Critics are often praising the incredible ear for dialogue of writer/director Quentin Tarantino (and his new film, Inglourious Basterds, is certainly one of the best screenplays of the year to date) but his body of directorial work is just as notable for the amazing performances he has guided in the last twenty years in only six (and-a-half if you count Four Rooms) films. His characters have become so iconic that their names have become cultural reference points – Mr. Blonde, Vincent Vega, Jackie Brown, Marsellus Wallace, The Bride, and Stuntman Mike to name just a few. And no one will forget the names Hans Landa, Shosanna Dreyfus, or Aldo Raine after they see Inglourious Basterds.
All of these memorable characters and the performances that brought them to life got the list-making section of our brains working on all cylinders. Looking at only the films Tarantino's directed (sorry fans of True Romance, From Dusk Till Dawn, and even Natural Born Killers) and only full-length features (counting Death Proof, which was released on its own DVD, but excluding Four Rooms and his scene in Sin City), what are the best performances from the QT filmography? Let's rank....
Runner-ups (in chronological order): Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Chris Penn in Reservoir Dogs; John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Christopher Walken, and Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction; Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and Michael Keaton in Jackie Brown; Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill; Zoe Bell in Death Proof; and Diane Kruger and Til Schweiger in Inglourious Basterds.
In the early-to-mid 1990s, Tim Roth was one of the most consistent actors on the scene, delivering again
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