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Movie Review

Inglourious Basterds a.k.a. “Inglorious Bastards,” “Inglorious Youth,” “Adoxoi bastardi,” “Bastardi senza gloria,” “Bastardos Inglórios,” “Bastardos sin gloria,” “Becstelen Brigantyk,” “Kunniattomat paskiaiset,” “Le commando des bâtards,” “Malditos bastardos,” “Neslavne barabe,” “Soysuzlar cetesi”

MPAA Rating: R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality.

Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
War, Action, Adventure, Drama, Adaptation
2 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 21, 2009 (wide—3,000 theaters)
DVD: December 15, 2009
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, The Weinstein Company

GRAPHIC VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Anger in the Bible

Armies in the Bible



Justice of God

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

War in the Bible

What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer


Death in the Bible

Final judgment

Featuring: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Mike Myers, Eli Roth, Samuel L. Jackson (Narrator), Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Samuel L. Jackson (Narrator voice), Daniel Brühl, more »
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer: The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures, more »
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

“An inglorious, uproarious thrill-ride of vengeance”

Do you ever wish a major historical event turned out differently? Looking back at all the big happenings throughout modern world history, it’s sometimes interesting to think how massively different the world would look if one specific occurrence was altered or completely erased. Well, it’s in this mindset that we get the revisionist history of “Inglorious Basterds,” Quentin Tarantino’s latest effort that details, among other things, the fictional account of the Basterds, a group of Jewish-American soldiers in the 1940’s sent into Germany occupied France to strike fear into the Third Reich by taking justice into their own hands: killing Nazis and asking questions later, carving their way straight to the Fuhrer himself Adolf Hitler. The result is a sometimes witty, but often bloody and profane film that is the very definition of (excuse the pun) pulp fiction.

To understand what to expect from “Inglorious Basterds,” one must first understand what to expect from any movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino films always have a distinct feel to them, which is probably the reason that the director has a legion of diehard fans. While Quentin is undoubtedly an excellent writer, this reviewer has always found his work to be inconsistent, at best. He seems to be so in love with the dialogue he’s written that he wants every punch line and witty remark to be taken in all their glory. He feels that if andy scene is cut, the viewer will miss out on his pure genius. He changes pace quite regularly, going from nail biting suspense to a dead crawl in an instant.

Also, Tarantino seems to be in love with shock value, looking to give the moviegoer a reason to turn his or her head away from the screen. While he clearly has an abundance of movie knowledge, Tarantino films also come with many quirks specifically in the narrations and soundtracks to his films. These quirks usually don’t even remotely fit into the framework provided for the story. And while fans would say that’s just “Classic Quentin,” I’d say it’s just poor film making.

While “Basterds” is far more entertaining than any of his recent work, it still suffers from some of the same problems mentioned above. There are many occasions where the movie seems stuck in slow motion. Clocking in at 155 minutes, “Basterds” could’ve been a much better film with about 30 to 40 minutes of good editing. The language is rough, and the violence is also graphic, with shootings, beatings, as well as the Basterds scalping Nazis after they kill them.

Having said all of that, there are some classic moments in “Inglorious Basterds”. Sometimes the movie just comes together well. Various scenes, specifically the first and last of the film, come alive with suspense and intensity that make them downright enjoyable. The cast is first rate, as well, and while everyone is great in the film (including Mike Meyers in a one scene cameo) two performances stand out. The first is Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of the Basterds. Pitt plays Raine with such a great Southern dialect, as well as hysterical facial expressions and mannerisms. The other impressive performance is from Christoph Waltz as the menacing Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Waltz, who has never been in an American film, is fluent in French, German, English, and Italian. As the antagonist known as ‘The Jew Hunter,’ Waltz showcases all four of these languages and does so in such an impressive fashion that he easily steals every scene he’s in.

