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Movie Review

The Hateful Eight

MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Western Crime Mystery
Length:
2 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
2015
USA Release:
December 25, 2015 (select—100 theaters)
December 30, 2015 (wide)
DVD: March 29, 2016
Copyright, The Weinstein Company click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Relevant Issues
Copyright, The Weinstein Company

liars and lying

murder

hanging

greed / stealing / bribery

justice

justice of God


RACISM—What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

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

Featuring: Kurt RussellJohn Ruth
Jennifer Jason Leigh … Daisy Domergue
Channing TatumJody
Samuel L. JacksonMajor Marquis Warren
Walton Goggins … Sheriff Chris Mannix
Tim RothOswaldo Mobray
Zoë Bell (Zoe Bell) … Six-Horse Judy
Michael MadsenJoe Gage
Bruce DernGeneral Sandy Smithers
more »
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer: The Weinstein Company
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

There is something in human nature that revels in darkness. The forbidden, the sinful, the dark, and even the evil all have a fascination for man. It is proof that man is lost without the Lord, and it is proof that we revel in our sin. Here is a director who openly confesses that his films are inspired by the exploitation films of the 70s. Yes, Tarantino imitates bad exploitation films. So my question has always been “what makes him so popular”? Why do critics rave over his movies?

I have seen films that I did not like, but thought to myself “if they had only left out the violence, this might have been a good movie.” However, I have rarely had that thought in a Quintin Tarantino movie. Never have I been so sorely disappointed in one of his films, and, considering that I was not expecting much, that is an indictment.

One reason I decided to review “The Hateful Eight” was because the trailers did a good job of making it look like a western mystery thriller. Eight men trapped in a log cabin; one (or more) of them is secretly in alliance with the prisoner, and perhaps one or more of the others wants the reward money for themselves. It sounds like a great premise, but, in fact, there is no mystery. Sure, we can guess who is the “bad guy” (there are no good guys in Tarantino films), but there are no real clues. There is no evidence or reason to suspect one person over another. It is premise without execution. It is a setup for violence, gore, race baiting, hatred, and homosexual rape.

Now critics claim that Tarantino is good with suspense. They claim that he sets up scenes to make the audience anticipate something anxiously, but, in fact, his brand of suspense in this film has another name… boring. Consider that the first hour and fifteen minutes of the film takes place on a stagecoach. This entire sequence consists of crude dialog and narration. There is very little in this entire sequence that is really essential to the plot or entertaining. It reminds me more of gang bangers who like to constantly talk trash, but when did trash talk become entertaining? To me, it is another sign of the deterioration of Judea-Christian ethics.

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

Now, once the stagecoach finally arrives at the haberdashery, the plot finally begins to be put together, and yet, like most Tarantino films, plot is not the point; it is violence. After another long and tedious segment of over-the-top depictions of race relations in post civil war America (incendiary race baiting) we are then treated to a ten minute depiction of a graphic homosexual rape scene including male frontal nudity. Next arrives the first “intermission” since the 1960s. Personally, I like intermissions. In this case it gives you the chance to leave the theater without anyone noticing. Oh, if only I hadn’t had to review the rest of the film!

The second half of the film is full on Tarantino sadism, violence, and gore. The “mystery” element of the film never really existed in the first place, but I will spare the reader any “spoilers” nevertheless. It is certainly no spoiler to note that the body count is equal to the number of cast members in the movie. Gore includes exploding heads, arms being hacked off, vomiting massive amounts of blood, splattering blood on people’s faces, and other extreme scenes which leave us to wonder how an old six-shooter from the 1800s behaves like a modern day Colt 45 hand cannon.

Another staple of Tarantino films is the ridiculous amount of foul language which leaves the viewer desperately searching for the subject, verb, and direct object amid a dozen or more adjectives which appear to modify nothing in the sentence. Moreover, it is intriguing to think that cowboys in the wild West would be using words which were not invented until the 20th century and not popularized until the gang bangers of the latter half of that century. Of course, we are talking about a filmmaker who rewrote the history of World War II to end with Hitler being assassinated in a movie theater by Brad Pitt.

In a world where Christian films are all but universally panned by critics, Tarantino is praised as a “visionary.” Exactly what is “visionary” about a director who imitates 70s exploitation films, I cannot say, but, for those concerned about Tarantino’s over the top remarks about American police officers being racist and murders, I have good news. You can now boycott the film without actually missing anything worthy. You can safely skip this film and pretend that you are doing so in protest to his anti-cop remarks. You will thus be sparing yourself three hours of trash and supporting your local police department at the same time. More importantly, you will be sparing yourself a gut feeling that you betrayed Christ Jesus by even bothering to watch the film, for that is the sickly feeling I had in my stomach after the film was over. There is nothing redeeming in such a film (Ephesians 5:3-4).

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

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


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Before writing off this film for its gore, violence and incivility, I suggest considering one of the earliest scenes (a crucifix with Christ half buried in the snow on a forsaken mountain) and one of the last scenes (a character whose blood-covered face has made her a fair depiction of the devil and who attempts like the Devil to make a Faustian bargain with Sheriff Chris Mannix). Mannix looks over his shoulder at the Major, a b***rd, but a man of integrity, and chooses the Major over this devil. The cloak around the moral may be a bloody one, even one that is tough to stomach, but what matters in the end about our morals are the choices we make when confronted with dilemmas.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Abraham Ruth, age 66 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I completely agree with the reviewer on this film. It is loaded is strong graphic violence including a brutal shot to the face, vulgar and obscene language (multiple f-words, Biblical profanities, and sexual references), and a graphic depiction of homosexual rape with full frontal nudity on display from a distance. The overall story is good, but this is definitely not Tarantino’s strongest work.

