There is arguably no one who can script and frame dialogue quite like Quentin Tarantino. His writing and directing style is recognizable within the opening minutes of any of his films. Over-the-top, brutally violent action sequences, fantastic casts, and intensely gripping dialogue are just a few of the staples from this great writer/director.
Over the past few decades, fans of the filmmaker have been treated to violent, witty, and unique homages and period pieces. From Reservoir Dogs to his most recent entry, The Hateful Eight, we are counting down the best films, either written or directed (or both) by Quentin Tarantino.
Here is the list for All of Quentin Tarantino’s Movies, Ranked.
12. Four Rooms
Four Rooms is a tribute, paying homage to the classic anthologies of the 1930’s in the early sound era of young Hollywood, with each segment of the film having its own corresponding director. Aside from Quentin Tarantino, the film features segments from Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell and Robert Rodriguez.
Not only did Tarantino direct the segment, “Penthouse – ‘The Man from Hollywood,'” but he also starred in it. Even though Quentin Tarantino is only responsible for roughly one fourth of this movie, it should be noted that it did not fare very well, either critically or commercially. In fact, most critics do not even recognize “Penthouse” as the best segment inside this anthology – that honor goes to “Room 309 – ‘The Misbehavers,'” which was written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film was so poorly received in fact, that Madonna took home the Golden Raspberry Award that year for Worst Supporting Actress.
11. Death Proof
The next film on the list is yet another collaboration with writer/director Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino and Rodriguez teamed up, yet again, in an attempt to bring a bit of classic cinema back to into the limelight of modern Hollywood. Together, they wrote, directed, and produced the double feature, Grindhouse, which contained the films Planet Terror and Death Proof – the latter being written and directed by Tarantino.
Out of all of the written and directed Quentin Tarantino films, Death Proof is widely regarded as the worst among the bunch, and this list is not here to try and convince you otherwise. In fact, Tarantino himself was quoted in saying that it was the worst film he has ever, or probably will ever make.
10. From Dusk Till Dawn
From Dusk Till Dawn is yet another collaboration with, you guessed it, Robert Rodriguez. This time, however, Quentin Tarantino stars alongside George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, and Juliette Lewis in accompaniment to his screenwriting credit for this film.
Despite an underwhelming box office performance, From Dusk Till Dawn has gone on to achieve success as a cult film. As for Tarantino’s big role in this film as Richard Gecko, let’s just say that critics did not take too kindly to his acting abilities. In fact, Tarantino was nominated that year for Worst Supporting Actor at both the Razzie Awards.
9. True Romance
True Romance is another film not directed, but written by Tarantino. While Quentin Tarantino contributed the screenplay for this film, the late Tony Scott (Top Gun, Man on Fire) directed.
True Romance is truly one of Tarantino’s finer screenplays. The writing was praised by many critics as a great followup to his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs. Despite meeting overwhelmingly positive critical reviews, the film was considered a box office failure that ended up losing money for the studio. Even still, True Romance retains a strong cult following.
8. Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers is a movie based off of a screenplay that Tarantino wrote about a married couple that takes America by storm with a most violent killing spree. While his original screenplay was never used, and the end result is a much different version of the story, Quentin Tarantino still ended up with a “story” credit for the film.
Natural Born Killers was directed by Oliver Stone (Plantoon, Born on the Fourth of July), and features a loaded cast that includes: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Tommy Lee Jones, and Robert Downey Jr. While the film was met with mixed reviews by critics, it retains a cult following and has had massive cultural impact. In fact, Natural Born Killers has been ranked among the most controversial films of all time.
7. Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs is Quentin Tarantino’s feature-length directorial debut, and within this film, one would really find almost everything that the writer/director is known for today: fantastic casting, humorous, witty and compelling dialogue, and of course, a lot of violence. In just under 100 minutes, Reservoir Dogs encapsulates the look, feel, and sound of all the Tarantino written and directed movies that would come after.
Reservoir Dogs is not only the first full-length Quentin Tarantino film, but it is one of his most (critically) successful entries and is widely regarded, both now and at the time of its inception, to be among one of the best films ever made.
6. Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown is one of Tarantino’s more underrated films, but it still has a deserving seat at the table when discussing the best films from the illustrious career of this celebrated filmmaker. This third directorial effort is also his first screenplay adaptation – the source material being the 1992 novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard.
Jackie Brown resurrected the career of both Pam Grier and Robert Forrester – the latter being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film. From a critical standpoint, Jackie Brown was a massive hit. If Quentin Tarantino had not established himself as one of the great up and coming directors before this film, he certainly had after its release.
5. The Hateful Eight
The eighth and most recent instalment into Quentin Tarantino’s filmography is of course, The Hateful Eight. Shot and released in 70mm on Christmas weekend, The Hateful Eight was quite the spectacle. The film, especially in its roadshow version, has a theatrical flair – as it features an overture, playbill, and a short intermission.
This latest entry into the Tarantino legacy falls in line fairly well with his two previous titles, Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds, which were both commercial and critical successes. Fans of Tarantino’s lengthy yet compelling monologues and dialogue, over-the-top violence, and unique brand of storytelling should feel right at home with this masterfully crafted film.
4. Kill Bill
Kill Bill is Quentin Tarantino’s two-part, girl-power martial arts film. Originally, Tarantino had planned on releasing Kill Bill as one film, but with the two parts equalling a run time of over four hours, the movie was deemed too long and instead separated into Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2, which were released within a year of each other.
Kill Bill is a tribute to the Hong Kong kung-fu and Japanese samurai films that came before it, and it also stands on its own as a satisfying revenge story. Tarantino portrays both the empowerment of women and the responsibilities of motherhood almost simultaneously within one of his best written characters, “The Bride.” Not to mention, Bill’s (the late David Carradine) monologue about the difference between Superman and Clark Kent might just be the few best paragraphs that Tarantino has ever penned.
3. Django Unchained
The story of Django is as much a commentary on slavery as it is a revenge western. Either way, Django Unchained is not only one of Tarantino’s best written and directed efforts, it was also considered one of the best films of that year by many critics. Telling the story of a slave in the American south, Django (Jamie Foxx), who is freed from his bonds so that he may hunt down the man (Leonardo DiCaprio) who enslaved his wife.
Django Unchained was not only a major critical success for Tarantino, but it also became his highest grossing film to date. The film was so well received in fact, that it was nominated for five Academy Awards. Both Tarantino and Christopher Waltz walked away with Oscar wins for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor in a Supporting Role respectively.
2. Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds is considered by many to be Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. Tarantino had a script written for his fictional World War II film since the late ’90s, which he continued to work on for years, but it was not until 2009 that the film was finished and made available to the general public.
From a box office standpoint, Inglourious Basterds was Tarantino’s highest grossing movie at the time, and the critical reception mirrored that success. The film was nominated for eight Oscars by the Academy and Christoph Waltz took home the win for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Inglourious Basterds is a film that is so funny at times, so intense in moments, and so interesting throughout that it can be easy to forget that it’s mostly subtitled.
While Christoph Waltz hands in a career-best performance, other amazing actors step up to the plate in a big way in this film. With so many glowing things to say about this movie, and so few aspects lacking, it is easy to see why many film fans claim Inglourious Basterds to be their favorite title from this celebrated filmmaker.
1. Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 classic Pulp Fiction is not only the best film this writer/filmmaker has ever made, it is arguably one of the best films anyone has ever made. Off the wall dialogue, pop culture references, cool slang, ironic humor, nonlinear story telling, and truly compelling characters are just a few of the aspects that any viewer can look forward to in this endlessly watchable crime film.
One would be hard pressed to find a “Best Movies of All Time” list that did not include Pulp Fiction, and for good reason. Now known for reviving many acting careers, Quentin Tarantino started this trend in Pulp Fiction with the casting of John Travolta. This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and it also notched Tarantino’s first win in the Best Original Screenplay category.
Almost every scene in this film is memorable and quotable, but perhaps what stands out most about this film is how cool it is – even today. It is hard to walk away from this movie not wanting to grab a Big Kahuna Burger and dance like Vincent Vega.
Do you agree with this list, and if not, what are some of your favorite Quentin Tarantino films? Let us know in the comments below.