Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Inglourious Basterds » User review

Inglorious Poster

Film by Quentin Tarantino released August 21, 2009

< read all 44 reviews


  • Aug 26, 2009
In the past, Quentin Tarantino has been well known primarily for his unique style and writing abilities. His films are usually separated by many years, however.  At least since Jackie Brown.  We had to wait six years for Kill Bill.  And after Volume 2 was done, we had to wait five years for this.  But while the wait for Tarantino's films can be long it is usually worthwhile to Tarantino fans.  That sort of gives Inglourious Basterds a label all on its own.  If you're not a Quentin Tarantino fan, you might not particularly like this film.  Not because of Tarantino trademarks, but because Tarantino is, above all else, a story teller. 

The film is divided into five chapters.  And has an impressive cast of characters.  In the end, what you're really getting is a pretty simple story.  Yet from the get-go it is quite clear that you're in for a much more dialog heavy film.  And this is because the film centers on two fronts.  The first concerns a woman named Shosanna Dreyfus.  The movie opens up with the "Jew Hunter" named Hans Landa coming up to a house doing what he does best.  Finding Jews.  The family he's come upon is a man and his three daughters.  Over a long discussion Hans unearths that the man is hiding Jews under the floor boards and has them slaughtered.  On the other hand, one got away  Shosanna Dreyfus.  But Hans lets her escape. 

The film then goes to the Basterds.  The Basterds are a bunch of American Jews who are dedicated to killing Nazis.  The leader, Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) has ordered that each of them bring him back the scalps of the Nazis they kill.  And he wants 100 scalps each.  There are only eight of these guys, but they mean business and they are brutal.  To show just who they really are, they really do scalp Nazis.  More than that, they make sure that those they let go actually know they're Nazis by carving the swastika  on their forehead and sending them back to make sure their deeds are well known. 

The first half of the film is mainly centered on introducing these two arcs.  For those who don't know, the film is an alternate history of World War II.  It's not meant to be a historical film, or even give a historic portrayal of any real event.  As a result, Tarantino is free to shape his own history, and he does through a plot that is quite good.  For Tarantino, the film is quite linear, actually.  We have our prologue which introduces our two leading characters and two story parallel stories.  It's hard to say whether or not the film centers on Shosanna or Aldo Raine, but it is clear they are both major characters throughout the entire film.

However, it is clear that Shosanna is more involved in the story than we see.  Years after her family was slaughtered she now owns a cinema in France.  The Germans now have the place occupied and she's forced to show at least a few German films.  On the other hand, she has attracted the eye of a man named Fredrick Zoller.  He's a Nazi who has now been commended as a war hero for fending off hundreds of troops from a tower with nothing but a sniper rifle.  They've made a film about his exploits and it's set to premiere.  But because of Frederick's interest in Shosanna (who goes by a different identity in France) he wants the premiere to be at her cinema.  It's smaller, sure, but Frederick believes it should be a celebration for only the Nazis. 

Faced with having to host to several Nazis, Shosanna comes up with a plan to trap them all in the theater and burn it down.  It's a plan that is absolutely full proof.  On the other hand, the Basterds have also learned of the premiere, and as new events surface, they discover that Hitler himself will be there.  They concoct their own plan.  With the help of actress Bridget Von Hammersmack (Diane Kruger) they will sneak into the theater and blow the joint.  Unfortunately things don't go as planned.  As Bridget and a couple of the Basterds are discovered.  This causes a small change of plans, but not a large one.  With Shosanna planning to burn down the cinema and with the Basterds planning to blow it themselves, one is left to wonder how things will turn out.  Quentin Tarantino can usually give off a dazzling climax, and it's no different here.  The build up in and of itself is quite suspenseful.  In some places Tarantino draws out the suspense quite a bit.

The film is pretty good, but also very slow paced.  In fact, some may find the film to be a bit too talky.  There are some pretty violent moments, but a lot of the time you'll find that most of the characters just sit around and talk.  This may not be what many movie goers want.  Especially considering the previews make it seem like you're in for something a bit more action packed.  There's action, but a lot of it comes out in small swallows.  For the most part it's a story driven film that takes its time.  But there's still a lot of wit and good humor thrown in, mostly from Brad Pitt.  But for the most part it's absorbing, because most of the dialog is at least interesting.  There are parts of it that sre subtitled (many parts) but that seems to add more to the film's charm.  After all, this doesn't take place in America.  It takes place in France under German occupation.  As a result, a lot of the film is spoken in French and German.  There's plenty of English, but there are also a lot of subtitles.  This seems to make the film much more absorbing.  And much of the conversation that many characters have are very good.  The film is very reminiscent of older Spaghetti Westerns.  Most of it works.  And in part because the characters are interesting in and of themselves. 