While “Inglorious Basterds” is ruthless and mostly just meant for surface level entertainment, it does speak, possibly unintentionally, to the depravity of man. During the film, it’s easy to begin rooting for the Basterds as they scalp Nazis and attempt to kill Hitler. You find yourself justifying their actions because you know how it actually turned out. You start secretly cheering like it’s a sporting event. It’s a strong commentary on why humans are incapable of delivering ultimate justice: because we to are inherently fallen and sinful, just as the killers in the film. It’s a securing thought to know that we’ve been saved by grace from our fallen state. We don’t have to change history to feel as if justified, because it’s not on our shoulders to dispense justice, but on the one who has saved us. And that’s as glorious as it gets.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—First of all, know this: this is an R rated Tarantino film featuring ultra-violence, brief sexuality, and tons of dirty words. If you’ve seen the preview for the film, you should at least have some idea of what you are about to subject yourself to. If you haven’t seen it yet, go to and watch it now.

Now, if you go to this movie knowing all of this beforehand, and you STILL come out offended, and proceed to blog on this site with warnings to potential viewers encouraging them to skip this film, you should be ashamed of yourself for two reasons: number one, you knew going in what you were getting yourself into in the first place, and, number two, not everyone thinks the same way that you do, and therefore, may enjoy the film that you are so wholeheartedly persuading them to skip, in which case, you may prevent them from seeing one of the best films of the year.

This film was excellent, and a great time at the movies. Yes, it is sick. Yes, it is disturbing. Yes, it is excessive in every imaginable way. However, the storytelling is top-notch, and the acting is Oscar worthy. It is quite simply one of Tarantino’s best. One of the best tales of revenge to ever grace the silver screen. If you can handle the subject matter, then see it. If not, please heed the warning at the beginning of this review, and avoid this film like the plague. Thanks.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Steven Adam Renkovish, age 27 (USA)

Negative—This comment is for Steven Adam Renkovish, age 27 If you read my comment you would probably be aware that I have seen many “R” films, as I openly mentioned seeing “District 9” and enjoying it. The complaints I (and others) put forth about this film are valid. Unlike some rated “R” films billed “genius”—District 9, The Killing Fields, El laberinto del fauno and even (practically rated X) Lust, Caution etc.--there was NO overall point, reasoning or even plot needed essence to the violence depicted in this film. Some critics have even referred to it as a “masterpiece.” Impressive, considering the company it keeps with other films billed as such, “Casablanca”, “Lord of the Rings” etc.

This film depecticted torture for “humors sake” and that was all. If that is why you went to see this film--because torture is “funny”—then sure, go see it. For the rest of us it came off as a vile, shamless RIP-OFF of “To Be or Not to Be” with Carol Lombard and Jack Benny. Except one vital exception--Ernst Lubitsch was able to pull off a “revenge-comedy” about WWII without scalping and baseball torture. Spare me your reasoning, “if it was rated “R” then you shouldn’t complain”—there are wonderful “R” films and poo. And this one is poo.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—G. Harms, age 35 (USA)

Positive—Commenters Steven Adam Renkovich (age 27) and Pedroia (age 27) have it spot on. As the first points out so clearly, if you do any small amount of research, you will know this is a Quentin Tarantino film, and as such will surely be full of violence and profane language. If you still go see it and are offended, you have only yourself to blame. Tarantino makes movies because he loves to make movies; he is not forcing us into the theater. As such, no one can be blamed for our indiscreet movie choice but ourselves.

And, as Pedroia points out in her well-written and intelligent comment, Tarantino: “only a poor filmmaker would come and say exactly what he wants you to take away from a film. Film is a visual medium and the directors goal is to show, not tell.” This is correct. Yes, there are some things a good director WILL tell. But there is always more below the surface, and there is in this movie. It is not violence for the sake of violence. Just because a movie lingers on the gore does not mean it is gratuitous or cruel; after all, many movies linger on crying faces and haunting expressions and nobody calls that gratuitous. In fact, this film presents a great moral quandary: Lieutenant Aldo Raine’s (Brad Pitt) team who calls themselves the “Inglorious Basterds” are perpetrating the same violence against Nazis that Nazis did against Jews in real life. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JM, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I have seen the film and would like to comment on some misinformation in some of these posts. The facts:

1. There is no nudity. Not even close.

2. I read one comment about “graphic sex scenes”. There is one sex scene that lasts for literally TWO SECONDS. There is no nudity. The film in its entirety is about an two and a half hours. I think most adults can handle two seconds out of 153 minutes. I have seen more sexual material in PG films than this one.

