Best Tarantino Movies - Featured - StudioBinder

Quentin Tarantino has been one of the most controversial and intriguing directors since the 1990s. Some people adore his quippy dialogue while others flinch in fear from his giddy reliance on excessive violence. And the feet. So many feet.

We’re ranked all Quentin Tarantino films here so that if you haven’t watched anything from the prolific filmmaker, you now know where to start. Although Tarantino insists his next film will be his last, he’s left behind a lofty legacy of first-class films that will be studied for decades to come. Get ready for a debate because here’s StudioBinder’s complete list of Quentin Tarantino movies.

All Quentin Tarantino Movies

10. The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight Q&A | Directors Guilds of America

Let’s get this out of the way. There’s really no such thing as a “bad” Quentin Tarantino movie. There’s just lower-tier and higher-tier films, and The Hateful Eight is definitely the bottom of the lofty barrel. It’s not a bad movie by any means. The dialogue is just as engaging as ever, and Tarantino still proves he’s a master of building suspense. 

However, filming The Hateful Eight seems more like overindulgence than anything else since a majority of the movie takes place inside a single cabin. It’s also painfully slow for the first half, robbing the film of much of the tension that should’ve been there towards the third act. Other Quentin Tarantino films get better with each rewatch. But for the most part, you watch this one once and are done with it forever.
75%
Dialogue
70%
Music
70%
Action
75%
Filmmaking
72.5%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Charismatic Characters
  • Beautifully Filmed
  • Ominous Mood
  • Overly Long
  • Slow Beginning
  • Excessively Nihilistic

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Quentin Tarantino gets a lot of mileage out of a single location and some fantastic performances. It’s Tarantino demonstrating his mastery over the craft of filmmaking even if it’s too indulgent for its own good.

Quentin Tarantino Movies List

9. Death Proof (2007)

In 2007, Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joined forces to create the B-movie homage double-feature GrindhouseFor the picture, Tarantino created Death Proof and probably checked off a major bucket list item by filming some of the most impressive car scenes put to film. 

However, considering you have to get through almost an hour of subpar dialogue (a rare miss among Quentin Tarantino films), it doesn’t really add up to anything. You’ll either find the whole exercise funny or tasteless. Perhaps a bit of both. Either way, you feel like you need a shower afterward.

Tarantino Calls Death Proof His Worst Film | IGN News

65%
Dialogue
75%
Music
80%
Action
75%
Filmmaking
73.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Car Scenes
  • Subverts Expectations
  • Last 30 Minutes
  • Dialogue
  • Misogynistic Tones
  • Muddled Messages

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

If you like old grindhouse movies like White Line Feveryou likely won’t have a problem with Death Proof. If nothing else, it’s better than Planet Terror that accompanies it.

Top Quentin Tarantino Movies

8. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

Tarantino may look at the Kill Bill movies as a single film, but for our purposes, we’re ranking them separately. One thing becomes clear watching the two films back-to-back: Tarantino gave Vol. 1 all of the best action scenes. That doesn’t mean Vol. 2 leaves you feeling cheated. 

The dialogue is really top-notch here. Tarantino gets far more introspective with the second part. It starts putting up mirrors between Beatrix and Elle as well as creating a more rounded relationship between The Bride and Bill. At times, it almost seems as though Tarantino wants to deconstruct the revenge flick even if he still rests heavily on the tropes.

How Kill Bill Keeps Us Hooked | StudioBinder

80%
Dialogue
75%
Music
75%
Action
80%
Filmmaking
77.5%
OVERALL SCORE
  • More Backstory
  • More Subtext
  • Uma Therman
  • A Lot of Filler
  • Lack of Action
  • Anticlimactic

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Kill Bill Vol. 1 may have the better action scenes, but Vol. 2 gets points for adding depth, making The Bride more than a one-dimensional character.

Top 10 Quentin Tarantino Movies

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

How Tarantino Directs Suspense

Out of all Quentin Tarantino films, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is mostly devoid of tension — with a notable exception as illustrated in the video above. The characters aren’t in a hurry to go anywhere. Instead, we’re left to watch the fading star of Rick Dalton and his stuntman as they try to hang on to any semblance of fame. 

It’s a hangout movie through and through. Large sections are devoted to watching Dalton film an entirely different movie than the one he’s in. We spend time watching Sharon Tate watch herself in a movie. It’s a love letter to cinema and a celebration of the art of filmmaking. While there’s some menace lurking in the corner with the Manson family not too far away, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is content with its own pace.
80%
Dialogue
80%
Music
75%
Action
80%
Filmmaking
78.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • 3 Lead Performances
  • Music
  • That Ending
  • Slow Pace
  • Too Long
  • Underuse of Robbie

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is mostly centered around the three lead performances from DiCaprio, Pitt, and Robbie. Luckily, with that kind of entertainment, you will hardly even miss the semblance of a real plot.

List of Quentin Tarantino Movies, Ranked

6. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

Tarantino Sound Design  •  Subscribe on YouTube

The first Kill Bill is great, bloody entertainment, and it works brilliantly. Before John Wick changed the game for action fight scene choreography, Kill Bill was filled to the brim with amazing set pieces showing why Uma Thurman and her stuntwoman were widely slept on from the rest of Hollywood. 

The main thing missing from Vol. 1 is any kind of satisfying conclusion. That comes in the next film, but viewed separately, it just feels incomplete. It makes sense why Tarantino considers them one single film, but until we get The Whole Bloody Affair on Blu-Ray, we look at them as separate pieces.
80%
Dialogue
85%
music
90%
Action
80%
Filmmaking
83.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Needle Drops
  • Action Choreography
  • Uma Therman
  • Lack of Conclusion
  • Lack of Subtext
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Kill Bill Vol. 1 is Quentin Tarantino having a blast. He understands the film he wants to make and goes in 100%.

