Smith’s review published on Letterboxd:
90 out of 100 | 5 out of 5
And leave it up to Tarantino to break the stalemate of 3 weeks with no 5 stars (rewatches don't count). The last film I've seen this good was 'gone girl' which was watched near the beginning of the month. Both crazy and depressing. :(
I feel this fizzling, tummy rolling, pure joy when watching the story unfold itself. Never was it not entertaining. I was pulled in right at the start till the end. However, it was a little slow so I understand if you don't like it. You'll need to be prepared like I was. It takes you back in time to the golden age of cinema. The atmosphere is mind blowing! VIBES MAN... VIBES! Even though I never lived through the 60s or even in the U.S. for that matter, I still could feel that time period so perfectly captured. I really got lost in that fantasy; the land of ambition and dreamers. The excellent cinematography which makes it so much more stunningly beautiful, perfect soundtrack where it fits in tone/story wise and all the minuscule background noises from the radio, really made this work so well. The set and costume design is also exceptionally well made and also adds help to teleport us back to the 60s. It's a love letter to a time gone forever.
Instead of going for a plot heavy narrative, Tarantino ties this film with interesting characters whose actions drive the narrative. Let it just be a day in the life of Booth, Dalton, and Tate. That's what he did and it's something different. I like it but it's the execution and direction that made the film soar above others. Also the passion that Tarantino shows. This seems like a more personal project. The script is great with the dialogue and also bringing both thrills and laughter into play. Tarantino professionally mashes the 2... quite separate feelings (or genres if you wish) together in a masterful way that doesn't seem to be whiplash and abrupt. The whole ensemble cast did a fantastic job with Brad fucking Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio and Al Pacino. Also Margot Robbie too! What a group of talented actors and actresses. The climax is glorious and hilariously funny especially when the dog bites this dude's balls. BAHAHA! Now I could go on for another 5 paragraphs praising this film but... there are some small flaws.
I disliked some of the creative choices Tarantino made in the film. A prime example would be the narration which lasts about 15 minutes. I don't like narrations that's not by a specific character. It doesn't sit well with me and it pulls me out because it's so obvious that it's a movie and not reality. The pacing is also a little off with some scenes that are great but far too short and some scenes way too long. It's just weird. Tarantino could probably cut out a whole 10 minutes and still maintain the vibes.
In conclusion, everything is perfect except some choices Tarantino made and the pacing.