Ever since he burst on the scene back in 1992 with Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino has been one of America’s most notorious and divisive filmmakers. Drawing from an uncanny well of knowledge, Tarantino went from a screenwriter to a director with a voice and style all his own despite spawning plenty of imitators. While some just saw Tarantino’s movies as nothing but banter and violence, his movies frequently have more on their minds regarding observation, consequence, morality, and civilization. He may go for a laugh in times of war and slavery, but his films have very real stakes and a deep investment in their characters no matter how monstrous those character might be. There’s a reason he and his films have remained a vivid presence in American cinema for over a quarter of a century.
With his new film, Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood, arriving in theaters, I’ve rewatched all of Tarantino’s theatrically released features and ranked them. While Tarantino qualifies Kill Bill as one movie, until he does a wide release of “The Whole Bloody Affair”, I qualify them as they were made available in wide release and on home entertainment: as two separate pictures.