4 out of 5 stars
Another 2 ½ hrs Oscar bait nominee inhabited by beardy macho guys stuck in the white wintery wilderness, and much like The Hateful Eight, it is more than just a genre picture, in this case: a Western that doesn’t hold back on the violence, likes its realism gritty and topped with a political message that is as relevant back then as it is today. But while Tarantino’s film toys and delights in narrative trickery and elegant verbiage, Inárritu’s is a technical treasure trove of wonders. This is a film that demands to be seen on the biggest screen with the best sound system, so that one can truly appreciate its immersive nature. The cinematography is spectacular (yes, there are so many low-angle shots you’d think the camera man been shot and dropped his camera but it also positions the audience right next to the characters experiencing what they are experiencing) and the special effects are so real and visceral, it beggars belief how they managed to recreate that level of verisimilitude on screen. Such eye-catching technical achievements can overshadow the ensemble led by Leonardo DiCaprio, who literally suffers for his award art in every single frame and so to make up for that, there’s always an ultra close-ups every so often to remind us of their presence and to showcase every minutiae in their Acting. This is an exhausting and exhilarating film to watch and it is impossible to deny the passion of the filmmaker involved. The outcome is an almost faultlessly made film that you can’t help but admire.