'Once Upon a Time In Hollywood' Review

Updated on August 11, 2019
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Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Visiona Romantica and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is an international co-production between the United States and the United Kingdom. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, alongside Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing as TV star Rick Dalton and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the 9th film by Quentin Tarantino. I was very excited to watch this film mainly because Tarantino is one of my all time favorite directors. I love this man, and I think he's a genius in modern cinema.

With that being said, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood did not disappoint. It's not perfect and it does have some issues, but overall, I loved it. I wouldn't say this is his best film, but it's far from his worst. In a year that's already had its fair share of remakes, reboots, and unneeded sequels, it was a breath of fresh air to see such a original, imaginative, and creative story come to life.

This was a very Tarantino film. The characters were great and the dialogue was perfectly written. When the violence does happen, it is very violent in a beautiful way. The film is filled with random conversations between characters that were great watch. However, some of Tarantino's pitfalls were also here. This film was over 2 hours and 30 minutes long, and some parts did feel dragged out. These parts were entertaining, but they were a little insignificant.

One of my favorite parts of the film was the characters. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth were both great, and I loved the development they got. I also loved most of the side characters. There's a little girl that stole my heart. I also loved the exaggerated Hollywood stars they had.

This film is a comedy, and I thought it was genuinely funny. Tarantino dedicated entire scenes to tell one joke. Writing wise, I thought it was great. Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth got a lot of great scenes, and comedy wise, he stole the show for me.

One problem I did have with the film was the fact that there wasn't a clear narrative or direction on where the story was going. The story was running without a finish line. When a film is almost three hours long, it starts to feel a little sluggish when you don't know where it's going, and it seems that it doesn't know either.

The second act dragged a little bit. It was still entertaining, but it didn't push the story forward a lot. It's filled with a lot of conversations, people sitting around, Brad Pitt driving, and very Tarantino stuff.

I really enjoyed the ending. It was funny, chaotic, shot fantastically, and very Tarantino. However, as a whole with the rest of the film, I didn't love it. It felt just a little out of place, and didn't feel necessarily earned. It's hard to explain without spoiling the film, but the film put a huge focus on Rick and his stunt double. Sharon Tate only had a few scenes, and she only seemed to be there for the ending. I thought the film would have been better if they went all in with the Manson family, or didn't have them at all. Instead they went neither way, and I didn't love how it ended up.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate didn't get a whole lot to do. She felt unimportant to the story, and really didn't have an impact on anything.

Other than that, I thought it was a great film with an ending I both loved and hated. This was a very Tarantino film in the firm of a very funny comedy. It's a long film as to be expected and it did drag a little bit here and there, but I was not disappointed.

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The acting was great. Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic. I thought he gave an Oscar worthy performance. He was an actor playing an actor, and he didn't miss a beat. He nailed the bar scene. I loved the scenes with him and the little girl played by Julia Butters, who did a great job. She really was a breakout star.

However, Brad Pitt stole the show for me. He was great, and this was one of his best roles in a while. I thought he had great chemistry with Leonardo DiCaprio. That handsome but rugged stuntmen really suited Pitt perfectly. I thought he gave an Oscar caliber performance as well. He was also the funniest part of the film.

Margot Robbie also did a solid job in the few scenes she was in. I really wished she had a lot more to do. Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, the late Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, and many more in this all-star cast all did great. There was never a sour note when it came to acting. I do wish some of the characters would've been given a little more screen time, but other than that everybody did a great job.

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The story and plot were both great, but they did miss a few beats.

I loved the first act. The way the characters were introduced, the way old school Hollywood was presented. It was all great.

The second act was the lowest point in the story for me. They introduced certain things, but didn't fully commit to them. The story kinda felt stuck. Tarantino is one of the few people who can get away with having pretty much pointless scenes in terms of moving the story forward, but the second act had a few too many, especially for a near three-hour film.

The third act was great, but as a whole I didn't love the climax.

The story was great, and it was classic Tarantino. I do think things could've been a little better, but overall it was great.

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All in all, I loved this film. It's not something I'll be racing to see again, but it had classic written all over it. This isn't Quentin Tarantino's best film, but it's also far from his worst.

This was a nearly three-hour film that slowed down a lot, there wasn't a clear narrative or direction on where the film was going. There are scenes in there that didn't add a ton to the overall story. However, if you like Tarantino films and you understand what is going to be in the film, I think you will have a good time.

The retro Hollywood nostalgia was great, the score and soundtrack was amazing, the acting was on point, and directing wise, it's exactly what I've come to expect from Tarantino.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a three-hour comedy wrapped up in a love story to old Hollywood featuring the Manson Family from the mastermind that is Quentin Tarantino.

I loved this film.

4 stars for Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

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    © 2019 Royce Proctor

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      • Dean Howard profile image

        Dean Howard 

        3 weeks ago

        Quentin Tarantino is my favorite director! I cannot wait to see this film! Good review!

      • Royce Proctor profile imageAUTHOR

        Royce Proctor 

        3 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

        @ Michael Truluck

        Fully agree. Thanks for the comment.

      • profile image

        Michael115 

        3 weeks ago

        Very good movie! I thought the movie could have been cut shorter but I had an overall fun time with this film. Keep up the good work!

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