Stuart Klawans at The Nation:
Although it was shot in Argentina, partially bankrolled in Spain (by Pedro Almodóvar’s company), given its premiere at Cannes and then shortlisted for the Oscars, the true mark of the internationalism of Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales is that it bears the artistic stamp of Quentin Tarantino. Many other films destined for US art houses display comparably global credentials, but Wild Tales is exceptional for the brio with which it imitates a style that is already proudly imitative—and as accepted worldwide as the American Express card.
You will immediately recognize the genre-movie settings (a cheap roadside diner in the rain, a lonely stretch of mountain highway), the pop-archivist musical choices (Giorgio Moroder’sFlashdance soundtrack, Bobby Womack’s cover of “Fly Me to the Moon”), the frequent pauses to let you admire a graphic effect (an off-kilter close-up, a character framed by a window), and the teasing, discontinuous narrative (which gives you six stories for the price of your ticket).
Above all, note the ratio of laughter to mayhem, which remains high in Wild Tales despite the continually mounting pile of corpses. The body count is already incalculable by the end of the first story, which comes to a boomingly funny climax before Szifron even rolls the opening credits, with their spaghetti-western theme music.