My youngest son just finished reading The Hobbit for the first time, and he loved it. So we're starting to watch the Hobbit trilogy of movies, just so I can show him how bad they are. I wanted him to see them while the book is still fresh in his mind. So far we've watched the first one. I told him the first one is the least offensive of the three, and even with that one, he couldn't believe how badly they screwed some things up. I told him to wait until the next two, where about 75% of them is completely fabricated storylines, major characters, and romances that weren't even in any of Tolkien's writings at all.
I briefly touched on this in the book thread, wondering how a movie producer could make three movies over 2 hours long each out of a short novella that's only 255 pages. The first movie wasn't bad, and it mostly followed the story, but it should have ended there as a single movie. The next 2 movies were, as you said, almost completely fabricated, and relied heavily on special effects rather than the original story. They weren't inherently bad movies, and I found them fun to watch, but I truthfully think those movies were just a "cash grab"
by the producers hoping to emulate the success of the Lord of the Rings movies (which I did think were excellent and stayed mostly true to the source).
All Quentin Tarantino Movies Ranked << Rotten Tomatoes – Movie and TV News
So the last two films I actively sought out were; The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino is a director who has a comprehensive knowledge of cinema, but also weaves in real life events in fictional ways like the Manson murders, or Bruce Lee in Hollywood, plus a homage to American culture in general.
I love Quentin Tarantino movies! In addition to the Tarantino qualities you mentioned, he's also able to weave in humor, and knows instinctively how to apply tension and moments of ultra violence. I think of all his films and my two favorite would be:
Getting back to @Brian Boru
's original topic, my most recently watched movie was Sicario (free with Amazon Prime):
Staring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, & Josh Brolin. This movie is tense and uber violent at various points, and the acting from all characters is excellent, especially from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro. It deals with the drug cartels, drug smuggling from Mexico to Texas, and assassin's quest to avenge his family's murder. On a rating system of 10, I'd have to give it a 9.5 or even 10.