There’s no denying that Quentin Tarantino is one of the most influential and celebrated film-makers of our generation. Regardless of the subject matter, his movies are heavy on dialogue, violence, satire, and usually feature non-linear storytelling. These are all aspects that many creators have used when following in his footsteps.
Since 1992, Tarantino has directed ten feature films. While the scores on Rotten Tomatoes aren’t completely telling of how good a movie is, it’s a great baromete,r since the website takes hundreds of reviews from around the internet into account. Each Tarantino film has a positive score on Rotten Tomatoes, and we’re here to rank them based on those scores.
10 Death Proof (65%)
Quentin Tarantino’s lowest-rated film was his portion of a collaboration with fellow director Robert Rodriguez. In 2007, they released two movies together under the collective title Grindhouse. Rodriguez’s was a zombie flick called Planet Terror, while Tarantino’s was Death Proof. Kurt Russell played a stuntman who murdered unsuspecting women in his stunt car, which was built to protect only the driver from death.
This fit the mold of a lot of Tarantino’s work, yet was his least successful movie from a financial standpoint and scored the worst reviews compiled on Rotten Tomatoes. Though the response wasn’t overly negative, many felt this seemed a lot smaller in scale than most of this acclaimed director’s work.
9 The Hateful Eight (74%)
In 2015, Quentin Tarantino released The Hateful Eight and a more “Tarantino” film has probably never come out. Taking place at some point after the Civil War, it centred around eight strangers stuck in one place as they attempt to survive a blizzard. Filled with snappy dialogue, violence, and starring an ensemble cast, it’s exactly what Tarantino was born to put on screen.
That ensemble cast included Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, and Walton Goggins. Tarantino originally crafted this idea to be a novel, which might explain the lengthy runtime. His movies are often on the longer side, but the length was one of the main aspects criticized in the negative reviews of The Hateful Eight. Still, it racked up a few Academy and Golden Globe nominations.
8 Kill Bill: Volume 1 (84%)
Quentin Tarantino often collaborates with the same group of actors on multiple occasions. One of them is Uma Thurman, who starred as the Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1. It told the story of a woman who swore revenge on a group of assassins who attempted to murder her and her unborn baby.
The 2003 release was part martial arts film, part spaghetti western, somehow blending those aspects with bits of Japanese style animation. It shouldn’t have worked, yet it did, to the point where it became Tarantino’s highest-grossing film at the time. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus notes that this is a stylish revenge thriller, though not much more than that.
7 Kill Bill: Volume 2 (84%)
When Quentin Tarantino originally conceptualized the story of the Bride, it ran about four hours long. That meant he had to split it into two films, which he dubbed “volumes.” This instalment picked up four years after the events of the first, continuing the Bride’s battle against the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.
This sequel was considered by many to be a slight improvement, thanks to a stronger plot and better dialogue that went along with the stellar action. Though it has the same official Rotten Tomatoes score as the first, this gets a slight edge since it was reviewed more (236 to 232) and has a higher average score (7.8 to 7.7).
6 Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (84%)
Before it officially hit theaters, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood held the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of any Quentin Tarantino flick. However, it has dropped down a few points since. Still, an 85% rating is certainly nothing to scoff at. This film is set in 1969, following the relationship between an aging TV actor and his stunt double during Hollywood’s golden age.
The intriguing thing about this movie was simply seeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt sharing the screen, considering their status as two of the top actors of our time. Their performances have been widely praised, as have the script and cinematography. The ensemble cast might also be the best Tarantino has ever used, which is saying something if you look at his history.
5 Django Unchained (86%)
Jamie Foxx was new to the Quentin Tarantino world, but he fit in seamlessly as the lead in 2012’s Django Unchained. This was another case of Tarantino paying homage to styles of the past and the spaghetti western genre. It was a revisionist history retelling of a 1966 film called Django.
Along with Foxx, Django Unchained starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Christoph Waltz. All of their work was met with widespread praise. The same went for the style, subject matter, and script. It picked up a Best Picture nomination, Waltz won Best Supporting Actor, and Tarantino took home a Best Original Screenplay statue.
4 Jackie Brown (87%)
An adaptation of the 1992 novel Rum Punch, this was Tarantino’s third feature film. Interestingly, it remains his only work to be adapted from someone else.
The pacing of this movie was the one thing that saw the most criticism. Other than that, nearly everything was liked by critics and fans. It featured a stellar cast of Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, and Robert Forster. Grier and Forster both picked up Golden Globe nominations for their work.
3 Inglorious Basterds (88%)
There’s almost no era that Quentin Tarantino will not tackle. For 2009’s Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino went with revisionist history again, as he focused on Nazi Germany during World War II. It told dual stories that intertwined about plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s leadership. Tarantino had this script mostly written a decade before release, but couldn’t pinpoint an ending and moved away from working on it.
Inglorious Basterds marked Tarantino’s first collaboration with both Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz, who have appeared in more films with him since. Waltz swept pretty much every award show for his performance. The film was smart, thrilling, violent, and the entertaining mix of action, drama, and dark humor that Tarantino is known for.
2 Reservoir Dogs (91%)
Quentin Tarantino’s first film remains one of his best. 1992’s Reservoir Dogs let the world know about the hard-hitting, in-your-face style that he would become famous for. This film centred around a group of thieves following a jewelry heist gone wrong, flipping back and forth between showing the aftermath and how the heist got planned.
Reservoir Dogs set the standard for everything that Tarantino is as a film-maker. While it wasn’t nominated for the major award shows, it scored big at film festivals.
1 Pulp Fiction (92%)
When discussing Quentin Tarantino’s impact on the film industry, there is no movie more influential than Pulp Fiction. The 1994 release told several stories surrounding the criminal world of Los Angeles and does so out of chronological order, which is a Tarantino staple. The cast of Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, and Ving Rhames was outstanding.
Many consider Pulp Fiction to be Tarantino’s masterpiece. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won for Best Original Screenplay. It is also frequently found on lists of the best films ever made. There are so many elements that helped shape the future of filmmaking. In 2013, Pulp Fiction was chosen for preservation by the National Film Registry for being culturally and historically significant.
NEXT: All Of Quentin Tarantino’s Final Scenes, Ranked