Quentin Tarantino is one of the most renowned filmmakers in the world, with a near-flawless résumé consisting of unforgettable movies that leave an irreversible imprint – for better or for worse – on their audience. But to leave that lasting impression on his viewers, Tarantino has had to end his each of his movies with the perfect final scene. Whether it’s a swastika being carved in the villain’s forehead or two hitmen quietly leaving a diner in the midst of a robbery, Tarantino always seems to pick the ideal moment to end his films on. So, here are All Of Quentin Tarantino’s Final Scenes, Ranked.
9 Kill Bill: Volume 2
It’s great that we see the Bride and B.B. get a happy ending at the end of Kill Bill: Volume 2, but it’s also a disappointingly quiet way to end this two-part martial arts epic – especially since the titular killing of Bill was similarly quiet and similarly disappointing. Tarantino has said that due to his attachment to the Bride, he “killed [him]self to put her in a good place” at the end of the film. One wonders how this movie would’ve ended if he’d been a little more daring and not put her in a good place at the end. Instead, it felt like he was playing it safe.
8 Death Proof
Many Tarantino worshippers feel that Death Proof is his worst film. Even the director himself feels that way. But as a slasher film, it has a pretty memorable villain in Stuntman Mike, a stunt driver who uses his “death proof” car to kill vulnerable young women. The ending of Death Proof happens a little suddenly – and it doesn’t redeem the movie – but it gives us something that slasher audiences have wanted to see at the end of a slasher movie since the horror subgenre’s inception: the young women that the killer tried and failed to victimize beating the living crap out of him.
7 Inglourious Basterds
The ending of Inglourious Basterds is a shocking one, with the assassination attempt of Hitler turning out successfully and Hans Landa brokering a deal with Aldo Raine to emerge as the hero of the Allied powers in the history books. However, Aldo doesn’t like the idea of Landa getting off the hook for his crimes, so he kills his friend and etches a swastika into his head, like he did to all the S.S. officers left alive to send a message to the Fuhrer. It’s a gruesome, but fitting way to end the movie, with Raine’s meta final line clinching the whole thing: “I think this just might be my masterpiece.”
6 The Hateful Eight
As soon as all the outlaws are trapped in the same room together by a snowstorm in The Hateful Eight, there’s no way that they’re all making it out alive. But what audiences didn’t count on was that none of them were going to make it out alive. Warren and Mannix are the only two left breathing at the end of the movie, but they’re quickly bleeding out.
After they hang Daisy in a gruesome, operatic, climactic scene, Warren and Mannix end the movie on a delightfully quiet note as Warren reads out his forged Lincoln letter to Mannix, who chuckles at the Mary Todd mention at the end, finding it to be a nice touch.
5 Jackie Brown
Out of all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, Jackie Brown isn’t nearly as well-regarded or popular as it deserves to be. It’s not as heavy-handed or on-the-nose as Tarantino’s other work, and its central duo, Jackie and Max, develop a very real on-screen relationship. That’s what makes the final scene work so well. Jackie has outsmarted Ordell and she’s taking off to Madrid with his money until the heat cools off. She invites Max to come with her, but he turns her down. In the film’s closing moments, we see Jackie adjust to life without Max and Max regret his decisions – all conveyed with the power of Pam Grier and Robert Forster’s performances.
4 Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino’s darkly comic spaghetti western epic Django Unchained ends on kind of a quiet note. But at this point in the story, Django and his wife Broomhilda have earned themselves a quiet note. Right after slaughtering Calvin Candie’s friends and family upon their return from his funeral, Django frees his wife, sets the house on fire, and watches it burn from the back of his horse. The film gets a classic riding-into-the-sunset ending – a staple of the western genre – but with the added twist that it’s the dead of night and Django’s adventures as a bounty hunter are just beginning, not ending.
3 Kill Bill: Volume 1
When Quentin Tarantino was forced to cut his four-hour wuxia masterwork Kill Bill in half to release as two separate, easily consumable movies, he was presented with new storytelling opportunities. For one, he could end Volume 1 with a shocking cliffhanger to make audiences excited to see the story conclude with Volume 2. It’s fair to say that Tarantino managed to entice audiences for the second part with an earth-shattering revelation. We’ve spent the whole movie watching the Bride avenge her unborn child after being left for dead in a coma for four years. Then, it ends with Bill asking Sofie if the Bride knows her daughter is alive. Her daughter is alive!
2 Pulp Fiction
Due to its nonlinear narrative, the final scene of Pulp Fiction is not actually the end of the story. We see Vincent Vega avoiding a near-death experience in a diner robbery, but earlier in the film, we saw him getting murdered (chronologically, this was a few days later).
However, it is the perfect tonal note to end on, with Vincent and Jules leaving the diner in the middle of a heist and “Surf Rider” by the Lively Ones playing us out of this pulpy, urban, rock ‘n’ roll spaghetti western saga. The scenes of Pulp Fiction aren’t in chronological order; Tarantino structured the script more like an album, and this is the ideal closing track.
1 Reservoir Dogs
Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature ends with a breathtaking moment that leaves an incredible impact on the audience. The whole movie, we’ve been waiting for the police to show up, and for the undercover cop to be revealed. In the film’s final moments, everyone realizes it’s Mr. Orange, and Mr. White – who developed a close bond with him after he was shot – feels betrayed. He breaks down crying, holding his gun to Mr. Orange’s head, and then the police burst in. We close in on Mr. White, the bullets start flying, and he’s taken down. Cut to black. It’s the ending we dreaded and it’s exactly the ending we get.