Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

Critics Consensus

Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino's provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker's vision.



Total Count: 450


Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 21,516
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Movie Info

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film is a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor...Sharon Tate.

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Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

All Critics (450) | Top Critics (56)

  • There seems little doubt that every detail of the tableau has been selected to give [Tarantino] pleasure, and we are being permitted to witness a private ritual of self-gratification, on more than one level.

    Aug 14, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The plot is a tapestry template that drops in characters like shining beads and watches the story weave slowly around them.

    Aug 8, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A bittersweet, complex, conversation-starting look back at the film business at the close of a tumultuous decade, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood also works as a strong argument for why it's too soon for Tarantino to pack it in.

    Aug 5, 2019 | Full Review…

    Keith Phipps

    Top Critic
  • Don't mistake me: This movie is good. It all depends on how hard you're willing to work to justify its pleasures.

    Aug 2, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It feels like Tarantino is so wrapped up in indulging in his own filmmaking style that he loses sight of what made his best movies work.

    Jul 30, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's dispiriting to suspect that part of why Tarantino wanted to stage a Manson-adjacent story was because the accoutrements-the period cars and costumes and neon signs, the glowering barefoot hippie girls, the acid-laced cigarettes-were just so cool.

    Jul 30, 2019 | Full Review…

    Dana Stevens

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

  • Aug 03, 2019
    The more the movie meanders and finds little digressions and oddities the more I like it.The orgy of violence at the very end seems a little out of place, but then again Tarantino had to restrain himself for nearly three hours.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2019
    Not near his best but still masterfully shot, written and directed. DiCaprio and Pitt are great but I felt Robbie was underused and didn't get much room to shine. Great cameos throughout and the young girl Julia Butters and Margaret Qualley are up and coming stars. The film starts slow but once it ramps up you are glued to the screen. 08-01-2019
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2019
    While the pacing and duration can feel dragging a bit, there's no denying how the 9th film of Quentin Tarantino dazzles with its scenic direction and full-fledged entertainment value. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood exudes the performances of Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, paints a beautiful picture of 1969 Los Angeles, and conjures a twist that only the writer/producer could pull off. 4.38/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2019
    Well, Quentin Tarantino is at it again and has now graced his fans with his ninth directorial effort (if you're not including Death Proof). This time around, taking a step back from his usual tendencies in a way, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood actually felt like a breath of fresh air to me, and that's coming from someone who absolutely enjoys the violence he presents throughout his films. This movie is worth your time if you're a fan and also for those who are turned off by the excessive violence. Here's why I believe this film may reach a broader audience than most of his works.  Almost completely devoid of a story at all, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood follows Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fading Hollywood star, and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as his stunt double who no longer receives any work. Throughout a series of events and the introduction of Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), this is a film that disobeys every rule that most films follow, making for a highly enjoyable experience. To really dive into details would be to ruin where the movie ends up, so the best way to describe this movie is to say that it consists of a lot of great scenes of people talking, which eventually slowly builds to a climax that you may or may not expect. Now, where I feel this film may be for more viewers than most Tarantino flicks is in the fact that the majority of this 161-minute feature doesn't have a lot of violence. It really did feel like Tarantino was trying to go for a more subdued film as a whole, which will please some viewers. With that said, there are absolutely some brutal moments that don't hold back, but they are few and far between enough to not have queasy audience members wanting to walk out of the theatre.  As always, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood's very best aspect is the screenplay itself. Yes, Tarantino always works with a talented crew in order to make his films look fantastic, but the dialogue spoken by the characters in this film just felt so authentic. At nearly three hours, this is a movie that doesn't feel like it drags, simply due to the fact that these actors are bringing their A-Game as always and the screenplay they're working with is top-notch. Every performance here deserves some recognition, but I also believe the script has something to do with that.  In the end, if I had to nitpick about anything, I would say that the lack of overall storytelling may hinder the film for people, and even though I was questioning where the film was going, I was always won over by everything else. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is simply one of the best movies I've had the chance to see so far in 2019 and I will continue to say that until the year's end. With stellar performances all around, phenomenal writing/directing, a visual style that feels different than most movies that will come out this year, and a pace that never feels too slow, given the slow nature of the movie, I can't really find many things to complain about. This film is fantastic.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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