3. There is no scalping of anyone alive. There are a few brief images of scalps being removed from dead people.

4. The most disturbing scene is a man being beaten with a baseball bat, but it is brief and most of hit happens from a distance. Plus, it is telegraphed so you can easily look away.

5. There are some f-words, but not non-stop like in a lot of R-rated movies such as “District 9,” “Funny People,” or previous Tarantino efforts. The language is about average for an R-rated film.

While this movie is not for everyone, it is leaps and bounds ahead of most movies in terms of dialogue, scene construction, tension, and just cinematic excellence. It is also not nearly as offensive as Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Jackie Brown,” and especially “Reservoir Dogs” in terms of language and violence. The screening I saw it at had a lot of older people (50+) and there was applause at the end of the screening. The general consensus was that we had just walked out on a really unique, very well put together piece of cinema. There are plenty of movies out there that are incredibly offensive in terms of content (“Bruno,” “Funny People,” “Hangover”), but I don’t think this is one of them.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bill, age 30 (USA)
Positive—I am really somewhat surprised at the snarkiness of some of the negative comments about “Inglourious Basterds,” an excellent film well worth the price of admission. I saw it twice in one day, first during the matinee and later with some Jewish brothers. Being a Jew, I was deeply moved and empowered with the idea that a handful of warriors (not unlike my ancestors, the Maccabees) could change the face of the war, if we were but inclined to act.

Not only did I rejoice in the triumph of good over clear moral evil, but I was one of those people who was cheering in the end. Apparently the folks that did not like the film had no family members murdered in the Holocaust, and have little understanding of the G-d ordained violence of the Old Testament. The deliberate destruction of evil makes me happy. I don’t buy for one minute that someone who saw the movie “threw up” while watching it. That’s utter and shameless nonsense. The movie isn’t for children, but my 20 year old jewish son loved it as well. BTW, though Jewish I am a follower of the Messiah as is my son. Long live the Inglourious Basterds!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joel L. Pearce, age 44 (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie after reading many reviews here. Mind you I am a women, so most would use stereotypical ideas and think women wouldn’t like this movie. But I have brothers that are into typical guys movies, so I am use to these kinda of movies even though they are harsher. I don’t think I need to comment much on the movie itself. But I will for sake of the fact this is a review. I thought it was a great movie for what it was supposed to be about. And that was a comical and thought inspiring look at WW2 if it was different and in the end “Killing Nazis”.

Too many people think movies should be made their way and no other. They miss the fact its not about you. Its about the director. They make these movies based on what they want, not you. If you don’t like it fine. But don’t act like a movie is horrible because it wasn’t made to your standards. I am referring to movie making standards not our belief standards. Obviously belief standards are differently and lets face the facts, its hard to find movies that will live up to our belief standards. This movie is offensive to my beliefs but I don’t mind since obviously I am more open. Which I believe in my heart God wants us to be. He doesn’t want us to be bubbled people living as puppets. That just makes us more mocked by society. He wants us to be smart sometimes.

Would you like this movie? Probably not, my point is we need to use be more open if we are to survive. Lastly what disturbs me more is not the movie, but the comments/reviews. Brother judging brother. And worse yet is the fact the people that claim the movie is this or that still seen it anyways knowing full well many things like what was about, what it was rated, who made it and so on.

That’s like seeing a porn shop and saying its horrible, then going in anyways and complaining afterwards. What do you expect? Also I notice a few people picketed this movie near me. Which I found bad because all that does is make people more interested in the movie. Your doing the exact opposite of what you came to do!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Linda, age 29 (USA)
Positive—If your going to see “Inglorious Bastards” for historical purposes hoping to see why so many people died and fought in this time. Then this is the wrong movie for you. If you are a Jewish guy or girl and are getting tired of being picked on, then this is a movie for you. A small group of Jewish men get to go into France and take their anger and revenge out on Nazi in the most gruesome ways possible. Two thumbs up.

People who were offended by this truly shouldn’t be. Actually you should be ashamed of yourself for not doing research on it before going into this 3 hour long movie. You should have watched the trailer and taken note that in the scene where Eli Roth bashes a Nazi’s head in with a baseball bat. You should have also taken note that it is a Quentin Tarantino movie. And if you have ever seen any Tarantino movies you should know what to expect.

