Quentin Tarantino's Best Movies

We count down the best-reviewed work of the Django Unchained director.

86%

4. Jackie Brown

Three years after achieving "young Hollywood genius" status with Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino re-emerged with Jackie Brown, a 154-minute adaptation of the Elmore James novel Rum Punch that served as Tarantino's homage to 1970s blaxploitation while resurrecting the career of one of the genre's biggest stars: Pam Grier. Hitherto known for playing the title role in 1974's Foxy Brown, Grier returned to the big screen in pretty good company, including Bridget Fonda, Robert Forster, Michael Keaton, Chris Tucker, Robert De Niro, and Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson. While it was ultimately a bit of a critical and commercial letdown after the raging success of Pulp Fiction, Jackie still proved a favorite for scribes like Chuck Rudolph of Matinee Magazine, who wrote that it "Achieves the soulful edge lacking from Tarantino's previous efforts. Forster and Grier's performances deserve to join the short-list of all-time greats."

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89%

3. Inglourious Basterds

Any film fan worth his or her salt has seen plenty of World War II movies, but Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds added a little something special to the mix -- an eminently well-cast revenge fantasy, starring a motley crew of solid actors (including Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, and Michael Fassbender) as soldiers in a parallel reality where the evil of the Third Reich is met full force with an Allied squadron whose members are hungry for Nazi blood (and/or scalps). Boasting a uniquely cathartic flavor of Tarantino-brewed violence to go with its taut drama and dark wit, Basterds proved powerfully compelling for critics like Salon's Stephanie Zacharek, who had to concede, "Quentin Tarantino seems to be hanging on to a lost world of moviemaking. He may be nuts. But he's a nut who cares."

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94%

2. Pulp Fiction

Some careers take awhile to get going -- and then there's Quentin Tarantino, who drew almost universal critical praise for Reservoir Dogs before skyrocketing into the Hollywood stratosphere with his second film, 1994's Pulp Fiction. A $214 million box office smash and seven-time Academy Award nominee (as well as Best Original Screenplay winner), Fiction offered a blend of pop culture smarts, laugh-out-loud humor, and shocking violence so potent (and massively influential) that it even managed to revitalize John Travolta's long-moribund acting career -- and left Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" blasting out of countless college dorm rooms along the way. It was also, as Janet Maslin of the New York Times noted, "A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity and vibrant local color."

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92%

1. Reservoir Dogs

Debuts don't come much more auspicious than Reservoir Dogs. Yes, it's a profane, blood-splattered heist flick -- and goodness knows we have more than enough of those -- but this one's noteworthy for a number of things, including its hyper-literate script, its killer soundtrack, and a cast stuffed with tremendously talented character actors (including Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen). While it didn't exactly set the world on fire during its small theatrical run, it did offer cineastes an early look at one of modern filmmaking's most exciting, fully formed talents -- and it definitely drew the notice of critics like Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader, who wrote, "It's unclear whether this macho thriller does anything to improve the state of the world or our understanding of it, but it certainly sets off enough rockets to hold and shake us for every one of its 99 minutes."

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In case you were wondering, here are Tarantino's top movies according RT users' scores:

1. Pulp Fiction -- 95%
2. Reservoir Dogs -- 93%
3. Kill Bill, Volume 2 -- 87%
4. Inglourious Basterds -- 87%
5. Grindhouse -- 86%
6. Jackie Brown -- 78%
7. Kill Bill: Volume 1 -- 76%
8. Four Rooms -- 70%


Take a look through Tarantino's complete filmography, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don't forget to check out the reviews for Django Unchained.

Finally, here's footage from Tarantino's unfinished first film, My Best Friend's Birthday (which unsurprisingly contains some NSFW language):

Comments

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

The only movie on this list that truly sucks balls is FOUR ROOMS. A lot of guys in the military liked that fucking crap for some reason. Aside from Roth, the film was painfully stupid and unfunny, pointless and just all around excruciating.

Dec 27 - 08:40 AM

Alan Geyer

Alan Geyer

I had to fake laugh all the way through that piece of garbage film. a friend of mine loved it at the time and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I hated it.

Dec 27 - 10:26 AM

Doug Magee

Doug Magee

I agree, that movie was terrible.

Dec 28 - 06:55 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Misbehavers" was classic. The others were cute. I never had a problem with the film.

Dec 27 - 12:39 PM

Jeffrey Donato

Jeffrey Donato

I agree with Janson.

Dec 28 - 05:31 PM

Jansen Gefert

Jansen Gefert

Not too often I see somebody with the same name as me. That's all.

