From the moment that Quentin Tarantino impressed judges at the Sundance Film Institute and enjoyed his breakout with Reservoir Dogs, many film fans considered him one of the freshest voices in movie history.
As a former video store employee, Tarantino had an intense love of movies. It has shown throughout his works, as he has paid tribute to classical film masterpieces in his work while maintaining a unique and distinctively original voice in all his films.
There isn’t anyone like Quentin Tarantino in movies today, and there might never be another filmmaker that comes close to his brilliance.
Before starting this list, Quentin Tarantino also worked as a writer and co-director of several movies that are not considered his own.
Those movies are as follows, ranked in order of greatness, but it is separate from the list of actual Quantin Tarantino productions.
- True Romance (writer)
- Natural Born Killers (story by)
- From Dusk Till Dawn (writer)
- Sin City (special guest director)
- Four Rooms (directed one episode of the film)
With that out of the way, here are Quentin Tarantino’s movies, ranked from worst to first.
10. Death Proof (2017)
In 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up to release a full-length grindhouse movie. Each director made their own film, separated by a series of fake grindhouse trailers (one of which later became the movie Machete).
For Tarantino, he made the movie Death Proof.
Death Proof starred Kurt Russell as a serial killer who used his car, which he nicknamed Death Proof. This name is because it can kill anyone and everyone involved in an accident – except for the driver.
The targets in this movie include Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tracie Thoms, and real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell.
Death Proof was less of a grindhouse movie and more of a real film with small moments of missing sections to add to the grindhouse effect. It wasn’t as fun as Planet Terror, which is likely what makes it Tarantino’s least memorable release.
9. The Hateful Eight (2015)
In 2015, Quentin Tarantino released his western movie, The Hateful Eight.
The movie stars frequent Tarantino collaborators Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Roth, and Michael Madsen. They were joined by names like Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, and Bruce Dern.
They are eight strangers who meet in a stagecoach stopover during a blizzard, all with something to hide. As with all Tarantino movies, the violence is harsh, and the dialogue is crisp, but this is one Tarantino movie that feels its length.
8. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Kill Bill: Volume 1 starts off the Kill Bill story, and it has so many fantastic action movie moments that are 100-percent Quentin Tarantino.
The story is a revenge tale, with Uma Thurman playing The Bride, who is a victim of an attack on her wedding day where the man she used to kill for orders her death since no one leaves him.
However, while her husband and friends all die, The Bride survived and sought revenge.
The most amazing moment in the entire film took place at the House of Blue Leaves, where The Bride battles O-Ren (Lucy Liu) and her ninjas in the Crazy 88. That scene alone is possibly the best fight scene in any Quentin Tarantino movie.
7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
The newest Quentin Tarantino movie hit in 2019 with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
This film is very similar to Inglourious Basterds, in that it takes a real-life event and fictionalizes it, changing several moments for an alternate history.
The real-life event was the Charlie Manson Family murders of Sharon Tate, with the story told from the point-of-view of a popular actor in Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and stunt man Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).
The cast is fantastic, with Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Bruce Dern as George Spahn, and Damon Herriman as Charles Manson.
The movie is classical Tarantino with the dialogue, but the action and violence are saved almost exclusively for the climax.
6. Django Unchained (2012)
In 2012, Quentin Tarantino released a spaghetti western movie, Django Unchained.
The film stars Christoph Waltz as a bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz, who sets out to buy slave Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx) because he has information that can help him track and find three outlaws.
He agrees to help Schultz if the bounty hunter helps reunite him with the wife he was separated from, Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington), who works for plantation owner Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Django Unchained was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, winning for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Waltz).
5. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs was Quentin Tarantino’s first movie. Tarantino has said that this was his way to make a heist crime drama movie in the style of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing.
However, Tarantino proved to be one of the top names in the ’90s independent cinema, along with directors like Kevin Smith, Jim Jarmusch, Steven Soderbergh, and Richard Linklater. They were more interested in dialogue and storytelling than anything.
The film takes place following a robbery, where the thieves are on the run from the police and realize that one of them is a mole.
For a first time filmmaker, the cast is incredible with Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen.
4. Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Kill Bill: Volume 2 finishes up the story of The Bride.
This movie brings The Bride directly into conflict with the man who ordered her death, Bill (David Carradine).
The best fight took place in Kill Bill: Volume 1, with Thurman fighting Liu and her gang. However, the story was better in Volume 2, where she set out to get her ultimate revenge.
This movie has more of The Bride’s journey as she fights Michael Madsen’s Budd and Daryl Hannah’s Elle Driver before she finally makes her way to Bill for the ultimate confrontation.
Added points for this movie go to Tarantino, giving Sonny Chiba a role as a long-retired wordsmith.
3. Jackie Brown (1997)
The most underrated movie of Quentin Tarantino’s career is Jackie Brown, released in 1997. This thriller film faced the problem of following Pulp Fiction and didn’t quite live up to that level.
The movie is created in a similar way as Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon but in the genre of the ’70s blaxploitation films.
Tarantino brought back two stars from the ’70s that Hollywood had forgotten with Pam Grier (the former Foxy Brown) and Robert Forster.
Based on the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch, Grier is Jackie Brown, a flight attendant who is caught smuggling money into the country for a gun runner named Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson).
A bail bondsman named Max Cherry (Forster) bonds her out, and then she agrees to help ATF agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton playing the same character he played in Out of Sight) bring down Ordell.
There were twists and turns, and the movie is told from everyone’s different point-of-view, letting viewers see how it played out from differing angles.
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inglourious Basterds was a movie that shocked fans in 2009 when Quentin Tarantino created his war movie, placing it in World War II and changing how the war ended.
The movie started with a very long scene that was all dialogue and helped win Christoph Waltz an Oscar for his role as Hans Landa, a Nazi soldier hunting down Jewish people.
However, the film moves between different stories, including a military force called the Basterds hunting down Nazis led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine and a British operation to send a spy into German-occupied northern France with the intentions of assassinating German Nazi leaders at a film screening.
Inglourious Basterds was one of the best war movies ever made, and Quentin Tarantino picked up eight Oscar nominations for the film, with Waltz winning.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino’s breakout film, and his masterpiece, was Pulp Fiction in 1994.
The movie brought John Travolta back to the big time as Vincent Vega, a hitman who worked with Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules Winfield.
The film is one of the most successful movies to ignore the three-act structure by mixing up the scenes and putting them together out of order.
Vega and Jules are sent to kill some kids who stole a briefcase for their boss, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Vega is asked to take Marsellus’s wife Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) out for a nice night. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is asked to throw a fight, and when he doesn’t, Vega is sent to kill him, but without Jules. There is also a bookend scene with an attempted diner robbery (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer).
The movie then tells all those stories, intertwining them all and delivering the best dialogue and most intense violence in the ’90s cinema. It is a masterpiece and one of the best movies ever made.