Unconventional Tarantino but Still Satisfying: Rotten Tomatoes Users Weigh in on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Check out some of the insightful user reviews for Quentin Tarantino's ode to the Los Angeles of 1969, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

by | July 29, 2019 | Comments

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino‘s ninth film (if you count the Kill Bill movies as one), just earned him his highest opening-weekend box office, so it’s safe to say mainstream audiences were primed and ready for another of the maverick director’s stylized adventures. Currently sitting Certified Fresh at 84% on the Tomatometer, the rambling tour through the Los Angeles of 1969 ranks just below Django Unchained in Tarantino’s filmography, marking only the latest critical hit in a career full of them.

But what did average moviegoers think of the movie? Once Upon a Time currently holds an Audience Score of 72%, which ties 2007’s Death Proof as the lowest of any of his films. Is 72% a bad score? Not by any means, but considering Tarantino’s reputation as a filmmaker, it indicates a certain level of dissatisfaction not commonly associated with his movies. With that in mind, we decided to take a peek at the user reviews to get a broader sense of how the moviegoing public at large responded to the film and suss out what might have brought that Audience Score down just a touch more than we expected. Check out the user reviews of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and let us know what you thought of the film, and these reviews, in the comments. (Note, some of the reviews have been slightly edited for length and grammar/spelling.)

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures
(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

How does this compare to Tarantino’s previous work?

Not Tarantino’s best.
– Sean W C, 2.5 stars

This is for the hardcore Tarantino fan. Good, but not mind-blowing..
– Sean B, 3 stars

It was just OK. The most un-Tarantino movie he’s made.
– Stephen M, 3 stars

Tarantino never ceases to make a masterpiece time and time again. The cinematics were pleasing, classic, and very on brand… If you are a fan of good visuals, excellent acting, and a compelling storyline with Tarantino’s classic touches as the cherry on top, then this is the movie to see.
– Zada, 5 Stars

What a wild ride. The first two hours are definitely a different take from Tarantino, very different from his usual stuff. But the last 40-or-so minutes are unmistakably Tarantino in full.
– Kyle, 5 stars

I really enjoyed the movie. It was a bit different from Quentin’s other movies, but nonetheless the cast pulled it off. The movie kept me wondering, and then I really got to see what the tale was, and was immediately hooked and impressed. It’s safe to say Tarantino hasn’t lost his touch. I would like to watch it again.
– Jay A, 5 stars

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures
(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

How is the pacing and plot?

Terrible movie — no plot, no entertainment value, just three hours of pointless dialogue. Wow, I don’t know how people enjoy this crap. Literally nothing happened until the last 20 minutes! Nothing! Do not see this movie!!!
– Matthew K, 0.5 stars

Not his best work. Meandering and pointless. Very disappointing.
– David S,  2 stars

There really is not any character development or a main driving plot in the film. I would closely relate it to Pulp Fiction, in that it’s more of a series of random but loosely collected clips. A lot of people left the theater asking, “What was the point of this ?” I think the film would be more enjoyable at home when there is time to burn; there’s just too much dead time that could’ve been removed and made this movie ~1.5 hours shorter.
– Daves_Ratings,  2 stars

A little long. Could have cut out about 1/3 of the movie.
– Stephen M, 3 stars

This movie, to me, is a triumph. Although devoid of a clear plot/narrative, Tarantino crafts the dialogue and characters in ways which make it fun to watch. And although the second act tends to drag at times, the overall story is a blast to watch, along with incredibly written characters acted perfectly (especially DiCaprio and Pitt). Also, the incredibly entertaining first two hours and 15 minutes lead into what may be my favorite scene in a movie this year.
– David A, 4.5 stars

I love Tarantino’s attention to detail, nuance and creativity. The camera tells a story in every scene. If you like fast food more than well-marinated, slow-cooked steak, then this might not appeal to you.
– CO Critic, 5 stars

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures
(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

What about the cast?

The stars carried it.
– Steven B, 2.5 stars

I enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t one of Tarantino’s best. Great acting. Great camera work. Great sound track. But it didn’t have the energy of Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill 1 and 2. Maybe I just expected too much.
– Gene, 3 stars

Movie was enjoyable fun and Leo and Brad were electric together.
– Gina, 3.5 stars

Damn fine filmmaking! I want a Rick Dalton movie, stat!
– Damien C, 4.5 stars

A wonderful, meandering road with superb acting performances by both DiCaprio and Pitt that eventually leads us to one hell of an ending. If you’re a Tarantino fan, or a fan of any of these actors, you should love this movie.
– Mike M, 5 stars

DiCaprio Delivers yet Again. One of the best ensemble pieces in years. Brad Pitt was phenomenal and nuanced. Will see again.
– Siskel No Ebert, 5 stars

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures
(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

And the historical context?

Do some research before watching. A big overarching plot point in the film (which I didn’t know going in) is centered on a famous cult murder from the 1960-70 period.
– Daves_Ratings, 2 stars

A good story, but it lacks most of the thrill and suspense often found in his films. The difference with this one is that it explores Hollywood as a past and present establishment more than creating specific stories with protagonists who set out to achieve clearly defined goals.
– Mark, 3.5 stars

Loved the ’60s eye candy from small, well-curated objects like Aqua Net hairspray and the ode to ’60s neon signs… All in all, a wonderful stroll down memory lane (my era) by a director who has a unique personal style.
– Amy, 3.5 stars

Recreation of the era and the story, cast, and characters will make you want to see this one again.
– Thomas, 5 stars

@ Columbia Pictures
(Photo by @ Columbia Pictures)

What about that ending?

