Alistair Ryder’s review published on Letterboxd:
Since Inglourious Basterds revised history by killing Hitler long before he entered his Berlin bunker, Quentin Tarantino’s films have quickly pivoted to adding a cathartic revisionism to history’s most traumatic events. By now, it’s clearly established that a Tarantino period piece will see history’s most evil people get their comeuppance, in the most violent manners imaginable - making the controversy around his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, somewhat unexpected. Wouldn’t he continue down the same track, providing the catharsis for a real life tragedy that the history books can’t?
If his recent films have subverted our narrow minded narrative expectations of historical dramas, then Once Upon a Time in Hollywood goes one better: it subverts the very idea of what we expect from a late period Quentin Tarantino film. Those expecting blood curdling violence as Tarantino gets retroactive revenge on the Manson family will be left baffled, as the director has made his least violent film since Jackie Brown, and is as unshackled from plot as he’s ever been - it’s a laid back hangout movie when all signs would suggest one of his most problematic to date.