Inglourious Basterds

Watch Inglourious Basterds

"A basterd's work is never done."
  • R
  • 2009
  • 8.4  (1,594,335)
  • 69

Inglourious Basterds is an epic and intense war film from 2009 directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, among others, and set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The movie opens with a scene that is both thrilling and horrific, as we witness the arrival of Colonel Hans Landa (played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz), a cunning and cold-blooded SS officer, in a French dairy farm owned by a Jewish family hiding from the Germans. The tense and suspenseful dialogue between Landa and the father of the family is a masterclass in acting and screenwriting, setting the tone for the rest of the film.

The main plot of the movie revolves around a group of Jewish-American soldiers, led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played with swagger and charm by Brad Pitt), who are sent on a mission to kill as many Nazis as possible and spread fear and havoc among their ranks. Their nickname, "The Basterds", is both a nod to their brutal tactics and a clever French misspelling. The Basterds' plan is to infiltrate a high-profile movie premiere at a Parisian cinema, where many high-ranking Nazi officials, including the fearsome SS leader, Colonel Hans Landa, are expected to attend.

Parallel to this plot, we meet Shosanna Dreyfus (Diane Kruger), a young Jewish woman who has survived the massacre of her family at the hands of Colonel Landa and his soldiers. Shosanna has changed her identity and is now running a small cinema in Paris. When she learns about the upcoming Nazi event, she sees an opportunity for revenge and devises her plan to burn down the cinema with all the Nazi officials inside.

As the movie progresses, we witness an intricate dance of deceit, violence, and subterfuge, as the Basterds and Shosanna prepare for their respective missions. Along the way, we meet many fascinating and memorable characters, such as the Nazi hero Frederick Zoller, the British spy Bridget von Hammersmark, and the Basterds' team of soldiers, each with their unique personalities and backstories.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Inglourious Basterds is the way in which Tarantino blends different genres and styles, combining elements of spaghetti westerns, war movies, spy thrillers, and even screwball comedies. The movie is a blend of highbrow and lowbrow, of serious and silly, of tragedy and triumph. Tarantino's signature wit and irreverence are present throughout the film, as are his love for cinematic references and homages.

But beneath the flashy and stylized surface of Inglourious Basterds lies a deeper commentary on the nature of violence, revenge, and historical memory. The movie asks uncomfortable questions about the morality of killing, of celebrating vengeance, and of rewriting history. It challenges our assumptions about who the heroes and villains of war stories are and forces us to confront the darker sides of human nature.

In terms of performances, Inglourious Basterds is a tour de force across the board. Brad Pitt delivers one of his most iconic and charismatic roles as Aldo Raine, a Southern drawling hillbilly who can switch from charming to ruthless in a split second. Diane Kruger is stunningly beautiful and powerful as Shosanna, bringing depth and nuance to a character driven by revenge. Christoph Waltz steals the show as the multilingual and suave Colonel Landa, earning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his chilling and captivating portrayal.

Overall, Inglourious Basterds is a thrilling and thought-provoking movie experience, blending elements of history, fiction, and filmmaking in a way that is uniquely Tarantino. It is a movie that rewards multiple viewings and discussions, revealing new layers and surprises with each revisit. It is a movie that showcases the power of cinema to entertain and inspire, but also to challenge and provoke.

Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 drama. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.4 and a MetaScore of 69.

Inglourious Basterds
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    8.4  (1,594,335)
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