Born on March 27, 1963, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Quentin Tarantino was born to an Italian father and an Irish mother. At 14 years old, Tarantino wrote his first screenplay. Since then he has become one of the most prolific players in Hollywood. He has almost 30 writing credits, 21 directing credits, and 22 producing credits. This doesn’t even include his acting roles. Tarantino’s work is gritty, inventive, and, oftentimes, extremely bloody. To celebrate this man’s incredible work, here are my picks for his top 5 best movies.
5. Kill Bill
Only Tarantino could come up with a plot as crazy as Kill Bill. The idea for this movie came to Tarantino while he was working on Pulp Fiction. He said he always wanted to do a 70’s style kung-fu movie, and Uma Thurman came up with the movie’s opening shot. While I adore Thurman in this film, this story would be nothing without Lucy Liu and Daryl Hannah’s tremendous acting capabilities. On top of a stellar cast, the fight scenes in this movie are epic; they even spent $60,000 of the budget on swords and weapons. Definitely, a well-made investment.
4. Pulp Fiction
I’m sure there will be plenty of people screaming at me from behind their computer screens because I didn’t put this movie at number one. Though I do love Pulp Fiction, I just don’t think it is Tarantino’s best. It is by far one of the best movies of the 1990s, and it was something completely different from what was being created at the time. Pairing John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson together was a stroke of genius on Tarantino’s part, and I will never forget that adrenaline shot scene.
3. Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs was the first Tarantino movie I ever saw. I remember thinking, within the first 30 minutes of this movie, could this man use any more blood? Joking aside, Reservoir Dogs will forever be one of my favorites. Every scene is laced with suspicion and paranoia. Tarantino actually planned on playing Mr. Pink and told Steve Buscemi the only way he would get the part is if he wowed him in the audition. He did. Additionally, true to Tarantino form, this movie uses the f-word 272 times.
2. Django Unchained
This whole movie is a wild ride from start to finish. Everything about this film was fantastic, especially the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio is electric, but Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz steal every scene they are in. Waltz actually turned down the role was it was first offered to him, but of course, he eventually gave in. Tarantino never shied away from the trauma slavery left on his African American characters, nor did he ever tone down the racism of his plantation owners and workers. In fact, Tarantino admitted that DiCaprio’s character Calvin Candie is the only character he’s created that truly hates.
1. Inglorious Basterds
Inglorious Basterds is my favorite Tarantino film of all time. I would say I biased as I have always been a World War II history nerd, but the revisionist history in this film feels so satisfying. I will also admit that I have never seen a more beautifully structured opening scene than the one in this movie. And let us never forget Brad Pitt’s character’s hilarious attempt at Italian. Shockingly, Tarantino almost didn’t make this film because he couldn’t find someone who could play Colonel Hans Landa. Thankfully, Christoph Waltz auditioned, or else we might never have seen this masterful film.
- Django Unchained [IMDb]
- Tarantino Bio [IMDb]
- Inglorious Basterds [IMDb]
- Pulp Fiction [IMDb]
- Kill Bill [IMDb]
- Reservoir Dogs [IMDb]
- Feature Picture [Wikimedia]