Love him or hate him, what Quentin Tarantino has achieved over his more than 30 years of filmmaking is inarguably impressive. Not only is the “Reservoir Dogs” writer/director a renowned auteur — nominated three times for the Best Director Oscar with two Best Original Screenplay wins for “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” — Tarantino is also a well-versed film critic whose encyclopedic knowledge of other artists’ filmographies precedes him.
Living in Los Angeles, the “Pulp Fiction” director famously began his journey to cinematic rock star status as an employee at the Video Archives rental store in Manhattan Beach: since closed, rebuilt in Tarantino’s basement, and turned into a podcast he hosts with longtime friend and collaborator Roger Avary. It was in the bygone era of rewindable tapes that Tarantino cut his critical teeth: combing through the store’s collection, full of everything from black-and-white classics to straight-to-TV sci-fi specials.
A famed borrower (or appropriator, depending on your viewpoint), Tarantino pulls liberally from the movies he likes to inspire his work; see the Blaxploitation tropes in “Jackie Brown” and the samurai films channeled in the “Kill Bill” duology. The writer/director’s favorites are well-documented for this reason. IndieWire previously rounded up dozens of the filmmaker’s go-to recommendations, from John Carpenter’s “The Thing” to Brian De Palma’s “Blowout.”
Though he’s shared fewer of them, the movies Tarantino doesn’t like have also piqued audience interest. Over the years, the cinephile has lambasted a wide array of esteemed competing directors, including John Ford (Tarantino dubbed his westerns “overrated”) and Stanley Kubrick (whom Tarantino has said is a “hypocrite” for his stance on depicting violence). Tarantino tends to speak about film history and trends in general terms, so it’s less common for him to name specific titles he didn’t enjoy. But when he does, the “Cinema Speculation” author really lets it fly.
Compiled from interviews and news stories throughout Tarantino’s career, the following list contains 16 films the writer/director reportedly does not recommend: be it because he considers the films themselves to be bad or because the circumstances surrounding their releases left Tarantino feeling sour. Featuring a notable number of sequels — and a couple of fringe cases Tarantino didn’t wholesale dismiss, but only liked parts of — the following selections are listed in no particular order. They range from Sam Mendes’ Academy Award winner “1917” to action blockbusters like the Charlize Theron-starring “Atomic Blonde” to classic comedies such as Ivan Reitman’s “Stripes.”