Quentin Tarantino Movies: Ranked

The Best Tarantino FilmsThis is the definitive guide to all of Quentin Tarantino’s films. Yes, you read that correctly. This is the correct ranking of the nine (Yes, nine. I’m counting Kill Bill as one like Tarantino does.) films from Quentin Tarantino. These are the correct opinion, and if you don’t agree with me, you are just wrong.

Oh boy, this is going to be difficult as I attempt to not be murdered for my opinions on this list. Tarantino is a great director who has made four amazing films, two pretty good movies, one okay flick, and whatever the heck Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood was. Now, comes the time to rank them as I’m sure that many will disagree with my rankings, mainly numbers 9 through 1, but as we now stand in a waiting period of possibly six years until the next one, it feels like now is the best time.

So, probably against the best interests for my health, here is my rankings of the nine films from Quentin Tarantino.

#9 Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

If you’ve read my review of this film, you’ll know I wasn’t a fan of the latest Tarantino endeavor. It does have some good things. The performances were good, the production value was good, and the cinematography was good. However, I really wasn’t a fan of the story that went absolutely nowhere and the lack of Manson/Tate story that was prevalent in the trailer. It also tries harder to be a Tarantino film than Boondock Saints if that’s even possible. I went into a lot more detail in my review, so to avoid sounding redundant, I’ll just close this spot with an exact quote from that review “this movie is more prolonged and tedious than that ellipsis in the title.”

#8 Reservoir Dogs

I have put my affairs in order for my inevitable death that will come after putting what a lot of people consider one of his best at the bottom. Now, I like this movie. It’s well made, especially for the less than shoestring budget it had. The acting is great as well, so why do I have Reservoir Dogs in the almost last place spot? I felt this is before Tarantino had mastered the art of dialogue. It is well written, but it lacks that certain flair and extravagant quality to most of Tarantino’s other films. It’s good, but not quite as good as his other films.

#7 Death Proof

Now, Death Proof is a weird one, as it was part of the Grindhouse double feature made with Robert Rodriguez, and I enjoy both films of that for what they are. They’re both ridiculous B-Movie fluff, but they’re so good at that. Out of two, I do prefer Death Proof, as it provides an entertaining story with a good amount of dark comedy to the story. Now, is it somewhat light on the story? Yeah, and that is my biggest problem with the film as the film doesn’t really have a plot besides the whole “Kurt Russell is a psychopath thing” which I’m pretty sure we all figured out a while ago.

You may be asking yourself now “Wait a minute, didn’t you put Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the bottom of the list for the same reason?” And the answer to that question is yes, yes I did. The main difference between the two however is 48 minutes of runtime. Death Proof keeps its plot more condensed and has much tighter storytelling than it’s more recent counterpart. Also, I’ve had that Down in Mexico song stuck in my head for the last year and a half.

#6 The Hateful Eight

One of the more dividing Tarantino films, The Hateful Eight is an overlong western that takes about an hour to really get going. When it does get going though, The Hateful Eight shows some great glimpses of Tarantino at his best. We got two great central performances from Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, as well as Tim Roth giving a decent imitation of Christoph Waltz, who chose doing Spectre over this. Hateful Eight also has a great score, beautiful cinematography, and a very glacial pace. The difference here though is that it’s all development of characters and setup for payoffs later in the film, which other, more recent films on this list, couldn’t seem to accomplish.

#5 Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown is one that on most of the lists I’ve seen is ranking pretty low. I can see why. It’s long, goes on for about five or ten minutes after it should have ended, and does have a story that we’ve seen before with the whole “Someone plays both sides of the law and ends up winning” charade. However, Jackie Brown does a good job of elevating it, as we get two great lead performances from Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson. There are also some great scenes, as the scene in the suit shop is just classic Quentin Tarantino. Also, watching Chris Tucker die is cathartic.

#4 Pulp Fiction

Okay, so… Pulp Fiction is an amazing film. The writing is great, the acting is great, it’s great. I don’t believe it is Tarantino’s best work. I can’t find any big problems with it. It does have a few scenes that I think go on a bit too long. However, it’s not the bad that gets Pulp Fiction the four seed, it’s the good. The acting, especially from Sammy Jackson and Uma Thurman is incredible. John Travolta, Bruce Willis, and Harvey Keitel are also great. It’s an interesting story that pretty much gave us the Nolan way of storytelling before Nolan did with the “Out of Order” narrative. Oh, and Shawshank definitely deserved Best Picture over both that and Forrest Gump.

#3 Kill Bill

Two words, Crazy 88. That one scene is enough to propel Kill Bill to the bronze on my personal favorite Tarantino list. Well, that combined with Uma Thurman in probably her best performance and character, even over Mia Wallace, a wonderful score, and as I said before, some of the best action of the past twenty years. Between the two parts, I prefer the first one over the second, mainly for those Crazy 88, but it’s close. Also, who doesn’t love Elle’s briefcase snake?

#2 Django Unchained

This was the second Tarantino film I saw. Now, Taratino got my curiosity with the first movie I saw from him, Inglorious Basterds, but with this, he got my attention. Django is another film I see dividing the Tarantino Purists, but I don’t really see why this one isn’t liked. It’s well acted, has a good story, and some great characters. Not to mention some of the best one liners in recent memory. The biggest complaint I see is that it’s overly indulgent in Tarantino cliches, and yeah, I can see that.

However, I think pretty much every supporting actor performance helps bring this to the two seed, as we have Leonardo DiCaprio, giving his best performance sans Wolf of Wall Street, Christoph Waltz, who won the Oscar for it, but if we’re being honest, it should have gone to Javier Bardem for Skyfall, and Samuel L. Jackson who is always great except for movies named The Spirit. The cast for this movie is incredible, and while it isn’t my favorite of 2012, it was my favorite of the nominees. 

#1 Inglorious Basterds

Alright, there are some reasons this is my favorite Tarantino film. First, Christoph Waltz is giving probably a top five performance of the last decade. Hans Landa is probably one of my favorite villains ever put to film. Not only is he a part of one of the most purely evil organizations of all time, the Nazis, but he also takes some kind of sick joy in everything he’s doing. He knows he’s a villain and relishes it, so at the end where he decides to switch sides is just a fantastic scene that is so enjoyable to watch. Secondly, the rest of the cast is also amazing.

Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, and Melanie Laurent are all fantastic, with Laurent being considered by most to be an Oscar snub that year. This, combined with some pretty solid comedy, great action, and one of the best scenes Tarantino has ever done, the bar in the basement. Sure, it may go on a little long, but Inglorious is just such a fun time, and with so many great aspects, it may be close, is my favorite Tarantino film.

Well, those are my rankings of the Tarantino films. However, most people will agree that there isn’t an exact ordering to the Tarantino movies. It’s very rare to find someone who doesn’t like Tarantino films, and who can blame them? Quentin will be around for, sadly according to many reports, one more movie, and no matter what it is, I will be there to enjoy it.

What are your favourite Tarantino movies? Let us know in the comments box below.

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