All 9 Tarantino Movies, Ranked from Meh to Magnum Opus
It's time to put everything in its place.
We love every Tarantino project – he has no failures or outright bad movies. But this list has no mercy, and we hope Tarantino will understand: after all, he loves all kinds of ratings too.
9. Death Proof
One of Tarantino's most touching, intimate, and seemingly personal movies is part of his collaborative project with Robert Rodriguez, Grindhouse, a declaration of love to the films of the 70s.
As usual, Tarantino's movie was way ahead of its time, showing the world through the eyes of a brutal killer long before such an approach became mainstream. This does not change the fact that Death Proof is the most careless and light-hearted movie in the director's filmography, which Tarantino himself calls the weakest work of his career.
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tarantino's latest work is the most direct declaration of love to the old American cinema from the planet's biggest cinephile. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an unexpectedly melancholic and slow movie, in which Quentin, who has always kept his stories and characters in a tight rein with a carefully thought-out script, lets the characters breathe some fresh air.
And the viewer, instead of being entertained by non-linear puzzles and dynamic dialogues, is invited to let the movie sink in and feel nostalgic for the good old times. Which does not change the fact that when people talk about Tarantino 50 years from now, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be the last thing they remember.
7. Jackie Brown
Tarantino's most atypical movie, and therefore, the most underrated one. There is no exaggerated violence, no games with the narrative, and the script is not original: Jackie Brown is the only example in Quentin's career where he adapts someone else's novel.
This movie is not a favorite of many Tarantino fans, mainly due to its slower pace and different vibe, but it is a very important movie that divides Tarantino's filmography in two.
6. The Hateful Eight
Tarantino's second experience with chamber drama after Reservoir Dogs. The director skillfully places the action within the four walls of a snow-covered inn, where a motley group of characters gather. A real detective story is also here – with mysterious murders and strangers hiding somewhere underground.
There's no denying that the movie rewards our patience with a memorable climax, but the build-up to it unfolds at a very slow pace. For this reason, The Hateful Eight was an outlier in terms of rewatchability, and Tarantino's first effort, which never quite lived up to its running time.
5. Django Unchained
A special point for those who doubt the director's ability not only to play with style, but also to talk about the most important and difficult things, to make a movie that becomes a great event. Tarantino uses the Western style to film the story of slavery and the formation of freedom.
But at some point Tarantino turns Django into an overly complex cocktail, trying to either give answers to all questions on the subject, or quote the largest number of films at once, or make you laugh, or cry, and most likely – first, and second, and third, all at the same time.
4. Kill Bill
The Kill Bill duology, which is actually one movie divided into two parts, is Tarantino's love letter to all the weird, offbeat, and silly movies he watched while working in the video store. Ridiculously eclectic, Kill Bill moves effortlessly from gritty noir to samurai action, and from neo-western to anime.
To this day, Kill Bill feels as fresh and exciting as it ever did. And a bonus: one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history (the one with the Bride and Gogo, of course).
3. Inglourious Basterds
From the gripping opening scene, which masterfully sets the tone for the rest of the movie, everyone knew they were in for a treat. The movie was decades in the making, and Tarantino pulled out all the stops and kept the pedal to the metal until the credits rolled.
Terribly funny, shamelessly adrenaline-pumping, and doomed to become a cult movie, it is an unbelievable kaleidoscope of the most brilliant scenes and characters that never stops for a second in its unbridled fun. Inglourious Basterds is the best example of what happens when you push Tarantino's style to the max.
2. Pulp Fiction
Every director has a signature film, his calling card. For Coppola it's The Godfather, for Scorsese it's Taxi Driver, and for Tarantino it's Pulp Fiction. Heroin overdoses, diner robberies, sadomasochistic dungeons, dance competitions: Pulp Fiction is an explosive mix of pop-culture references, and dark comedy mixed in a chaotic cocktail of pure Americana.
Pulp Fiction made the director a classic at the age of 31. Now Tarantino is 60, and all fans of his cinema are anxiously awaiting his 10th film – after which the director, who changed our lives forever in 1994, will leave the cinema forever.
1. Reservoir Dogs
Eight men in suits walk into a bar and start talking about Madonna. Don't look for the punchline, because this is not a joke, but a scene that almost single-handedly changed American cinema.
Dark humor, a thoughtful script, a perfectly chosen soundtrack, ultra-violence, and a whole bunch of rare directorial techniques. Reservoir Dogs could have been any director's magnum opus, but for Tarantino, this made-on-a-dime movie was just the beginning of an incredible career.