The Arts, Etc.


Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds"

First Lines of Major Critics' Reviews

EYEBALL POLL: MAJOR CRITICS, 3 TO 5 STARS.
MOVIEGOERS: MAINLY 2 STARS.


Boston Globe/Ty Burr: "If the title weren't already taken, it'd be tempting to think of Quentin Tarantino's new movie -- indeed, his entire career -- as 'Infinite Jest.'"


Chicago Sun-Times/Roger Ebert: "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."


Entertainment Weekly/Lisa Schwarzbaum: "Quentin Tarantino's fevered fantasia Inglourious Basterds makes the delirious assertion that World War II was won through a combination of the power of movies and the prowess of a band of renegades led by Brad Pitt as a twanging moonshine-maker."


Newsweek/Daniel Mendelsohn: "At the climax of Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, which is set during World War II and which is concerned, at least superficially, with Jews, you get to witness a horribly familiar Holocaust atrocity -- with a deeply unfamiliar twist."


The New Yorker/David Denby: "In Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds -- an extravagant jest about the Second World War -- Joseph Goebbels commissions a propaganda combat film and assembles the Nazi leaders in occupied Paris, in 1944, for its premiere at a lovely Art Deco theatre."


The Onion (A.V. Club)/Keith Phipps: "Inglourious Basterds is a film years in the making and hours in the watching, but it seems designed to inspire mere minutes of reflection."


ReelViews/James Berardinelli: "'With Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino has made his best movie since 'Pulp Fiction.'".


Rolling Stone/Peter Travers: "In the bunker of Quentin Tarantino's hypnotically fired-up imagination, World War II features Brad Pitt scalping Nazis, G.I. Jews with a flair for torture porn, the Fuhrer at the movies, a film critic as a war hero, babes as the brains of the French and German Resistance, an S.S. Jew hunter who gets all the juiciest lines, bloody revenge by bat, bomb and dismemberment, and a blazing end for the Third Reich that ain't in history books.'


San Francisco Chronicle/Mick LaSalle: "It's not enough to say that Inglourious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino's best movie."


Slate/Dana Stevens: "When it comes to representing the Holocaust on film, you can't win." [snip] The event that's become (rightly or wrongly) our era's signifier for absolute evil poses huge questions to any artist who chooses to address it, questions that are ideological, moral, theological, and aesthetic. Quentin Tarantino cheerfully ignored them all -- well, all but the aesthetic ones-as he plowed into the making of Inglourious Basterds (filmed largely at the historic Babelsberg studios in Germany)."


TIME/Richard Corliss: "Back in his days as the geek god of clerks at Manhattan Beach Video Archives, Quentin Tarantino must have looked at all those World War II movies, especially the ones about plots to kill Hitler, and realized what was wrong: everybody knows the ending."


USA Today/Claudia Puig: "Within the first frames of writer/director Quentin Tarantino's audacious dismantling of history, you may feel as if you took a hit of pure oxygen."


Variety/Todd McCarthy: "Inglourious Basterds is a violent fairy tale, an increasingly entertaining fantasia in which the history of World War II is wildly reimagined so that the cinema can play the decisive role in destroying the Third Reich."




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