9 Best Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

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Movies Like Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood

“Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” captivated audiences with its nostalgic homage to 1960s Hollywood, blending reality with fiction in Quentin Tarantino’s signature style. The film, set against the backdrop of a changing industry and cultural landscape, follows the intertwined lives of a fading TV actor, his loyal stunt double, and a rising starlet. As viewers were transported into the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, they were treated to a cinematic experience filled with vibrant characters, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists.

9 Best Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

1. Friday

2. Babylon

3. Entourage

4. Django Unchained

5. Inglourious Basterds

6. The Wolf of Wall Street

7. The Disaster Artist

8. Pulp Fiction

9. Ed Wood

Friday (1995) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Friday IMDb Rating 7.2 English 1h 31m

Director: F. Gary Gray

Starring: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long

What it’s about: Craig’s been having awful luck lately. He not only lost his career, but his life has become complicated. Craig was angry because his father kept following him and pressuring him to get a job. He hid from the home and rested with his friend Smokey. Smokey was a total smoker. Throughout his life, narcotics were the most important and sole belief. However, Smokey’s drug addiction landed him in serious difficulty. He couldn’t resist his impulse and smoked all of the narcotics for $200 that Big Bug, the drug dealer, had entrusted him to sell! This meant that if they didn’t pass over the drug money to Huge Bug within the time frame, they’d be in tremendous danger, and Craig, who had been hanging out with Smeg, would not be spared.

Why it’s similar: Both films explore the dynamics of friendship and camaraderie amidst the backdrop of a specific cultural milieu. They delve into characters’ lives, navigating their respective environments, showcasing the humor, challenges, and bonds that arise from their experiences. Additionally, both movies feature memorable performances and authentic portrayals of everyday life, capturing the essence of their periods with a mix of nostalgia and realism.

Review: “Friday” broke new ground in the comedy genre with its authentic portrayal of urban life and relatable characters. Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film resonated with audiences of all backgrounds, capturing the essence of camaraderie and humor amidst the challenges of everyday life in South Central Los Angeles. Marketed primarily towards African-American audiences, it surpassed expectations, grossing over $27 million worldwide. Its success solidified its place as a cultural touchstone, inspiring sequels and cementing its status as a cult classic.

Babylon (2022) – Streaming on Paramount+, Fubo TV, and Amazon Prime Video

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Babylon IMDb Rating 7.1 English 3h 9m

Director: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart

What it’s about: 1926, California, Nellie LaRoy, two street kids named Manny and Nellie LaRoy, who dreams of becoming a big star, crash a wild, sex-and-drug-filled Hollywood party in search of some big break and a chance to shine. Also at the party are the talented, up-and-coming African American jazz trumpeter Sidney Palmer and the charming cabaret singer Lady Fay Zhu – both small-time players in the glamorous movie industry. As Nellie becomes an instant celebrity and Manny crosses up with Hollywood hunk Jack Conrad, they are about to realize how disposable stardom is. As harsh as it sounds, the allure of Hollywood is irresistible.

Why it’s similar: “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” and “Babylon” offer a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood’s glitz, glamour, and complexities while addressing deeper social issues and cultural shifts. Additionally, both movies feature dynamic storytelling and a blend of fictional characters with real-life figures, creating a rich tapestry of interconnected narratives that reflect the zeitgeist of their respective eras.

Review: “Babylon” is a testament to bold cinematic ambition and creative excellence. The film dazzles with its lavish depiction of 1920s Hollywood, receiving acclaim for its stunning production design, costumes, and cinematography. Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie deliver standout performances, bringing depth and charisma to their roles. While the film’s sprawling narrative sparked diverse opinions, its artistic achievements and numerous award nominations highlight Chazelle’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of storytelling and visual spectacle in modern cinema.

Entourage (2015) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Entourage IMDb Rating 6.5 English 1h 44m

Director: Doug Ellin

Starring: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara

What it’s about: Vincent Chase wants to attempt something fresh in his job. Therefore, Vincent’s former agent, Ari Gold, encourages him to star in his first studio film. Vincent will also direct it. Eight months later, Vincent’s directorial debut, Hyde, is in post-production, $15 million over budget. Vincent needs more money. Vincent gives investors Ari and Travis a copy of the film to watch. Ari and Travis enjoy the picture, but Travis asks that Ari edit out sequences involving Vince’s brother, Johnny “Drama” Chase, or he will not grant the film any additional funding. Ari does not respond, so Travis delays post-production. Vincent faces professional and personal challenges as they strive to figure things out.

Why it’s similar: “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” and “Entourage” (2015) share a similar portrayal of the Hollywood lifestyle, showcasing the highs and lows of fame, fortune, and friendship in the entertainment industry. Both works offer a glimpse into the inner workings of Hollywood, exploring themes of ambition, loyalty, and the pursuit of success. Additionally, both feature ensemble casts and blend elements of comedy, drama, and satire to provide an insider’s perspective on the glamorous yet often tumultuous world of show business.

