Quentin Tarantino made a little news recently when he indicated that he’s likely to direct perhaps one more feature film. Whether this holds true or not – we shall see.
For loyal readers of this here blog, you may have picked up that Q.T. is my personal favorite director working today. It got me thinking – how would I list the ten pictures that this mad genius has directed?
Well, I went ahead and did it and it is sure wasn’t easy, but here goes…
10. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Last year’s Western – with a dash of Agatha Christie murder mystery thrown in – is the first and only Q.T. pic that I didn’t award four stars (it got three and a half). As I put it then – even Tarantino’s “worst” is better than most director’s “best”. That holds true here and it’s pretty darn solid.
9. Death Proof (2007)
One half of the double feature Grindhouse (the other is Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror), Death Proof is a gloriously fun homage to 1970s car racing features with a terrific twisted turn by Kurt Russell. One of the few Tarantino projects that flopped. It didn’t deserve to and is a must-see.
8. Django Unchained (2012)
It’s his highest grossing movie to date. Django is the controversial revenge flick set during slavery times that earned Christoph Waltz his second Oscar for a Q.T. entry and gave Leo DiCaprio a sinister role, showcasing a side of his we had yet to witness.
7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
A melancholy fairy tale that actually serves as his least violent pictures (in terms of screen time), Hollywood could be criticized for being slow or self indulgent. Yet indulging in this revisionist late 1960s tale is a treat and spending time with the characters headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is gloriously well spent.
6. Jackie Brown (1997)
The pressure to follow-up Pulp Fiction was immense, but Quentin came through with this crime tale based off an Elmore Leonard novel. Not as ambitious as what came before, but it’s a dynamite genre piece with an amazing cast led by Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson in perhaps his career best performance.
5. Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Fanatics are divided as to their preference between part 1 and 2. Volume 2 rates just a bit lower for me yet it’s remarkable nonetheless.
4. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The one that started it all. A heist picture like we had never seen – Dogs educated us quickly as to what the Q.T. experience would be. Lots of pop culture references, first-rate acting, and bursts of violence. The opening credits sequence is one of the most memorable in cinematic history.
3. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
The first edition of Bill truly has an aura of a filmmaker feeling completely free to do whatever the hell he wants. Mixing martial arts, blaxploitation, anime, Western themes, De Palma homages, and more – it’s a dizzying and exhilarating ride.
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Q.T. is surely the only man with the cojones to change the ending of World War II and he does so in this brilliant and often hilarious tale with an Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz performance that is arguably the best performance in any Tarantino work.
- Pulp Fiction (1994)
The pinnacle. Containing every element of what makes Quentin the force he is, Pulp Fiction is not only my favorite work of his – it ranks behind only the first two Godfather films as my all-time best picture.
Let’s hear your order, blog friends!
P.S. – This post is likely to lead to another list in the near future: “The 25 Greatest Quentin Tarantino Movie Scenes”… stay tuned…