Quentin Tarantino’s films are known for their memorable characters, colorful dialogue, and, of course, the violence. His films have garnered controversy in the past for the onscreen violence they depict, but that hasn’t stopped the auteur one bit. Whether it is realistic and brutal violence or cartoonish, over-the-top violence, Tarantino uses these moments to great effect.
As talented as he is at constructing dialogue-heavy scenes that are compelling, Tarantino is also a great action director. He has shown his love of fight sequences in several films, always adding his own twist. From bloody shootouts, to one-on-one fist fights, to giant battles, these are Tarantino’s best fight sequences.
10 Pulp Fiction - Butch Vs Marsellus
Pulp Fiction has a reputation as a very violent film, but there aren't too many sequences you would categorize as fights. The violence usually comes fast and unexpectedly. However, the random confrontation between Butch and Marsellus is a memorable one.
Butch is on the run after breaking a deal with Marsellus, but as he's stopped at a crosswalk, the crime boss just happens to be crossing the street. The hilarious coincidence leads to Butch running Marsellus over and Marsellus shooting at Butch until they ultimately come to blows inside a pawn shop. From there, things take a shocking twist.
9 The Hateful Eight - Sneak Attack
The Hateful Eight is Tarantino's second Western and a much smaller film than Django Unchained. The movie is set almost entirely within a small cabin as a group of untrustworthy and dangerous individuals are forced to wait out a storm.
After several of the characters are poisoned, tensions reach a high-point as Major Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) beings searching for the one responsible. As his amusing interrogation reaches its end, a man hiding in the basement of the cabin opens fire. The slow-motion shootout is completely unexpected and strangely humorous in Tarantino's classic fashion.
8 Kill Bill Vol. 1 - The Bride Vs O-Ren
Kill Bill Vol. 1 is certainly the most action-packed of Tarantino's films so far. His homage to the kung-fu films of old follows The Bride, a skilled assassin who sets out on a path of vengeance after she is betrayed by her former employer. The first name on her revenge list is O-Ren Ishii, a leader of a Japanese gang.
The two expert killers come face-to-face at the end of the first chapter. Their sword fight in the snow-covered garden is as tense as it is beautiful. Compared to the rest of the action scenes in the film, this fight is low-key, but the choreography and crazy end make it memorable.
7 Reservoir Dogs - The Standoff
Tarantino's first film was a fantastic debut that made him one of the most exciting new filmmakers around. The story of a group of thieves who deal with the aftermath of a heist gone wrong concludes with a tense standoff which would become a regular feature in Tarantino's films.
Like many of his scenes of violence, the action just explodes and is over relatively quickly. We do not linger in the moment, as the standoff quickly turns deadly in an iconic end to the movie.
6 Inglourious Basterds - The Tavern Shootout
Tarantino has a great talent for building tension, and none of his films better prove this then Inglourious Basterds. The insane World War II epic is packed with suspenseful sequences, like the famous tavern scene.
A group of spies is posing as a group of German soldiers while in a small tavern. The tension builds as they nearly discovered again and again. Just when it seems like they'll get away, the charade is found out and all hell breaks loose. The violence comes so fast and frantic that it's hard to understand what's happened until the smoke clears and a number of the main characters lie dead.
5 Kill Bill Vol. 2 - The Bride Vs Elle
Kill Bill Vol. 2 shifts away from the Hong Kong action feel of the first film and feels more like a modern Western. After escaping certain death yet again, The Bride tracks down one of her most ruthless enemies, Elle Driver, for their final confrontation.
The fast-past and chaotic sequence takes place inside a small mobile trailer, and Tarantino has a lot of fun with the inventive location. The two women tear the place apart in their mad attempt to end each other's life. It all leads to an ending that makes for the perfect darkly comedic Tarantino moment.
4 Django Unchained - The Mansion Shootout
Django Unchained is a violent epic that has one of the bloodiest third acts in all of Tarantino's films. Django and his partner Schultz are just about to free Django's wife once and for all. Of course, things don't go as planned and the moment suddenly escalates into a wild and bloody Western shootout.
The sequence is shocking for how things turn out and how main characters are unexpectedly killed off. But the ensuing battle is one of the craziest of Tarantino's career. He embraces the wildness of the genre with bullets and blood filling the screen.
3 Death Proof - The Revenge
Death Proof might be Tarantino's least popular film, but it is still a funny, thrilling, and scary ride. The movie is a throwback exploitation film about a crazy stunt man who kills women with his souped-up car. The second half of the film focuses on this killer stalking a group of girls, which leads to a high-speed chase.
However, what makes the movie so memorable is how the girls quickly turn the tables on their tormentor. The deranged killer soon becomes a crying baby as these vengeful women gleefully use him as their punching bag.
2 Kill Bill Vol. 1 - The Bride Vs Veronica
Kill Bill Vol. 1 was Tarantino's first stab at making a full-blown action movie. If there were any doubts he could pull it off, he squashes them in this early sequence. The Bride tracks down one of her would-be killers who is now living a quiet life as a suburban mother. That doesn't stop the two from having a brutal and rough faceoff.
The sequence is fast and fun as they destroy each other in this lovely family home. Combining choreographed martial arts with hardcore street fighting, the fight is an energetic way to kick-off the movie.
1 Kill Bill Vol. 1 - The Bride Vs Crazy 88
While Kill Bill Vol. 1 was certainly a violent movie up to this point, The Bride's faceoff with the Crazy 88 gang takes things to a whole new level. Dressed like the criminals in Reservoir Dogs and armed with badass swords, this army of killers prove no match for The Bride and her sword.
The long sequence is bloody, funny, thrilling, and extremely impressive. Uma Thurman looks like a genuine action star and Tarantino directs the madness of it all in a very effective way. It still remains one of the most entertaining sequences in any of his films.