Elan Rubin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Every time I watch a QT film I always get the feeling that I’m watching something different. It’s the same feeling every single time: I’m not watching an ordinary film. Sure, there are unique characters with witty dialogue just like in other great films, but there’s that extra something with a Tarantino film and I always come to the same conclusion: there aren’t any other storytellers quite like QT in our time, or maybe ever.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a very slow-paced movie, and admittedly I was taken out of it a couple times just waiting for the payoff at the end (and man do we one hell of a payoff), just wondering how everything would tie in together at the end. Yet, I’m sure I’ll appreciate the film more on a rewatch because, at its core, OUTIH is a story—a depiction of late 60s Hollywood with characters who are simply living out groovy and eccentric lifestyles.
Technically the film is excellent: the soundtrack, the beautiful set designs and the casting are all brilliant. Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt depict the best on-screen bromance of 2019 cinema. I also have to give a shoutout to Mike Moh for his awesome portrayal of Bruce Lee, that was a real treat and his whole scene with Brad Pitt was easily one of my personal favorites from the movie.
Once Cliff hits the special cig and utters the words “and awayyyyy we go” for the first time...wow shit just hits the fucking fan. The long buildup pays off and we’re treated with some fantastic off-the-wall insanity.
Tarantino’s 9th film seems—for the most part—a little more tame and pensive than the other films in his catalogue, but make no mistake this is a masterclass of storytelling that could only come from the likes of QT.