Home Arts & Ent. Quentin Tarantino: Ranking All of His Films

Quentin Tarantino: Ranking All of His Films

Photo Courtesy of MUBI

He is indeed one of the greats. Quentin Tarantino has soared to the top of the list of most influential directors of the New Hollywood era. He continues to appear in the most acclaimed directors and screenwriters lists and he continues to invent his own brand of filmmaking. Tarantino has grown so much as film director over the course of the last thirty years, but he still manages to create a new and ingenious idea on the big screen every few years. However, as his career begins to wind down he approaches (what appears to be) his last film. Although we do not know what this new movie will entail, we can still commemorate and celebrate his remarkable career in films. And, I think that there is no other way to celebrate his past than to take on the arduous task of rewatching each and every second of his past ten films and ranking on the scale of entertainment, ingenuity, and overall enjoyment.

10. Death Proof

In the lowest position on the list there’s Tarantino’s 2007 exploitation slasher film named Death Proof. Although it does include the classic Quentin Taratino flair with violence, it is not as polished and carefully crafted as his other creations. The film utilized the leading role of Kurt Russell as a man named Stuntman Mike who is a professional body double for movies. And, while he is driving around in his eccentric looking car, he comes across unsuspected women and takes them for deadly drives in so called “Death Proof” car. However, as the story goes on Mike begins to seem a little in over his head on the job. Overall, the film does not hold up to the other Tarantino films and has a very uninteresting and borderline tiresome plotline that builds up to only two key climactic scenes.

9. The Hateful Eight

The Quentin Tarantino movie located in the ninth slot is The Hateful Eight. The film also marked the first three-hour movie that Quentin had released. However, the key reason for the extended runtime is due to the extra-long story exposition. The first hour of the movie stands as a very slow-moving, dialogue-filled piece of the film. However, the plotline of the film is quite enticing and one of the most creative ideas that Tarantino has come up with. The main idea of the film surrounds eight business travelers of complete opposing pasts being snowed into a cabin during a blizzard in the snowy Rockies of Wyoming. Moreover, all of the people are trying to get to this town in the mountains known as Red Rock. As the travelers get to know each other they each learn that they all possess dark pasts and they all cannot be trusted. However, as the snow clears and the cabin reaks of fear, the audience learns that reaching Red Rock may be an inevitable destination as travelers begin to commit crimes of their own. The film contains a star-studded cast and a fantastic plotline, however, the film just missed the mark in terms of delivery. Furthermore, the movie itself lacked certain points and plot twists to truly keep the audience engrossed.

8. Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs marked the first independent film that Tarantino directed and wrote in 1992. The movie is considered by many film critics to be Quentin’s best, however, I believe it to be at the bottom of the pack in terms of his films altogether. Reservoir Dogs follows a trend of crime films that seemed very prevalent in the past which made the film a tad more mainstream. Although Tarantino’s movie contains a great cast once again, he misuses certain scenes for extended dialogue and explanation that can cause the audience to get uninterested and bored as the story develops and plot thicken. Furthermore, the story itself follows six criminals with pseudonyms and none of them truly know each other, but they are working together for one robbery job so they all can mysteriously make off with the money. The plot in hindsight after watching the film does sound great, but the scenes in the warehouse can be incredibly slow and can feel very stale and static.

7. Kill Bill: Volume 1

The first Kill Bill is a roller coaster of a Tarantino film. It contains lead actress Uma Thurman as she tries to get revenge on her former lover who attacked her wedding and killed everyone attending except her. At first glance the film can seem a bit unintriguing as it’s just another revenge film, however, I believe this movie stands as one of the best-paced Quentin Tarantino films. It maintains a fantastic tribute to the Japanese samurai cinema as Thurman goes under the name “The Bride” as her travels of revenge take to Japan as she battles members of the yakuza. The movie also contains various homages to anime sequences that are pictured throughout the film. Kill Bill, as a whole, is just a brilliant idea that Tarantino conceived, but the one key flaw that I believe the movie lacked was classic Tarantino setpieces such as extended dialogue and more nonlinear storylines. Due to these missing pieces, the film did not feel like a Quentin Tarantino movie and it felt more like a basic action film.

6. Kill Bill: Volume 2

I am sure this may come as a shock to most people that a sequel is better than original but you heard it here first; I think Kill Bill: Volume 2 is superior to Kill Bill: Volume 1. The key reason I see this is because Volume 2 feels much more like a cold-blooded Tarantino film. I feel like the movie followed a much Quentin Tarantino plotline. Furthermore, “The Bride” acts as a much different character in the sequel. This is because the story is a homage to more Kung Fu and Karate based films. If you notice in the film, every time a sword is picked up it is always taken out and not used in battle. Kill Bill: Volume 2 also uses a lot of creativity within the story and it makes for a much better viewing experience. The sequel is also superior for the fact that it has much less unneeded action and more tense standoffs which always gives the viewer a thirst for more action.

