Quentin Tarantino’s Favorite Movies: 53 Films the Director Wants You to See

Promoting his new book "Cinema Speculation," the filmmaker described Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as a perfect film. He also said of Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch": "Its imperfections are part of its glory."
Quentin Tarantino and his favorite movies
(Clockwise from bottom left): "Audition," "There Will Be Blood," Tarantino himself, "Mad Max: Fury Road," and "Carrie."
Everett Collection

To say that few filmmakers love movies as much as Quentin Tarantino is a staggering understatement. Few people love movies as much as Quentin Tarantino, and the cinephile’s tastes continue to shape Hollywood.

The video store clerk-turned-director has spent decades dazzling interviewers and fans with his unparalleled knowledge of cinema history, with tastes that range from universally acclaimed classics to more obscure and even lowbrow fare. While his love of spaghetti Westerns and exploitation flicks has always been well-documented, Tarantino isn’t afraid to publicly embrace the modern or mainstream. He proudly championed “Top Gun: Maverick” in the summer of 2022, as did so many others. Not to mention, he’s a fan of rom-coms, particularly on long flights, and once dubbed Kate Hudson “the queen of the skies.” The man just loves cinema, and if a film entertains him, he’s going to tell the world about it.

From “Reservoir Dogs” to “Inglourious Basterds,” Tarantino’s filmography draws directly from the movies he likes most. He’s been inspired by blaxploitation (see elements of “Jackie Brown”) and samurai epics (as in the “Kill Bill” duology). When he’s not paying tribute to film history in his directing, Tarantino keeps talking cinema in both the veins of criticism and geekery.

In 2022, the filmmaker and his “Pulp Fiction” co-writer Roger Avary launched the Video Archives Podcast, which sees the duo revisiting many of the films they used to watch on VHS when they worked at the iconic video store together. That has given Tarantino a new outlet to share his opinions about movies, and the world is richer for it. He set out to do something similar in his book “Cinema Speculation,” which arrived on shelves that October.

Diving into Tarantino’s favorite movies is a wild journey, but one that will undeniably leave you with a more well-rounded knowledge of cinema. At the very least, it’s a great place to go when you’re finished rewatching his old work and are once again twiddling your thumbs waiting for news of the auteur’s long fabled tenth film. Keep reading for a roundup of 53 of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies. Then, check out a list of films he doesn’t recommend.

Zack Sharf contributed to this article.

[Editor’s note: The following list was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated multiple times since.]

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.