Number 5 – “Kill Bill: Volume Two” (2004)
One thing I’ve always loved about Tarantino is his love for classic yet obscure cinema and how well that comes across in most of his movies, especially in his “Kill Bill” saga. “Volume Two” is certainly the worse of the two films, but it’s still just as captivating and intense as “Volume One.” The film exchanges excellent sword fights for word play, speeches and suspense, which makes “Volume Two” feel more like a Shakespeare piece but with Tarantino’s unique dialogue. And that is glorious.
Number 4 – “Kill Bill: Volume One” (2003)
But like I said, “Volume One” is the superior movie and one I can watch at any time. The action is just so energize and stylish that I can’t take my eyes off of it. It’s like if Tarantino took his dialogue and turned into a vibrant action sequence reminiscent of samurai films. I was tempted to include both films as one entry and put it much higher on the list, but since both films feel unique enough, I think it would be doing each film a disservice to count it as one movie.
Number 3 – “Pulp Fiction” (1994)
A true classic of 90s cinema. Such a smart, stylish movie with some of the greatest dialogue ever written. At times, it never actually feels like a movie, but just a slice of extravagent life with nothing cut out. While other times, the screenplay is so perfectly layered and crafted that rivals some of the greatest works of writing. There’s no denying that “Pulp Fiction” is one of the greatest films in the last thirty years…but it’s not Tarantino’s best film.
Number 2 – “Django Unchained” (2012)
If you ask me, “Django Unchained” is where everything came together for Tarantino. With “Pulp Fiction,” the screenplay was the star to the movie. With “Kill Bill: Volume One,” it was the action and acting. But “Django” finds the perfect middle ground, where the dialogue always feels crisp powerful and real, but the acting compliments that every step of the way. In the end, we get a film that sounds and acts like a Tarantino film, but moves and feels like a truly great western. It’s divorced just enough from Tarantino’s normal style that becomes a timeless classic.
Number 1 – “Reservoir Dogs” (1992)
Sometimes the best ones are the most simple. As Tarantino’s films became more and more elaborate and complex, I think started to move further away from the personal touch that made him so unique in the first place. “Reservoir Dogs” is Tarantino at his most human – his most compassionate, his most frightening, his most confused and his most heartfelt. All of these characters go through these raw emotions as their lives are threatened and it is some of the best confined yet simple cinema I’ve ever seen. Tarantino’s passion and anger is still on full display, but it never comes across as over-the-top or in-your-face given the situation. It is one of the most simple yet effective movies ever made.