19. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino
Arguably Quentin Tarantino's finest moment, the finale to Pulp Fiction finds the director deconstructing the sacred genre archetypes that he worships. At the centre is Samuel L. Jackson's hitman Jules, a blaxploitation throwback who busily contemplates his role in life while pointing a gun at an unwitting armed robber's face.
Like Tarantino's career as a whole, Pulp Fiction is all about discovering new paths for well-trod genres, which is why Jules' final monologue is such a vital moment. His character is a cold-blooded killer with a scripted bible quote that he unloads on victims before he empties his clip. Like all great movie villains, he likes to wax philosophical before waxing his prey. But in Pulp Fiction's magnificent finale, Jules' does like Tarantino, reconsidering the script, breaking down the bible quote, and searching for a new take on a familiar character. —Rad S.