Since his feature debut “Reservoir Dogs” came out in 1992, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time — if not always the most varied.
From “Pulp Fiction” to “Django Unchained,” his style is defined by a mix of shocking violence and humor.
Tarantino is currently at the beginning stages of a new project, said to be about the Manson Family murders.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence have been approached to star. Deadline also says Tarantino has approached “Suicide Squad” star Margot Robbie to take on the role of Sharon Tate, the star who was murdered by Manson’s followers.
Here is a ranking of all of Tarantino’s films, starting from the worst and going to the best. But hey, even the worst ones are still pretty great:
9. Death Proof (2007)
If you weren’t already convinced of Tarantino’s foot fetish, Death Proof sets the record straight. This grindhouse-inspired flick is 80 percent foot, 15 percent dialogue and five percent car chase – and if that doesn’t sound particularly appealing, it’s because Death Proof just isn’t that good of a film.
There are definitely a few elements of genius here, with strong female characters (more so in the latter half of the movie) and the mysterious Stuntman Mike, but it’s a genre mashup that’s all over the place.
Death Proof’s biggest sin is being unable to decide what type of movie it wants to be. Audience members are subjected to 20 minutes of a quirky comedy before the tone abruptly shifts to a bloody horror, only to shift back to the former when all the killing is over and done with. You only need to look at other, better mashups, like Jordan Peele’s Get Out, to see that success lies in blending genres together to the point where defining such a film becomes a task unto itself.
8. Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)
Kill Bill: Vol 1. was Tarantino’s attempt to do something different, cutting away the strings of dialogue that had made him famous and instead throwing everything he could at the project to see what would fit. Vol 1 does have some standout moments – The Bride’s fight against the Crazy 88 is a true feast for the senses, and our introduction to master swordsmith Hattori Hanzō features some of that great Tarantino comedy – it’s just a shame that they’re few and far between. Luckily for us, Tarantino found what he was looking for in the film’s sequel.
7. Jackie Brown”(1997)
Following on from the success of Pulp Fiction was never going to be easy, and yet it’s here that we’re presented with Tarantino’s most grounded film. Jackie Brown features an older cast, one that fans weren’t used to up until that point (but definitely would be by the time The Hateful Eight rolled around), and it changes the pace significantly. With the exception of Ordell Robbie, played so brilliantly by Samuel L. Jackson, the titular heroine and those around her use their wits, not violence, to stay one step ahead of the competition. “Jackie Brown” had the unfortunate timing of being Tarantino’s follow-up to “Pulp Fiction.”
No matter what he did next, it was bound to not live up to monumental expectations. When “Jackie Brown” first came out in 1997, people missed one of Tarantino’s smartest and most understated movies, if not his most thrilling.
6. Django Unchained (2012)
“Django Unchained” is Tarantino’s most polarizing work to date, and for good reason. It asks a lot of challenging questions about slavery and whether it gives the right answers is entirely up to the viewer.
“Django” is boosted by some strong work from Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson. Maybe the biggest thing running against it is that, at two hours and 45 minutes, it would have been much better if the filmmakers trimmed it down by about an hour.
5. The Hateful Eight (2015)
“The Hateful Eight” is the most Tarantino film ever made. It’s overstuffed with so much dialogue and self-indulgence that it could almost be a play. But man, if Tarantino doesn’t know how to do Tarantino well.
The film also veers toward a more traditional structure, but with a twist. Sure, maybe the first half is a bit weaker than the second. But even after the first half ended, I knew that one viewing of “The Hateful Eight” would not be enough.
4. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
It’s strange to think that at one point, Vol 1 and Vol 2 were part of the same film, only because the concluding segment to The Bride’s quest for revenge follows a far more Tarantino-eqsue pattern – silky smooth dialogue and calculated violence with just enough flair from the original film to make a satisfying sequel.
Unlike Vol 1, we spend far more time with the remainder of Bill and his assassins, which prevents them from being cannon fodder. Seeing how Bud’s life has gone to shit in the wake of his guilt is intriguing, just as how Bill’s twisted sense of justice came from a broken heart. Any antagonist becomes far more interesting when you get to know them, which only heightens the tension whenever the Bride pops round for a visit. One has to wonder how Vol 1 would have panned out if it followed a similar style.
Plus, contrasting with the first instalment, having a resolution to the story plays out greatly in Vol 2’s favour. Seeing The Bride break down with emotion upon finding out that her previously thought dead daughter is actually still alive is as satisfying as a character arc can be. It’s a well-deserved pay-off that socks you right in the gut.
3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
We have Reservoir Dogs to thank for giving us the easiest Halloween costumes known to man. And 26 years since its release, the movie still holds up.
Reservoir Dogs makes great use of its premise, bringing together several crooks – some likeable and some not so likeable – and having them play off each other in hilarious and violent ways, all to a banging 1970s soundtrack.
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Quentin Tarantino said the opening of “Inglourious Basterds” is one of his two favorite scenes he’s ever written. Re-watch it in its entirety, and you will understand why.
“Inglourious Basterds” is both a revenge fantasy and an antiwar tale. What really makes it pop, though, is the performance by Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa. The role is almost bigger than the movie itself. Luckily, he’s got a great movie to stand in front of.
Before Tarantino found his own take on the slave trade with Django Unchained, he sought to tackle another dark point in human history: Nazism and the Holocaust. Now, those are two topics that a lot of directors would probably shy away from, due to the fact that if handled incorrectly, could piss of a lot of people. Without losing any of his signature style, Tarantino manages to have his cake and eat it by doing two things: having Jewish protagonists and killing a boatload of Nazis.
You have to give credit to Christoph Waltz though who was given the uneasy task of portraying antagonist Hans Landa, also known as ‘The Jew Hunter’. Hans always remains a despicable presence onscreen but there’s something about Waltz’s portrayal that prevents you from ever taking your eyes off of him. Plus, the movie gets props in my book for having Eli Roth do something good for a change.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
This seems like the obvious choice, but that’s only because it’s the only logical choice. “Pulp Fiction” announced Tarantino as a genius, and it might just be the coolest film ever made.
Calling this No. 1 just feels like an instinct for me. Whenever this comes on TV, I sit down and watch it, no matter how censored it is, and recite every line along with it. There is a reason “Pulp Fiction” was and still is called revolutionary. It’s one of few movies that can sustain excitement with long conversations about foot massages. It hops through time organically. It kills off a main character and then brings them back like nothing ever happened. There is always something thrilling about watching “Pulp Fiction.”
Since “Pulp Fiction” first made waves in 1994, numerous filmmakers have tried to imitate the film’s unique style. Many tried, and most failed, for one reason alone: They aren’t Quentin Tarantino.
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