chance.’s review published on Letterboxd:
a literal mess of a hangout movie, mess being in the best possible way. since it is a hangout movie, tarantino doesn't have a real directive or plot to lean on, so he has to default to theme (a nearly nonexistent entity in his twenty-first century work). even more irregular is once upon a time in hollywood's brand of self-awareness, while it has the normal "haha look it's a movie that knows it's a movie," it understands its place in the world and is able to follow its audience out of the theater as something more than an oddity. sure, this is literally nothing new and hasn't been since the beginning of cinema, but tarantino seems to have just discovered it and it made the ending something no other tarantino ending is: touching. speaking of the ending (really the whole last twenty minutes), it's absolutely nuts and i love it, but it's easily the worst part of the movie; just when i thought qt was about to say something profound or interesting about fame and/or aging, the movie devolves into just some more of the old ultraviolent.