Ranking of Quentin Tarantino Films from Worst to Best

Quentin Tarantino Films from Worst to Best

The films of Quentin Tarantino have left an indelible mark on cinema. Known for his unique style featuring nonlinear storytelling, graphic violence, dark humor, and rich pop culture references, Tarantino’s body of work has both influenced and divided audiences over the past three decades.

His career has spanned multiple genres from crime thrillers to revenge fantasies to revisionist history, always stamped with Tarantino’s signature flair. But which of his 10 films stands above the rest?

In this blog post, we are sharing and ranking Quentin Tarantino’s movies from worst to best. SO let’s start:

9. Death Proof (2007)

Death Proof (2007)

Death Proof is Tarantino’s homage to B-movie slasher and exploitation films, starring Kurt Russell as a stuntman who murders young women in staged car accidents using his “death proof” stunt car. While featuring Tarantino’s signature dialogue and some thrilling car chase scenes, Death Proof has been criticized as too talky and lacking the energy and originality of his other films.

The plot feels stretched out at nearly 2 hours, and the second group of female characters aren’t as compelling as the first. Overall, a fun but flawed and self-indulgent entry in Tarantino’s filmography.

8. The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight (2015)

Tarantino’s eighth film is a Agatha Christie-inspired whodunit, set in wintry Wyoming after the Civil War. Featuring his largest ensemble cast yet, The Hateful Eight takes place largely in a single claustrophobic location. The expert performances and ratcheting tension make it engaging for much of the runtime, building to an ultra-violent finale typical of Tarantino.

However, the confined setting results in a stagey, talky film that feels long at nearly 3 hours. The payoff doesn’t match the slow build-up. While displaying Tarantino’s talent for clever dialogue and plotting, The Hateful Eight finds him retreading familiar ground.

7. Jackie Brown (1997)

Jackie Brown (1997)

Tarantino’s third film is an homage to 1970s blaxploitation films, adapted from the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch. Pam Grier stars as the title character, a flight attendant caught smuggling money for an arms dealer (Samuel L. Jackson). Its meandering pace and lack of flashy action scenes underwhelmed some fans at the time, but Jackie Brown holds up as a mature, soulful film with rich characters and an authentic Elmore Leonard vibe.

The strong cast includes Robert Forster in an Oscar-nominated role. A subtler film for Tarantino, but an assured and touching one.

6. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

The first part of Tarantino’s stylish revenge saga is an action-packed thrill ride. Uma Thurman stars as an assassin who seeks vengeance on her former team (Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah) and their leader Bill after being betrayed and left for dead. Kill Bill Vol. 1 revels in fight scenes choreographed with balletic precision, spanning samurai swords, the Japanese anime that inspired it, Hong Kong action cinema, spaghetti westerns, and grindhouse B-movies.

The film overwhelms with its relentless and bloody stunt work along with Tarantino’s encyclopedic cinematic references. But Uma Thurman’s fierce performance gives it heart.

5. Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained (2012)

Tarantino’s slave revenge western fused spectacular action, dark humor, and biting social commentary. Jamie Foxx stars as a freed slave turned bounty hunter on a mission to rescue his wife from a cruel plantation owner, delivering a raw and emotional performance.

Christoph Waltz is unforgettable as his mentor, oozing erudite charm. Leo DiCaprio also chews scenery vigorously as a gleeful racist villain. From western vistas to fiery shootouts to plantation manor drama, the film tackles the cruelty and inhumanity of slavery with cathartic righteous violence. Django Unchained found Tarantino further maturing as a filmmaker, deftly melding entertainment and biting social critique.

4. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Tarantino’s World War II epic recasts history as a revenge fantasy, following a guerrilla squad (led by Brad Pitt) terrorizing Nazi soldiers behind enemy lines. Melanie Laurent also stars as a French Jewish cinema owner plotting to kill Hitler and other Nazi leaders at her theater’s film premiere. The taut script builds tension masterfully, interweaving multiple plots headed to intersect explosively.

Christoph Waltz’s sophisticated Nazi villain won him an Oscar. From the opening interrogation scene to the fiery finale, Inglourious Basterds highlights Tarantino’s ability to keep viewers riveted through lengthy dialogue scenes filled with simmering menace. Cathartic Nazi revenge mixed with Tarantino’s characteristic flair.