Ranking All Quentin Tarantino Movies

5. Django Unchained (2012)

How to Destroy an Ideology | Wisecrack

Django Unchained is one of Tarantino’s most sophisticated movies, grappling with themes related to racial power dynamics in American society. It handles these themes within the context of an old-school spaghetti western in which a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife, who is still enslaved by Calvin Candie.

It explores how different subsets of American society, from the elite to the lowly, benefit from the degradation of black bodies, and it feels like Tarantino has more to say than he usually does. 

It may lose steam in parts, but Django Unchained is a thrilling ride for the most part. With a long runtime, you start to feel like you’re within Django’s odyssey like it will never end. But with an explosive finale, it’s one of the top Quentin Tarantino movies to chew on long after it’s over.
90%
Dialogue
80%
Music
90%
Action
95%
Filmmaking
88.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Thematic Resonance
  • Lead Performances
  • Tense Moments
  • Overly Long
  • Editing
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

There’s a lot of social philosophy at play in Django Unchained. That coupled with some stellar action set pieces make this a raucous good time.

Great Quentin Tarantino Films

4. Jackie Brown

Berlinale Press Conference | Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown is probably Tarantino’s most underrated film, which is a damn shame because it deserves so much more love. Tarantino revitalized Pam Grier’s career, a daring move back in 1997.

He adapted the novel Rum Punch into an engaging love story between the titular character and the bail bondsman who helps her get back at her gun-toting boss. 

While most Quentin Tarantino films focus on unsavory antiheroes, you genuinely root for Jackie Brown. It’s the least Tarantino-y movie, but his level of restraint ultimately works to the film’s advantage to tell a love story about two people in middle age who are experienced enough to know what they want. It’s a beautiful film, which isn’t something you can really say about Tarantino’s filmography at large.

85%
Dialogue
100%
Music
85%
Action
90%
Filmmaking
90%
OVERALL SCORE
  • The Score
  • Mature Story
  • Brilliant Opening Scene
  • A Bit Long
  • Slow Pacing
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Jackie Brown is one of Tarantino’s most intriguing films for what it doesn’t do. It places Pam Grier front and center for an incredible performance.

Complete List of Quentin Tarantino Movies

3. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

This may just be Tarantino’s masterpiece. There’s something remarkable the director was able to accomplish with Inglourious Basterds. The opening scene with Hans Landa and the dairy farmer is one of the greatest sequences put to film. It’s a masterclass in tension, and it’s just the start of what is an outstanding achievement in filmmaking. 

The movie has a lot to say about war and power dynamics. However, it’s also a testament to the enduring legacy of cinema. At the end, Tarantino uses film to defeat the enemy in a brilliantly, bloody, and brash bit of revisionist history.

90%
Dialogue
85%
Music
95%
Action
95%
Filmmaking
91.25%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Opening Scene
  • Christoph Waltz
  • Strong Themes
  • Some Self-Indulgence
  • N/A
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Inglourious Basterds shows Tarantino is still a master of filmmaking. He can transport his sensibilities into another time and place and still create high art that also functions as mass entertainment.

Examining Quentin Tarantino Films

2. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Has Reservoir Dogs Aged Well? | The Nerdwriter

Quentin Tarantino debuted on the cinematic scene in 1992 with one heck of a calling card. It may not be his best film, but it introduced the world to what would become a quintessential Tarantino flick. Slick dialogue. A proclivity for violence. Reflections on masculinity. Dope song choices. Characters who are on a path toward self-destruction.

Ingredients that would become cemented in Tarantino's directing style.

What Reservoir Dogs does so well is paint its characters in shades of grey. Tarantino keeps the gang at arm’s length, never giving into full-blown admiration. It brought the world a different kind of pulp film, and the cinematic landscape has never been the same.
100%
Dialogue
95%
Music
90%
Action
90%
Filmmaking
93.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Dialogue
  • Needle Drops
  • Suspense
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

It’s incredible to think Tarantino’s first feature-length film could be this good. All these years later, it still holds up.

The Best of Quentin Tarantino Films

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Quentin Tarantino Music  •  Subscribe on YouTube

It probably shouldn’t come as any surprise, but the film that has donned film students’ dorm rooms for 20 years now is the best film Quentin Tarantino has ever made. Sure, it’s a cool story with well-developed characters delivering amazingly-written dialogue (and one of the best movie soundtracks ever), but it goes so much further beyond that. 

Pulp Fiction changed how general American audiences viewed independent cinema. The non-linear storytelling challenged how audiences engaged with the picture. The casting of John Travolta forced people to view the (at the time) washed-up actor in a different light. 

From the music to the violence, Tarantino is far more confident on a sophomore effort than most directors are throughout their entire filmographies. It’s the kind of film that will be remembered for decades to come, constantly analyzed as people find new interpretations of it. Tarantino made about as perfect of a film as you can get.

100%
Dialogue
95%
Music
100%
Action
100%
Filmmaking
98.75%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Dialogue
  • Poignantly Thoughtful
  • The Last Scene
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A

BEST QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES RANKED

Conclusion

Quentin Tarantino achieved something profound with Pulp Fiction. The 1990s had a lot of great films, but Pulp Fiction stands mountains above many of them to become a classic.

Up Next

Quentin Tarantino's Directing Style

Quentin Tarantino always has to be in the conversation when it comes to the best film directors of all time. From his mastery of dialogue to crafting pitch-perfect suspense with simple blocking and staging choices. Dive deeper into his unique directorial style as StudioBinder examines what he has brought to each of his films. 

Up Next: Tarantino Directing Style →
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