Inglourious Basterds ★★★★★

Despite its almost total linearity, this is as structurally audacious and unpredictable as anything Tarantino's made, with fewer than twenty proper scenes, many of which are maximized in terms of duration and tension created from the scenario. Like pretty much all of his work, it upsets any conventional build-up to payoff ratios that audiences expect. Furthermore, there's a heck of a plot, including not one, but two nearly identical spy plots that become complimentary without any knowledge on the part of those who are executing them (prompting echoes of Jackie Brown's heist and Death Proof's twin narrative). This notion strikes me as especially powerful in this context, where characters are giving their lives for an intangible cause. As for the talk, it's meaningful and hilarious on a surface level, but also as an exploration of the way that so much of WWII was fought through messaging (propaganda films, rumors of what was happening on the other fronts of the war, through the creation of war heroes, etc...). Those long dialogue scenes are as positively riveting as any action-driven suspense sequence that Tarantino could have dreamed up