Tarantino's eighth film, a western set in post-Civil War Wyoming. With winter raging, a ragtag bunch of armed strangers find themselves holed up in the same stagecoach stop. Predictably for this scenario (and director), tensions will rise and violence will ensue... Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Samuel L. Jackson are 3/8 of the stars.
Sometime after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as 'The Hangman,' will bring Domergue to justice.
Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town's new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, they all seek refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. There they are greeted by four unfamiliar faces: Bob (Demian Bichir), who's taking care of Minnie's while she's visiting her mother; Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock; cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen); and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm descends on the mountainside stopover, our eight travellers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock.
Best Original Score (Ennio Morricone) at the 2016 Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs
As great as Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained were, the manner in which Quentin Tarantino's pointed proclivity for ponderous proclamations went unchecked in those films prevented me from wholly embracing them. In The Hateful Eight, the third entry in QT's unofficial 'Revisionist Myth' trilogy, those tendencies go even further, gloriously so.
Morricone's seesawing score sometimes brings to mind Tarantino fave Sergio Leone, but the real ancestor here is John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing, another thriller percolating with close-quarters paranoia and Hawksian gab.
Some of the film's ugliness is therefore a sign of integrity, and of relevance. But much of it seems dumb and ill considered, as if Mr. Tarantino's intellectual ambition and his storytelling discipline had failed him at the same time.