The Hateful Eight

Film, Action and adventure
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)
The Hateful Eight

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Quentin Tarantino's 168-minute whodunnit western mixes Agatha Christie with John Carpenter

No matter how Quentin Tarantino arms his characters – with katana swords (‘Kill Bill’), shotguns (‘Pulp Fiction’) or baseball bats (‘Inglourious Basterds’) – their chief weapons are words. That’s just how Tarantino rolls, and even as ‘The Hateful Eight’ starts off in the wintry trappings of a post-Civil War western, we’re soon essentially in a series of rooms: a stagecoach, then Minnie’s Haberdashery, a drafty Wyoming outpost where spit will fly as gloriously foul-mouthed arguments break out.

This is Tarantino’s most pleasingly claustrophobic film since ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and has a parlour-whodunnit theatrical intimacy to it. There’s zero need for it to have been shot in sumptuous 70mm. Let’s call that the gimmick it is and move on to the smart talkers he’s assembled for our amusement. Bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell, summoning his A-grade John Wayne drawl) escorts a wild-eyed prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh, doing wonders with very little), to the gallows and a huge payday. But a fearsome blizzard approaches, and after Ruth allows old war acquaintance Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) and ex-Confederate sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) to ride along to the relative safety of a remote outpost, there’s a strong hint that an escape plan is afoot.

Before it unleashes its violent wallop of a second half, ‘The Hateful Eight’ simmers along like pots of coffee being brewed onscreen. Composer Ennio Morricone’s seesawing score – his first new Western work in decades – sometimes brings to mind Tarantino fave Sergio Leone. But the real ancestor to the film is John Carpenter’s 1982 ‘The Thing’, another thriller percolating with close-quarters paranoia and chat. It doesn’t quite work altogether: serious conversational detours into racial injustice feel a little too on the nose (as do the periodic, unnecessary punches to Leigh’s bloodied face). But it’s as pure an expression of Quentin Tarantino’s voice as he’s ever mustered, easy to savour, even as the taste leaves a hint of nasty bitterness.

Details

Release details

Rated:
18
Release date:
Friday January 8 2016
Duration:
168 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Quentin Tarantino
Screenwriter:
Quentin Tarantino
Cast:
Channing Tatum
Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh

Users say (18)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|18
3 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

I thought I was going to love this as I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of Django Unchained until the bombastic cartoon finale. Boy was I disappointed! Sexist, misogynistic, over violent and bordering on bad taste, this was a pretentious self indulgent wet dream from Tarantino who is getting worse and worse as a filmmaker as time goes by.  I loved Pulp Fiction but this was just a chore to sit through.  The only decent thing in it was the scenery and Kurt Russell.  Overlong, lame and a real dud from QT.

Tastemaker

Oh Tarantino and co, I'm so sorry, but I just hated this. In fact, I fell asleep three times during it and I wasn't even that tired. The plot is completely obvious, the acting is, in parts, quite diabolical, and it was unbelievably slow moving. I don't need three hours of this waffle, whoever directed it! 


The positives I can take away are: I liked Samuel LJ's outfit. That was sweet. I liked the snow scenes, it made me feel ok about Winter coming soon. I liked the serial killer facial expressions of the girl playing Daisy. The blood and gore stuff (standard Tarantino) was quite fun but tiring by the end. That's about it. 

Tastemaker

Tarantino's latest movie has yet another Western feel and it's a well shot affair, with some great slow pans and reveals and of course the dialogue and exposition you'd expect. Small talk is just as important as dialogue that moves the story on and this is where it can feel a trifle self-indulgent. Eight people trapped in a shack during a blizzard. What will happen next, who's going to die and why? There is some intrigue here but that fact that it takes 2hrs and 45 mins to play out might put off people with shorter attention spans.

Tastemaker

Way, way too long! Could’ve done without the first 40 minutes and still made sense, good film though. Another nail on the head from Tarantino and a solid turn from the great Samuel L Jackson.

Tastemaker

After seeing the movie and listening to Tarantino speak about it on KCRW's podcast The Treatment I love it even more. The amazing wide shots at the start of the film really put you in another world and era. They way that all the different characters speak makes them so differentiated. I love the integration of an intermission and how the narrative style completely changes in the second half. I love how much you're meant to hate Samuel L Jackson's character but you can't cause its Samuel L Jackson. I love how realistic and unrealistic the beating up and blood is throughout the film and the contrast between the dark interiors and the light exteriors. It makes you feel you're in on the action, and that maybe the audience becomes a character of their own. After all, we're the only ones who know what happened at Minnie's Haberdashery. 


