Quentin Tarantino’s Birthday: All His Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

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Newsweek

American director and scriptwriter Quentin Tarantino, who turns 56 today, has made some of Hollywood’s most iconic movies, from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction to Kill Bill and Django Unchained.

Born on March 27, 1963, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tarantino was obsessed with cinema from an early age. He started writing screenplays at school, a passion he continued while working at a video store.

By 1991, he had completed the screenplays for Reservoir Dogs and True Romance and had written the story for Natural Born Killers. He sold True Romance and Natural Born Killers to fund his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs. That movie was released in 1992 and caused a huge sensation. Suddenly the video store clerk was the toast of Hollywood.

The following year saw the release of True Romance, directed by Tony Scott, but unmistakably a Tarantino film. As Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone, "it's Tarantino's gutter poetry that detonates True Romance. This movie is dynamite."

Then came Pulp Fiction, which he wrote and directed, picking up an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It was a commercial smash, too, grossing over $200 million and cementing Tarantino’s status as one of Hollywood’s most exciting filmmakers.

His winning streak continued with Jackie Brown and Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2—all of which proved box-office hits. Rene Rodriguez, writing in the Miami Herald, captured the unabashed mayhem of Tarantino’s movies when he declared: " 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."

This dizzying blend has remained the defining feature of Tarantino’s work, and while there have been times when his tropes seemed tired or repetitive, many of his later movies, such as Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, won over critics and audiences alike.

This year will see the release of his highly anticipated crime mystery 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.

To celebrate Tarantino’s birthday, Newsweek has analyzed data from review aggregation websites Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and IMDb to rank all of the movies he has directed or officially written or co-written. (The list includes both Grindhouse, the double feature that saw his movie Death Proof released alongside a Robert Rodriguez movie, and the extended version of Death Proof that was released separately a few months later.) From Reservoir Dogs onwards, here’s how his work stacks up.

01 Four Rooms
Miramax

15. Four Rooms (1995). Total score: 42.75%. 
IMDb users: 6.7. Metacritic: (n/a). Rotten Tomatoes: 3.5. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.4. 
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

14. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Total score: 58.38%. 
IMDb users: 7.3. Metacritic: 48. Rotten Tomatoes: 6. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.5. 
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: 60.39%. 
IMDb users: 7. Metacritic: (n/a). Rotten Tomatoes: 5.77. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.6.
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: 67.08%. 
IMDb users: 7.3. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 5.72. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.5. 
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.

11. True Romance (1993). Total score: 70.03%. 
IMDb users: 7.9. Metacritic: 59. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.54. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
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: 70.1%. 
IMDb users: 7.5. Metacritic: 64. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.46. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.5. 
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: 72.24%. 
IMDb users: 7.8. Metacritic: 68. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.33. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8. 
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 Kill Bill- Vol
Miramax

8. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). Total score: 73.23%. 
IMDb users: 8.1. Metacritic: 69. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.66. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.4. 
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

09 Sin City 2
Dimension Films

7. Sin City (2005). Total score: 73.79%. 
IMDb users: 8. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.41. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.3. 
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. 

10 Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company

6. Inglourious Basterds (2009). Total score: 75.46%. 
IMDb users: 8.3. Metacritic: 69. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.79. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.
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

11 Grindhouse
Dimension Films

5. Grindhouse (2007). Total score: 75.8%. 
IMDb users: 7.6. Metacritic: 77. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.38. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
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.