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After years of challenging the norm, Quentin Tarantino returns with yet another instant classic in The Hateful Eight, a throwback to classic westerns that divulges into a thrilling mystery caper with all the style expected out of a Tarantino film. The story follows eight strangers brought together to a mysterious tavern, and it’s this intimate environment that allows Tarantino to utilize his strongest assets: dialogue and characterization.

The cast of The Hateful Eight completely commit to the story, and each actor shares in the risks of the film’s wackiness. Among the standouts are a deliberately ridiculous Walton Goggins, a hard edged Kurt Russel, enigmatic Samuel L. Jackson, and a sinister Jennifer Jason Leigh. It’s quite a cast, but as always Tarantino gives each character enough screen time and backstory to seem relevant. The revelations and plot shifts that are introduced as the film goes on continue to develop these characters.

As a filmmaker, Tarantino takes risks and the plot structure of The Hateful Eight takes massive risks, with the first half primarily being a Shakespearean epic, and the second half being a thrilling caper that divulges into a genius breakdown of the entire story. It’s a brilliant move, and late in his career Tarantino continues to impress. Not only is The Hateful Eight a brilliant exercise in style, but a new method of storytelling that has yet to be seen in its affect. Grade: A