What Is Quentin Tarantino’s Favorite Movie of 2019?

Quentin Tarantino might be among the most popular directors working today. But the man behind films like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill is himself one of the biggest cinephiles out there. That alone explains why Tarantino is so protective over his own legacy.

Considering Tarantino’s unconditional love of cinema, fans are always eager to hear him talk about the art form. In particular, his annual list of favorite movies in a given year is a highlight. Now we have a peek at the film that might wind up topping his 2019 edition.

Quentin Tarantino on stage
Quentin Tarantino on stage | Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Quentin Tarantino’s surprising 2019 favorite

Tarantino has a notoriously broad taste in movies. His annual picks tend to include both awards contenders and unexpected genre entries alike. So fans shouldn’t be too surprised to hear Tarantino recently told Deadline that Crawl currently tops his 2019 list.

The Alexandre Aja-directed thriller centers on a young woman (Kaya Scodelario) and her father (Barry Pepper), who must survive a horde of invading alligators during a Florida hurricane. At first glance, Crawl might feel like a bizarre pick for Tarantino. However, this isn’t the case when one considers his interest in horror cinema.

After all, rumors have been swirling that Tarantino might be looking to make a horror film next. If he does, this means the genre will likely be the final film of his career. The director has long maintained that he would retire after directing 10 films.

‘Crawl’ was one of the year’s biggest sleeper hits

Tarantino may be one of Crawl‘s most high-profile fans. But he is far from the only one to enjoy the visceral thrills of Aja’s film. In fact, Crawl turned out to be one of the best surprises of the summer.

Released just two weeks before Tarantino’s latest film, Crawl brought in more than $90 million worldwide. With no marquee stars and a slim $13.5 million budget, it turned a tidy profit amidst bigger releases like The Lion King and Hobbs & Shaw. In addition, it got mostly strong notices from critics.

Crawl may be an edge-of-your-seat cross between disaster film and creature feature. However, what really makes it work is the father-daughter dynamic that emotionally anchors the thrills. We imagine this character focus helped elevate it for Tarantino as well.

Another big year for the acclaimed director

While Crawl might be Tarantino’s favorite 2019 release, his latest film is sure to be on a lot of other cinephiles’ best-of lists. This summer, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood earned $370 million at the worldwide box office. That makes it Tarantino’s second-biggest financial hit, behind only 2012’s Django Unchained.

Moreover, stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt received some of the best reviews in years for their performances. Both actors are likely to get Academy Award nominations for the film. And Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is all but guaranteed a Best Picture slot next year.

Despite the controversy surrounding its ending, Tarantino’s latest is proving to be another career highlight for him. This is especially notable since 2015’s The Hateful Eight failed to live up to his previous releases. Now, it appears, Tarantino is back on top, leaving fans eager to see what he does next.