10 Movies Like ‘Pulp Fiction’ You Must Watch

‘Pulp Fiction’ is one of those films, the conversations surrounding which I have little to add to, mostly because everything has already been said, in much better ways than I could ever dream of. It’s exciting then, that I landed a topic like this, regarding films that you can see if you love ‘Pulp Fiction’. I’m fairly certain that the majority of my readers fall into this category of Tarantino fandom (do forgive me if I’m wrong), and while my recommendations could literally weed out every single critically acclaimed film from the director, I’ve decided to not do exactly that.

‘Pulp Fiction’ is known for its non-linear storytelling, its colorful characters, snappy dialogue, and intriguing yet seemingly substance-less plot. I’ve tried to include films here that have similarities to the 1994 classic on the basis of plot, character-writing, storytelling, and theme. I hope you find the list to be an interesting read, because the main film at hand is one of my favorites of all time, and it wasn’t an easy job coming up with films similar to ‘Pulp Fiction’ while being entertaining enough for the people I’ve targeted. The number of Tarantino film recommendations have been reduced to give rise to fresher titles. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Pulp Fiction’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

10. Memento (2000)

Arguably director Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious film, ‘Memento’ is a giant experiment in editing that plays a game with its audience by telling a part of its story in reverse, intercut with another part told in the form of a normal, sequenced narrative, to give one of the most exciting neo-noir mysteries in film history. I don’t really enjoy the writing style practiced by the Nolan brothers, but this movie is backed by one of their best ever screenplays, and it’s amazing how they pulled off what they did on the budget they had. All of that being said, the ending (um, beginning) of the film feels a little off to me, and a couple of plot holes have me scratching my head, though the excitement I have as I see the picture washes over pretty much every major flaw it has.

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9. Jackie Brown (1997)

The underrated gem in Tarantino’s filmography, I consider ‘Jackie Brown’ to be the director’s second-best feature, by which I also mean to say that I highly implore you to see it. Boasting one of my favorite screenplays ever, Tarantino keeps his characters grounded in reality this time (which isn’t something you see in a lot of his films), this added restraint ultimately being the best thing about the feature. I first saw it after being witness to a whole slew of Pam Grier’s B flicks from the ’70s, and I was quite surprised by her excellent performance here, not to mention that of the rest of the cast. The exploitative, raw energy present here intertwines with great character writing, a pace that screams energy, moments of biting tension, and an added sense of emotion with the subdued theme of aging.

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8. Natural Born Killers (1994)

Taking a darker shift in tone, ‘Natural Born Killers’ is perhaps the literal definition of cinematic chaos. Oliver Stone’s frantic vision is electrified by the performances here, in a film about a husband-and-wife pair going off on a brutal killing spree as part of their honeymoon plans, garnering wide media attention. The film was subject to controversy upon release, receiving hate for its apparently immoral depiction of violence. I think that the film is justifiably loud, colorful, and insane to the level that the story warrants it, because you’re not to have a second to breathe, a second to lush in the safety of temporary silence, and you are to understand the extremity of human violence, at least the way the filmmakers see it.

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7. Snatch (2000)

Guy Ritchie went the Tarantino route when he filmed ‘Snatch’, which was something of a follow-up to his ‘Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels’ (1998). I wasn’t a fan of the earlier film of the two, but ‘Snatch’ blew me away. It talks of a diamond heist and the people involved in the mission, while another part of the picture is dedicated to following participants preparing for a fight within an illegal boxing ring. The film is downright hilarious, with snappy, quotable dialogues whizzing part tightly edited scenes one after another, every one of them connecting themselves to the plot in ways that feel both smart and nonchalant. This film is my favorite from Ritchie, though it is flawed in its cartoonish approach towards screenwriting at some points.

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6. Scream (1996)

slasher

I was looking for a different kind of film to recommend under here, something that had similarities merely in its style to ‘Pulp Fiction’, though the genre and plot differed considerably. ‘Scream’ is a horror comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, a cinematic act that its late director, Wes Craven, only knows too well. It’s a bloody mess in places, and the plot revolves around a mysterious masked killer, but the film is cool and composed, unlike its characters. I found all four films in the Scream franchise to be highly watchable, though none of the sequels were able to retain the excellent screenwriting and mood of the first. The original stays untouched with its unglamorous excellence.

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5. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

‘Reservoir Dogs’ should be on top of this list, because it basically is ‘Pulp Fiction’ with a couple things changed about like plot and structure. I see the film as an early nurturing of Tarantino’s style, as it follows the aftermath of a jewelry heist to give us a story of trust, betrayal, violence, and dark comedy. There are some scenes here that stand out, like the opening diner scene (easily reflective of the best of Tarantino’s screenwriting work), and the final shootout, though I found the rest of the picture to be incoherent, long, and not as interesting as it could have been. It’s still a fine film, though I wouldn’t rank it anywhere near Tarantino’s best works.

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4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Shane Black recently stunned us with his ‘The Nice Guys’ (2016), the shrewd black-comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe, but his underrated ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ is to me, by far, the greatest thing he has ever done. Not only are its characters a lot more distinctive and flushed out, but the murder mystery plot is a lot more interesting, not to mention hilarious. Once again falling into the buddy-cop genre, there’s something in Black’s writing that makes his works highly memorable and hilarious with a sense of subtlety to it all. Robert Downey Jr. (as a burglar-turned-actor) and Val Kilmer (as a gay detective) absolutely kill it here, and the film oozes non-stop entertainment!

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3. Die Hard (1988)

The film that officially put Bruce Willis on the map also happens to be a regular on my Christmas watchlist every year. It’s just a fun film overall with a great protagonist given a tricky situation to work with, and though you understand the possible dangers he could face, the fact that he handles everything with this calmness (that is assumed to be him masking his true emotions) gets the audience pumped, and is what fuels the thrill-ride that is ‘Die Hard’. Being the host of some of the most quotable lines in film history, this blockbuster hit also presented us with Hans Gruber, one of the most iconic villains ever, played effortlessly by the late Alan Rickman. All in all, this one’s a classic, and if you haven’t seen it already, I hope my little write-up of it here has got you interested.

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2. Inglorious Basterds (2009)

‘Inglorious Basterds’ is Tarantino’s attempt at a war film, following a ploy by a Jewish-American secret service to blow up a theatre that is to premiere a Nazi film. Starting off with one of the finest conversations crafted by the talented screenwriter, we see Col. Hans Landa, a charmingly sinister Nazi, visit a farmer’s house to see if he is housing any Jews. The film has several moments of great dialogue like this one, and though I do not consider it to be anything special on the whole apart from being a nice, watchable film, its got that Tarantino trademark to the way it flows that I can only be sure of it being nothing short of entertaining for his die-hard fans.

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1. Goodfellas (1990)

‘Goodfellas’ is perhaps my favorite crime drama ever written. It’s so strikingly ‘cool’ with its portrayal of the gangster life, focusing on an up-and-coming no-gooder, reflecting life but from the perspective of someone who thinks what he’s doing is great, enjoying every step he climbs towards the prime position attainable in the otherwise shoddy excuse of a career. Martin Scorsese’s talent shines best in here, one of the most influential films of its genre ever made. To capture the life and ideologies that ‘Goodfellas’ does, with the unrelenting energy that pushes the narrative forward, with the strong characters that this picture boasts, with iconic scenes that sidestep from the overall story to offer moments of pure brilliance, is all the mark of a genius filmmaker. ‘Goodfellas’ is a structured film that broke cinematic structure, and it continues to stay as relevant as it was back when it first came out.

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