It gets at a slow pace, but the final chapter is definitely one that will have most movie goers absorbed into it.  As the plot really picks up and as things really begin to unravel, the film truly blossoms.  The climax and the suspense can be killing, but it's still mesmerizing.  Quentin Tarantino is a storyteller through and through. 

As I said, that may actually be what some may not like.  This is a very dialog heavy film.  In a few instances there are long scenes in which it's just a bunch of characters sitting at a table and talking.  The movie sets off at a slow pace and is around two hours and forty five minutes long.  It's lengthy movie and the more action oriented sequences are separated by long snippets of dialog.  But it's all there for the sense of pushing the plot forward.  Quentin Tarantino is known for this in particular.  Most times you go and see a Tarantino film it's because of the dialog and the exchanges between characters.  Nothing in Inglourious Basterds matches up to what you'll hear in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs.  The film's dialog is a bit more plot based.  But you will find that there's a lot of exposition.  For some people this is going to bore the hell out of them. 

The story in Inglourious Basterds is a bit more linear than what we're used to seeing from Tarantino.  There are certain moments that take place out of sync or in flashbacks, but for the most part, Inglourious Basterds starts at the beginning and ends at the end.  There just happen to be two parallel stories.  The film works in a pattern to tell these stories.  First it introduces Shosanna and then it introduces the Basterds.  Then we go back to Shosanna and learn of her plan, and then we go to the Basterds and learn of their plan.  In the final chapter we finally see both stories come together.  So each get two important parts of the story while the last part is reserved for both.  Compared to Tarantino's other films which come by in a very non-linear fashion, Inglourious Basterds is pretty straight forward.  And, of course, it wouldn't be Tarantino if there weren't a few surprises lying in wake.  And Inglourious Basterds has plenty.  In the film's last moments you'll find it unpredictable and surprising. 

It's far from being Tarantino's best work, but it's still a very good film overall.  It has much of the style and flair that you might expect from Tarantino.  But going to the movie expecting an action film or a historic depiction of World War II is not going to help in viewing the film.  It's an alternative history and it's very dramatic in the process.  Quentin Tarantino fans may find themselves loving the film.  On the other hand, if you're not a Quentin Tarantino fan and the reason happens to be because of his dialog heavy moments etc., then you're not getting anything different here.  In short, you may not like it that much if you're already skeptical of Tarantino already.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
August 31, 2009
I'm somewhat disappointed. I thought Tarantino was showing us how much he knew aabout movies again by naming his character "Aldo Ray" after the B movie actor who specialized in tough guy roles, and here it was just Brad Pitt's accent throwing me off!
August 27, 2009
Yep. This was good but folks who are expecting another Tarantino classic may find themselves disappointed. I like 'talkie' movies, I feel that dialogue plays a lot in the structure of a film. The actor who played Landa stole the show for me, he was awesome. That tavern scene was also very creative.

