Tarantino's surprisingly warm fantasy mash-up of California dreamin' and arthouse B-movie revenge fantasy, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, is dreamy but sacrifices coherence for the indulgence of changing history.
The legendary director's hotly anticipated ninth film, Once Upon a time... in Hollywood, applies his trademark wit to '60s Hollywood, but ultimately it's an oddly conservative machismo, not inventive filmmaking, that shines through.
This Jazz Age is presented in the film as so many brightly colored, manic fantasies, in frantic, crowded dance scenes, in speedy, deliriously unconvincing driving scenes, and even conventionally awkward, filtered-light sex scenes.
Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.
Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.