Movie Review: The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino returned to theater’s this past winter with The Hateful Eight, a classic western film with the classic style that Tarantino is known for. The Hateful Eight is very reminiscent of Tarantino’s past couple flicks, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Except that instead of Nazi Germany or the Planatations of the South, Tarantino brought his violent style to the snow-covered mountains of Wyoming.

The Hateful Eight stars Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walter Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and many more in a story of a bounty hunter traveling to the town of Red Rock to collect his bounty. Russell plays John Ruth, the bounty hunter who takes the criminal Daisy Domergue (Leigh) into custody and travels through a blizzard in Wyoming to deliver her to the hangman. But in his travels, he runs into another bounty hunter (Jackson), a questionable sheriff to be (Goggins), and slew of characters when he gets stranded at Minnie’s Haberdashery.

The movie is a typical Quentin Tarantino flick with tons of violence, foul language, and, of course, a great intricate story. The Hateful Eight is a great modern-day western movie. The kind of movie that is greatly missing in today’s cinema landscape. Westerns are a genre that is basically forgotten about. But Tarantino has worked his magic and shown what a western could look like in today’s world. Everyone who has ever seen a Tarantino film knows what he can do with a movie, so I won’t focus so much on that. But there was plenty great about this movie besides the direction.

The acting is front and center as far as the positives for this movie. Russell, Jackson, Leigh, Goggins, Roth, and Madsen were all great as expected. Leigh was exceptional great as the lunatic criminal Daisy and Jackson delivered another great performance and one downright great dialogue. Other appearances by Bruce Dern, James Parks, Demian Bichir, and Channing Tatum helped to complete a great casting. 

Along with the casting, the most notable thing was the musical score. Ennio Morricone, the famous composer of many great westerns and other Tarantino films, did a masterful job with the music in this film. The music sets so much of the tone throughout the 2:47 run time. While there was no tune that will ever be remembered like “The Ecstasy of Gold” in this movie, Morricone did a wonderful job of creating music that stands out and adds to each scene.

It is very easy to say that once you have seen a Quentin Tarantino movie that you have basically seen them all. Sure, they all share many of the same qualities: gut-wrenching violence, disturbing and questionable language, and a directorial style that is a throwback to a past time. But each movie contains its own stories and moments. From Pulp Fiction to Kill Bill to Django Unchained, they all have their similarities, but they also have their own legacies. And The Hateful Eight is no different. Tarantino has captured my imagination again and did so with another almost three hour film that didn’t really feel that long. And while it definitely is not a film for everyone, it is a great work that deserves its credit.

Daryl Karpinski, Jr.