6. Inglourious Basterds
One of the few unambiguous guilty pleasures in cinema is watching Nazis die. Quentin Tarantino doesn't spoil that pleasure, but he does make you think about it, as well as share his own delight in cinematic intertextuality. His most appealing character is SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), who's never more charming than when he massacres the family of Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent). She survives to cross paths with Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), an American who's leading his Dirty Dozen–like Inglourious Basterds, a commando unit of Jewish volunteers, in a mission to assassinate Hitler. The climax is the antithesis of the sentimentality of Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso. It's nasty and exhilarating stuff — but so too, sometimes, is the stuff of cinema.
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