Why anyone would boycott a film because of the director's political beliefs is beyond me. Because if everybody would do that then a lot of films would be in trouble. When it comes to artistic products or expressions you should try to judge the art on it's own. And just to be clear there is nothing political about The Hateful Eight. At least not openly and obvious.
So let's get to the film itself. It's good. Real good. Is it as clever as Tarantino's previous films? That is difficult to say since there are some really brilliant moments. But if we would be looking at the quantity of those moments and compare them then I would say no. However just because it might not be as clever doesn't mean it's average or bad. On the contrary. Apart from a few scenes dragging the film is quite strong overall. The Hateful Eight is pretty conventional for the most part but there is a reason for that. At least I think I know. It seems to me that the first hour and half is to set up the characters and the situation where anything could happen at any time. Of course this being a western only could mean one thing. How did most westerns end? I don't need to tell you. However Tarantino would not be Tarantino if he would give it his own spin. And for that it worked quite nicely. You really have no clue who to root for since even the supposed good guys are pretty rotten dirty bastards. More so than in his older films he relies on building up a tension where a funny dialogue might ruin it so the humour is toned down considerably. Don't worry though there are more than enough hilarious bits to keep any viewer satisfied. It's this tension and suspense to future events that kept me hooked. Naturally this would not work if the acting wasn't top notch. All the actors except Channing Tatum delivered. He simply is bad at acting who occasionally finds a role that suits him and makes him appear he is good like in Foxcatcher. I was real glad to see Kurt Russel again and I hope he keeps being in films since it's a joy to watch him in action. Real standout of course is Samuel L. Jackson. Isn't there a limit to what he can do? Here he shows the range he is capable off and it is impressive as hell. Without him this film just would not be good. Again he shows us how can improve films. When is he going to get rewarded for that with an Oscar. He sure deserves one.
The Hateful Eight in my opinion does have the tendency to drag in a few scenes although it never loses strength because of that. In fact it helps build up the tension which was one of the main reasons I was hooked from the start. I enjoyed this film throughout and I am very happy to report that Tarantino hasn't lost his touch. Just so you know doubters. Very much worth of your time!