Content Warning: The following article contains depictions of graphic violence.
No details have been revealed about Quentin Tarantino’s 10th and final movie but the director hasn’t been economical with other details about his work. Recently, he described Brad Pitt as the actor he enjoys working with the most (via IndieWire), which is surprising, given that Samuel L. Jackson and Harvey Keitel are his most frequent collaborators.
There’s no doubt that Pitt has played two of the best Tarantino characters but where do they rank among the rest? Every fan has their favorite, and an argument about who the best is can go on forever. Nonetheless, fans on Ranker have made it clear who they think the top 10 characters really are.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.
10 Mr. White – Reservoir Dogs (1992)
When a diamond heist goes wrong, Mr. White is informed that his new buddy, Mr. Orange, is an undercover cop who might have sabotaged the mission. However, Mr. White does not believe it and ends up killing Eddie and Joe in order to protect Mr. Orange.
Despite being a robber, Mr. White is a well-mannered person, making him an easy character to favor. One scene that demonstrates this is when he forces his accomplices to tip a waitress inside a diner, insisting it’s the humane thing to do. He is very protective of those he cares about too, which is why he gladly kills anyone that tries to harm Mr. Orange. Sadly, his unwavering trust ends up costing him as it later revealed that Mr. Orange was indeed working undercover.
9 Mr. Blonde – Reservoir Dogs (1992)
A close associate of Los Angeles crime boss Joe Cabot, Victor “Vic” Vega, aka Mr. Blonde, is hired to participate in the diamond heist too. He is later tasked with watching over LA police officer Marvin Nash, but Mr. Orange kills him before he can do the lawman any harm.
The primary thing that makes Mr. Blonde special is that he connects two different Tarantino movies. The robber is said to be the brother of Vincent Vega, one of the most likable Pulp Fiction characters. Additionally, Mr. Blonde stands out because he isn’t the stereotypical sympathetic robber that prays no one stands in their way so they won’t have to harm anyone. Vic is more than happy to torture and kill people, with his sadism on full display in Reservoir Dogs‘iconic “Stuck in the Middle with You” scene.
8 Lt. Aldo “The Apache” Raine – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Lt. Aldo Raine was the leader of the Basterds, a commando unit formed to take down the Nazi empire. He is placed in charge of Operation Kino, which results in the deaths of most senior members of the Third Reich, including Hitler.
Though events are only fictional, Raine deserves to be commended for spearheading a mission that results in the death of the biggest tyrant of them all. As a soldier, Raine has high tactical awareness too, best demonstrated when he advises against holding a meeting at a basement tavern because it’s hard to defend from such a position. And just as he predicted, many at the tavern ended up dead.
7 Mr. Pink – Reservoir Dogs (1992)
When the heist goes wrong, Mr. Pink blasts his way through the mess and goes on to stash the diamonds. He later vanishes, with his fate remaining unknown at the end of the movie.
Mr. Pink is unquestionably the most competent robber of the group. Surviving a shootout with the police as well as avoiding getting killed by his feuding colleagues is indeed remarkable. And by topping his streak of maneuvering bloody situations without getting a scratch, he ends up being the winner since he is the one who gets to walk away with the diamonds.
6 Vincent Vega – Pulp Fiction (1994)
Vincent Vega is a trusted hitman for crime boss Marsellus Wallace. With time, he develops feelings for his Marsellus’ wife, Mia Wallace, though a full-blown romance never materializes.
Vega’s appeal mostly comes from John Travolta’s powerhouse performance. His dance with Mia at the Jack Rabbit Slim’s’ 50s-themed restaurant is not only one of the best Pulp Fiction scenes but also one of the most iconic in ’90s cinema. Moreover, Vincent is an interesting character to follow because he is highly flawed. From flirting with Mia to accidentally killing an associate to leaving his gun unattended, Vincent hardly has a moment where he is not being reckless. And this is what eventually gets him killed.
5 Dr. King Schultz – Django Unchained (2012)
A dentist-turned-bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz frees Django, an enslaved man, and helps him rescue his dear wife, Broomhilda. Sadly, Schultz dies during a shootout.
Schultz is an easy character to root for because he has a mind of his own. Despite being a wealthy and cultured person who was raised in the Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, he does not buy into the idea of slavery. And thanks to him being an expert combatant, he contributes greatly to the movie’s action scenes.
4 Cliff Booth – Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood (2019)
Once an in-demand stuntman, Cliff Booth’s career falls apart because of rumors that he murdered his wife. Nevertheless, he continues to serve as the double stunt for his friend, the struggling actor Rick Dalton.
Few characters in Tarantino’s entire filmography would be able to defeat Cliff in a fight. There’s no doubting the abilities of a man who almost brutalizes Bruce Lee before the fight is stopped. Cliff earns himself even more action hero points by successfully fending off an attack by three Manson Family cultists while … not 100% in fighting form.
3 Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Standartenführer (Colonel) Hans Landa makes a grand entrance in one of the most memorable Inglorious Basterds scenes, where he shows up to look for a Jewish family at Perrier LaPadite’s farm. And when things go wrong for the Nazis later in the movie, he makes a deal to save his own life.
Landa is brutal but he awes fans time and again because of his intelligence and intuition. He proves why he is the best man for the job when he locates his victims easily at LaPadite’s farm yet every other German officer had no idea where they were. And by simply examining a shoe, he establishes that German actress, Bridget Von Hammersmark, is a spy for the Allied Forces. Most importantly, he is not all about unconditional loyalty. When he realizes things are falling apart for the Nazis, he finds a way to save himself.
2 Winston ‘The Wolf’ Wolfe – Pulp Fiction (1994)
After Vincent accidentally kills an associate, Marsellus sends his trusted ‘cleaner,’ Winston Wolfe, to Jimmie’s house to help get rid of the dead body. And he manages to do that just before Jimmie comes home.
A meticulous perfectionist, Jimmy is not only good at his job but he is also fast. He is smart enough to never get his hands dirty as he is seen giving Jules and Vincent directives rather than touching the body himself. And even though Vincent shows some resistance, everything goes well in the end.
1 Jules Winnfield – Pulp Fiction (1994)
Jules Winnfield is also a top hitman for Marsellus Wallace. He happens to be very religious too and when he walks away unscathed after several bullets are fired at him, he chooses to slightly change his ways and refrain from killing people.
Jules easily endears himself to audiences by being a multidimensional character. He can do his job well, has great pop culture knowledge, and can put his own spin on bible verses. His will to gather information is also greater than that of his partner Vincent; That’s why he happens to know everything about Mia whereas Vincent doesn’t. But what Jules will always be remembered for is the diner scene where he gets the better of two robbers and still spares their lives.
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