I didn’t see Hateful Eight yet (busy holidays) but I will soon. Please don’t spoil it, or any of the other movies in case there are some people here who haven’t watched them yet. I’ll preface by saying that there isn’t a bad single Tarantino movie, but I like some more than others. I’m also curious to read your lists. Let’s dive into it.
#1 - Django Unchained: This was just a big epic beautiful adventure with some hilarious comedy elements but beneath it all, a strong story with believable characters. From the mythical forest opening with the dancing tooth carriage, I knew this was going to be a classic. It’s a pretty bold statement against institutionalized racism and ultra-political correctness alike.
#2 - Jackie Brown: This is the movie that got me into movies. Pam Grier is all around excellent and finally utilized here after decades of misogynistic blaxploitation films. It’s a much more satirical take on a crime drama, but Tarantino kept the gratuity to a minimum and focused on delivering a strong story. It’s mostly in order, but the signature Tarantino editing of the main heist makes it a standout moment.
#3 - Reservoir Dogs: A different indie take on a heist movie, focusing on the aftermath of a botched heist rather than the heist itself. Lots of movies are entertaining, but some movies just suck you in an enrapture you. This film is short, minimalist, clean and while it has some signature humor.
#4 - Pulp Fiction: Tarantino’s progressive benchmark film that totally shook up the formulaic film industry with it’s out of order story telling and cast of talented actors. It’s bizarre, strange and there’s nothing out there like it. It’s really good.
#5 - Kill Bill vol. 1: It had less IQ points than Jackie Brown before it but it excelled in creative action and highly stylized editing. I don’t think most of the later scenes live up to the first 15 minutes, but watching 20 ninjas fighting in a Chinese restaurant with the 5678’s performing is undeniably entertaining.
#6 - Death Proof: Underrated. It was poorly marketed as the second of double-feature but I enjoyed this one. It’s a more feminine movie for a change, a mix of horror and comedy and the lead role goes to Kurt Russel. Good soundtrack. I like how the two acts have a different take on the same event.
#7 - Kill Bill vol. 2: Not a bad movie but it feels less fresh coming in as a sequel. The climax and finale are interesting but there are some slow and dull moments mixed in with really interesting ones. Uma Thurman’s performance was one of best in Tarantino history, saving this one from the bottom rung.
#8 - Inglourious Basterds: It came off as bloated and unfocused to me. It needed some cleaning up but there was a good movie inside of it somewhere. Usually Tarantino’s movies take an artistic turn to shake things up but this one took an oft-beat topic and played it out exactly how I expected to. Great costume design/staging though and Waltz totally salvaged it.
If I had to rank them objectively (based on impact on film and culture): PF > RD > DU > IB > KB1 > KB2 > JB > DP