No matter a person’s background or appreciation in cinema, one cannot deny the luminosity and innovative qualities Quentin Tarantino presented throughout his career. Primarily known for his distinctive dialogue and use of violence, Tarantino has made some of the most iconic films of all time. Counting Kill Bill as one film (as Tarantino does), below is my ranking of Tarantino’s films from worst to best.
9. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Logline – A bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters in the dead of a Wyoming winter.
What started as a promising western filled with an A-plus cast ended up being a tedious and pointlessly violent film with nothing to say. I left the theater extremely disappointed in this film and haven’t made it through a second viewing since.
8. Death Proof (2007)
Logline – Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his “death proof” cars to execute his murderous plans.
Though Death Proof has some of the best car chasing action scenes in film history, its over-the-top plot doesn’t have much to offer other than entertainment.
7. Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood (2019)
Logline – A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood demands patience from the audience, and although it pays off in the end, it takes time…a lot of time.
6. Django Unchained (2012)
Logline – With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner in Mississippi.
Django Unchained is a solid film that doesn’t have anything surprising or groundbreaking other than a good plot, great acting, and a strong finale. Its run-time is its biggest hindrance, but the film is strong enough to carry the extensive load.
5. Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 (2003 and 2004)
Logline – After awakening from a four-year coma, a former assassin wreaks vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her.
Although you can technically rank the two separately, Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 are equally good films, with Vol 2 having the slight edge. Excellent fight scenes and an homage to martial arts film in general, what more could you want?
4. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Logline – In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.
Arguably his best film since the 1990s, Inglourious Basterds takes an absurd story but fills it with intriguing characters and excessive yet gleaming violence. Though its historical fiction may annoy some history nerds, it remains one of Tarantino’s best.
3. Jackie Brown (1997)
Logline – A flight attendant with a criminal past gets nabbed by the FBI for smuggling. Under pressure to become an informant against the drug dealer she works for, she must find a way to secure her future without getting killed.
Practically every Tarantino fanatic has Jackie Brown placed in the high-end of the list, and rightfully so. Led with an immaculate performance by Pam Grier, it’s hard not to admire the brilliance of Jackie Brown.
2. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Logline – The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
It’s a shame Pulp Fiction has turned into a red flag meme because it truly is one of the most pioneering films of the 1990s. It manages to be wholly entertaining and unexpected throughout its 154-minute run-time, a feat in and of itself.
1. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Logline – When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
It’s not typical for iconic filmmakers for their first film to be their best, but that’s the case with Tarantino, in my opinion. Reservoir Dogs is a flawless film, from its dialogue to ambiguity to its willingness to take risks and not spoon-feed the audience. It’s everything I love in film wrapped into a quick 99-minute flick.