There is no doubt that Quentin Tarantino is an iconic director, from the early hit Reservoir Dogs to the recent epic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But he’s also an ardent cinephile, and regularly discusses the industry in general. Because he’s so passionate about movies, quite often he’ll talk about those he loves and those he believes are way off the mark. 

Previously admitting that he would’ve become a film critic if he hadn’t gone into directing, Tarantino has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of movies. It is this knowledge that quite often inspires his own projects, having made nine films with a tenth still planned.  

Being such a vocal critic which films does Quentin Tarantino recommend watching and avoiding? Well, if you are looking for entertainment inspiration then here are some do’s and don’ts from the great man himself.  

Jaws poster

Perfection in movie form 

Some films just manage to hit that sweet spot, don’t they? With an enthralling narrative, great acting, and beautiful cinematography, they have it all. Even if they do not, a good movie can still have that spark of magic to thrill audiences.  

So, you might be surprised to learn that Tarantino’s perfect movie happens to be Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. During CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, the director said: “I think Jaws is the greatest movie ever made. Maybe not the greatest film. But it’s the greatest movie ever made. And then there are other movies that can get in its rarefied air. But as far as a movie, there’s no making it better than Jaws. There’s no ‘better’ than Jaws. It is the best movie ever made.” 

Also, on the rarified list is Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Noting in his recent book Cinema Speculation that whilst there are “few perfect movies” this brutal slasher is one of his.  

Who else makes the cut? In previous interviews he has also mentioned: 

Back to the Future

Not on the recommended viewing pile 

Quentin Tarantino has a love and knowledge of film which is almost unmatched, so if he says something is bad, people tend to listen. This is why he tends not to rant in interviews about how much he dislikes certain movies. That doesn’t mean he’s never spoken ill of any film, after all, he is a harsh critic. Over the years he has lambasted both directors and their projects for a multitude of reasons. And here are just some of those movies to meet his ire via Indie Wire

  • The Matrix Revolutions 
  • The Matrix Reloaded 
    • While he liked the original Matrix, he is quoted as saying that the sequels: “actually ruined the mythology for me.” 
  • The Hunger Games  
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-present) – “I don’t love them. No, I don’t. I don’t hate them, alright? But I don’t love them.” 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Episode VII  
  • Tenet  
  • Scream – “I actually didn’t care for Wes Craven’s direction of it. I thought he was the iron chain attached to its ankle that kept it earthbound and stopped it from going to the Moon.” 
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me – “I’m not ragging on other people, but after I saw ‘Twin Peaks — Fire Walk With Me’ at Cannes, David Lynch has disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie.” 
  • Natural Born Killers  
  • Groundhog Day 
  • Stripes 
  • Scrooged  
    • Definitely not a Bill Murray fan as they all appear in Cinema Speculation. “I’ve always rejected the idea that Bill Murray’s characters needed redemption,” Tarantino writes. “Yeah, maybe he charmed Andie MacDowell, but does anybody think a less sarcastic Bill Murray is a better Bill Murray?” 
  • Halloween II 

What do you think of the list? Let us know in the comments below.