5. Jackie Brown

Quentin Tarantino does stand in Hollywood as incredibly important and influential, but Jackie Brown is one film that he does not get enough credit for. The story is one of the most creative and twisted in any Tarantino film. The characters are also very unique and show a very strange ingenuity for how they are cast. Quentin also can make a simple story so dynamic and fantastic to watch. Furthermore, Jackie Brown’s plotline is about a woman (named Jackie Brown) who is caught stealing money for her arms dealer boss. As she is caught by the police she agrees to assist in capturing her arms dealer and bringing him justice. In order to carry this job, she enlists the help of a bail bondsman named Max Cherry who is in love with Jackie. As the story progresses you see just how far crime can go when it becomes an all-out, multi-layered witch hunt. This storyline also stands as one of the most fascinating and entertaining crime films there is and without a doubt, it deserves much more credit because it is a fantastic Quentin Tarantino movie.

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In the fourth place position is Quentin Tarantino’s most recent creation of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film is so incredibly creative and it marks the second time Tarantino has changed the course of history within his films. The plotline of the film features struggling A-list actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth as they navigate the old-timey lifestyle of 1969 Hollywood. Other people featured include the late actress Sharon Tate as she lives and surrounds herself with festivities and excitement that was the Old Hollywood era. The film also presents an amazing cast of the likes of  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. These actors and actresses do a great job of portraying what life in the limelight was like in the 60s, however, Tarantino in such a macabre way features the threat of the Manson family the celebrities’ families. Although the vibe is quite sinister, it is a Tarantino film after all that is genius and allows induces that little bit of comedic flair.

3. Inglourious Basterds

Inglorious Basterds is the film that starts the separated category of truly special movies, and this war drama movie is a brilliant way to start. Quentin Tarantino makes a product of his genius screenwriting skill. Even he said himself that the first scene of the movie is one of the greatest things he’s written. Tarantino makes the characters and protagonists seem likable and comedic to the audience. Furthermore, the story takes place during World War II as you follow a Nazi hunter named Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his group called the Basterds, together he and the group launch attacks against the Nazis with the end hope of finally getting to eliminate Hitler. On the other hand, there is the storyline of Shosanna Dreyfus a Jewish woman in disguise who lives in France and owns a theater. However, when the theater becomes the destination of a large scale Nazi movie premiere how will the Jewish woman undercover during the pressures of wartime battle. Inglourious Basterds as a whole is so brilliant and so well-made that it explains how strong of a foundation for a story Quentin Tarantino can create.

2. Django Unchained

Coming in at the second slot is Quentin Tarantino’s fantastic revisionist spaghetti western film Django Unchained. For those of you film fanatics that are new to the genre of spaghetti western, this is a broad subgenre of the western movie genre that contains raw, low budget violence, very similar to a slasher film, but with a western setting. Django Unchained also stands as a movie with a major blaxploitation principal within it. This means that the film is based on an African American protagonists fighting against prejudice and discrimination, but at the same time looks very high-toned when he does everything. In addition, the story follows Django Freeman as he is freed by bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz from bondage under two harsh slave owners. Schultz’s goal in doing this is to try and use Django to track down three evil plantation owners. Their travels end up leading them to the estate of Calvin Candie a harsh and sadistic man in charge of a cotton plantation known as Candyland in which one of his slaves is Django’s wife. The story is truly a wild ride of twists and turns that are so unexpected. However, the casting of Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz was brilliant as his acting is so perfect and well-done for the role that even earned an Academy Award for his wonderful. But, the most overlooked character or actor presented during the film is Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie, he so smart and so great at channeling his inner and angry and craze that he fits the part like a glove. Overall, this is so special and so well-written and acted that it will forever be, in my eyes, one of the best Quentin Tarantino films.

1. Pulp Fiction

We have finally reached the top of the mountain or the high-point of this journey into Quentin Tarantino’s past and at number one we have Pulp Fiction. It probably would not come as a major shock to most moviegoers because if you’ve ever seen a Tarantino film it is most likely this one. Pulp Fiction is, in my opinion, the structure and the build of a truly perfect film. There will never be roaring rivers and streams of originality and creativity that will match up to the likes of a film such as Pulp Fiction. This movie also finds the perfect balance between nonlinear storylines and action-packed climaxes. No one will figure how Tarantino managed to work in certain ideas and techniques that go far beyond his years into only his second independent film back in 1994. He created a story full of positivity, comedy, and drama. Pulp Fiction is truly the full package of everything you need a great movie. Furthermore, when you delve further into this magnificent creation you see that the story follows two hitmen of Hollywood gangster Marsellus Wallace. The story sees them as they go about their job and everyday life murdering, hunting, and sabotaging people that have dishonored the name of Marsellus Wallace. However, various plotlines begin to coincide as the hitmen are forced to settle various conflicts at a time that concern many different individuals. Overall, the story is so ingenious and will definitely be known as the truly masterful work of Quentin Tarantino. Also, the story truly came alive due to the brilliance of actors John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis. They all show their skills on the big screen and prove that Pulp Fiction is a special experience that all film-lovers will surely enjoy. Through the years Quentin Tarantino’s screenplays and his directing skills have become a true beacon of innovation and inspiration and Pulp Fiction is the greatest testament to this fact.