I went into this expecting to be bored, having read numerous negative reviews - however I'm pleased to say that I was consistently entertained. The setting, dialogue and characters really draw you in, with an absolutely outstanding performance from Samuel L Jackson and a hilarious and fairly disturbing monologue towards the latter end of the film which I personally found a real highlight. 

Don't expect an all out action film, it's more of a pensive, brooding film, although you'll get your fill of action towards the end. If you are easily offended, steer clear.

Tastemaker

A tedious film. The play-like setting and tension, along with the 'And Then There Were None'-style plot, make this a film it's more interesting to speculate on than to actually watch. And the dialogue - the main selling point of a film like this - isn't strong, as every character talks in much the same way.

However, you're in for a treat if you take joy in seeing Jennifer Jason Leigh getting humiliated repeatedly and messily.

Tastemaker

Sadly, Tarantino seems to be increasingly in love with himself while simultaneously his films are getting worse and worse... The movie is too long, the wit is so forced, it is overly violent (I love a bit of violence in Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown or Kill Bill, don't get me wrong) and just so predictable. It felt like a drag to sit through, such a disappointment.

Tastemaker

Very ‘Tarantinesque’, as one could expect, that (for me) is never a bad thing. It may not be one of the director’s best films but it still is entertaining, and satisfyingly so.The wintery scenery makes for beautiful images and the contrast of the whiteness with noise created by the dialogue is quite remarkable. Of course there is the ever-present extreme (and, yes, gratuitous) violence, but what is most compelling in his films is the dialogue: this film holds your attention – for almost three hours, in which 2/3 are inside a lodge – just with the conversations. You don’t realize it’s been three hours! And it���s always funny, even if sometimes contrived.

I guess you have to like Tarantino films. For us who do, that’s certainly worth seeing. 


So it's Tarantino's worst film. No question about that, but it's still a Tarantino - so not unspeakably awful.


Not very cinematic though - there could easily be a stage version, and it would be shorter, which would be good. 


There was a cheat in the middle though - in a "whodunnit" genre you really shouldn't introduce completely new information to suddenly and magically move the story in an unexpected direction. 


Even apart from the mid-film cheat it just wasn't as slick and clever as his stuff usually is. It has all his usual shock tactics and is certain to offend lots of people, so it's not totally without merit. 


I was going to give it 2 stars, but I think it (just) deserves the third. Go see it, just don't get your hopes too high.

Tastemaker

Well, I went scepticall- 168 mins, western, Tarantino and someone told me nothing happens. Well, the time flew by and I LOVED it. It's funny, classy, quirky, scary, gory, vulgar, crass, bloody and made me gasp, jump and roll with laughter and is just totally brilliant.


Each of the characters is totally convincing and somehow you get to know them in seconds, the cinematography, dialogue, costumes - everything are tremendous. There is something very questionable about enjoying a film that has so much horrendously, sick, over the top, gratuitous killing but I am guilty.


It is a classic Tarantino and takes a v similar look and feel of Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown - the vague, edginess and mystery of  Agatha Christie mixed with the convoluted Shakespearianesque tragedies and relationships that make up the plot and puts them  in a new setting and carries it all off perfectly. Tarantino is definitely something that is not for everybody - but if you are fan then I would expect you to love this! The Molly's Habadashery section is one of the most perfect segments of cinema I can recall!

Tastemaker

Oh boy this is long. It’s only after an hour that the film really starts to get going. There are jokes and there is violence laid bare - all standard Tarantino. Which is a problem because it was so very formulaic with the same ingredients - you know what you are getting – when am I going to see over the top gore? On the flipside, the story leads you down a path where you don’t know what is going to happen – I was unable to predict what would happen next and that is down to fantastic character building by some top dollar actors. Set in the 1800s the story follows two bounty hunters delivery their prisoners to the law. One brings a set of dead prisoners, the other one who is still alive. It is this prisoner which the story centres on within Minnie’s Haberdashery during a snow blizzard – eight characters trapped inside a cabin. I won’t go on. I left the cinema feeling exhausted. My boyfriend left with blood pumping around his body. I don’t want to be a cliché but it might be one the lads like more… They’re two more Tarantino films left (if he abides by his 10 film rule). I hope the last two aren’t so formulaic… it would be so disappointing.


Tastemaker

Westerns have been big recently, with Bone Tomahawk, Slow West, and arguably also The Revenant, which has near identical setting to Quentin's Tarantino's latest movie - and second Western -The Hateful Eight. This Django Unchained follow up is another entry in the idiosyncratic director's Retrograde Period Drama genre, which he has developed as a way of making political statements about the folly of humanity's past in the bleakest, bloodiest, funniest ways possible, while also working within - and paying overt homage to - very distinct disciplines of filmmaking .



