Quentin Tarantino is a rare breed of director indeed.
How many other filmmakers can command such excitement with each film they release, and yet proudly do things exactly their own way?
Not many, which is why cinema-goers up and down the country are as excited as ever for Tarantino’s eighth movie The Hateful Eight, which debuts in UK cinemas tomorrow.
Here’s our review.
We thought it would give us a great excuse to look back into the director’s back catalogue, which got us thinking. Just which is Tarantino’s best film anyway?
After much debate, we settled on the below list. So have a read, and chip in with your own opinions by upvoting and downvoting your choices on the interactive list at the bottom of this page.
(NB: The Hateful Eight is not currently included)
7. Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown is far and away Tarantino’s least known film, which is a shame really, because this Pam Grier starring adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel still packs the director’s trademark punch.
It is a tad overlong though, and doesn’t really zip by with the same kind of acerbic wit as some of the director’s other films, which is why it kicks things off. Still more than worth a watch though, as with all of Tarantino’s films.
6. Kill Bill: Volume 2
It almost feels like heresy to judge the two volumes of Kill Bill on their own merits, intended as they always were to be enjoyed together, but we’ve done so anyway.
Volume 1 just nips it for quality, with the stylised gore of the first beginning to wear thin by the end of the double-bill, and an emphasis on plot dragging slightly where the first would have raced through on blood soaked trainers.
5. Kill Bill: Volume 1
A six year gap between Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and the first installment of Kill Bill meant hype for the director’s return was at an all time high. Rehiring Uma Thurman in the lead role as the mysterious Bride paid dividends and gave rise to a stylistically iconic movie heroine.
The rest of the film is equally as high on colourful genre service, paying homage to Japanese martial arts films and lacing the whole thing with lashings of blood. Some of the finest sword battles in recent years make the first volume of Kill Bill the worthy victor of its sequel by just a smidge.
4. Inglorious Basterds
We’ve a real soft-sport for Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino’s highly stylised WW2 set love-letter to cinema. Sure, it may not carry quite the same rapier sharp wit as some of his other efforts, but that’s almost just the reason why we love it.
Endlessly quotable, and featuring some of the most maddeningly tense scenes in recent movie history (“that is the German three!”), the Basterds’ wild ride may be historically inaccurate, but presents Tarantino at his dumb, fun best.
3. Django Unchained
Tarantino’s second film in his unofficial ‘alternative history’ trilogy took the director to the Old West for the first time. But this wasn’t your typical Western.
The tale of Django, a slave freed by Christoph Waltz’s friendly bounty hunter Dr. Schultz and on a quest to release his captive wife from the hands of DiCaprio’s brilliantly unhinged Calvin Candie, quickly turns to revenge as blood and bodies lines his path of redemption. Waltz and Jamie Foxx shine, while Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson simmer brilliantly in their villainous roles.
2. Reservoir Dogs
It’s hard to believe Reservoir Dogs was Tarantino’s debut full-legnth feature, as stuffed to the brim as it is with all the intelligent wit, masterful dialogue, and trademark suspense the director would go on to become known for.
A brilliantly handled ensemble cast including Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn and Tim Roth descend into treachery and paranoia when they realise one among their ranks is a police informer, after a simple robbery explodes in to a blood ambush. But which one is it? Totally gripping from beginning to end.
1. Pulp Fiction
The undisputed Tarantino classic, it only took the writer/director two films to truly hone his craft and come up with this cinematic masterpiece. It introduced audiences to the kind of non-linear storytelling which wouldn’t normally appease mainstream movie fans, but did so here, and delivered some of the finest off-hand banter in film history.
Who could forget Jules and Vincent’s chats over what McDonalds call their burgers in France, Samuel L. Jackson’s infamous Ezekiel 25:17 speech, or the amazing dance scene at the ’50s themed diner?
Too many great moments to list, which is why we’re declaring Pulp Fiction the very best of Tarantino’s output.
Disagree with our choices? Have your own say and vote in our interactive list: