The Tarantino Collection

9 – Death Proof; Of all Tarantino’s films, Death Proof is by far the worst of the worst. Originally released as the double feature Grindhouse – featuring both Death Proof and Planet Terror (Directed by Robert Rodriguez) – this movie is lackluster at best. The acting weight is carried fully by Kurt Russell, as the rest of the cast provides little to their characters. Characters that, in light of their situation, feel disconnected from reality in any form. Except – unlike the unrealistically awesome action presented in Kill Bill – the movie struggles to find its own footing to entertain. Death Proof isn’t the normally enjoyable flick provided by Tarantino. The script seems skin deep and is topped with meaningless vulgarity. Its story is short, swift, and straightforward – making for a forgettable watch with a bad ending. So, if you’re watching every movie from Quentin Tarantino, be sure to lower your expectations when coming across Death ProofCinemaster Score: 4/10

8 – Jackie Brown; Quentin Tarantino is a phenomenal writer. It’s something that shows on-screen and his signature style only adds to their greatness. Now there’s the comparison of Jackie Brown to the rest of Tarantino’s work. It is clear that – due to this being his only film based on a novel – the story’s clear, linear telling doesn’t stand out for him. Jackie Brown has a stacked cast but, unfortunately, their acting abilities are scarcely utilized to their best effects. The characters throughout this film are hard to find likable, too – save for Robert Forrester’s role. You could boil Jackie Brown down to its plot. It takes a look at a smaller crime than in Tarantino’s previous two films. This provides a more detailed view on the crime. Albeit a decent story, as a follow up to Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown is a major letdown. Cinemaster Score: 6/10

5 – Kill Bill (Vol. 1&2); Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2 are two separate movies, but one in the same connected story. Since Tarantino counts these two films as one, so will we. Tarantino wrote these stories as one movie, and as such there is a strong cohesiveness to both the dialogue and the characters’ actions. Because of this strong script, we are given a well-developed protagonist played in career-defining fashion by Uma Thurman. She brings the perfect balance of intense motivation and skill, as well as a tender-hearted quality unique to the genre. Kill Bill: Volumes 1&2 represent a plethora of genres – from the throwback martial arts action scenes of old, to the tragic revenge tale woven expertly throughout. And it works near perfectly. From the over the top, almost caricature-like villains, to the infusion of multiple elements from classic films. Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2 shows just how creative Quentin Tarantino can be. Cinemaster Score: 7/10

6 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; This film is the ninth addition to Quentin Tarantino’s collection of directed films. It shows off his ability to build up to a clear vision. Unfortunately, the entirety of this movie feels like it’s building up towards the climax and doing little more. Unlike his other movies, this one makes it seem as if Tarantino thought up the finale and decided he had to spend two and a half hours setting that point up. It isn’t bad, though. The acting is amazing – with even minor characters being played by the likes of Al Pacino and Kurt Russell while the main roles are taken up by Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. The script is well-written, too – making sure to entertain and set up later events. The movie’s characters are dynamic and interesting, as well. Although, the film is fairly uneventful for quite a while. Viewers may be more entertained by the lingering expectation for something big to happen. Those expectations seem to be subverted until the epic finale. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has an ending that makes it. If only the rest of the film had more of that energy. Cinemaster Score: 7.5/10

5 – Reservoir Dogs; It might be a surprise that Reservoir Dogs is so low in this ranking. Although, it is still a great movie all the way around. The main factor holding the flick back is how astonishing almost every other Tarantino film is. Reservoir Dogs was the debut for Tarantino’s career – which speaks levels of its importance to the industry. Michael Madsen and Tim Roth (regulars in Tarantino’s work) put in a pair of amazing performances. However, the script – though a great one that anchors viewers’ interest from the start – is very complex and difficult to keep up with at times. The characters are unpredictable – each one being unique and, in that sense, intriguing. The first story from the esteemed director is simple – despite the complex writing behind it which he uses to compel the audience. Its simplicity, though, is what keeps Reservoir Dogs from the same highs as other movies under Tarantino’s direction. As a whole, Reservoir Dogs is an enjoyable film that has great rewatch value. Cinemaster Score: 7.5/10