What The Hateful Eight does best, like the two historical epics before it, is capture the atmosphere of the time in which it is set, or rather what we as an audience imagine that atmosphere to be, having been immersed in so many films depicting the era. The time in this case is 'some years' after the American Civil War. There are only two real sets in The Hateful Eight, one being a carriage en route to a cabin, and the other being the cabin, Minnie's Haberdashery. Minus a cutaway or two (far less than Tarantino normally indulges in) almost all of the story unravels in these two locations, creating a sense of extreme claustrophobia and unease, not just at being trapped inside by the vicious wintry elements but by a heightened awareness of the proximity of these eight dangerous rogues, all sharing a room together for the foreseeable future. All with weapons. Opposing motivations and mistrusts are rife. Such a confined environment lends to a very entertaining method of camera work, which is all very tight angles, sudden whip pan shots, slow mo zoom ins, and back and forth fades to focus between a face in foreground and the action in back. This confinement heightens tension no end, and tension is most definitely the desired effect, as it is practically rammed into your skull via ear canal with the hair raising Ennio Morricone score, which sounds a near identical reprise of his iconic work on John Carpenter's The Thing.


Much of the cast are Tarantino stalwarts, but all revel in this foul mouthed, thick and fast, dialogue heavy pulp show; Samuel L. Jackson is on fiery form once again, and Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, and Jennifer Jason Leigh really shine in their over  the top caricatures. Everyone does, really, and the snappy script brings out a well developed figure in each of the eight. Three hours pass in minutes and the whole package is really quite well wrapped, broken up neatly into five chapters, with a straightforward story made complicated and compelling by the unclear intentions harbored by… basically everyone. Django Unchained was a superior Western movie - it had the scale, the redemption, and the titanic performances of Leo DiCaprio and Christophe Waltz - it had panache! But this is different film, a darker, more cynical film, which wraps you in a blanket of inescapable doom from the off. Sounds bad, but it's actually rather cosy. Thanks go to Tarantino for setting it at Christmas - it'll be a family favourite every holiday season for years to come. 


Tarantino claims that he's making just ten films altogether, and then he's done. Finito. The idea being that this will preserve his legacy by avoiding the waning talents he anticipates being brought about by old age. That means, because he counts the two volumes of Kill Bill as one movie, the cunning basterd, that The Hateful Eight his eighth film. Hence the title, which is also a bit of a shoutout to The Magnificent Seven and Fellini.


With Tarantino being so preoccupied with numbers (ever since marketing the first volume of Kill Bill as 'The Fourth Film by Quentin Tarantino') it's more tempting to rank his films than perhaps any other filmmaker. Where will The Hateful Eight rank for you? For me it's no Reservoir Dogs, though it's perhaps most similar to that film. It's no Kill Bill, or at least it's no volume one. It's no Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained. Though while it compares unfavourably with those efforts for me, I'd say it sits comfortably among the rest (and it's a darn sight better than the abysmal Death Proof, that's for sure).


The Hateful Eight feels a little looser than the best of Tarantino. It's not as taut, not as snappy, and its narrative is very, very straightforward. It's definitely a film of two halves, so the intermission was a nice touch, especially in-theatre where it allowed for the audience to catch up on everything that had happened beforehand and share their anticipation for the conclusion. As you'd expect , the characters are extremely colourful - Tim Roth and Walton Goggins are standouts, and it was great to see Tim Roth having this much fun, which seems to have been exclusively Christoph Waltz territory in the past couple Tarantino movies.


I definitely enjoyed The Hateful Eight, but I do hope the next two Tarantino movies - if he sticks to his guns and makes them his last - are a little better. the next may well be another Western, as he's claimed you need to make three to be considered 'a true Western director'.


For the first time I am disappoint by Quentin Tarantino. I am a big fan and I love all his 8 movies. But the Hateful Eight is not as good as the others. 

- First it's to long (2h30 with the break in the middle !?!?) 

- The first half (1h15 just show the characters climbing the mountain in a diligence to reach the refuge)

- The second is more interesting than the first but still something missing ...

- In final very simple story without surprise


- Thankfully all the actors are really good !!


0 of 1 found helpful

The most boring film I have ever seen. Nothing happens at all in it. There is no action just talking. If you want somewhere to go and keep warm and have a nap I would highly recommend it. If I could give it no stars I would unfortunately I can't. The 1 star is undeserved.