Dec 28 - 08:41 PM

Steve Buchanan

Steve Buchanan

Final scene with Roth chopping the guys finger off is pretty funny though.

Dec 27 - 04:44 PM

Gnarls Reece

Gnarls Reece

Worst role i've ever scene Roth play. Embarrassingly annoying.

Dec 28 - 03:42 AM

Tim Terrell

Tim Terrell

Tarantino's segment was good. Better than all of his films from the first decade of the 21st Century.

Dec 28 - 02:32 PM

Facebook User

Facebook User

If you cannot appreciate Four Rooms then maybe it's better to stop watching movies at all. It might not be the best Tarantino flick but as a Cult flick it's definetely a classic.

Dec 30 - 02:04 AM

Joe Hart

Joe Hart

Yeah, man, anyone who disagrees must be wrong.

Dec 30 - 10:24 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Whatever, man! Explain to me how FOUR ROOMS is a cult flick, because it has much cult appeal as MY BABY'S DADDY and CLIFFORD. I'd rather have a dog fart in my face than watch it again.

Dec 30 - 11:32 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Cult = small, but dedicated audience.

Dec 31 - 06:41 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

You know what Janson: it's on Netflix, I'll give it another chance as I haven't seen it in 15 years or so.

Jan 1 - 01:18 PM

Grand M.

Grand Mesa

Facebook User = pinhead

Jun 21 - 01:17 PM

Timothy Bridge

Timothy Bridge

"I think this just might be my masterpiece"

Inglorious Basterds was my favorite of Tarantino's, but it's really difficult to choose. He's so dynamic, so original (while still paying homage) and is one of the few directors that can create hype for a film just by being attached to the project. Django was great. Will probably see it again in theaters.

Dec 27 - 09:39 AM

Grand M.

Grand Mesa

go back to your corner now

Jun 21 - 01:18 PM

Alan Geyer

Alan Geyer

I had to fake laugh all the way through that piece of garbage film. a friend of mine loved it at the time and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I hated it.

Dec 27 - 10:26 AM

Doug Magee

Doug Magee

I agree, that movie was terrible.

Dec 28 - 06:55 PM

Sam Sheline

Sam Sheline

gotta say I agree with the users more than the critics on this one: KB #2 remains one of my all-time favorites, behind only the two obvious first choices. It'll be interesting to see where Django fits into this... going to see it tonight!

Dec 27 - 10:31 AM

Boss Ski Mask

Boss Ski Mask

Death Proof is his best film.

Dec 27 - 10:52 AM

shadypotential

Chris Cox

you are f*cking crazy. he even says it is his worst

Dec 28 - 09:49 AM

Dustyn Dubuque

Dustyn Dubuque

Its just the only one you have seen

Dec 29 - 08:06 AM

Chris Calchi

Chris Calchi

so essentially..all his movies..

Dec 27 - 11:16 AM

Gabe Zia

Gabe Zia

They forgot sin city from dusk till dawn and true romance

Dec 27 - 10:44 PM

Chris Calchi

Chris Calchi

none of which were actually fully directed by him

Dec 28 - 04:03 PM

Shane Williams

Shane Williams

Neither was four rooms, yet that made the list

Dec 28 - 07:20 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

He directed one of the "rooms."

Dec 28 - 07:43 PM

Jeff Brown

Jeff Brown

Actually, neither From Dusk Till Dawn nor True Romance were directed by him AT ALL and he only directed one scene in Sin City.

Four Rooms was an anthology piece, each essentially being a short film. To be fair, they should've just rated HIS segment, not the entire movie.

Dec 28 - 08:18 PM

Erik TheRed

Erik TheRed

He wrote the screenplay for True Romance. He used the money to do Reservoir Dogs.

Dec 28 - 07:20 PM

Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson

I liked Death Proof a lot. I HATED both Kill Bill movies.

My list would be:

1: Pulp Fiction
2: Jackie Brown
3: Inglorios Basterds
4. Resevoir Dogs
5. Death Proof

Dec 27 - 11:40 AM

Facebook User

Facebook User

Thats why your not a professional critic

Dec 30 - 02:08 AM

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans

Tarantino does something that hardly any writers do today, and that is he creates great dialogue! He doesn't just blow stuff up like the big name directors, he writes and directs movies that are script/language driven. That is what makes him great. The normal conversations between the characters in unbelievable situations. He makes very entertaining films. BTW, you can't beat Reservoir Dogs. That scene at the beginning about tipping, and then Michael Madsen dancing around that cop singing "Stuck In The MIddle With You". That is movie magic!

