[Editor’s note: The following list was originally published in May 2019 but has been updated accordingly.]
Quentin Tarantino makes movies that are love letters to his cinema obsessions. To watch a Quentin Tarantino movie is to get a crash course in film history, whether you are aware of it or not. It’s no surprise Tarantino is one of the most vocal cinephiles on the planet, often using the publicity tours for his movies to offer up deep dives on his favorite movies or the handful of genre films that served as inspiration for his latest endeavor. But for as much as Tarantino remixes his cinema obsessions, he stresses that critics and audiences have made his reference machine a bigger deal than it is.
“There are definitely things that I’ve taken from the history of cinema. Rarely as a shot. I rarely take shots from other movies,” the filmmaker once told Variety. “But I get accused of that all the time. It’s one of those things where it becomes annoying because anything in my movie — critics are trying to write a laundry list. ‘That’s from this and that’s from that,’ and it’s like 1) movies I haven’t even seen and didn’t take it from that and came up with it myself, or 2) well, yes, in the history of cinema, some other people have maybe done this but that’s not where I’m coming from. But that’s very much the mind of critics who are trying to beat the mastermind. And show how smart they are with all their film references.”
Regardless, Tarantino’s cinema passions run through his movies like DNA and one can see why with the below list of some of the director’s favorite movies. There might only be one more Quentin Tarantino directorial feature left (as long as he sticks to his plan to retire after 10 films), but there are enough movies that have gotten the Tarantino seal of approval that fans will never stop getting a look inside the filmmaker’s brain. Below are 35 movies Quentin Tarantino loves.