Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave it a B+, calling it Tarantino's "wistful midlife crisis movie." Richard Brody of The New Yorker called it an "obscenely regressive vision of the sixties" that "celebrates white-male stardom (and behind-the-scenes command) at the expense of everyone else." In Little White Lies, Christopher Hooton described it as "occasionally tedious" but "constantly awe-inspiring," noting it did not seem to be a "love letter to Hollywood" but an "obituary for a moment in culture that looks unlikely to ever be resurrected."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 540 reviews, with an average rating of 7.84/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 62 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average of 4 out of 5 stars and a 58% "definite recommend."More Info
Tarantino told cinematographer Robert Richardson, "I want it to feel retro but I want it to be contemporary." Richardson shot in Kodak 35mm with Panavision cameras and lenses, in order to weave time periods. For Bounty Law they shot in black and white, and brief sequences in Super 8 and 16mm Ektachrome. In the film, Lancer was shot on a retrofitted Western Street backlot at Universal Studios, designed by Ling. Richardson crossed Lancer with Alias Smith and Jones for the retro-future look Tarantino wanted. The way they filmed Lancer was not possible in 1969, but Tarantino wanted his personal touch on it. Richardson said that filming the movie touched him personally, "The film speaks to all of us... We are all fragile beings with a limited time to achieve whatever it is we desire... that at any moment that place will shift... So take stock in life and have the courage to believe in yourself."More Info
2008: Sean Faris vs. Cam Gigandet – Never Back Down2009: Robert Pattinson vs. Cam Gigandet – Twilight2010: Beyoncé Knowles vs. Ali Larter – Obsessed2011: Robert Pattinson vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse2012: Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson vs. Alexander Ludwig – The Hunger Games2013: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner vs. Tom Hiddleston – The Avengers2014: Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug2015: Dylan O'Brien vs. Will Poulter – The Maze Runner2016: Ryan Reynolds vs. Ed Skrein – Deadpool2018: Gal Gadot vs. German soldiers – Wonder Woman2019: Brie Larson vs. Gemma Chan – Captain MarvelMore Info
Tarantino discovered the centerpiece for the work in 2009 while filming a movie with an actor that had the same stunt double for 20 years. Even though there was nothing but a small bit for the stuntman to do, Tarantino was asked to use him, and he agreed. The relationship fascinated Tarantino and inspired him to make a film about Hollywood. Tarantino said that while the stuntman may have been a perfect double for the actor years earlier, at the time he had come to meet them, "this was maybe the last or second-to-last thing they'd be doing together".More Info
Announced in July 2017, it is the first Tarantino film not to involve Bob and Harvey Weinstein, as Tarantino ended his partnership with the brothers following the sexual abuse allegations against the latter. After a bidding war, the film was distributed by Sony Pictures, which met Tarantino's demands including final cut privilege. Pitt, DiCaprio, Robbie, Zoë Bell, Kurt Russell, and others joined the cast between January and June 2018. Principal photography lasted from June through November around Los Angeles. This was the final film to feature Luke Perry, who died on March 4, 2019.More Info
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