Quentin Tarantino is an American filmmaker, actor and cinema owner who has had a long and very successful career in Hollywood. He is known for his non-linear storytelling and neo-noir type movies such as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Tarantino was born in 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee and would began his career as an independent filmmaker in the early 90’s. He has won 2 Academy Awards , 2 Golden Globes and numerous other awards and nominations and in 2015 earned himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I will be focusing on films he directed solo here but there are many other movies that he either co-directed or wrote that will not be on this list.
In 1992 Tarantino would release his first film titled Reservoir Dogs and the film industry would never be the same again, Tarantino brought a type of direction that was new and unique , partnered with a fantastic cast, it’s no surprise that Reservoir Dogs helped to kickstart the career of one of Hollywood’s best filmmakers. Reservoir Dogs follows a group of professional bank robbers leading up to, during and after the robbery. The robbery goes horribly wrong and paranoia runs wild with everyone thinking someone else is a snitch. The cast includes Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn and although the film didn’t find much commercial success, only grossing $2.8 million, it has grown to be loved by fans of the director.
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Probably my favorite film by Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction was pretty much made to be a cult classic. The film follows multiple different storylines of criminals in Los Angeles eventually folding all the different plots into one main storyline with all the characters connecting to each other in one way or another. With actors like John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Samuel L. Jackson the film almost couldn’t fail, ensemble casts like this are a big part of Tarantino’s style and pretty much every one of his films are filled to the brim with big names. Pulp Fiction was nominated for 7 Academy Awards and won for Best Original Screenplay and is widely thought to be Tarantino’s best work.
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Released in 1997 Jackie Brown would be Tarantino’s 3rd time in the director’s seat and would be the third time he released a masterpiece and although the film didn’t have huge commercial success it is loved by fans and film enthusiasts for it’s honest and gritty storytelling. Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch the film follows the lives of several criminals and the crooked law enforcement agents they continually try and outwit. As usual Tarantino brings the star power with a cast including greats like Robert DeNiro, Pam Grier, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton , matched with Tarantino’s unique storytelling the movie is a great exploration into the minds of criminals. The film was nominated for multiple awards and helped breath new life into Pam Grier’s career.
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Kill Bill Vol. 1
I never get sick of watching this movie, released in 2003 the film tells the first part of a story of a woman betrayed and the lengths she’ll go to to get her revenge. Uma Thurman leads a star studded cast including David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah in this no frills quest for vengeance. The film would become Tarantino’s most commercially successful film to that point, earning $180 million at the box office. and in my opinion contains the best sword-fighting scene in the history of cinema.
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Kill Bill Vol. 2
The very next year Tarantino would release the second part to his biggest hit yet and Kill Bill Vol. 2 would help close out an awesome storyline that spans two films. Once again starring Uma Thurman who is joined by the whole cast from the first movie minus Lucy Liu and in my opinion these two films are Uma Thurman’s best performances and David Carradine’s most memorable role since the Kung Fu TV series back in the day and the film was nominated for two Golden Globes along with numerous other awards.
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Grindhouse was released as a double feature with one being Tarantino’s Death Proof and the other being Planet Terror which was directed by Robert Rodriguez. Death Proof depicts a stuntman serial killer who stalks and traps women with his modified muscle car , using it to finish off his victims. The film Stars Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson and Rose McGowan and was nominated for 7 awards including an Empire Award for Best Horror.
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Inspired by the 1978 Italian film of the same name Inglourious Basterds depicts the harsh reality of war and what it can drive men to do and focuses on two separate plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth and Michael Fassbender the film gives viewers a different view of war through Tarantino’s unique storytelling methods. Inglourious Basterds was nominated for 170 awards and won 132 awards including one Oscar and grossed $120 million in the US alone.
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There isn’t a performance in this film that isn’t amazing, every actor in the movie really brings everything they have and it shows. The film follows the pursuits of a freed slave and his bounty hunter friend as they search for the cruel plantation owner in order to rescue the freed slave’s wife. Featuring great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio,Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, this film is one you don’t want to pass up. The film was nominated for 151 awards winning 58 of them including 2 Oscars and there is talk of a sequel coming eventually.
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The Hateful Eight
I’m not a huge fan of westerns but the interweaving storylines and crazy plot twists in this film really makes it stand out from the rest. Released in 2015 The Hateful Eight takes place during a winter storm and a varied group of characters get stuck at a cabin in the woods not realizing they are all connected in some way. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Channing Tatum there is no lack of talent here and the movie brilliantly sucks you in and has you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The Hateful Eight was nominated for 115 awards , winning 40 of them including 1 Oscar.
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Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
The only film on this list I haven’t actually seen but it is Tarantino’s latest release and has received mixed reviews and a large amount of negative attention due to the depiction of the Legendary Bruce Lee causing a large amount of backlash from Asian consumers. Taking place in the late 60’s the film depicts the struggles of an actor fading from the spotlight alongside his stuntman and their struggles to make a comeback and stay relevant. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Emile Hirsch the film has found relative success and should do pretty decent once it’s released on DVD as well.
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As far as I could find the only Project coming up that Quentin Tarantino will be directing is an unnamed Star Trek project, there are zero details about it aside from that but I’m sure we’ll have plenty more masterpieces from this incredible director in the future.
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