With the release of what could be Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate movie, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, it’s a good time to go back and rank his filmography. For this ranking, I’m only counting the movies that Tarantino directed himself. So films like True Romance or Grindhouse don’t count, but Death Proof does. Also, I took an Instagram poll, which decided that Kill Bill will be counted as two separate movies, as much as Tarantino himself may disagree. Obviously this is all my opinion, but my opinion is correct.
10. The Hateful Eight – Normally, Tarantino’s long runtimes and talky movies don’t bother me. His stories are compelling and interesting and are uniquely arranged. But this film isn’t really any of those things. It has surprises here and there, but it doesn’t succeed in nailing down a theme or message, and it is way too self-indulgent.
9. Jackie Brown – For me, this is the one time when Tarantino’s usage of language just hit me over the head way too much for my liking. In addition, Samuel L. Jackson overacts so badly in this movie that I begin to get annoyed watching it. It is excellently made, though, and has Tarantino’s signature flair.
8. Death Proof – This would be one or two spots higher up on the list if it wasn’t shot so provocatively. The last thirty minutes are excellent, enthralling action that you don’t want to look away from, and I love the theme of women being able to stand up for themselves. But the content and the way that it is shot brings down its overall quality.
7. Django Unchained – Django has great performances and some truly hilarious moments, but the stylized violence doesn’t seem to serve the same purpose that it does in something like Kill Bill. This movie is still immensely entertaining, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives his best performance until his next collaboration with QT.
6. Kill Bill Volume 2 – Starting from this spot on, I absolutely love every one of these movies. Vol. 2 isn’t quite as good as 1, but it is completely different. It does a better job of exploring human elements and whether people are able to change who they are.
5. Reservoir Dogs – The film that started it all. It shows off the amazing talent and potential that Tarantino has as a filmmaker. The characters and dialogue are so rich, making it endlessly rewatchable. In addition, the structure of the plot keeps you on your toes until the very end.
4. Kill Bill Volume 1 – Completing the Kill Bill – Reservoir Dogs sandwich, this is an amazing martial arts film with fantastic stylized violence. Uma Thurman is great as *bleep* and anchors incredible action sequences. The Bride vs. the Crazy 88 sequence is jaw-dropping and makes the entire movie better.
3. Once Upon a Time In Hollywood – Tarantino makes a movie unlike any other he’s made before in this surprisingly heartfelt, personal, and reflective piece. It’s a love letter to Hollywood and a meditation on what it’s like to get older and possibly decline in the talent you once had with a top-of-the-line soundtrack, star performances, and a mind-blowing final act.
2. Pulp Fiction – What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about this masterpiece? Iconic characters, lines, scenes… Almost everything about this movie is a pure joy to watch.
1. Inglorious Basterds – This movie hits home so much for me because it is a movie about the power of movies. Combine that with a stellar ensemble piece, gripping scenes, and an iconic villain in Hans Landa and you get one of the very best movies of this century, all because of the writing and direction of Quentin Tarantino.