Inglourious Basterds 2009

Critics score:
89 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: Superbly acted and well constructed, each scene is paced to a chaotic climatic frenzy. Read more

Scott Von Doviak, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ For anyone who has been hoping to see Tarantino back at the top of his game, the must-see movie of the summer has finally arrived. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: I don't know if I've ever seen a revenge fantasy so willfully messed up, sometimes offensively so, that still manages to be worthwhile for whole sections of its 2 1/2 hours. The opening is as good a sequence as Tarantino has ever created. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Basterds isn't a deep film -- honestly, what Tarantino flick is? -- but it has moments as sharp as a bayonet and as perverse as war itself. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Simply another testament to his movie love. The problem is that by making the star attraction of his latest film a most delightful Nazi, one whose smooth talk is as lovingly presented as his murderous violence, Mr. Tarantino has polluted that love. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The movie is an ungainly pastiche, yet on some wacked-out Jungian level it's all of a piece. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Quentin Tarantino's extremely witty revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds may be the most fun you'll have at the movies this summer. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: World War II was more serious, complex and horrifying than all this comic embellishment, but if I sound critical, I apologize in advance. I had a helluva time watching Inglourious Basterds. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: All the trademark Tarantino flourishes are here -- the joyous splaying of gore; the self-referential dialogue; the artful artificiality and the juxtaposition of humor and violence -- but they don't add up to much. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Tarantino's wartime fantasies may leave history in the dust, but his movie is a surprisingly satisfying contribution to movies about the Holocaust. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: If only Quentin Tarantino the director weren't so completely in love with Quentin Tarantino the writer, Inglourious Basterds might have been a great movie rather than just a good movie with moments of greatness. Read more

Jonathan F. Richards, Its biggest flaw, though, for those who care about such things, may be its moral attitude. That might seem a stodgy thing to bring up in the context of a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it takes such center stage that it needs to be examined. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: There's a feast here, particularly in the amazing opening, an unexpected essay on King Kong, and performances by Pitt, Laurent, and Waltz. It's just been placed on a huge table with no consideration of whether it adds up to a meal. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Tarantino crams enough movie-loving passion into the film to keep you not just entertained but occasionally riveted. Above all else, it's a really enjoyable ride. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Inglorious Basterds is an entertainment but an uneasy one; it represents 153 minutes of bravura stalling, after which its creator loses interest and walks away. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Inglourious Basterds is a social marker as startling as Easy Rider was in its day. Read more

Tom Charity, 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. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Landa is such a wily and despicable concoction that, in movie terms, he's almost impossible not to like. And therein lies part of my problem with this movie. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Basterds is not great Tarantino but it's solidly good Tarantino, and that's sweet news for his fans. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Austrian actor Christoph Waltz 
 triumphs, heroically, over Tarantino's brash, cine-drunk tall tale. Read more

Laremy Legel, Like a bat to the head, it's not too subtle, but you can't help but watch. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Clocking in at 2 hours and 32 minutes, it is unforgivably leisurely, almost glacial, a film that loses its way in the thickets of alternative history and manages to be violent without the start-to-finish energy that violence on screen usually guarantees. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Inglourious Basterds transcends the war genre to become its own kind of unique picture: A bloody blast of pure movie bliss. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Tarantino is the most fearlessly inventive filmmaker alive -- but we knew that. And while Inglourious Basterds is never anything less than ridiculously entertaining, it's nothing Tarantino hasn't done before. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Inglourious Basterds is not boring, but it's ridiculous and appallingly insensitive-a Louisville Slugger applied to the head of anyone who has ever taken the Nazis, the war, or the Resistance seriously. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's these fine sequences that can make you truly regret Tarantino's snarky, in-joke impulses, not to mention his arrogant -- perhaps even dangerous -- lack of concern with the story's moral dimensions. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: When a man makes a movie this good, you can forgive him the occasional indulgence. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Inglourious is slow, dumb -- and in a first for QT in his cinema savant career -- incompetent. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Tonally schizoid and rife with anachronisms (a David Bowie song on the sound track, out-of-era vernacular), Tarantino's Third Reich folly is utterly exasperating. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: With Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino has made his best movie since Pulp Fiction. He has also made what could arguably be considered the most audacious World War II movie of all-time. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard One of the best performances of the decade in one of the most entertaining movies of the year. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a big, bold, audacious war movie that will annoy some, startle others and demonstrate once again that he's the real thing, a director of quixotic delights. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Will Basterds polarize audiences? That's a given. But for anyone professing true movie love, there's no resisting it. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Quentin Tarantino seems to be hanging on to a lost world of moviemaking. He may be nuts. But he's a nut who cares. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: 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. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Tarantino's signature nastiness and his juvenile delight in shocking the audience undercut the movie's larger purpose. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: I'm tempted to say Tarantino has done it again, but I doubt anyone has ever done anything like his dazzlingly original World War II movie, Inglourious Basterds. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With its exploded notions of heroism, torture-rack dramatics and kamikaze gusto, it's a fiendishly entertaining flick. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: War reduced to pop entertainment should at least be easy to swallow, but this stuff keeps getting stuck in our craw. The trash that Tarantino used to elevate he now imitates. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: These Basterds blend into a much richer story, a hugely entertaining one with stars you don't immediately see shining. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Many Tarantino movies are female revenge fantasies, in which strong women plot the deaths of men who wronged them. In Shosanna and Bridget, the writer-director has fashioned two of his steeliest, most principled femmes fatales. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: 'Subtle' is not a word in Tarantino's lexicon. At the film's heart is a fatal attempt to conflate fact with fiction and a celebration of vengeance that's misplaced and embarrassing. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: The true moral universe in which the film unfolds is that of the spaghetti westerns...: a world in which the strong are above the law and the way to tell the good guys from the bad guys is not by their acts but by the kind of hats they wear. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The outcome is gory and glorious. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: By turns surprising, nutty, windy, audacious and a bit caught up in its own cleverness, the picture is a completely distinctive piece of American pop art with a strong Euro flavor that's new for the director. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood entertainment -- rich in fantasy and blithely amoral. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: For all its visual bravura and occasional bursts of antic inspiration, it feels trivial, the work of a kid who can't stop grabbing his favorite shiny plaything. Read more