4 – The Hateful Eight; The Hateful Eight is by no means a bad movie, despite its lower ranking on this list. There is a stellar cast of actors which includes Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh and many more. Each are excellent in their roles and play the types of characters we don’t usually see from them. All of them are, of course, well-written – as is the staple compliment of a Tarantino film. Yet, the movie’s dialogue is occasionally too wordy. It is interesting for sure, but it does drag in certain spots where there was just too much going on. However, there is a plethora of entertaining scenes – thanks to the energy each actor brings to their scenes. The film progressively gets more intense and intriguing as it chugs along, making the experience  entertaining at the very least. As such, The Hateful Eight is a long, somewhat slow moving flick that has enough bright spots to stay at number 5 for our ranking. Cinemaster Score: 8.5/10

3 – Django Unchained; While there have been more than plenty of revenge style movies accompanying modern day cinema, Django Unchanged manages to feel unique in its style and tone. Django himself (played by Jamie Foxx in perhaps his best role) is a man willing to do anything to save his wife from the dastardly Calvin Candie. Candie is given life by Leonardo DiCaprio – who comes across as both menacing and strangely charismatic. He is a bane upon Django’s existence, and Tarantino directs their interactions with great style and skill. Tagging along with Django is actor Christoph Waltz – who has been flawless in each Tarantino film he’s acted in – as Dr. King Schultz. But altogether, Django Unchained is ranked highly on this list for its entertainment value. The action scenes, the well-rounded characters, and the poignant yet violent story all serve to entertain the audience – and Django Unchained does so in spades. Cinemaster Score: 9/10

2 – Inglorious Basterds; Inglorious Basterds is nearly the best thing Tarantino has ever offered up. The film ranks second only to Pulp Fiction and rightfully so. Start with a gander toward Inglorious Basterds’ set of actors. The cast is filled with stars – from Michael Fassbender to Brad Pitt – that are very convincing in their parts. The main cast of characters they play are entertaining and feel a bit over the top – as though to add some Tarantino flair. Inglorious Basterds is centered around a group of soldiers during WWII, trying to gain retribution against Nazis. The story has a plentiful amount of twists, turns, and even humor while the historical inspiration becomes more fictional for the sake of a profoundly entertaining film. Nonetheless, the script for Inglorious Basterds is where it impresses most. While it doesn’t carry the iconic status of Pulp Fiction or the mystery of The Hateful Eight, Inglorious Basterds is an amazing example of peak writing. The opening scene, specifically, is oftentimes looked at as the best in terms of how its script works. The entirety of Inglorious Basterds is written in a way that fills scenes with deeper meanings, high tensions, and great story-telling. Inglorious Basterds is truly an amazing flick that should not be overlooked. Cinemaster Score: 9.5/10

1 – Pulp Fiction; There’s not a cooler movie than Pulp Fiction. It’s indisputable that it has some of the best dialogue in any film ever. It gives us possibly the best on-screen duo performances of Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield and John Travolta as Vincent Vega. Uma Thurman is pretty much perfect here as well, playing the intriguing Mia Wallace. Tarantino writes and directs his smoothest flowing film yet. When you have a movie that’s near three hours long, and yet many are able to quote nearly every scene, that in and of itself is an incredible accomplishment. Pulp Fiction is one of the few films that is still dissected scene-by-scene to this day – as Tarantino made sure to pack each moment with poignant information and plenty of twists. All of this unfolding in an unconventional and non-linear timeline makes Pulp Fiction one of the most unique viewing experience to ever have. Because of that, Pulp Fiction remains the very best of Tarantino’s illustrious career. Cinemaster Score: 9.5/10

Leave a Reply