Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Another Tarantino Masterpiece

A film review is an article describing and evaluating a film. You can publish it on a website, blog, magazine or newspaper, it can also be part of the scientific work. In the movie review, you give your opinion on the various aspects of the movie you watched. However, if you still feel insecure in this area, fortunately in the era of the Internet, you can read how to write a film review at any time. In our article, you can not only read an example of a good review but also learn more about one of the most discussed films, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

General Overview

Los Angeles, 1969, the breakdown of eras: old Hollywood, simple and clear, is becoming a thing of the past – now European intellectuals like Roman Polanski are setting fashion. In this new world, Rick Dalton, the former star of television sterns and dashing militants, is unsuccessfully trying to find his place. He does not practice the Stanislavsky method, does not like hippie culture and does not believe that films about cowboys can be shot in Italy. In general, Rick is a dinosaur who is well aware that his career is flying into the abyss, and sincerely pities himself. His faithful understudy Cliff also found himself on the sidelines of show business, but takes the blows of fate stoically: he even has the strength to support the ever-whining Dalton. Together they have to survive six months, filled with bright events and unexpected meetings.

If you were expecting a twisted plot, then you are almost certain to leave the cinema room unhappy, because there is simply no plot here. This film is a set of episodes connected with each other rather chronologically than narratively, and their duration is determined not so much by the needs of history as by the desire of Tarantino himself.


We all know how good Tarantino soundtracks are. Vivid, catchy, music from them is immediately downloaded to ringtones and so on. But the soundtrack of this film is special.

Typically, for Tarantino, music is a way to mash up timelines. It is used not only as a counterpoint but also as a deliberate anachronism. However, in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, these anachronisms are absent. The entire playlist is strictly limited to the American charts of 1968–69. That is, it is documentary music that works on the effect of realism and credibility (like all the many details of everyday life, interiors, and exteriors of the era, which do not allow to doubt the reality of what is happening, although there are also many inaccuracies).

If in other paintings with the help of music Tarantino creates the effect of detachment (and exclusion) from what is happening, provides the viewer and himself a comfortable distance, then here we are forced to immerse in the “here and now”, on specific days of a particular year. The main thing here is an inevitability of a story that has already happened.


Even if you don’t recognize any of the hidden quotes, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood works as a powerful statement about the essence and structure of art (not just cinema). This makes the film truly outstanding.

Tarantino likes to say that the action of his films takes place either in reality or in the fictional world of cinema. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood first takes place in both worlds. More precisely, on their border. This is the first Tarantino film based on real events and featuring an unprecedented number of real people, some of whom are still alive.

Is it Worth Watching?

If you think that Tarantino is, first of all, the director who: always makes a funny movies; loves scenes of extreme cruelty; writes dialogues in which there are certainly catchy “punches”; mostly pointed on the criminal theme; more than anything else, loves to copy and parody other people’s films; by nature a cheerful cynic, … then you have every chance to stay disappointed.

BUT if you think that Tarantino: a real poet of melancholic and lyric poetry; brilliantly works with actors; explores the nature of time; able to think deeply and unconventionally, … then you might find Once Upon a Time in Hollywood his masterpiece.

This movie is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t know the history of the United States, if you didn’t even superficially hear about Charles Manson’s “Family” case, a significant semantic layer of Once in Hollywood will pass by you. Moreover, in order to understand all the subtexts, references, you need to immerse in the cinematography of the sixties, read the stories of creating key paintings and series, and at the same time learn to distinguish Sergio Leone from Sergio Corbucci. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a stunningly atmospheric and unhurried sight with signature Tarantino dialogues and the best on-screen duet of recent years. But if you are not ready to dive in the film atmosphere and take a walk for two and a half hours along the sunny streets of Los Angeles, it will simply put you to sleep.

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