Dec 27 - 11:51 AM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

He also avoids the trap of trying to emulate real life when writing dialogues, unlike certain realism-obsessed writer.

Dec 27 - 02:22 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Pulp Fiction is the only respectable answer. That's the only reason why anyone cares who Tarantino is.

Dec 27 - 12:38 PM

hollis m.

hollis mills

respectfully, i disagree

Dec 27 - 07:55 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

What I mean is that it's what made him the star he his today. Wunderkind young directors come and go. QT's Palm d'Or winning genre-bender was what made people realize they were dealing with a game-changer. But, no, I don't think he's managed to top it since then either.

Dec 28 - 01:16 AM

Shirlee Busch

Shirlee Busch

I agree. The script of Pulp Fiction is good literature.-TB

Dec 28 - 08:28 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Misbehavers" was classic. The others were cute. I never had a problem with the film.

Dec 27 - 12:39 PM

Jeffrey Donato

Jeffrey Donato

I agree with Janson.

Dec 28 - 05:31 PM

Jansen Gefert

Jansen Gefert

Not too often I see somebody with the same name as me. That's all.

Dec 28 - 08:41 PM

Zach Miller

Zach Miller

DJANGO!!!!!!!!

Dec 27 - 12:46 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Tarantino himself seems like a creepy nerd with a bloated ego but damn does he make good movies. My list would read:

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Reservoir Dogs
3. True Romance (Script)
4. Jackie Brown
5. Kill Bill Vol. 2

Side Note: Is Django Tarantino's first film w/o Sally Menke behind the editing?

Dec 27 - 01:22 PM

Jeremy Paul

Jeremy Paul

Yes, it is..

Dec 27 - 05:25 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

He also avoids the trap of trying to emulate real life when writing dialogues, unlike certain realism-obsessed writer.

Dec 27 - 02:22 PM

Gabe Zia

Gabe Zia

What about those movies Tarintino did other things besides direct? Like writing True Romance? Starring in From Dusk till Dawn? Co-directing SIn City? Why did they include Death Proof and Planet Terror as one movie? Where is Django Unchained? Why did Four Rooms have to be on this list? ANSWER AT LEAST ONE OF THESE!!!!!

Dec 27 - 02:51 PM

Rob Conlan

Rob Conlan

These Total Recalls are written before the movie they're being written in tandem with is in theaters, so Django's reviews weren't in by the release so they can't count it.

Dec 27 - 06:48 PM

Gabe Zia

Gabe Zia

ok well that answers ONE, but none of the other movies I mentioned made it, and that still confused me

Dec 27 - 10:43 PM

Francisco Diaz

Francisco Diaz

Tarentino has said he doesn't take credit for True Romance or Natural Born Killers for that matter. Sin City he co-directed one scene and that's hardly worth mentioning whereas Four Rooms was a whole segment. Finally, Death Proof and Planet Terror was originally released together and therefore reviewed as one movie. It wasn't until it was released as a DVD that they were split. Hope that helps.

Dec 28 - 01:15 PM

Dave J

Dave J

If you took the time to read the introduction, it "clearly" specifies Tarantino's directing credits! It does not say writing or acting, I mean if you want RT to include Quentin in other movies he's involved in that have nothing to do with 'directing" then I'm going to have to say is include them into your own list!

Jan 2 - 03:51 PM

Dustyn Dubuque

Dustyn Dubuque

DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND HOW ROTTEN TOMATOES WORKS????? its based off a percentage on stick with what the original movie is.

Dec 29 - 08:07 AM

Keith Rightmyer

Keith Rightmyer

Grindhouse = Planet Terror/Death Proof. That is how it was released as one movie. Released on DVD as two films. I just got the Grindhouse "Theatrical Experience" on Blu-ray.

Dec 28 - 07:57 PM

Bill Heydenreich

Bill Heydenreich

My opinion matters... and here's why!

Dec 27 - 03:01 PM

Jesse Waitkoss

Jesse Waitkoss

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Django Unchained
3. Jackie Brown
4. Reservoir Dogs
5. Kill Bill 1 & 2

Dec 27 - 03:10 PM

Steve Buchanan

Steve Buchanan

Final scene with Roth chopping the guys finger off is pretty funny though.

Dec 27 - 04:44 PM

Jeff Bassetti

Jeff Bassetti

DJANDO takes it's place in the Pantheon of ding dang awesome QT FLICKS!

Dec 27 - 05:06 PM

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