Critics Consensus

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Is Certified Fresh

Plus, season 1 of the violent superhero satire The Boys is thoughtful and darkly funny, if a little inconsistent.

by | July 25, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got the ninth film from Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, featuring the voices of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt). What are the critics saying?

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) 85%

Quentin Tarantino says he’s going to call it quits after 10 films, and this week’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood brings us one movie closer to his retirement. Fortunately, critics say the film is Tarantino in solid form, a passion project that reflects the director’s love for Hollywood and the moviemaking industry at large. Set in 1969, the story centers on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton, a washed-up TV star facing down his own impending irrelevance and the prospect of moving overseas to star in what would eventually come to be known as a “Spaghetti Western.” His best friend is his longtime stunt double, Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth, and together the pair attempt to navigate the changing industry that employs them and embark on mini-adventures through Tarantino’s lovingly recreated Los Angeles, until an explosive climax brings the film’s various narrative threads together. Critics say Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an affectionate ode to — and a fantastical reimagining of — the Hollywood of 1969; while its plot may take its sweet time and meander a little bit, and while it may find some of Tarantino’s trademark flourishes just a touch muted, it’s a deeply personal work that’s more than the sum of its snappy banter and unexpected narrative surprises.

What’s New on TV

The Boys: Season 1 (2019) 82%

Though viewer’s mileage may vary, The Boys‘ violent delights and willingness to engage in heavy, relevant themes are sure to please those looking for a new group of antiheroes to root for.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • For Sama (2019) , a documentary following the experiences of a young woman living through the war in Syria, is at 100%.
  • Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) , a documentary about the career of the influential 60 Minutes correspondent, is at 100%.
  • Honeyland (2019) , a documentary about the struggles of a beekeeper living in the Balkans, is at 100%.
  • Angels Are Made of Light (2019) , a documentary chronicling the lives of the teachers and students at a school in Afghanistan, is at 100%.
  • The Ground Beneath My Feet (Der Boden unter den Füssen) (2019) , a drama about a successful corporate consultant whose guarded life is upended when her sister attempts suicide, is at 100%.
  • The Great Hack (2019) , a documentary exploration of the nature of weaponized data, centered on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy, is at 89%.
  • Skin (2019) , starring Jamie Bell in a based-on-true-events drama about a former white supremacist who undergoes a series of painful procedures to remove his identifying tattoos, is at 84%.
  • Jirga (2019) , a drama about a former soldier who returns to Afghanistan to seek forgiveness from the family of a civilian he killed, is at 80%.
  • Astronaut (2019) , starring Richard Dreyfuss in a drama about an aging widower who enters a contest to win a trip to space under false pretenses, is at 71%.
  • The Mountain (2019) , starring Tye Sheridan and Jeff Goldblum in a 1950s-set drama about a young man who becomes the photographer for a doctor specializing in lobotomies, is at 57%.

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