FlixChatter Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

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Continuing his obsession with the spaghetti western genre, Quentin Tarantino has made another self-indulgent film that may divide some of his hardcore fan-base. Personally I thought it’s an entertaining picture but not one of QT’s best films.

Set in a post-civil war Wyoming winter storm, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) is deserted on the road. As a stagecoach approaches, he meets a bounty hunter named “The Hangman” John Ruth (Kurt Russell) who’s escorting a prisoner named Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the nearest town for her hanging. Warren asked Ruth if he can catch a ride to a mountain pass safe point called Minnie’s Haberdashery. Once they’re on their way to Mannie’s, they ran into another stranded individual named Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who said he’s the new sheriff at a town where Ruth and Domergue are heading to. Arriving at Minnie’s to escape the roaring storm, Ruth keeps a steady eye on Domergue, sussing out other customers, including Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), Bob (Demián Bichir,), General Sandford Smithers (Bruce Dern), and Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), while stagecoach driver O.B. (James Parks) tries to keep out of the way. As the strangers attempt to figure one another out, paranoia soars, pitting the gunmen in a contest of storytelling as they try to wield lies before they brandish guns.


Just like other Tarantino’s films, the story is broken up to chapters, but told in a linear style. Tarantino seems to love his own writing, a little too much in case of this film. While I do enjoy the dialogues by all the actors, the film’s first half tends to drag a bit. At nearly 3 hours long, it could’ve used some trimming. Despite my qualms about the first half though, once the story gets going, QT knows how to ratchet up the tension and when the bullets starts flying, it’s a vintage Taranto’s film.

The performances by the actors were pretty great, especially Russell, Jackson and Leigh. The entire film is built out of monologues and these actors were up to the task by delivering some over-the-top lines. This being a QT film, the N-word and F-word has been uttered many many times.

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Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson decided to shoot the film in 65mm and it looked spectacular. I’ve seen the film twice, once on a 70mm presentation and the other on digital. To be honest with you, I prefer the digital presentation only because the 70mm theater I saw it at wasn’t properly set up and there were film scratches the screen. Not many theater has the ability to set up 70mm screen properly anymore so I think I would’ve enjoyed the 70mm presentation much more had I seen it in a proper set up. But I’m still happy that Tarantino is one of the few directors who still insist on shooting his films on high quality film.

The Hateful Eight may not be one of QT’s best films but it’s one heck of a good time. If you can stomach the bloodshed and of course QT’s over-indulgent dialogues, then you should check it out.

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So have you seen The Hateful Eight? Well, what did you think?

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20 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

  1. Perhaps I have been too hard on this film but I still can’t muster the slightest bit of excitement to see it again. I liked the idea behind it but QT simply can’t get himself out of the way. I actually found it to be a fairly arrogant film in that it just expects you to go with everything it’s doing because, after all, it is a Tarantino movie. I just couldn’t follow in line and maybe that is on me.

  2. I agree, not his best but still lots there to keep the audience entertained. Jennifer Jason Leigh is terrifically maniacal, and I often laughed when Walton Goggins was on-screen. It looks sumptuous too! Great write-up Ted.

  3. Nice review, Ted. I think you enjoyed it more than I did. I found the lengthy, overcooked dialogue too cumbersome to really be happy with – circular, repetitive conversations and spoken lines don’t always make for great cinema, and I’m afraid QT kinda dropped the ball with this one. At nearly 3 hours I felt the film could have been tightened up somewhat, and many of the film’s comversational moments could have been edited down further or dropped altogether without the film losing any of its feel or tone.

    Still, I did enjoy it, in spite of that, and as a technical exercise in glorious 70mm I’m over the moon for what Tarantino achieved here. I just wish it hadn’t been so long without so little purpose.

  4. Self-indulgent – just a bit! I thought this was cartoonish, the shoot outs were all in slow motion, which killed any impact, the flashback was sloppy…. IMO this isn’t average for Tarantino, its just average. That’s just me thought 😀 I’m interested to see what I think after a second viewing

    1. Thanks Allie! I’m a big fan of QT so I was super excited to see this one, mostly because I was very disappointed with his last film, Django Unchained. Even though it wasn’t that great, I still enjoyed the heck out of it and it’s a better film than Django.

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