Even though visionary writer-director Quentin Tarantino is arguably at the height of his career right now, with his latest movie, the Western-set-in-the-Deep South Django Unchained, both a commercial success — at $138 million and counting it is his highest-grossing North American release — and a critical favorite — it's nominated for five Academy Awards (on top of the Golden Globe it earned him for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture) — he is no less a controversial and divisive filmmaker today than when his first movie debuted back in 1992. Fellow filmmaker and frequent Tarantino critic Spike Lee is one of the most vocal opponents of his latest movie, saying Django Unchained is "disrespectful" of the history of slavery (though he admitted that he hasn't seen the movie and has no intention of seeing it). Other important figures in the black community have come out in support of the movie, however, such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, who applauded Django Unchained, saying that it captured "the cultural, physical and psychological pain" of slavery.
If you're one of the many for whom Django Unchained was an introduction to the violent, cool, hyper-realistic world of Quentin Tarantino cinema and now you are wondering what you've been missing all of these years (or, conversely, you hated it and want some more fuel to heap on the Tarantino fire), we've put together a list of movies that can help you become more knowledgeable of the style and language of his movies. We're not promising that you're going to love all of the movies on the list or get all of his cultural and cinematic references, but, in less than eight hours' time, you will be able to hold your own the next time Tarantino's name pops up in conversation. Let's do it! Both barrels blazing! >>