Ranked: Quentin Tarantino’s Best (and Worst) Movies

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Newsweek

Whether you love it or hate his work, there’s no denying that Quentin Tarantino has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema.

His eclectic taste in cinema likely originated during his childhood. He was named after Quint Asper, Burt Reynolds's character in the TV series Gunsmoke. He grew up in Los Angeles and his mother and stepfather let the young boy watch R-rated movies at the local theater. He was writing screenplays as a teenager before he dropped out of high school to work a series of jobs in porno movie theaters and video stores.

These early scripts gave Tarantino his entry into Hollywood. With the money he made selling the screenplay for True Romance and the story for Natural Born Killers, he made enough money to fund his first movie, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs.

The film was a critical smash, with a high-energy, postmodern smartness that captured the early 90s zeitgeist, although it remained something of a cult hit. With his earnings from Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was able to make another leap forward, writing and directing what remains one of his best-known films, 1994’s Pulp Fiction.

Winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Pulp Fiction grossed over $200 million and cemented Tarantino’s status as one of Hollywood’s most exciting filmmakers.

Jackie Brown and the two Kill Bill movies followed to more critical and commercial success. Although Death Proof, his half of the 2007 double feature, Grindhouse, failed to match his previous successes, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained won over critics and audiences alike.

This year will see the release of his highly-anticipated mystery crime film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969, the movie is centered around Charles Manson and his murderous band of followers. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie head up the big-name cast.

Looking at review data from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, as well as IMDb user reviews, Newsweek has taken a look over Tarantino's incredible career to rank all of the movies he has directed or officially written or co-written.

The list includes both Grindhouse, the double feature which saw his movie Death Proof released alongside a Robert Rodriguez movie, and Death Proof itself as a separate entity. An extended version of Death Proof was released separately a few months after Grindhouse. From Reservoir Dogs onwards, here’s how his work stacks up.

01 Four Rooms
Miramax

14. Four Rooms (1996). Total score: 45.33%. IMDb users: 6.7. Metacritic: (n/a). Rotten Tomatoes: 6. 
Directed by: Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Madonna, Marisa Tomei, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino.
Plot summary: Four interlocking tales that take place in a fading hotel on New Year's Eve.
Domestic total gross: $4,257,354.
What the critics said: "Four Rooms comes billed as a film made by four friends. If they are still friends after finishing this film, that says a lot for their friendship... Tarantino had the right idea in choosing to satirize himself but unfortunately does not seem to understand why he is funny. A movie about him making this film could have been hilarious." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

02 From Dusk Till Dawn
Dimension Films

13. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Total score: 60.33%. IMDb users: 7.3. Metacritic: 48. Rotten Tomatoes: 6. 
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez. Written by: Robert Kurtzman, Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo.
Plot summary: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.
Domestic total gross: $25,836,616.
What the critics said: "The picture shows what happens when a writer (Tarantino) and a director (Rodriguez) come together and reinforce each other's worst tendencies and misconceptions." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

03 Death Proof
Dimension Films

13. Death Proof (2007). Total score: 61.33%. IMDb users: 7. Metacritic: (n/a). Rotten Tomatoes: 5.8. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino. 
Plot summary: Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.
Domestic total gross: (n/a).
What the critics said: "The dialogue with which Tarantino is usually adept is disastrously clunky, the filmmaking largely without flair and even the aping of the smears and scratches of the schlock originals seems ridiculous." Derek Malcolm, London Evening Standard

04 Natural Born Killers
Warner Bros.

12. Natural Born Killers (1994). Total score: 68%. IMDb users: 7.3. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 5.7. 
Directed by: Oliver Stone. Written by: David Veloz, Richard Rutowski, Oliver Stone, based on an original screenplay by Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield, Jared Harris, Robert Downey Jr. 
Plot summary: Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.
Domestic total gross: $50,282,766.
What the critics said: "The movie is enlightening, not because it transmits new information, but in the way that movies enlighten, through a synergy of images and rhythms that makes us sense the world in a new way." David Ansen, Newsweek

05 True Romance
Warner Bros.

=10. True Romance (1993). Total score: 71%. IMDb users: 7.9. Metacritic: 59. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.5. 
Directed by: Tony Scott. Written by: Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, James Gandolfini. 
Plot summary: In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.
Domestic total gross: $12,281,551.
What the critics said: "Made with such energy, such high spirits, such an enchanting goofiness, that it's impossible to resist." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

06 Jackie Brown
Miramax

=10. Jackie Brown (1997). Total score: 71%. IMDb users: 7.5. Metacritic: 64. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.4. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Quentin Tarantino, based on a novel by Elmore Leonard. 
Starring: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Chris Tucker. 
Plot summary: A middle-aged woman finds herself in the middle of a huge conflict that will either make her a profit or cost her life.
Domestic total gross: $39,673,162.
What the critics said: "This is the movie that proves Tarantino is the real thing, and not just a two-film wonder boy." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

07 The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

9. The Hateful Eight (2015). Total score: 73%. IMDb users: 7.8. Metacritic: 68. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.3. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum. 
Plot summary: In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.
Domestic total gross: $54,117,416.
What the critics said: "The Hateful Eight is a movie about the worst aspects of human nature, which is why the film can't be quite described as "fun," at least in the traditional sense. But Tarantino isn't glorifying the ugliness; he's condemning it." Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

08 Grindhouse
Dimension Films

=7. Grindhouse (2007). Total score: 75.67%. IMDb users: 7.6. Metacritic: 77. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.4. 
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie. Written by: Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie, Jeff Rendell. 
Starring: Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Danny Trejo, Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth. 
Plot summary: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the 60s and 70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them.
Domestic total gross: $25,037,897.
What the critics said: "Grindhouse is insider fun when Rodriguez is in charge and regrettable trash when Tarantino takes over." Tom Long, Detroit News.

09 Kill Bill- Vol
Miramax

=7. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). Total score: 75.67%. IMDb users: 8.1. Metacritic: 69. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox. 
Plot summary: After awakening from a four-year coma, a former assassin wreaks vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her.
Domestic total gross: $70,099,045.
What the critics said: "Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is self-indulgent, overwrought, shallow and ridiculous. It is also brilliant, a blast of cinematic lunacy and as much of a guilty pleasure as the schlocky movies Tarantino adores." Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

10 Sin City 2
Dimension Films

6. Sin City (2005). Total score: 76%. IMDb users: 8. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.4. 
Directed by: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino (guest director). Written by: Frank Miller. 
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan. 
Plot summary: A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.
Domestic total gross: $74,103,820.
What the critics said: "I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. I loved every gorgeous sick disgusting ravishing overbaked blood-spurting artificial frame of it." David Edelstein, Slate. 

11 Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company 

5. Inglourious Basterds (2009). Total score: 76.67%. IMDb users: 8.3. Metacritic: 69. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth (uncredited). Written by: Quentin Tarantino. 
Starring: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent. 
Plot summary: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.
Domestic total gross: $120,540,719.
What the critics said: "Scenes like the showdown in the tavern and the movie-premiere finale are as imaginative, energetic and, in their own weird, brutal way, beautiful as cinema gets." Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News