And this is not a history story. I watched an interview of Tarantino and he explained This is what he thinks would have happened if all of these characters actually existed. It is a true classic Tarantino movie, a lot of dialog and ruthless killing. If you dislike violence and torture. Then I DO NOT recommend this movie for you. If you enjoy a good storyline and acting, then I must recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Emily, age 22 (USA)
Positive—Ok so let’s say you saw oh a movie like “We Were Soldiers” that’s about how violent this movie is. The language is like any other war movie, too. As far as sexual content goes, I read a viewer that said it was literally two seconds and no nudity… he’s absolutely right. Two seconds. As far as people saying it’s outright disgusting because people are laughing in the theater when Nazis are being killed… these are the people that brought you the hollocaust getting some pay back… your gunna get a laugh in seeing jew mutilaters getting killed not that big of a dealio. As far as people saying “well your lowering your self to their level” your totally wrong it’s called a hypothetical war movie. But anyways it was actually really well done and It was a long movie but each scene was done so well it’s refreshing to see an actual movie that lasts a while but is entertaining. good good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Luke, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I saw this film a little while back, and I enjoyed it. The film definitely isn’t for everyone, and it is quite graphically violent in parts. Then again, it is a Tarentino film, what do people expect? I thought it was worth commenting though, that inspite of seeing people beaten to death with baseball bats, scalped and mutilated, these were not the most disturbing scenes in the film. I actually thought they were quite tame compared to the scenes with the “Jew Hunter.”. That I think was the stand out creepy scenes in the film that the straight forward violence made a nice break from! Overall, if you can stomach it, it is a good film, that depicts the evils of war and the depravity of man very well. I would recommend it with the obvious cautions about knowing what you are getting yourself into.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jason Rennie, age 34 (Australia)
Positive—My husband and I just watched this on video last night. Unlike most people on this site, we enjoy Quentin’s movies (my personal favorite is “DeathProof”), and while the violence can be extreme, you usually know it’s coming and can look away if needed. I enjoyed this film for what it is: a non-historical, what-if story that makes you cheer for the Basterds even as you cringe at their violence. His use of suspense at several moments in the film where very well done, especially in the brilliant opening scene. My favorite character is Shoshona, the Jewish girl that the “jew hunter” lets go at the end of the opening scene. Her story line is the most moving and suspense filled during the course of the movie …especially when she meets this man again in Paris. (When he ordered her a glass of milk, I thought for sure he knew who she was!) In summary, I enjoyed the movie because I’m a fan of Quentin’s work and knew what I was getting into and would recommend it to other like minded viewers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Amy, age 36 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed the movie. Yes, this is one that you want to keep away from the kids as long as possible. It is purely and totally an adult movie. Be forewarned; this film is Extremely Graphic and Violent. This is classic Tarantino. Everything is "over-the-top". However, you need to sit down with this expectation. If you rented this movie expecting anything else, you were undoubtedly disappointed. In watching this film, you will see your fellow man—naked and grizzly—in caricatures. A good example would be a violin being used in a heavy-metal concert—everything is amplified to distortion. Both good and evil get their respective jobs done with bullets, grenades, knives and explosives.

What I found most intresting is how well the character of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa was played and how “complete evil” can be so articulate, sweet-talking—and so very deadly. The movie promoted the “joy of Killing”—on both sides.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—John, age 50 (USA)
Positive—I would see this movie again just to see Christof Waltz. He is one of the best actors going today. The opening scene and the scene with the girl in the restaurant are just priceless, well written, well acted scenes.

Let’s face it. If we are Christians watching R-rated movies, then we know what we are getting into, so don’t be so shocked at what you see. Don’t go see it if you are going to be bothered and certainly a Tarantino film you should know what to expect. All I can say is, you asked for it, and you got it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Samuel, age 49 (USA)
Neutral—Where to start. Well, first off why anyone would see this and complain is beyond me. If you truly smart about movies you’d know the name Quentin Tarantino means the movie is going to be offensive. With that said yes I seen it. Did I like it? For the most part yes. Am I perfect? Nope, none of us are.