Great review, Sean.
August 26, 2009
Great Review! I had been wanting to see this anyway, but your review and the others on the site are making me want to see it even more.
More Inglourious Basterds reviews
review by . January 09, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    The Quentin Tarantino-directed "Inglourious Basterds" is not much unlike the wise-cracking genius of modern cinema's other features. It's a one big old fan film; another one of Tarantino's great homages to the many things that he loves. Once again, he shows his admiration of his inspirations through music choice, camera angles, and an overwhelming supply of movie references. While there are plenty of other directors who do this, Tarantino does it differently; …
review by . April 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Reminded me that I love Tarantino's work!
What a fantastic film!  I see a lot of movies, but not very many "films", if you know what I mean.  This one was an awesome ride, that ranged from incredibly tense to laugh out loud funny, to genuinely moving.       Some quick takeaways & a few of my favorite things:   classic tarantino devices used, like the "character" format, a la Resevoir Dogs and Kill Bill TOTALLY get why Christolph Waltz won that Oscar -- PHENOMENAL performance... …
review by . January 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ingloruious Basterds (I think I spelled that incorrectly) was the best movie I've seen all year. This was my first QT movie , and I went into it with trepidation, expecting cartoonish violence and macho muscularity without much depth. What I got was masterful moving picture making. Every scene works (even the one intentionally--and self-mockingly?--cartoonishly violent "Bear Jew" scene) but the opening scene builds so slowly and perfectly that it matches anything Hitchcock crafted in its beauty, …
review by . August 23, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
   Quentin Tarantino, taking inspiration from the 1978 Italian film “Inglorious Bastards“, “INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS” (now renamed “Basterds”) is the latest installment from the acclaimed director. “Inglourious Basterds” isn’t just a war film, it is a war film with the Tarantino signature that features stupendous dialogue, incredibly opaque plotting, an anarchistic soundtrack (even worms in a David Bowie song from “Cat People“), …
review by . August 12, 2009
   I'll save you time.  You don't have to read the rest of this review to know how I feel.  I loved this movie.      There is so much to love about this movie and I will try to explain my perspective without the use of spoiler because I want everyone to see and experience this movie for themselves.  Before we go any further, here is the trailer:            See what I mean.  I knew from the trailer …
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
A star turn for Michael Fassbender but all the good lines belonged to Brad Pitt (and there are half a dozen howlingly funny lines).
review by . August 25, 2009
Inglorious Basterds
Seeing Inglorious Basterds was an interesting viewing experience for me.  Not because anything crazy happened, but because of the ways in which the film kept pulling me back in.  While I thoroughly enjoyed Basterds, there were definitely times I was asking myself, "what is this leading up to?" which I think a lot of people were asking about Death Proof .  Of course the minute I asked myself this, everything came together and made me ecstatic about the current scene. …
review by . January 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You might think Tarantino glorifies violence, but I think that's just the way he expresses his ideas
   I am a huge QT fan so I went expecting a lot from this film. The movie is simply an experience and Tarantino immerses you into this world.   I honestly am very surprised that there are so many comments stating this is a bad movie and Tarantino trash. I understand not everyone loves QT but how can you not appreciate the writing and acting in this film. The film, as most of us know by now, is a WWII revenge saga that follows a small unit of Jewish-American soldiers as they wreak …
review by . May 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS       As any one can tell you I am a huge QT fan and basically own everything he has been a part of. So of course when this film was released I had to go see it and the second it was out on DVD/BLU-RAY I had to own it. I knew from the moment this film was announced that it would be another QT classic with out a doubt. Say what you will but it was a major success and you can't discount that at all. I of course knew that I would love this film and of course …
review by . January 28, 2010
One Upon a Time...In Nazi Occupied France...The Basterds Came to Blu-ray!
With such an amazing year past us film wise, there are just some movies that you absolutely have to own, Inglourious Basterds being one of them.  What Quentin Tarantino did with the World War II genre of films was take it, make an amazing fairy tale story out of it and have it be the be all end all of WWII films.  After a film like Inglourious Basterds, there really isn't much more to do with the genre.  With the 2010 Oscars fast approaching, Basterds is sure to be in the mix …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Inglorious Bastards

Inglorious Bastards is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.  It was released on August 21st 2009.  It stars Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger and Christopher Waltz.


Although Quentin Tarantino has cherished Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 "macaroni" war flickThe Inglorious Bastardsfor most of his film-geek life, his ownInglourious Basterdsis no remake. Instead, as hinted by the Tarantino-esque misspelling, this is a lunatic fantasia of WWII, a brazen re-imagining of both history and the behind-enemy-lines war film subgenre. There's a Dirty Not-Quite-Dozen of mostly Jewish commandos, led by a Tennessee good ol' boy named Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) who reckons each warrior owes him one hundred Nazi scalps--and he means that literally. Even as Raine's band strikes terror into the Nazi occupiers of France, a diabolically smart and self-assured German officer named Landa (Christoph Waltz) is busy validating his own legend as "The Jew Hunter." Along the way, he wipes out the rural family of a grave young girl (Melanie Laurent) who will reappear years later in Paris, dreaming of vengeance on an epic scale.

Now, this isn't one more big-screen comic book. As the masterly opening sequence reaffirms, Tarantino is a true filmmaker, with a deep respect for the integrity of screen space and the tension that can accumulate in contemplating two men seated at a table having a polite conversation. IB reunites QT with...

view wiki


Director: Quentin Tarantino
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: August 21st 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Quentin Tarantino
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
Runtime: 149 mins.
Studio: The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios
Polls with this movie
First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since