5 Reasons Why Pulp Fiction Will Always Be Quentin Tarantino's Best Movie

Pulp Fiction

What is the best Quentin Tarantino movie? I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re probably thinking Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained, or Kill Bill. But take a step back. I didn’t ask you what your favorite Quentin Tarantino movie is (I’m a weirdo, so my favorite QT movie is The Hateful Eight). I asked you what the best Quentin Tarantino movie is. And even after all these years, there’s only one answer to that question, and it’s Pulp Fiction.

Because Quentin Tarantino has had a really interesting career. From the cult classic, Reservoir Dogs to the Best Picture nominated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino is still somehow the coolest director in Hollywood. But there’s no cooler movie than Pulp Fiction, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s Tarantino’s best film. I have five other reasons as well.

Ving Rhames on the left, Bruce Willis on the right

Pulp Fiction Is The Movie That Takes The Most Risks In His Career

Pulp Fiction took risks. What about Kill Bill, you say. That story’s broken up into two separate movies, both of them very different in tone. Or what about Death Proof (Ugh). That’s like, a movie within a movie. You can’t get any riskier than that. But look, if we’re going to go that route, then you might as well say that Tarantino’s segment in Four Rooms is his riskiest film, and we all know that that’s not the case.

No, thematically, plot-wise, character-wise, you name it, Pulp Fiction is the film that takes the most risks out of Quentin Tarantino’s entire career. It’s just all over the place, starting at the end, working its way back to the beginning, and all seen through multiple viewpoints, throwing in humor, suspense (tell me you don’t hold your breath every time for that overdose scene), and even Ving Rhames being raped while a leather-clad gimp watches in the corner. I mean, Pulp Fiction has got to be one of the weirdest, most audacious movies ever to launch a director into super stardom, but that’s Pulp Fiction for you. A movie that takes risks and never apologizes for them.

Uma Thurman

Pulp Fiction Has The Best, Most Memorable Performances Out Of All Of Tarantino's Films

Samuel L. Jackson is in most of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, but come on now. Which character do you remember the most out of all his films? I bet it’s the one with a wallet that reads bad mother—shut your mouth! I’m just talking about Jules Winnfield! Or what about John Travolta? I’m not going to say Pulp Fiction resurrected his career from the dead, but…okay, I will say it. Pulp Fiction resurrected John Travolta’s career from the dead.

But it’s not just them. It’s every character. Sure, you could argue that Uma Thurman delivers a better performance in Kill Bill, but that’s only because she’s the star of that film. But honestly, I think she’s even better in Pulp Fiction because I even forget that's Uma Thurman underneath that black wig, which is always the hallmark for an excellent performance. When you forget that the actor or actress is even in the film and you just see them as that character. Hell, I’d even say that this is Quentin Tarantino’s best performance in one of his own movies. Just all around, everybody knocks it out of the park and sells the hell out of this movie. They’re all so good!

Samuel L. Jackson on the left, John Travolta on the right

Pulp Fiction Is A Movie That Defines An Entire Decade

Pulp Fiction is, in a specific way, the Star Wars of the '90s. It’s the Citizen Kane. What I mean is, it’s the film that clearly defines a decade. Do you know what movie beat Star Wars in 1978 for Best Picture? Annie Hall. A good movie to be sure, but come on. Star Wars! Do you know what movie beat Citizen Kane in 1942? How Green Was My Valley. Another great movie. But again. Citizen Kane! And do you know what movie beat Pulp Fiction in 1995? Forrest Gump. I ask you. When you look back to the 1990s, which movie had the bigger and longer impact on that decade? I’ll answer that for you. It’s not Forrest Gump.

And that’s because Pulp Fiction clearly defines the 1990s, while Forrest Gump quickly faded into obscurity. I also think there’s a strong argument to be made that Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie of the ‘90s. And if not the greatest, then definitely in the top 5. It’s Tarantino’s masterpiece, and a cinematic gem in the era of Nirvana and Bill Clinton.

Samuel L. Jackson

Pulp Fiction's Screenplay Simply Cannot Be Beat

I used to love reading screenplays on Drew’s Script-O-Rama, because I’m a super film geek who once wanted to be a screenwriter. But I’ll tell you, out of all the scripts I’ve ever read, Pulp Fiction is the one that immediately stands out to me. All of Tarantino’s scripts sound like Tarantino, but Pulp Fiction (and Reservoir Dogs, to a certain extent) just feel kind of different. I don’t know if it’s because he collaborated with Roger Avary or what, but the screenplay just works so well, even throughout all the chaos.

It’s just a fantastic script, and one that goes a long way in both its voice and its overall story progression. I do love all of Tarantino’s scripts (especially the underappreciated Jackie Brown) but the Pulp Fiction screenplay just pops more than any other one I’ve ever read. It’s little wonder that the final product is so fantastic.

John Travolta

Pulp Fiction Is THE Quintessential Tarantino Movie

Finally, Pulp Fiction will always be the quintessential Quentin Tarantino movie. The music, the dancing, the coolness, the homages to other, older work, it’s just all there, but better than any of his other films. Look, like I said. I love all of Tarantino’s movies (well, okay, I kind of hate Death Proof), but when I think of the one movie that clearly showcases everything Tarantino has to offer, it’s gotta be Pulp Fiction.

It’s a film that even if Kill Bill or Django Unchained is your first Tarantino movie, I’m still almost positive that you will say that Pulp Fiction is still his best movie. From beginning to end, it just has the biggest wallop, and it’s the movie that made him a star as a director and writer. No question, Pulp Fiction will always be Tarantino’s magnum opus.

Tarantino is a national treasure. Over the course of his career, he’s never made a boring movie, and each new project of his will always be a huge event. But what do you think? Am I incorrect in thinking that Pulp Fiction is his best movie? I’ve left a poll below. I’d like to see what the people think.

This poll is no longer available.

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.