009
Wow. It's been a while since I left a movie theatre so overwhelmed. From the first minute to the last this movie is shocking, amusing and horrendously entertaining all at the same time. The prologue is vintage Tarantino. The way the tension is build up throughout that opening scene is truly magnificent, and the camera pans down just at the right time. And by that time you've already learned to absolutely despise Landa, probably the most disgusting character Tarantino ever came up with. He's truly a man you love to hate, and his charming persona just makes him seem even more evil. He's if possible even more threatening than Jules Winfield was in the infamous breakfast scene from "Pulp Fiction". The segments with the basterds are probably the ones Tarantino had the most fun with, and these segments really know no boundaries in any way. Not only are they hilariously violent (the baseball bat!), they also ignore every possible historic fact. I wouldn't really want it any other way really. Another highlight is the bar scene, which illustrates perfectly how unpredictable this movie is. There are too many good moments to be naming them all, but this movie benefits so much from its outrageousness you really need to see everything for yourself.
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Waltz with Pitt
kosmasp27 September 2009
C. Waltz is the new discovery in this movie. He might have had a following in German speaking countries, but with this movie, he's getting world famous. Speaking 4 languages (and that's only in this movie, who knows how many more he is able to master) and being the main actor in this, despite the title of the movie. Which leads us to one thing that might be appalling to some people (especially to those who love(d) the original "Inglorious Bastards").

The thing is that the "Basterds" (and yes the spelling mistake was intentional by Mr. Tarantino) do not get that much screen time. It's almost as if their story isn't the main act. You could have a problem with that (not only as a fan as stated above), so be aware that this is more an ensemble picture. And as said, Mr. Waltz is fantastic (I'm pretty sure we're gonna see more of him soon). Brad Pitt would be the second one to mention. Eli Roth on the other hand, as fun as it is to see him on the big screen, he just doesn't fit the bill. Til Schweiger and the other German and European actors are all really good. I'd say that some give the performance of their life.

Speaking of the actors, one of the things that I really loved, is the fact that the movie is at least tri-lingual (is that a word?), french/German/English (with a bit of Italian thrown in there for good measure). That means a lot of subtitles if you watch the original version. But it works (imo) and makes the movie that much better.

Another thing that you shouldn't expect though, is too much action. I heard quite a few people that criticized the movie, for being too talky. But that's Tarantino for you. There is action of course, but the long running time (might be a bummer for some) is made up by many conversations. There is tension, there is fun to be had, but the movie does take it's time to reach it's goal. Again, something that won't work for everybody. Great movie that cements Tarantinos status as great director.
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Christoph Waltz - an Oscar performance within a pile!
t_atzmueller20 October 2010
It's a useless thing to post a review on a movie that already has more than a thousand reviews on IMDb. But the division between people who loved it and those who hated it is rather fascinating so I'll add my two cents.

I'm a person who's of the later opinion. I just don't like Tarantino and his way of making an "homage" to me just seems like a cheap way of stealing stuff, that's not known or obscure at best for a mainstream audience but insults the true fan.

I'm also a fan of 'alternate realities'-story lines (I recommend Ian McKellen in "Richard III", taking the age-old Shakespeare play into the time of WW2) and not necessarily too concerned with historic accuracy. In my mind, one could have done something with the story of "Inglorious Basterds" but what ruins it in this film is the horrible acting.

Not even talking about Brad Pitt hamming it up like it really was a real grind house film but what in the heavens could have provoked any director to put Eli Roth in front of a camera? I realise that there isn't much real acting involved in a homage to exploitation flicks but at least a little charisma, a little character for an protagonist in a mainstream movie – is that too much to ask for? We now move on to the German imports: Till Schweiger, Daniel Brühl and Gedeon Burkhard. Schweiger divides the audience in Germany. He's by fans depicted as the Ben Affleck of German cinemas; by adversaries he's considered as a German version of Ben Affleck who's performance is annoying but who can produce a sellable love comedy during Summer. Brühl is another actor who leaves critics divided. 'A great talent in the making', say some; 'an actor with a steady repertoire of four facial expressions', say the others (three of which are featured in "Inglorious Basterds". And of course Burkhard, prior to "Inglorious Basterds" a regular in many-a daily soap-opera that are geared toward pensioners and the unemployed. The rest of the cast is relatively unknown to me and I'm relative grateful for that. And, adding insult to injury for hammy acting and lazy direction: the caricature of Hitler and his regime, just a few years after an audience has applauded the performances of Bruno Ganz and others in "Der Untergang".

