Quentin Tarantino is working on his tenth and possibly final film, The Movie Critic. We’ll take a look at his filmography and rank his feature films. We’re only considering his feature films, so we won’t be discussing the segments he directed for Sin City and Four Rooms. Tarantino hasn’t made a truly bad movie yet, just a couple that aren’t as good as his best efforts. Keep in mind that even Tarantino’s worst is usually better than any other filmmaker’s best. Don’t forget to comment at the bottom of the page and tell us how you would rank Tarantino’s films!
Death Proof (2007)
Death Proof isn’t as fun as Planet Terror, but it’s certainly the smartest homage to B movies ever made. The film looks like something one of the most talented (and cocky) filmmakers out there made with some friends over a series of weekends, albeit with one weekend funded by a major production company and a lightning-quick script. The story of stuntman Mike, who kills pretty, talkative girls with his death-proof car, is a bullet of a movie that, somehow, manages to revitalize Kurt Russell’s career and make us endure almost 40 minutes of dialogue before the blood, guts and fun begins. The film is polarizing by nature and is not on the level of “Fiction”, but it is a work that does not bear the traces of any studio, which makes the film still rarer and essential given the current climate of studies. The climactic chase to the death, fueled by revenge and sheer awesomeness, should satisfy even the most diligent skeptics.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Armed with Ruthless Humor and an intense story, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is as brutal in its take on race relations and human nature as it is in its depiction of violence and the Wild West. Combining the genres of western and mystery and adding a healthy dose of dark humor, the film is both an intense character study and an homage to glorious old-school 70mm cinema. The Hateful Eight is largely about race relations in the United States, and its post-Civil War setting allows for some very contemporary themes to be explored. This makes it Tarantino’s most nuanced and adult story to date. There are some elements that may be too familiar to Tarantino fans, as the filmmaker cannibalizes from his own work. Ultimately, those objections pale in comparison to the story as a whole.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
This is Tarantino’s self-styled homage to The Dirty Dozen, a script with many characters and a man on a mission. Inglourious Basterds is not so much a one-off experience as four short plays and a short film. It is by far Tarantino’s most theatrical work since Reservoir Dogs. Every section of the film is packed with top-notch performances and the kind of dialogue-as-suspense that Tarantino fans have come to appreciate. The problem, however, is that there is too much dialogue. Essentially, we are treated to long, drawn-out conversations that lead to 30-second bursts of action. Christoph Waltz’s effortlessly captivating, Oscar-winning performance as Colonel Hans Landa is one of Tarantino’s best. Lieutenant Aldo Raine, however, is a stranger case. At the end of the day, Inglourious Basterds is a series of well-crafted, if expertly (over)written, pieces that never come together into a coherent whole.
Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 follows The Bride (Uma Thurman) as she sets out to dispose of the last three members of her revenge list. Tarantino long promised that Vol. 2 would be more of the classic Tarantino style of witty dialogue, pop culture references and evil characters, with a little less action. Vol. 2 may be Tarantino’s most dialogue-heavy film to date. Once again, Thurman owns the film, showing a wide range of emotions. With Vol. 2, we delve into the story of The Bride, exploring motivations, reasons and explanations for the entire work to make sense, especially that of Beatrix Kiddo (aka The Bride), whose name is revealed with typical QT demented humor. Her fight with her fellow murderer Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah) in the Budd trailer is violently beautiful.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jackie Brown has been considered one of Tarantino’s strongest and most contained films. Pam Grier’s character crosses paths with Samuel L. Jackson’s arms dealer Ordell, Robert Forster’s friendly bail bondsman, and Michael Keaton’s ATF agent, all of them eager to get their hands on $500,000 in cash. The plot is dense but not overwhelming, and it’s a lot of fun to see Tarantino let actors like De Niro and Keaton play in his world.
Django Unchained (2012)
Tarantino does not shy away from the horrors of slavery in Django Unchained, although he offers a strange, wild and bloody spectacle for the audience in this strident homage to the Western genre. The film has been conceived as an entertainment for the public and, without a doubt, it fulfills its promise, offering abundant moments of unbridled violence and humor. However, one of the most surprising things about the story is how well Tarantino balances the tone, oscillating between absurdist comedy and brutal scenes of slave life in the Antebellum South. Horrors aside, Django Unchained is a lot of fun and you should definitely watch it.
Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019)
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, it is not only one of his best works, but also his second major alternative history project in the style of “What if…?” The film is just as appealing to audiences with its “course-correction” ending, but it has a more significant emotional undercurrent. The story of an aging actor and his loyal assistant and occasional double in the business, as they strangely cross paths with the Manson Family in 1969, is one of QT’s most captivating stories, winner of a Oscar. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, the film is a time capsule of magnificent performances, impressive needle drops and satisfying moments of raw intensity.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Being Tarantino’s shortest film to date, Reservoir Dogs is also his tightest. For every dig at pop culture, there’s an essential plot development or character build happening simultaneously, and overall the movie moves at such a fast pace that there’s barely time to fully digest what’s happening until the last shot has been fired. Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen…
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