(director/writer: Quentin Tarantino; cinematographer: Robert Richardson; editor: Robert Richardson; music: Ennio Morricone; cast: Samuel L. Jackson (Maj. Marquis Warren), Kurt Russell (John “The Hangman” Ruth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy Domergue), Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix), Demian Bichir (Bob), Tim Roth (Oswaldo Mobray), Michael Madsen (Joe Gage), Bruce Dern (Gen. Sanford Smithers), James Parks (O.B. Jackson), Dana Gourrier (Minnie), Zoe Bell (Six-Horse Judy), Lee Horsley (Ed), Gene Jones (Sweet Dave), Keith Jefferson (Charly), Craig Stark (Chester Charles Smithers), Belinda Owino (Gemma), Channing Tatum (Jody); Runtime: 162; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher, Shannon McIntosh; The Weinstein Co.; 2015)

“Incendiary off-beat Western.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”/”Django Unchained”) is writer and director of this incendiary off-beat Western. Though pointless, it’s oddly entertaining and packed with outrageous dialogue. The story is told in six chapters. A few years after the Civil War, during a snowy winter in rural Wyoming, a stagecoach heads for the tiny town of Red Rock. The bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell), known as “The Hangman,”and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), worth a bounty of $10,000, head for Red Rock so he can collect his bounty and Daisy hanged. The stage driver O.B. (James Parks) stops when a black bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former union soldier, explains his horse died and he has three dead wanted men worth $8,000 he wants to bring to Red Rock to collect his bounty. Soon another unwanted straggler appears, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. Because of an approaching blizzard, the stage seeks refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover by a mountain pass. However the stage is not greeted by Minnie (Dana Gourrier), but by four suspicious strangers, a Mexican called Senor Bob (Demiā€”n Bichir), the British hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), a surly cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and an elderly racist Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). Senor Bob says Minnie left to visit her mom on the other side of town for Christmas and left him in charge, which makes the suspicious Major wonder if any of them are who they claim to be. The characters are confrontational, filled with mistrust and paranoia. The surprises keep coming and there’s doubt if anyone will make it out alive to Red Rock. Violence is used by Tarantino to showoff his macabre humor, dialogue is used as a weapon to hurt the other party, and morbid reflections on this racist country builds to a bloodbath climax.