The last 15 minutes were good. Too drawn out.
– Barry M, 2 stars

I found the movie boring. The end was way too violent and weird. Very weird. Some people walked out early, and some people applauded the ending. It’s just a matter of personal taste, I guess.
– Donna W, 2.5 stars

The ending was a little disappointing and actually had some humor in it.
– Gina, 3.5 stars

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was not expecting the ending at all.
– Zada, 5 stars

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures
(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

Any final thoughts?

I feel misled about this movie; it’s Helter Skelter revisited. I do not think that I would have gone to see this movie if I would have known.
– Ray B, 3 stars

This movie is so much fun! Don’t miss it. Tarantino, DiCaprio, and Pitt knock it out of the park. They will both get Oscar nods, well deserved. Can’t wait to see it again… and again.
– Warren W, 4.5 stars

Check out all of the user reviews for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Starz zombies versus FXX DC Comics Ellie Kemper Vudu Watching Series Comic Book 2019 Adult Swim WGN TCA CBS 20th Century Fox TCA 2017 canceled TV shows Certified Fresh natural history facebook serial killer Walt Disney Pictures Horror Netflix diversity PBS Baby Yoda Musicals supernatural sitcom Women's History Month Tumblr 2017 christmas movies Fall TV Red Carpet slashers Lionsgate History CBS All Access comic Kids & Family Schedule comiccon Lucasfilm werewolf Comics on TV Elton John war RT21 Mary Tyler Moore series Podcast Disney Channel teaser Disney Biopics Quiz Photos ghosts DGA NYCC Shondaland E3 Binge Guide See It Skip It video Turner Sundance Now Cosplay Brie Larson LGBT mockumentary Food Network romance free movies halloween VH1 theme song YouTube game show LGBTQ Amazon Mary Poppins Returns psychological thriller foreign Discovery Channel Valentine's Day Mary poppins spy thriller Mystery Reality Competition Hallmark Awards latino Emmy Nominations WarnerMedia Family Rock Teen SundanceTV Calendar Comedy Central OWN 2016 CNN Acorn TV ESPN historical drama Premiere Dates Television Academy ABC spinoff TBS Freeform The CW 2020 Star Trek Drama documentary USA Network canceled kids New York Comic Con PaleyFest Chilling Adventures of Sabrina VICE game of thrones Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt YouTube Premium name the review Sneak Peek Superheroe sag awards DC Universe FX Infographic Film Festival casting Christmas blockbuster President Thanksgiving festivals Marvel Studios Crackle HBO animated FOX screenings medical drama E! elevated horror robots Tubi Hulu Holiday Stephen King Esquire Summer The Walking Dead book CW Seed Opinion A24 Spring TV YouTube Red Apple quibi reboot GLAAD Cartoon Network hispanic justice league TCM Fox News Logo Warner Bros. Pirates HBO Max finale Superheroes binge 45 harry potter Bravo ITV cops MCU sequel renewed TV shows Hallmark Christmas movies Netflix Christmas movies Best and Worst zero dark thirty TNT anthology Pixar Winners TV cats Polls and Games Apple TV Plus police drama Film Creative Arts Emmys cartoon Chernobyl Lifetime Christmas movies adaptation rotten movies we love MSNBC Marvel Super Bowl adventure biography cancelled Writers Guild of America green book golden globes television sports Marathons Amazon Prime 2018 Paramount Network Paramount OneApp docudrama BBC American Society of Cinematographers Sundance ABC Family TV renewals directors what to watch Election Song of Ice and Fire Showtime spain RT History toy story Nominations ratings Pride Month science fiction Ghostbusters Interview A&E Star Wars Country IFC Films Nat Geo DC streaming service nature singing competition Captain marvel richard e. Grant cancelled TV series Oscars anime political drama tv talk MTV Set visit Nickelodeon El Rey BET First Look cancelled TV shows crime thriller discovery Western miniseries Sundance TV Sony Pictures travel San Diego Comic-Con crime drama Rocketman GoT Heroines transformers AMC TruTV Grammys First Reviews doctor who Epix Reality romantic comedy crime period drama crossover dramedy Extras Britbox stand-up comedy Awards Tour witnail cars Cannes Spike Black Mirror The Witch aliens Character Guide Video Games Avengers Box Office dragons Amazon Prime Video Masterpiece composers thriller joker south america Martial Arts Trophy Talk The Purge NBC social media CMT Disney+ Disney Plus SXSW TV Land Music unscripted 007 Shudder Turner Classic Movies movies spider-man Endgame Toys Marvel Television comics 21st Century Fox based on movie indie award winner breaking bad Trailer space batman revenge 71st Emmy Awards Pet Sematary TCA Winter 2020 dceu Lifetime psycho Comedy BBC America Arrowverse 24 frames spanish language Dark Horse Comics Disney streaming service Syfy Fantasy Academy Awards Universal talk show 2015 Columbia Pictures Mudbound independent cancelled television vampires Ovation Anna Paquin Pop dc cinemax Rom-Com politics X-Men Winter TV Tarantino Apple TV+ Sci-Fi screen actors guild cults The Arrangement GIFs blaxploitation Countdown Trivia YA cooking true crime TLC jamie lee curtis Animation Crunchyroll Rocky streaming disaster USA Disney Plus Peacock Tomatazos mutant hist Spectrum Originals zombie TIFF strong female leads Action boxoffice Classic Film DirecTV APB Emmys National Geographic Holidays children's TV technology IFC Year in Review Mindy Kaling SDCC Musical