If there was ever one particular person who made me fall in love with film, that person would be Quentin Tarantino. His passion for film oozes through every single one of his movies. You can tell that this director isn’t just a creator of film, but a fan. Although I have known of Tarantino since I was a kid, I was never allowed to watch his extremely provocative movies, that was until my mum introduced me to one of her favourite movies, Reservoir Dogs. I had never seen such a stylish and cool movie in my life and from watching this, I knew I had to see more of his work. Since 14, Pulp Fiction has been one of my top 5 favourite films. From then on, I analysed all of his films and researched as much as I could. Ten years on, Tarantino remains my favourite movie director of all time.
This list will rank Quentin’s films in order from my least favourite to most favourite. However, it must be noted that in my opinion, the man has never made a bad movie in his life. As a side note, Natural Born Killers will not be in this ranking because his story got changed so much from what his original concept was. Equally, Four Rooms will not be included because he only directed and starred in a quarter of the film and it doesn’t really feel like a Tarantino movie, except for his segment. True Romance and From Dusk Till Dawn will be included though.
NUMBER 11: JACKIE BROWN (1997)
When you look at the cast and the plot of Jackie Brown, you would think it was the dream story for someone like Quentin Tarantino. The blaxploitation seventies style of the movie, a cast of some of the best actors of that time and times past, yet when watching this film, at least in my view; there always seemed to be something missing from this movie. I believe that the reason for this is that, this is the only movie in Tarantino’s catalogue, which was not his original story. The movie was an adaption of the 1992 novel Rum Punch. Tarantino did add his own style to the movie, the spectacular soundtrack and dialogue are still there, but this was his follow up to Pulp Fiction, so there was a disappointment in the audience compared to the prior movie. Jackie Brown is still a good film, but it just seems as though something is missing from it. SCORE 7/10.
NUMBER 10: DEATH PROOF (2007)
2007’s Grindhouse was, unfortunately, a financial failure when it was released as the double feature in the cinema. The double feature films, with hilarious fake trailers, were way ahead of their time with cinema-goers at that time not understanding what the point of the two films were. The first movie of Grindhouse was Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, an excellent satire on the gory grindhouse films of the late seventies and eighties. The second movie is my number ten, Death Proof. Death Proof proved to be an incredibly divisive movie, the reason for this is because Tarantino purposely made an old-fashioned horror exploitation movie to fit the grindhouse theme. With that said, the movie is incredibly enjoyable and has some spectacular car chases. Kurt Russel as Stuntman Mike also goes down as one of Tarantino’s best movie characters. If you are in the mood for a fun and thrilling film, Death Proof will fulfil that. SCORE 7.5/10.
Number 9: Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004)
Kill Bill Volume 1 is in my top five favourite movies of all time. Kill Bill Volume 2 was still a good film, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed when watching it. To me, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 need to be watched together for the second volume to truly be great. Whereas the first volume is a fantastic watch on its own, the second volume also has a completely different style to it, the first one feeling more like a Japanese action movie and the second feeling like a hybrid Japanese western. Again, I am not saying this is a bad movie, and when you watch it straight after the first movie it is excellent, but compared to the next eight films on this list, this is a good spot. SCORE 8.2/10.
Number 8: The Hateful Eight (2015)
Hateful Eight is most likely Tarantino’s best-looking film; there are countless shots which are just beautiful to look at. The film has a fantastic story which feels like an Agatha Christie movie but in a Western setting with a ton of blood. The tension which Tarantino has always been so good at is masterful in this film. The whole time you watch it, you’re wondering what’s going to happen, who’s going to die and if anyone is going to survive. I absolutely love this movie, but there are arguments that the first hour and a half of this three-hour movie is rather slow, but I think it’s perfect. The story slowly introduces you to the characters and builds so much tension until suddenly someone shoots that tension to pieces. On any other list, this film would be a lot higher, but when it comes to Tarantino’s filmography I believe this is the right spot. SCORE 8.5/10.
NUMBER 7: DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)
DJANGO! Still to this day, when I talk about this film, I need to shout that out. This movie has a special place in my heart because it was the first Tarantino movie that I had ever seen in the cinema. The action was explosive, the acting was incredible and again, the cinematography was perfect. The film at some points could be quite hard to watch, due to the matters it deals with and the time setting. However, it is suited for the time it was set in and also was very relevant for today’s audience. Django Unchained also helped make the western genre popular again, leading to The Hateful Eight and The Magnificent Seven remake also being very successful films. An excellent film in all ways, Django Unchained deserves the score I have given it. SCORE 8.8/10.
NUMBER 6: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996)
Some may think it’s crazy to have this film at number six, but this is easily one of his best. What also makes this film great is that Tarantino is one of the main cast members! From Dusk Till Dawn was not directed by Tarantino, instead, he co-wrote and starred in the movie, it was directed by Robert Rodriguez. The best way to watch this film is to not know anything about it and just watch it; so if you have not seen this film, skip to the next film on my list because there are upcoming SPOILERS. The film starts off like any other Rodriguez/Tarantino movie, a crime-action thriller about two brothers on the run from the police trying to make it to Mexico. On their way, they arrive at the Titty Twister bar (an hour into the movie), where they discover the place is run by vampires! The action and gore are insane, bodies explode, limbs get torn off and there are probably thousands and thousands of pints of blood spilt and exploding everywhere. The creative weapons at the end are also as hilarious as some of the kills. To me, it is as perfect an intentional B-Rate horror movie as the Evil Dead Trilogy, just amazing. SCORE 8.9/10.
