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Inglourious Basterds review – a complete mess!

Submitted by on August 16, 2009 – 1:16 am20 Comments

inglouriousbasterds4In a recent interview Stephen Sommers was heard to be whinging about personal attacks to directors for their shoddy work. Well Mr Sommers, I suggest you close your ears for twenty minutes because I am about to get deeply personal to a director that some have called legendary.

This is unlikely to be an eloquent review then as I feel (on a personal level) that and The Weinstein Company cheated me out of my £15!


In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.


IGNORE the cut and pasted synopsis above! The basterds do NOT “soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl”. In fact that film that is sold to you with the information above will not be what you’ll be getting. What you are likely to expect if you have watched any trailers or clips for the latest Quentin Tarantino film  is a group of Nazi-bashing thugs going around killing everything wearing a German uniform. If you expect this then you will be sorely disappointed as this strain of the plot only takes up perhaps 10% of the proceedings.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Aldo Raine-led group of basterds are surprisingly entertaining. Their antics show a certain symmetry with a German “Jew Hunter” played by . Both Waltz and Pitt are aptly played and are suitable opponents. However so little time of this overlong and uninteresting film is spent with them it might as well be called: “Badly Played Out War”. Instead, we are given the title “” which as the director points out is misspelled due to “artistic flourish”. Apparently it has nothing to do with the fact that a correctly spelled “” was released in 1981. Is this an attempt at hiding the fact that it is merely a remake?

I will demonstrate Quentin Tarantino’s “artistic flourish”. He manages to give the whole audience the finger as he drags out a story that could be written on a napkin and portrayed in ten minutes onscreen and manages to stretch it to an eye-wateringly painful 153 minutes. I was amongst others yawning at the proceedings onscreen. You could argue that what QT was trying to accomplish is atmosphere but in one particular scene involving a basement which felt like it lasted in the region of 20 minutes I was aching for the story to end.

Interestingly not one person walked out. Perhaps that was because it costs so much to attend the cinema these days (what with popcorn, tickets and the obligatory gallon sized Coke) that they all felt obliged to. Perhaps that because Quentin Tarantino made a good film once people expected the story to be going somewhere it wasn’t! I assure you that if you want to see Aldo Raine and his group killing Nazis then head on over to Traileraddict and watch all of their scenes. With the exception of one scene which could be predicted easily, all of the good bits are there!

Inglourious Basterds is a hotchpotch of a plot with no real direction and disappointingly very little care given to it. Subtitles are a welcome change for foreign speaking roles, but some of the French (for example) is sporadically translated and some is not. Samuel L. Jackson acts as a suitable narrator but disappears for most of the film. Could they not afford his fee for the whole movie?

Only on the arrival of Mike Myers as the stupidly “British” General Ed Fenech do you realise that you are witnessing caricatures. It is as if every single piece of propaganda from all sides were collaborated to make this mess of a film.

Mélanie Laurent makes an appearance as a Jewish lady hiding from the Germans who reveals to be in love with a man, but when it is asked of her to “act” as if she is in love for the kissing scene; she reveals that the very sight of the poor chap clearly makes her physically ill. I’ve shared more passionate kisses with my cat!

Ultimately with everyone killing everyone else needlessly you become very immune to the story. Nothing shocks you from the very beginning (usually something QT is good for) and you empathise for not one character onscreen! In fact you just wish they would all die quicker so you can get to the Box-Office to complain and get your money back!


Inglourious Basterds is not another Dirty Dozen. It is not another great Tarantino film. It is not even a mediocre Tarantino film. It is a waste of 153 minutes of your life! Just think of what you could be doing in that time! You could be asking a girl an indecent question and getting kicked in the proverbials. You could go and tell your mother-in-law how much you despise her mole-infested face. You could throw your £15 into the local river and watch it slowly drift away. You could even write to Mr Quentin Tarantino and send him the money whilst requesting an autograph. At least then, there is a chance you’ll get something back from it other than a newly found hatred for this shambles director!

“The legendary writer/director” Quentin Tarantino is dead to me as of this moment. What will rise from the ashes of this corpse of a film is yet to be seen, but I for one will not be expecting any style, substance or content for his next piece. To be fair though his next film could be that of an elderly man scratching his backside for 90 minutes and I’d be more impressed.


If you value cinema and if you value Quentin Tarantino then DO NOT GO AND SEE THIS FILM! It is perhaps the worst I have seen of his work to date (even worse than the pathetic ending of Kill Bill 2). You are likely to sit in the cinema wriggling around trying to get comfortable as you wait and wait… and wait for the atmosphere to build. You will look around at the other cinema-goers and wonder if you are the only one completely bored by what is onscreen. Don’t worry though, you will not be alone.

You have been lied to by the marketing fellows. This film is not about the Inglourious Basterds. It is an attempt by Quentin Tarantino to swan around playing “I-am-a-master-director-and-I-can-do-what-I-want” onscreen. Essentially it is a glorified cock-dance!

