This user from Reddit pretty much nailed why Jackie Brown is a true blue Tarantino movie.
Jackie Brown is an entirely different animal even if it's the same family.
Remember the time frame of the release of this film. Quentin Tarantino directed Pulp Fiction 3 years earlier and fans were eagerly awaiting his next film. They expected something bigger, badder, more grandiose. Instead, he offered us a slow paced, methodical, character-study of a film - a simple heist film but with a twist, mostly starring people over the age of 50. He turned an Elmore Leonard novel into a love note for Pam Grier. This movie was Tarantino's way to prove that he knows how to DIRECT - that he wasn't just some maverick, young buck, flash-in-the-pan filmmaker. It was after this film that he was finally accepted as a competent force in the film world. After Jackie Brown, he would never have to prove himself again.
The acting in the film is top notch and has the gritty realism lacking in his other work. Say what you will about Pulp Fiction or The Kill Bill films, but they are hyper-real, nearly surreal, yet not exactly REALISTIC. They are ultra-stylized action films in the milieu of directors such as John Woo. Yet, Jackie Brown still has all the Tarantino style elements that fans would love if they look a bit deeper and give it a second or third viewing without expecting a confrontation between the main characters involving samurai swords or a hail of bullets set to an obscure funky 40 year old song. Jackie Brown is probably the least violent of all Tarantino's movies, as only 9 shots are fired, and 4 squibs of blood are seen used.
Let's look at a few of Quentin Tarantino's trademark motifs and see how they apply to Jackie Brown.
Excessive, exquisite attention to plot details: Well, this is based on an Elmore Leonard novel, so this is kind of a given. Leonard loves to use a huge cast of characters and weave them into fairly intricate interactions without ever leaving any plot holes. Really, this was a natural choice for Tarantino to source a film.
Engaging dialogue: Any scene in that film with Ordell Robbie has engaging dialogue. Most every line he says is quotable and memorable. Add in Pam Grier and Robert Forester delivering their deadpan, overly honest, nearly sardonic conversations and you've got a very natural feeling film that's impossible to stop watching - I just want to hear these three characters talking for hours on end.
Toying with Chronology and Narrative Structure: One thing Tarantino loves to do he does very subtly and in a straightforward manner in Jackie Brown. The shopping mall scene would not have worked at all if not for creative editing using flashbacks. The same few minutes are seen over and over from differing perspectives. This layered approach to a climactic scene evokes a leisurely feel to the penultimate moment of the entire film. Other films ramp up the excitement until a fevered pitch explodes at the height of the action. Jackie Brown is a slow burn through and through. While this may seem like he is NOT toying with narrative structure in this film, he is indeed toying with what one might EXPECT from Tarantino based on his earlier works.
Long takes: The opening tracking shot that lasts 3 and a half minutes is just Jackie walking, Ordell in his car or driving for long moments, Jackie exiting the dressing room tracks her through the entire mall, Ordel and Louis talking at the bar for what feels like an entire evening - there are many trademark long shots in this film. These all lend to creating the slow pacing necessary for this film's mood.
Memorable, marvelously bemusing supporting characters: Beaumont, Sheronda, Melodie, Ray Nicholette - all of these characters are every bit as strong, developed, and complex as the lead characters. They just have less screen time than the lead characters.
Blatant, almost fawning tribute to great action pictures and comic books of the past: This is an homage to 1970's films as much as his other works except for the interesting take he has on it: it's a 1970's film 25 years later. It's a middle aged film. From the opening scene set to the tune of "Across 110th Street" we get the feel that this might be a pseudo-blaxploitation film but we soon realize that if it is, it's more worn out, tired, and exasperated than it would be in the 70's.
Fantastically unique soundtracks: Jackie Brown is no exception to this rule. Tracks by Bobby Womack, The Delfonics, Johnny Cash, and Bloodstone make the feel of this film a warm sweater. It's the smooth yet funky 1970's sounds, but again, the more mature songs - the lasting songs that still sound great after 100 listens. These tracks make the listener relaxed and beautifully languid - the perfect accompaniment to the pacing of the film.
TL:DR- In no way am I trying to take anything away from Quentin Tarantino's other admittedly more successful and popular films, however, I rate Jackie Brown above his other films because it feels a more realistic, mature, coherent work that still typifies all elements of his unique trademark style. - caffiend2