NUMBER 5: TRUE ROMANCE (1993)
True Romance is another film not directed by Tarantino, but by Tony Scott. Saying this though, it feels like a Quentin Tarantino movie because it was written by him and has his style all over it. This film is my favourite romantic movie along with Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy. True Romance inspired me as soon as I saw it, I watched it several times in the same week, falling in love with it, even more, every time I saw it. To me and many others, Christian Slater’s character Clarence Worley is Quentin Tarantino if he existed in his own universe: a film geek who loves such things as The Streetfighter movie trilogy and someone who doesn’t fit into normal society. He falls in love with a prostitute and get’s stuck in an ever-increasing terrible situation. The romance between the couple has great chemistry and has fantastic performances and memorable scenes such as Gary Oldman’s pimp scene, Brad Pitt’s hilarious stoner character and of course the intense Sicilian origin scene between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. If you have not seen this film, I urge you to watch it. SCORE 9/10.
NUMBER 4: INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (2009)
What do you get when one of the most stylistic directors of all time does a World War 2 movie? Inglorious Basterds. This film is masterful, told in different perspectives that all eventually come together. The film tells two different stories: the first is about Shosanna, a Jewish woman who just barely escapes the Nazis after they kill her entire family and is about her struggles living in a Nazi-owned part of France. The second story centres on The Inglorious Basterds, a group of Nazi-hating soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), who completely own every scene they are in. The real star of the film is Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) who plays one of the best movie villains of all time, thanks to his many memorable scenes in this film. Lastly, the movie has two of the tensest scenes I have ever seen, the bar scene and the opening scene, both making you equally uncomfortable and excited for what will happen at the same time. The film shows off the best talents of Tarantino and definitely deserves the spot of number four. SCORE 9/10.
NUMBER 3: RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)
Reservoir Dogs was an amazing first film by Tarantino, which helped to kick off the big independent cinema boom in the early 1990’s, instantly making Tarantino a director to watch out for. He had made a short film before this called My Best Friend’s Birthday (1987), but Reservoir Dogs was his theatrical release and the film which made him a star. The style of the film had never been seen before and the way the story was told was very different. This non-linear storytelling would become Tarantino’s staple and it’s one of the only heist movies I can think of which doesn’t actually show the heist. The movie still stands up twenty-six years later, even though the Mexican standoff scene at the end’s movie mistake is hard to miss. The movie is still some people’s favourite Tarantino movie and if it wasn’t for this film, we wouldn’t have all his other fantastic films. SCORE: 9.2/10
NUMBER 2: KILL BILL VOLUME 1 (2003)
I always debate if I prefer this film or the movie I’ve put as number one on my list, but for the deepness and importance for that movie I’ve put Kill Bill Volume 1. I was never allowed to see this film until I was a teenager, seeing it made me instantly fall in love with it and then went straight away and watched the second one. The reason I prefer volume one though is for its style. I love Japanese culture, martial arts movies and as I stated in my Devilman: Crybaby review, I love the animes that I’m a fan of. In my opinion, The Bride is the best female hero in movie history. The Brides’ hunt for Bill is a gruesome one and this film has the outstanding fight scene at the end with The Crazy 88. The choreography of the fights is perfect, fully fluid and easy to see what is happening. The soundtrack to this film is, of course, fantastic (like every other Tarantino movie). I love this film with such a passion and although volume two, in my opinion, may not be as good, both films as a whole are a wonderful experience. SCORE 9.5/10.
NUMBER 1: PULP FICTION (1994)
It may be obvious, but of course, Pulp Fiction is number one, a masterpiece by Tarantino. The dialogue in this film was is natural and hilarious, improving everything that he had built with Reservoir Dogs. Each story segment just keeps you glued to the screen and the non-linear storytelling is the best it’s ever been. The movie kicked off Samuel L. Jackson’s career and revitalised John Travolta’s, making their characters some of the most recognisable movie characters in the industry.
When I first watched this movie in my mid-teens I felt like I had discovered “The Movie”, meaning the best movie I had ever seen and the perfect movie that was made for me. If it wasn’t for this movie, I would probably not have made this blog, or made my Youtube channel and probably wouldn’t have wanted to become a writer.
This film went on to influence cinema for years, especially two of my favourite English movies: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch. Without Pulp Fiction film, such films wouldn’t exist (as well as many other clones which got released in the mid to late 1990’s). This is what sets Pulp Fiction apart from all of Quentin Tarantino’s spectacular filmography and most other movies as well. SCORE 9.8/10.
In conclusion, Quentin Tarantino will always go down as my favourite director of all time because of all these films have had a significant influence on me and the world more generally. I am very excited for his new Charles Manson movie and I hope it is as good or even better than all these other movies, but also respectful to all those affected by Manson’s vicious cult crimes. Thank you for reading.