First, about what is offensive. First, Tarantino movies have swearing, so as always there was swearing and in reality there was not as much as there usually is, with the exception of the one seen where one of the characters was grabbed.

Second, Tarantino movies are known for over the top gore. While this movie was not full of limbless, cut in half bodies it did have some scenes such as people being scalped and a scene of a man having a Swastika knifed into his forehead up close (well and, of course, shooting wounds and other small things).

Lastly, in terms of sex/nudity, there was no nudity, however, there was a brief few second scene of sex where you didn’t see any body body parts but did see the couple still doing it regardless.

So now to the moral side of this movie. This is where its hard to say is it worth seeing because the WW2 subject is VERY touchy depending on who you ask. The “Basterds” were Jews just seeking revenge. Is revenge the best method? Well, not as a christian. And is the torture of the nazis wrong? Well, one could say they are evil men. And we know allies often did do cruel things to Nazis in WW2 in retaliation. It was war. So like I said its a hard thing to really say if this movie is worth seeing. As a christian, I’d say no on one hand. But another part of me says it’s good to see a movie about alternate history where Hitler and the Nazis got what they deserved even though I know full well it goes against things I believe like revenge.

I will say the one thing I did like was how the Nazis would figure out when someone was lying. While the scenes would be often up to 20 minutes long of talking. It was very well thought out. Now, if they could have those scenes in a less brutal movie I’d recommend it probably for christians.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Matt S., age 27 (USA)
Neutral—Based on all the comments I have just read, this film has obviously encouraged some very lively debates on this site, more than I have ever seen before. This was the first movie I volunteered to go see with out first researching it. I had no idea it was even a Quentin Tarrantino film until I was popping the popcorn into my mouth and my husband, knowing how I feel about Quentins movies, turned to inform me. The only other movie of his I have seen was “Reservoir Dogs” which made me sick to my stomach. With that stated, I have to admit that I actually was entertained by this movie.

In defense of myself and maybe many others in the theater, when anyone heard me chuckle or laugh, it was never in response to the violence and torture but always to the dialogue of the casts members. Brad Pitt and the German guy who played Landa, did an excellent job in their roles. I was very impressed with their acting and must say that all of the cast did an excellent job. The 2-second sex scene could have been completely left out and I am not quite sure why it was even allowed to remain; it was unnecessary and crude although no nudity was shown.

If I take this movie from a Christian standpoint, then I have to say that none of us, as Christians, should be gracing the theaters for most of the trash that is put out there to include this film. We are wasting the resources God has entrusted us with when we do and filling our minds with corrupt, unholy images. From the perspective of a movie enthusiast, however, I have to say this movie was excellent, but I will not allow my 13 year old son see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tiffany, age 42 (USA)
Neutral—I came into this film thinking it was going to be loaded with cursing and gratuitous violence. Well, “Inglourious Basterds,” in all its historically inaccurate glory, does have its share of profanity and violence but both elements are moderate. With that being said, and reading the commentary on this web page, I enjoyed this film, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a Christian audience due to the “quality” of the offensive content.

I disagree that slaughtering German soldiers (and some Nazis) for the sake of all Jews is justifiable. Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is lowering himself to the very level of the Nazis; they didn’t necessarily scalp their victims but they were incredibly brutal. When German soldiers were captured by the Americans and the British, they were more than willing to surrender to them because both sides abided by the Geneva Convention rules on treatment of prisoners of war, unlike the Soviets who either killed German POWs or sent them to the Gulags. Other than that, the movie is very good but it does lack a consistent storyline.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Shannon H, age 28 (USA)
Negative—Yes, I knew it was a Tarantino film. Yes, I knew what I was getting myself into when I sat down and watched it. The point is, it’s tasteless and insensitive concerning one of the most sensitive times in the history of the world. It never ceases to amaze me when violent filmmakers like Tarantino are applauded for their work, but Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was gasped about for being too graphic. I could go on and on, but I’d really be wasting too much time on this junk film. I don’t encourage anyone to watch it, and I am sorry that I did.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Amber, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I watched this movie expecting it to be a historical one that possibly sheds light on aspects of WWII. Instead it became a pointless display of violence and some unholy sexuality. The movie is not based on any history but is a reimagined version of WWII. There were 3 scenes of people with their scalps having been removed with a knife. There was a scene of someone being executed with a baseball bat. There were many scenes of shooting, knifing, and other methods of killing people.