As only 10% of this film was entertaining (largely due to Aldo Raine’s group and Christoph Waltz’s character) it only deserves 10% of the maximum.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5


  • Swanson says:

    some1 is on their rag

  • Michael says:

    WOW. Way to miss the boat. Good point about the teenaged Jewish girl not crossing paths with them, but the untranslated German was untranslated specifically because that particular teenage Jewish girl, being the other character, didn’t understand what was being said, and so subtitling the scene would have cancelled out the entire point of it. Also, Jackson was not a narrator. That you missed the amazingly obvious fact that he was narrating that single scene is more than enough for me to understand that your bizarre opinion can’t be trusted. Pay attention next time.

  • cormac says:

    i would like to hear more from michael, and hopefully a try-hard to be comical response from this poor reviewer. tavern scene to long? called tension. no mention of the opening scene? brilliant dialogue not interest you? actually you seem to bash tarantino and whine your well spent £15 rather then disecting the film. maybe you should have sent your cat to this film so he could escape the horrors of his reality for a great 2hr 45mins.

  • cormac says:

    Exactly! Ebert knows the score. The fact this reviewer gave this half a star and The Hangover 2 1/2 stars out of five, yet gave mamma mia 5 just proves how warped he really is.

  • Tigerly says:

    Welcome to the world according to cormac, twilight and michael. A place where we all like the same things in life and disagreement is considered evil..

    Mamma Mia was a great film. NOt saying I agree with all the reviews here but jesus – calm the fu*k down already. Its just an opinion.

    IB was okay, but not even close to pulp fiction and Resevoir dogs

  • cormac says:

    doubtful we all like the same things in life, but on the fact of inglourious basterds being a great movie, yes you are correct. its obviously impossible that tarantino could make a better film than Pulp Fiction, which whether he likes it or not will always be seen as his masterpiece. accidental or premature opus/masterpiece is what has happened to tarantino, similarily it occured with wong kar wai and his chungking express.

    now you are saying that IB is okay, yet your review and silly 1/2 star rating contradicts this. true its your opinion, but i’d rather read a review that gives reasonable arguments as to why the film does not satisfy instead of consistantly bashing the director and relying on trailers as their guide to an entire film.

  • twilight says:

    perfectly said!!!!

  • WMO says:

    Hahhah You Guys Give Nice Comments

  • Betterthanyou says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but the reviewer gives this a .5 and MammaMia a 5?! Methinks he a homo. Now, no homo would ever like a thing about IB and that’s fine. Just leave the hetero movies to be reviewed by the hetero reviewers.

  • Don says:

    Hey folks. We all have our criteria, which is what makes film so intriguing. I liked Mam Mia, Inglorious Basterds, The Hangover, AND the Transformers. Someone asked me recently if there’s one I didn’t like, and now there is Whiteout. It’s obvious the Producers and Director never really experienced -65 degree weather, cause their scenes in it were a joke.

  • Michael says:

    I really think that in general, when engaging in healthy debates about films, it’s best to leave the homo/hetero jokes on the junior high school playground where they belong. But all joking aside, I really was under the impression that this reviewer was a woman, simply because of the overall tone of the review (I’ve read and written thousands of reviews in my life) and because I’m unfamiliar with name Saffron…

  • Ross says:

    Very crazy movie but just the same as all teretino films.

  • bob johnson says:

    the guy that wrote this is a fucking idiot!

  • The Red Flash says:

    ooooooooooh dont be so hard on yourself


  • Valentin says:

    this is very good movie :)

  • andy cotton says:

    The reviewer should never be allowed to write a review of any other film again. They have proven they do not have a clue what good film making is. I gave up reading the critique after the complaint of an opening scene that was one of the highlighs of the entire film and cinema in recent times. Perfectly built up tension, beautifully shot and highly original. Get rid of the reviewer, no taste, probably has the shawshank as their favourite film, just to serve the cliche of not knowing anything about cinema and following everyone else.

  • Pete Carter says:

    F.A.O. The Author, “Saffron Harmsworth”

    Can I ask do you get paid to write about movies? If not, well I’m not surprised after reading this. There are so many flaws in your rant I cannot believe it, in fact I believe there is around one flaw in every paragraph you write.

    To say Waltz (the winner of the Best Actor Award at Cannes) was anything other then top-class in his role would be moronic.

    To let the film synopsis effect you the way it did is idiotic.

    To think any film could not be summed up on a napkin is stupid – of course it can: i.e. The Usual Suspects – It’s the one with the limp, The 6th Sense – Bruce Willis is a ghost, Planet of the Apes – They’re on earth all along, LoTR – Frodo does it (eventually)… the list goes on as does the list of problems with you/your ramblings.

    Also… where do you go to the cinema that costs £15??? That’s a ridiculous price to pay. I hope you didn’t think about claiming the price of the drink and the popcorn back because you didn’t like the film? Plebeian


    Peter Carter.

    • Ranting Man says:

      Peter: You seem to have forgotten about the one simple rule of the site: Be nice! Healthy debate over the enjoyment of film is welcome but rudeness to any writer is strictly forbidden. Have the decency to be courteous to other visitors and reviewers of the site. Comments for this topic are now closed.

  • Vuxenleksaker says:

    I have high hopes for this movie – I just hired it out on DVD…. Hope it actually is better than the review given!!