3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Tarantino’s ferocious debut assembles a perfect indie cast (Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen) as mobsters debating the ethics of their profession after a botched jewelry heist. For a low budget crime drama mostly set in a warehouse, Reservoir Dogs crackles with energy and wicked humor that would become Tarantino hallmarks.

The nonlinear structure builds intrigue, while the many long conversations manage to be both compelling and darkly funny. Shocking violence punctuates the tight script and small scale, including one of cinema’s most infamous torture scenes featuring “Stuck in the Middle with You.” A bold and bloody debut that instantly announced Tarantino as an exhilarating new directorial talent.

2. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Tarantino’s Palme D’or winning second film catapulted him to stardom and remains an endlessly quotable pop culture landmark. Interweaving multiple storylines of mobsters, boxers, gangsters’ wives, and hitmen, Pulp Fiction features Tarantino’s signature dialogue, an eclectic soundtrack, and gripping performances from stars like Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis.

From its opening diner robbery to adrenaline shot to the heart, Pulp Fiction set a new standard for indie cinema with its clever writing and interwoven narrative. Often copied but never equaled, Pulp Fiction completely reinvented Tarantino from a promising newcomer to a trailblazing auteur.

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Tarantino’s love letter to the golden age of Hollywood, set around the Manson family murders, is his sumptuous and melancholy masterpiece. Leonardo DiCaprio shines as a fading TV western star and Brad Pitt oozes charisma as his loyal stunt double. Margot Robbie movingly portrays Sharon Tate.

Brilliantly capturing the era’s music, fashion, and television, the film builds an elegiac tone as it heads toward the terror of the Manson murders, weaving fiction with reality for a touching “what if” ending. Critically praised for its nuanced performances, period detail, and emotional story, Once Upon a Time proves Tarantino is only getting better with age. At turns bittersweet, gripping, and darkly humorous, it ranks as Tarantino’s crowning cinematic achievement thus far.

Conclusion:

While Tarantino has never made a bad film, his career has shown a steady progression from scrappy indie auteur to consummate genre master. His recent work proves he is still reaching new creative heights, with his Hollywood valentine Once Upon a Time in Hollywood representing his most emotionally mature and meticulously crafted film to date. However, the DNA of his gritty early work remains embedded in even his most polished later films.

Whichever era of Tarantino they prefer, movie lovers will find much to appreciate across his bold, violent, darkly hilarious, and always stylish filmography. Tarantino has deservedly earned his place in the cinematic canon, leaving his influence on directors and audiences for decades to come. Check out here for more entertainment and pop culture top media lists.

FAQs:

What is Quentin Tarantino best known for?

Tarantino is best known for his unique directing style featuring nonlinear storytelling, stylized violence, pop culture references, and unconventional characters. His films often pay homage to grindhouse and exploitation films. He is one of the most influential directors of the 1990s and 2000s.

What was Quentin Tarantino’s first film?

Tarantino’s first film was Reservoir Dogs in 1992, an independent crime thriller about a botched jewelry heist and its aftermath. Made on a shoestring budget, it put Tarantino on the map for his kinetic direction and profane dialogue.

Which Quentin Tarantino film is considered his masterpiece?

Pulp Fiction, Tarantino’s 1994 follow up to Reservoir Dogs, is widely considered his masterpiece. The interconnected stories of mobsters, boxers, and hitmen features Tarantino’s signature stylized violence and dark humor. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and revitalized John Travolta’s career.

What is Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing film?

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, released in 2019, is Tarantino’s highest grossing film to date with a worldwide box office take of $374 million. It won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Production Design.

Why is Quentin Tarantino known for movie violence?

Tarantino’s films often feature graphic but stylized violence and action sequences. He sometimes draws criticism for excessive violence, but supporters argue he uses it for artistic purpose and cultural commentary. His violent style has influenced many later directors.

What common elements are in a Quentin Tarantino film?

Tarantino films often share elements like nonlinear timeline, sharp dialogue, pop culture references, dark humor, cathartic violence, unconventional characters, and homages to genre films like westerns, crime thrillers, and samurai movies. Distinctive soundtracks are also a Tarantino trademark.

Which actors frequently collaborate with Quentin Tarantino?

Tarantino has frequently collaborated with actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Zoe Bell, and Kurt Russell, developing a troupe of performers familiar with his distinctive style.

Is Quentin Tarantino planning to retire from filmmaking soon?

Tarantino has stated he plans to retire after directing 10 films. As of 2023, he has made 9 films which would make his next film potentially his last. However, he has wavered on this claim recently so his future films are uncertain.