A couple of people sitting next to me or closeby got sick and had to leave, one threw up on the seats. I don’t blame them. The bible teaches us to be at peace with one another and tells us to keep our minds and hearts pure before Christ. This movie encourages the exact opposite and beginning from the very title, glorifies murder, rage, lust, revenge, cowardly acts during war, terrorism, and pride.

I think this is a shameful film that needs to be condemned not only by Christians but by all Americans for what it represents. There is nothing at all funny about depicting Americans as a bloodthirsty, brutal people.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Chris, age 22 (USA)
Negative—Literally the WORST movie I have EVER seen. Alternated between Boring and nauseatingly violent. Make a sick and twisted movie look pretty, and they call you an artist. What a joke!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Cat, age 40 (USA)
Negative—Revisionism Gone Wild—Tarantino is gifted. There is no question about it. This is not an example of that gifting.

First of all nothing in the movie ever happened, and since it involves historical figures, this makes it completely pointless. However, it does reveal a side of Hollywood that is often overlooked, and that is its amazing ability to “rewrite” history to suit itself. In this case there is a perverse satisfaction watching Hitler be riddled with bullets in a theater balcony and the rest of the Nazi high command burn to death in a fire. But that is as far as this movie ever takes you. And in the end you look at your ticket stub or the DVD box and say… "What in the heck was that about?"

At least Tarantino doesn’t try to hide the fact that he is rewriting history. Unlike his counterparts in Hollywood like Ron Howard in "Nixon/Frost" or “Oliver Stone” in JFK. Or the countless others who rewrite American History into the tale of the evil white man killing Mother Earth. This film is bloody and violent and in the end utterly forgettable. In fact, I can’t remember anything more than the Brad Pitt saying "We’re in the business of killing Nazis… and business is booming." The only problem is the fact that they really didn’t, and nothing ever boomed. So why are we watching this again?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Russell Sterger, age 53 (USA)
Negative—I did NOT like this film. I was hesitant because of my previous bad experience with “Resevior Dogs” (and no, I didn’t see “Pulp Fiction”) and was dragged into this film because I wanted to prove that I had an open mind, and friends of my husbands insisted that it would be “funny.” I read many reviews and most of them raved about the film using colorful adjectives like: “intriguing, genius and humorous.” So after a bit, I relented and went--much to my regret.

I found nothing “intriguing” about beating a man to death with a baseball bat and nothing “humorous” about scalping a prisoner of war while he was alive. There was no “genius” to showing men tortured for revenge and no “complexity” involved in depicting crude racial/ethnic jokes. There was no over all point to this film and no redeeming philosophical point to the violence (i.e. “District 9”'s focus on genocide and xenophobia). So it’s now acceptable to torture men during time of war—And then LAUGH about it? Considering what so many groups of people (Jews, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims in Bosnia etc.) have endured I could not imagine for one second thinking the needless suffering of any human to be “funny”—on film or otherwise.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—G. Harms, age 35 (USA)

Positive—This Comment is meant to be a response to Chris, age 22, and G. Harms, age 35. I in no way intend to demean the two aforementioned commenters, but would like to put forth a short defense of the film in light of their criticisms.

1. Chris mentions the “pointless display of violence”. Now, while Mr. Tarantino did drop out of high school, he is considered by most to be a genius, and as such he seldom does anything “pointless.” I have been critical of Tarantino’s work for years, but must say, he thinks things through. It is entirely possible the director is posing the question: If this sort of brutality was capable of bringing WWII to an end years earlier, would it have been worth it? Keep in mind, countless lives would have been saved by the Basterds actions. Sure they were violent ( I dare say SOME American GIs probably did worse during the war) but the actions of the Bastereds ended the war.