I give this film four stars … no, I give the actor Christoph Waltz four stars. And another Oscar ™ because he deserves it. Skills and a presence that rivals performances of contemporary roles like Heath Ledger as the Joker or Javier Badem in movies like "No Country for Old Men" and "The Sea Inside". That's the fascinating aspect about the movie: putting up 1st class actors against 2nd and 3rd rate: the result is "Inglorious Basterds".
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A Brilliant Filmmaker With Very Little To Say
borromeot3 October 2009
Very entertaining, that's for sure. Great little moments "inspired" by other movies. "The Guns Of Navarone", "Operation Crossbow" and a myriad of 70's B exploitation Italian movies. Tarantino is certainly clever and knows how to use the camera but then, I have to say it, nothing. The childish "divertimento" dressed in smart ass dialog remains there. The entertainment value is, perhaps, the most one should expect from a movie but it seems a damn shame that such a talent should be put at the service of something so one dimensional. I can't help but remember Ernst Lubitch's "To Be Or Not To Be" that was also a comedy with remarkable, inventive dialog but it also had so many other layers that "To Be Or Not To Be" after 70 years still resonates with whoever has seen it. Christoph Waltz is terrific and Brad Pitt is always great fun to watch but the experience is purely epidermic in spite of some truly gruesome moments. Am I expecting oranges from an apple tree? If that's so forget what I've just said and run to meet Tarantino's basterds.
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Larger than life in the best cinematic ways
secondtake8 September 2009
Inglourious Basterds (2009)

We all know by now that Quentin Tarantino is in love with the movies, so it's no surprise that much of this film centers are around an astonishing movie theater. But his love of movies also shows in the way he works with classic ideas and great visual strategies that come from decades of the best of Hollywood. The very first scene is like a remake from some classic Western--John Ford or Sergio Leone, take your pick--with the isolated family seeing trouble coming in, ever so gradually, from the far distance.

And then trouble arrives, and it unfolds here like a croissant in the morning sun, steam slowly rising into the French Provincial air. This, you'll see, or you know already, is film-making at its best, old-school or new-school, it doesn't matter. The suspense, the elegant and fluid camera-work, the astonishing writing and even more astonishing delivery by the two men at this very first juncture, playing a kind of "I know what you are thinking" kind of game, all drawn out in a breathtaking, poetic, nerve-wracking way.

Then all hell breaks loose. This is the other side of Tarantino, the violent violence, where the blood is too red and too balletic to be real. I don't have the ability to step out of this kind of on screen gore and so it shocks me every time, and it seems like the movie might work just as well (or better) with implied violence, rather than splattering it in your face. But this director, I think, sees all of it from a director's point of view--that everything is artifice, including the preceding scene with the two men, where I, for one, was impressed partly by believing it, by being completely sucked in. Which makes the offputting violence that follows all the more upending.

I have no doubt it is this push-pull effect that makes all of Tarantino's films have that energy few others can match. In this case, there is a lot of plain old fun built into seeing the bad guys get what they deserve (I felt a weird pleasure, which I confess and which I don't understand, in seeing one very particular bad guy shot to pieces near the end), and a lot of suspense as you root for the unlikely heroes. The archetypes, like Brad Pitt's good bad guy role with a Kentucky accent (better than your Italian, Brad), and the more original characters, like the young woman who owns the theater and is truly trapped by circumstances, equally make their scenes larger than life.

In fact, Inglourious Basterds is pure Hollywood in the way it makes everything on the screen larger than life. Isn't that what the golden age of Hollywood was all about? Yes. And it is exactly what some directors like Tarantino are still bent on pulling off. A great film. Whatever the problems and the gore, this strikes me as a perfect film the way Fargo is perfect, or Reservoir Dogs. Tastes aside, you have to see it.
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