Overall, it flowed well for a near 3 hour western, but I strongly recommend all audiences to keep away from this one. You do not want to fill your mind with the graphic content on display in this film… or any other Tarantino film for that matter. He’s a great writer, too. I just wish he would create much more edifying entertainment for a change. If Martin Scorsese can do it (“Hugo”) so can Tarantino. He is a talented filmmaker that is wasting it on some of the most graphic violence and sexual content displayed on film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Curtis, age 23 (USA)
Negative—Don’t waste your money on this film. It was the most morally degrading picture I have ever seen. The language was awful, and the violence was the worse I have ever seen. The racial slurs, the degrading of women, the hatred, cruelty and bloodshed are extensive. The homosexual act is horrible. This is the dirty, filthy trash that Hollywood puts out as entertaining. I felt like I stepped into Hell for three hours. The crucifix of Christ could only serve one purpose in the start of this movie… to show why He had to die for our sins.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J.Ulberg, age 67 (USA)
Negative—OMG! Save your money!! Almost 3 hours of the most boring movie I have ever seen. Nothing but beating a woman half to death, and the use of the n-word is way over exposed. I can’t believe that anyone would take consumers’ money to see this kind of cr*p!! Total disgusting!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
—Ed, age 61 (USA)
Negative—This film has no redeeming qualities when it comes to the dialog and action. None of the setups ever happen. All occur inside the cabin after the first part and is just meaningless gore and vulgar dialog. I kept waiting for some moral truth to come out, like we saw in his previous two films, but there was no payoff.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Harold, age 44 (USA)
Negative—Tarantino is back with this tribute to the old western genre: overture, intermission, Ennio Morricone, character of the lone stranger… coated with his typical signatures: excessive swearing, blood massacre and return of some of his favorite actors. The quality of his movies has definitely improved over the years and here again, the filmography, script and acting are excellent. If not watching at the cinema with its intermission, the 2h45 would probably feel very long.

The plot feels a bit disappointing as the audience can only be a spectator than actually try to unfold the mysteries behind the lies of each characters. Also, the extreme violence becomes even psychological in some scenes. In the end, the movie takes joy in celebrating a bloody tale of justice. Knowing all of this and similarly to facing the “witch” in this story, make the right decision by not being corrupted by this Tarantino movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Nicolas, age 28 (United Kingdom)
Negative—We watched this movie this afternoon, and it was the worst movie I have ever seen. There was a lot of good stars, and I am disappointed that they chose to be in this movie, as they have been in some really good ones. The script and the acting was terrible. Boring story. Could not wait until it was over. I paid $5.99 to watch it, and it was a waste of money. I would not recommend the Director, either.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Elaine, age 68 (Canada)
Comments from young people
Positive—When I first sat down to see this movie I knew it would be like any Tarantino movie before it… vulgar and bloody. That being said… it is just a movie, a piece of art, nobody seems to understand what Quentin Tarantino seems to be doing with this movie, people just look at what they are shown, but they take no time to read into the political undertones in the film. The movies are a place where you should leave all morals at the door and just enjoy the art for what it is and not get so offended… is it vulgar? Yes. Is it violent? Yes. Quentin Tarantino’s description of what dialogue would be like back then is 100% accurate, and that is what nobody understands. Viewers need to stop being so offended by what they see.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David, age 18 (USA)
Movie Critics

…a slow-burn, meditative chamber piece that only gradually reveals its grander, bloodier ambitions. …Tarantino’s well-documented indulgences are fully on display here—and anyone who had hoped he would finally calm down on the gratuitous violence and his characters’ flagrant use of a particular racial epithet will be sorely disappointed. …
—Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

…Quentin Tarantino is one of Hollywood's most aggravating directors, and this is perhaps his most aggravating movie. …“The Hateful Eight” is ruined by its unremitting incivility. …When Tarantino makes a movie—no matter the genre—it always tastes like gore. …
—Paul Asay, Plugged In

…Though Tarantino toys with many of the lawless frontier genre’s classic tropes, it’s arguable whether this deliciously long-winded mystery—“molasses-like,” to use his own term—qualifies as a Western at all. It might more aptly be considered an ongoing North-vs.-Southern… ultra-stylized faux-period parlance (in which the excessive use of the “N word” speaks more to Tarantino’s street cred than to any defensible sense of authenticity)… The gratuitous bloodletting and hefty running time… should appeal primarily to cinephiles…
—Peter Debruge, Variety

…Another bloody mess… abhorrent…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

…three-hour Western that’s windy both inside and out. …These bad guys love the sound of their own voices. …the truth is that“ The Hateful Eight” would never have been considered roadshow material back in the format's heyday: It's not, by any stretch, a spectacle. …
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Agatha Christie with gags, guns and Samuel L. Jackson… A blood-splattered murder mystery in 19th-century Wyoming is the notional plot for Tarantino’s swaggering off-message and old-fashioned three-hour masterpiece… [5/5]
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

…Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight” revels in snow, not so much in people… All the promise of the first hour of the film is squandered in the last two… All the promise of the first hour of the film is squandered in the last two…
—Stephanie Zacharek, Time magazine

…Eight of the ugliest varmints you've ever met face off in Quentin Tarantino's most beautiful, riveting and intimate movie so far… a rogue’s gallery without anyone to root for…
—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

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