2. Just because a film portrays “murder, rage, lust, revenge, cowardly acts during war, terrorism, and pride” does not mean it “glorifies” it. I can only assume you are making the argument for lust based on one of two scenes. Either the scene in which the Nazi Propaganda officer is represented having sex or the scene in which the young German war hero propositions Soshanna for sex. In either case, I would submit the acts are being used to demonize the Nazis, and are not in anyway glorifying lust. I could go through and make similar such arguments for each of the listed offenses, but for sake of brevity I wont.

3. As far as condemning this film, I suggest you read the book Behind The Screen. Boycotts and the like are extremely ineffective. Many studio execs never even hear about a boycott, and when they do it only confirms for them that you, the boycotter, were/are outside the demographic they marketed the film to in the first place. To G. Harms,

1. To the best of my knowledge, no one is scalped alive in the film. It seems there is a curious lack of screaming if someone is, in fact, scalped alive.

2. If you were not aware, Tarantino has an affinity for black/african american culture. The racist jokes are used here to vilify the Nazi’s and possibly comment on todays Neo-nazi’s. His respect for other races should be evident in that one of the most heroic, patient, even tempered and well respected characters is a man of African descent who is instrumental in the undoing of the Third Reich. Film, especially at the level of Tarantino, is multi-layered and is rarely overt. We should all attempt to watch films with an analytic eye, keeping in mind that only a poor filmmaker would come and say exactly what he wants you to take away from a film. Film is a visual medium and the directors goal is to show, not tell.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Pedroia, age 27 (USA)

Negative—Comment for Pedroia: “…but the actions of the Bastereds ended the war.” They did? I believe many historians and servicemen would disagree with you. This film also shows Hitler being killed at the end in a fire. Although it may be “very loosely based on” it is far from accurate. “…Just because a film portrays ‘murder, rage, lust, revenge, cowardly acts during war, terrorism, and pride’ does not mean it “glorifies” it…” I never said that. What I did say is that the film attempts to make “humor of torture.” Does it not? Did audience members not laugh when they watched some of those scenes? I have mentioned many films that show “murder, lust, rage, revenge etc.” but they do so with some sort of “point” if not, some kind of Christian overall “moral tale” or perhaps even a lesson/warning. This film does not. It, unfortunately, is not attempting to show history--it is attempting to show humor in violence.

It is a shame really because the film actually began with griping tension with a masterful performance from Christoph Waltz. For a couple of minutes it had the promise of a very interesting tale. “…To the best of my knowledge, no one is scalped alive in the film. It seems there is a curious lack of screaming if someone is, in fact, scalped alive.” Interesting how you paid so close attention to that detail. If my over zealous grammar lead to a misunderstanding of the exact nature of how the fore-mentioned prisoner-of-war was tortured then I apologize in advance. Torture of course, is MUCH funnier when the prisoner is dead. “…We should all attempt to watch films with an analytic eye, keeping in mind that only a poor filmmaker would come and say exactly what he wants you to take away from a film.

Film is a visual medium and the directors goal is to show, not tell…” I have to disagree my friend. There are many wonderful film makers who say exactly what was intended. To assume that they are poor filmmakers for doing so is foolish. Many often over analyze the immature nature of this film, some have even attempted to say that Tarintino was “testing” our own morality to see if we would really laugh at the torture scenes. However, I do not believe that Tarintino is that skilled of an intellectual. At best he tried to rip-off a classic film from 1947 and failed miserably at it. I enjoyed debating this movie with my fellow Christian brothers/sisters but, in final summary it’s interesting the amount of comments geared towards others who don’t like this film rather than the film itself. I think that in itself is telling that the films quality can’t stand on its own.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—G.Harms, age 35 (USA)

Positive—This is a short response to G. Harms, You criticized my comment on the Basterds actions ending the war, saying “They did? I believe many historians and servicemen would disagree with you. This film also shows Hitler being killed at the end in a fire.” I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am well aware of how WWII actually ended. I never claimed that the Basterds actions ended the war in reality, I only suggested that in the context of the film their actions, though violent, ended the war, and that this may be part of what Tarantino is doing with the film. Posing the question “Would this amount of brutality be acceptable in saving thousands of lives?” I would also like to address your assertion the film “is attempting to show humor in violence.”