Review: “Entourage” capitalized on the success of its television predecessor, offering fans a continuation of the beloved series’ blend of Hollywood glamour and bromance dynamics. Directed by Doug Ellin, the film followed the escapades of actor Vincent Chase and his entourage as they navigated the highs and lows of the entertainment industry. While catering primarily to existing fans, it still managed to attract audiences with its star-studded cast and entertaining storyline.

Django Unchained (2012) – Streaming on Starz, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Django Unchained IMDb Rating 8.5 English 2h 45m

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio

What it’s about: In 1858, King Schultz, a bounty hunter, discovered a slave called Django and purchased him to liberate him. Schultz was actually preparing Django to be a lawless bounty hunter, apprehending various wanted criminals in return for money. Django sought to locate his wife, Broomhilda, who had been sold separately by his former owner for attempting to flee. Schultz promised to assist him if he decided to remain and become his partner. They later discovered that Broomhilda had been sold to a Mississippi plantation. Knowing they couldn’t just go in and announce they wanted her, they devised a plot to save their wife, Broomhilda, from the tyrant Candy Plantation owner, Calvin Candy.

Why it’s similar: “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” and “Django Unchained” (2012) share Quentin Tarantino’s trademark blend of historical fiction with elements of action and dark humor. Both films feature stylized violence and memorable characters, focusing on revenge and justice. Additionally, both movies explore themes of race, power dynamics, and morality within the context of a heightened cinematic universe.

Review: “Django Unchained” showcased Quentin Tarantino‘s unique storytelling prowess, blending historical fiction with stylized violence to create a captivating and thought-provoking cinematic experience. Set in the antebellum South, the film follows Django, a freed slave turned bounty hunter, on a quest to rescue his wife from a ruthless plantation owner. With its bold narrative and standout performances, including Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, solidifying its place as one of Tarantino’s most memorable films.

Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Inglourious Basterds IMDb Rating 8.4 English 2h 33m

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth

What it’s about: Under Lieutenant Aldo’s leadership, eight American Jewish soldiers killed German soldiers in German-occupied France during World War II. Their brutal actions constituted a severe threat to Germany’s forces. After escaping the Holocaust, Shosanna returned to Paris three years later, taking over her aunt’s movie theater. It was then that she met German movie star Fredrick. Fredrick, who fell in love with Shosanna at first sight, persuaded the German Minister of Propaganda to let his movie be shown at Shosanna’s theater in front of Hitler. Shosanna decided to burn down the theater while it was showing, and the British-American murder plot would also happen that evening, coordinated by German spy actress Bridget.

Why it’s similar: The two similar movies share Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for rewriting history in a bold and unconventional manner. Both films offer alternate takes on real-world events, blending fact with fiction to create compelling narratives. Additionally, both movies feature strong ensemble casts, intricate plot twists, and Tarantino’s signature dialogue-heavy style.

Review: “Inglourious Basterds” captivated audiences with its audacious take on World War II history, blending dark humor, tension-filled suspense, and Tarantino’s trademark dialogue. The film follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers, led by Brad Pitt’s Lieutenant Aldo Raine, as they seek vengeance against the Nazis in occupied France. Praised for its stellar performances, particularly Christoph Waltz’s chilling portrayal of SS officer Hans Landa, and its bold storytelling, “Inglourious Basterds” became a critical and commercial success, earning multiple awards and nominations.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – Streaming on Paramount+, rent or buy on Amazon Video

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: The Wolf of Wall Street IMDb Rating 8.2 English 3h

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie

What it’s about: Jordan Belfort, the CEO of Stratton Oakmont, enjoys a lavish lifestyle and wields considerable authority in the crisis-ridden investing industry. Jordan, at 22, began working as a switchboard operator for Rothschild & Co. in 1987. Under the supervision of senior broker Mark, he joined the world of stockbrokers, full of drugs and desires. Jordan shifted to a small business that traded “penny stocks” six months later in response to “Black Monday.” He achieved success with his eloquence. He started a new business with his neighbor Donny and many buddies, ventured into the gray area, and made much money. However, the FBI has started to pay attention to him.

Why it’s similar: Both films offer a stylized portrayal of larger-than-life characters operating within morally ambiguous worlds. Additionally, both movies feature dynamic performances from their lead actors and showcase directorial flair in depicting lavish lifestyles and corporate corruption.

Review: “The Wolf of Wall Street” electrified audiences with its wild depiction of excess, greed, and corruption in finance. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life stockbroker Jordan Belfort, the film offers a no-holds-barred exploration of Belfort’s rise and fall, complete with lavish parties, outrageous schemes, and moral bankruptcy. Despite its controversial subject matter, the film was a box office hit, praised for its energetic direction, sharp wit, and DiCaprio’s electrifying performance.

