“In Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino has gone past his usual practice of decorating his movies with homages to others,” writes New Yorker critic David Denby. “This time, he has pulled the film-archive door shut behind him — there’s hardly a flash of light indicating that the world exists outside the cinema except as the basis of a nutbrain fable. The film is skillfully made, but it’s too silly to be enjoyed, even as a joke.

embarrassment: his virtuosity as a maker of images has been overwhelmed by his inanity as an idiot de la cinematheque. Basterds is a hundred and fifty-two minutes long, but Tarantino’s fans will wait for the director’s cut, which no doubt shows Shirley Temple arriving at Treblinka with the Glenn Miller band and performing a special rendition of ‘Baby Take a Bow,’ from the immortal 1934 movie of the same name, before she fetchingly leads the S.S. guards to the gas chamber.”