I think a deeper look at the film would reveal, that though Tarantino may portray violence in a shocking, sometimes, humorous way, he attempts to cause one to question the appropriateness of laughing at these moments. As one sits in a theater watching other Americans laugh as the Basterds beat and killed Nazi’s, Tarantino quietly holds up a mirror to that very audience. He shows a group of Nazis sitting in a theater, watching a violent film, in which, American soldiers are shown dying. He depicts the Nazi’s laughing at the violence. The scene is a dark reflection of what has been going on in the theater up to this point. I stand by my statement that film is a visual medium and that a director’s goal is to show, not tell. Run a search on the words “show, not tell” or “film is a visual medium” and I dare say you will find many sites on writing and film which would support my position. This film is Tarantino’s attempt to do that. The film, has a point, and just because you were offended by some things in the film, does not mean the film was pointless. I think I have demonstrated that though things in the film were disagreeable, they very easily could have served a purpose. Out of curiosity, if you have the chance to answer, what 1947 film did you think Tarantino was trying to ripp off?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Pedroia, age 27 (USA)

Negative—I dismissed the above comments about the extreme violence and went to see this movie because I love period movies, especially movies the about the WWII period. However, I wish I had not seen it for the violence was not the typical “war violence” that is seen in Saving Private Ryan or Gladiator. This violence centered around scalping, knives cutting flesh, bashing heads with bats, and machine-gunning bodies. It was over the top and offended me. It was simply gore for gore’s sake. For this simple reason, avoid this movie and absolutely do NOT take a teenager to see it. If the story has any historical accuracy, then it is a part of history that does not need to be accentuated on the movie screen. I seriously doubt there was any truth or historical basis to the plot and this disuaded me from liking it as well. With the lack of credible story and abundance of gore, this movie should be avoided.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J. Casey, age 41 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—…This was an amazing film that turns your mind inside out. Tarantino’s “misplaced” scenes are ingenious. His choice in actors? unbeatable. The dialogue? Fantastic. This film proves that people are willing to watch movies that have little to no English. Tarantino expanded our minds to foreign filmmaking. And, most of all, he made us laugh. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sam, age 17 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Please, my Christian brothers and sisters, do not see this movie. I wasted seven dollars last night on a ticket for Ingourious Basterds, and I had to leave the theater about thirty minutes in. The violence in this movie is sickening. In intensity, it can be compared to “Gladiator” or “Braveheart,” but I found it much more offensive because it was intended comically. The audience in the crowded theater I attended laughed hilariously as men were scalped, strangled, beaten to (literal) pulp, and otherwise massacred. To me, this encouragement to laugh at horiffic war crimes was enough reason to avoid the movie in itself. However, I didn’t actually leave the theater until the sex scenes began. When a somewhat graphic—and completely uncalled-for and unexpected, sex scene occurred my friends and I left the theater. Please, if you value your Christian witness and are serious about filling your mind with pure, noble, excellent, and irreproachable things, do not go to this movie.
—Kira Williams, age 18 (USA)

This comment is for Kira Williams, non viewer age 18 Not to invalidate you opinion, but the movie you are begging people not to see has an MPAA rating of R, for STRONG GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, AND NUDITY. I’m not entirely sure why you were so shocked that a Quentin Tarantino movie, that is rated R for STRONG GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, AND NUDITY, was offensive. That is what the R rating is for. It’s been a while since the director put out a movie, and you’re young, so maybe you’re not familiar with his work. I’m not trying to snark or be rude, but if you are a sensitive soul, perhaps you ought not see rated R movies by directors who are infamous for making ultra-violent films. Just saying. To add: There’s a bad word in the title of the movie! That alone should have been a warning.
—Jana Peterson, age 33 (USA)

I didn’t watch it all because of conflictual issues, as my friend and I wanted to see “Julie & Julia,” but this was her second choice. From what I saw, it was absolutely the best Quentin Tarantino film I’ve seen (and I’m not a big fan of his work). The editing, the pacing, the dialogue, it’s as if the 2 1/2 hours went by really fast. The violent level is high,, and the swearing is at a maximum length, but the whole movie delivered what it was intended to do: entertain. I’ll probably review this again when I watch the rest during my second viewing. (On a side note: I usually track box office numbers, and I will be surprised if this performs well in Germany.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive
—Christopher Walker, age 28 (USA)