Bottom Line, this is as great a movie as I have seen in a long, long time. Tarantino tops even Pulp Fiction and sends up the entire genre of War pictures. Not doing quite what Mel Brooks did to the Western with Blazing Saddles and killing the genre, just irrevocably inserting his name into the historic narrative - you will never look at a war picture set in Europe without thinking about Tarantino after you see Inglorious Basterds.
The more you love movies, the more you love Tarantino. A Tarantino film should have the effect of influencing you to go out to the movies more often. He has clear-cut bad guys and good guys and strong, hot women running things their way and, best of all, he always delivers a payoff. Every one of his trademarks is here, along with and anything one could lift from a century of cinema.
A few scenes in Inglorious Basterds are a bit long, but it is an exquisite tension that adds up to an unexpectedly perfect payoff, gruesome or hilarious as it may be. And as these are Nazis, there are plenty of subtitled scenes. But these are not even quibbles, just letting you know that you are going to be doing a little reading and seeing some bleeding in your 2 hours and 40 minutes of movie. And you might want to cover your eyes when the guy shows up with the baseball bat. Cover your ears too, as the soldier makes a 1940s Red Sox reference.
Brad Pitt's satiric redneck is believably hilarious. The dialogue is vintage Tarantino banter designed to lull you into banal sympathy for each character until unseemly outcomes flare up and engorge them. I thought Jackie Brown was great but understated, Kill Bill 1 was a brilliant build up ruined by a KB Part 2 that, for all its merits, was too in love with its own reflection to be the homerun out of the park. I was in the minority in enjoying Grindhouse and the director's cut of Death-Proof, but after Tarantino had pulled an October-'02 Spiezio with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, these films were more like the '06 Cardinals. But Inglorious Basterds sets up the tension like six foul balls off of Fernando Rodriguez and the payoff had me leap from my seat and applaud an epic, historic home run of a movie.