Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Ranking Every Major Performance

Who dominates Tarantino's latest?

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

With Tarantino's latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood finally being unleashed upon the world at large, it is bound to be a great many things to a great many people. Set in Hollywood circa 1969, the film sees Tarantino assembling a truly all-star cast to bring his nostalgic, glimmering ode to innocence lost to life in thrilling fashion.

From long-time Tarantino regulars such as Kurt Russell or Brad Pitt to newcomers such as Margaret Qualley or Austin Butler, this film is practically bursting at the seams with award-worthy star-power. Even discounting characters and actors who make only minor appearances such as Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Bruce Dern as George Spahn, or even Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring, there's still an unbelievable amount of huge stars playing major roles in this thing.

But which one of them steals the whole show?

Let's recount all of the all-around stellar performances given in Tarantino's latest film and see exactly how they all stack up.


Special Aside: The late, great Luke Perry is not featured on this list but his brief yet powerful performance as Wayne Maunder is utterly wonderful.

11. Timothy Olyphant As James Stacy

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Tarantino has always had a gift for utilizing an actor's real-life history or career and using it in his casting choices to add a meta-weight to the role. And Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is certainly full of examples of this, one of the easiest and most blatant ones being that of Olyphant as James Stacy.

Olyphant famously served as the star of the critcally-acclaimed television show Justified for years, in which he played a modern-day cowboy of sorts. So when he shows up in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood playing a real-life actor (James Stacy) playing the protagonist of a real-life cowboy television show (Johnny Madrid Lancer on Lancer), it isn't exactly a stretch to see why he's such a swell fit for the part.

And while Olyphant does an excellent job in the role, sophisticatedly straddling the line between impression and original interpretation, he doesn't get all that much to do. He's essentially there as a piece of scenery for Leo to play off of in a couple of scenes and that's about it, which lands him (fairly or not) at the bottom of this ranking.

Having said all of that, we would still watch a few hours-worth of a Tarantino-helmed, Olyphant-starring version of Lancer in a heartbeat.


A film enthusiast and writer, who'll explain to you why Jingle All The Way is a classic any day of the week.