Quentin Tarantino celebrates his 57th birthday on March 27, 2020. The Oscar-winning writer-director redefined independent cinema with his pulpy mix of violence, dark humor and pop culture, crafting several modern classics. In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look back at all 10 of his films, ranked worst to best.
Born in 1963, Tarantino made a living as a video store clerk while penning spec scripts. He made his directorial debut with “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), a “Rashomon”-esque crime drama about a botched jewel heist. Two more of his scripts, “True Romance” (1993) and “Natural Born Killers” (1994), were later produced by Tony Scott and Oliver Stone, respectively.
He hit the Oscar jackpot just two years after his filmmaking debut with “Pulp Fiction” (1994), a multi-narrative, self-referential pastiche about a group of criminals whose lives intersect in surprising ways. After winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the indie hit went on to collect a screenwriting prize for Tarantino and Roger Avery, earning nominations in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (John Travolta), Best Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson), Best Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman) and Best Film Editing. A slew of imitators followed, none matching the original’s blend of carnage, comedy, and pop culture.
Tarantino returned to the Oscar race with his World War II epic “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), which brought him nominations for writing and directing. He collected his second trophy in Best Original Screenplay three years later for “Django Unchained” (2012), a spaghetti western homage about a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) searching for his wife in the Civil War-era South. Both films competed in Best Picture, and both reaped Best Supporting Actor victories for Christoph Waltz.
He wracked up three more nominations for his latest outing, the 2019 release, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” A loving tribute to the movies, music and television of 1969 Los Angeles, the film personally brought him 2020 bids for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (plus ones for stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, who won the Best Supporting Actor prize).
Tour our photo gallery above of Tarantino movies, and see how his latest feature stands up to the rest of his filmography.