The Disaster Artist (2017) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: The Disaster Artist IMDb Rating 7.3 English 1h 44m

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood-The Disaster Artist-2017

Director: James Franco

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor

What it’s about: Greg Sestero is a promising actor who encounters the weird Tommy Wiseau during an acting class. Greg and his crazy new pal travel to Los Angeles to chase their ambitions of becoming stars in Hollywood. Their dreams, however, appear bleak, particularly for Tommy, whose unique and odd accent and demeanor are alien to practically everyone around him. Tommy gets inspired to make his movies after Greg unintentionally suggests it. They are plainly out of their depth, though. Their combined efforts resulted in “Room,” a testament to grit, endurance, and passion.

Why it’s similar: “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” and “The Disaster Artist” share a metafictional approach to storytelling, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Both films explore the behind-the-scenes world of filmmaking, offering insights into the creative process and the challenges of pursuing artistic ambitions. Additionally, both movies feature a mix of humor and poignancy in their portrayal of dreamers striving for success in the entertainment industry.

Review: “The Disaster Artist” offered an entertaining and insightful look into the making of one of the worst films ever, “The Room,” directed by and starring Tommy Wiseau. Directed by James Franco, who also stars as Wiseau, the film explores the eccentricities of Wiseau’s personality and the tumultuous production of his cult classic. With its blend of humor, empathy, and behind-the-scenes drama, “The Disaster Artist” earned positive reviews and attracted a devoted following of cult film enthusiasts.

Pulp Fiction (1994) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Pulp Fiction IMDb Rating 8.9 English 2h 34m

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood-Pulp Fiction-1994

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson

What it’s about: Pulp Fiction contains three short tales. People and circumstances intertwine in apparently unrelated short stories. Thieves “Little Pumpkin” and “Little Rabbit” looted a breakfast store, but they ran across crooks Jules and Vincent, who were eating there and were in great trouble. Will they let the two thieves go? Vincent is a subordinate to mobster leader Marsellus Wallace. Marsellus instructed him to spend the night with his wife. He understood that if he broke the rules, he would perish. But what should Vincent do when confronted with the temptation of Marsellus’ wife?

Why it’s similar: The two similar movies demonstrate Quentin Tarantino’s signature style, characterized by nonlinear narratives, sharp dialogue, and an eclectic soundtrack. Both films also feature an ensemble cast and blend elements of dark comedy with moments of intense drama. Additionally, they share thematic elements such as crime, redemption, and the interconnectivity of seemingly unrelated characters and storylines, making them stand out in postmodern cinema.

Review: “Pulp Fiction” is a cinematic classic celebrated for its bold storytelling, memorable characters, and groundbreaking narrative structure. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film weaves multiple interlocking storylines, showcasing the intersecting lives of gangsters, hitmen, and other colorful characters in Los Angeles. With its sharp dialogue, nonlinear narrative, and iconic scenes, “Pulp Fiction” revolutionized independent cinema and became a cultural phenomenon, earning numerous awards and nominations and leaving an indelible mark on popular culture.

Ed Wood (1994) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood: Ed Wood IMDb Rating 7.8 English 2h 7m

Movies Like Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood-Ed Wood-1994

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker

What it’s about: The ambitious Ed Wood was finally allowed to direct and star in a film in 1951, but his proposal was quickly abandoned. Ed was not disheartened, and he continued to locate financiers and performers one by one, even bringing his girlfriend into the group to participate. The film deal was not finalized until most of the preparations were complete. Dreams were shattered repeatedly, and Ed was hospitalized for a spell, but he refused to give up on his dream path. The filmmaker realized his enormous idea with the assistance of the once-famous Bela Lugosi and a gang of devoted actors and showbiz misfits. Despite the lack of critical or economic success, these films are fascinating.

Why it’s similar: The two films pay a nostalgic homage to a bygone era of Hollywood filmmaking. Both films celebrate outsider artists’ passion and perseverance and cinema’s magic. Additionally, both movies feature colorful characters and eccentric personalities, offering a glimpse into the quirky subculture of cult filmmaking.

Review: “Ed Wood” pays homage to the life and work of the titular filmmaker, often regarded as one of the worst directors in cinema history. Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Wood, the film celebrates Wood’s unbridled enthusiasm for filmmaking and his enduring passion for art. With its quirky characters, stylized visuals, and heartfelt portrayal of the struggles of an outsider artist, “Ed Wood” garnered critical acclaim and earned two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau’s portrayal of Bela Lugosi.

Conclusion: If you are enchanted by the magic of “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood,” this list offers a curated selection of nine movies that capture similar themes, aesthetics, and storytelling techniques. From nostalgic odes to bygone eras to explorations of the complexities of show business, each film on this list provides a unique glimpse into the world of cinema while offering an opportunity to relive the allure and allure of Hollywood’s golden age. Whether you’re drawn to the glamour of the silver screen or the intricacies of behind-the-scenes drama, these movies will satisfy your craving for captivating storytelling and cinematic excellence.

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