Quentin Tarantino is one of the most acclaimed and influential filmmakers of the last 20 years, beginning with the noble Sundance launch of his first film, Reservoir Dogs, before earning Academy Award love with Pulp Fiction and capturing the imagination of an entire generation of filmmakers. Since then, Tarantino’s body of work has been a consistent smorgasbord of movie-loving pastiches, as he brings faded stars back to the forefront to tell imaginative – usually gore-soaked – pulpy stories in a visually elaborate, characteristically talky style. There is no director like him, and with his eighth feature, Django Unchained, awaiting release, there’s no better time to look back at the man’s CV and rank his efforts from best to worst.
Even if his more recent films can’t manage to capture the glory of his best works, QT is always a filmmaker one can expect to be more vibrant and audacious than just anybody out there, so he rarely disappoints. Here are Tarantino’s 8 films to date ranked from worst to best.
8. Death Proof
As part of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse double feature, expectation wasn’t perhaps so much on either director to produce a truly amazing film, but simply that together as a package they would justify the trip to the cinema and make for a silly, good time. Though even Tarantino refers to Death Proof as his worst film – and it is consistently regarded as such by fans and critics alike – that’s not to say that it’s a bad film, given the incredibly consistent quality of the director’s output. It’s instead just a “good” film, a throwback to the exploitative B-movies of the 1960s and 1970s, and therefore a complete success at what it tried to achieve under the Grindhouse banner.
The film has a creepy, aging Hollywood stuntman called Mike (Kurt Russell) stalking a group of three girls he intends to violently murder, culminating in a barn-storming car chase sequence which ranks among the best in recent times. It’s this sequence that elevates the film from a talky, l0w-key Tarantino film to something that’s genuinely memorable and a whole lot of fun, even if it’s unfairly criticised compared to the rest of the director’s work. Is it his worst film? Yes, but when it’s in company with the likes of Pulp Fiction, that’s hardly a surprise now, is it?
This article was first posted on December 22, 2012