David Fincher’s movies ranked, from ‘Fight Club’ to ‘Social Network’

David Fincher turns 60 today. To wish the Oscar-nominated director a happy birthday, we’re counting down our favorite of his 11 feature films, most of which are considered among the best in their respective years of release.

Fincher remains one of the great visual artists of his generation, innovating in myriad ways behind the camera using cutting-edge digital technologies that enhance the audience experience.

More than any hocus pocus, Fincher simply makes great films that become revered by just about everyone who sees them. Let’s classify Fincher’s films…

11) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Undoubtedly groundbreaking for its visual effects innovation, convincingly aging Brad Pitt back and forth, this remains a tedious adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story about the titular Benjamin Button, who begins to age at the upside down with consequences. Riddled with prestige and anchored by Fincher’s technical prowess, he never connects emotionally and gives us no good reason to root for the romance between Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

10) Alien 3

Widely and unfairly considered (by Fincher himself) the worst in the “Alien” franchise, we… dug a little? At least the world Fincher and his team create in the director’s feature debut. Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley, who crash-lands on a maximum-security prison planet as a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival when she realizes that she brought a xenomorph. An unfortunate computer-generated sequence excluded, Fincher’s franchise entry provides a visually stimulating experience and throws Ripley into an unthinkable situation that seems impossible to escape.

9) Fight Club

Consciously made with style to spare, Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 existential novel finds Edward Norton as an insomniac office worker and Brad Pitt as an eccentric soap maker forming a friendship and an underground fight club. which evolves into so much more, including an anti-corporate terrorist organization bent on blowing up the system, literally. Undeniably, a heightened experience full of Fincher’s signature flourishes, but ultimately it languishes in the ugly, unpleasant world he creates through the eyes of Tyler Durden.

8) Man

Fincher’s uneasy, kaleidoscopic flashback to old Hollywood through the eyes of his late father Jack’s script captures the idea of ​​making “Citizen Kane” if and when drunk screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz can pull himself together for hitting him for his buddy Orson Welles, no matter the consequences. Although written in 2003, Fincher’s film (a technical marvel) assesses modern politics in Mank’s acerbic treatment of media mogul William Randolph Hearst, its climactic “Kane”-meets-Don Quixote tone perfectly embodying the unsettling tension of the movie.

7) Panic Room

A suspenseful film clinic on every level, as Fincher films often are, this stars Jodie Foster as a divorced wife and Kristen Stewart as her daughter as they take refuge in the vault. from their newly purchased home when three men break in, looking for a missing fortune. A tense and thoughtful thriller powered by a feverish pace and the magnetic performance of Foster, not to mention the work done by the villains played by Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam.

6) Missing Girl

Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel takes a big chunk out of potential marital bliss, gender politics and fame, with star Ben Affleck toying with his own off-screen staff to some extent. While the disappearance of his wife has become the subject of an intense media circus, a man (Affleck) finds himself pointed at him when he becomes a suspect. Rosamund Pike shines as Amy Amy, a woman who is fed up with everyone expecting her to just be a “cool girl” to appease her husband. An odd choice for Fincher, but he improves everything he touches, as do songwriters Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

5) Zodiac

Fincher’s brain procedure on the Zodiac Killer brings him back to familiar territory. It’s no doubt masterfully done and well-acted by the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, but you might be itching for the closure story never delivered despite various reports and conspiracy theories. The three-hour runtime may be starting to weigh on you, but if the age of streaming true crime documentaries and shows (like “Mindhunter” perhaps) has proven anything, it’s that we can’t not get enough, even when we know the end.

4) The girl with the dragon tattoo

Daniel Craig takes a break from James Bond to play a schlubby journalist hired to solve the mystery of a woman’s disappearance 40 years ago, and is aided by young hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara in a transformative performance). Based on the first of Stieg Larsson’s Salander trilogy, this capitalized on another bestselling book and once again proved that Fincher is the king of cinematic thrillers. Gorgeous cinematography, Oscar-winning editing, and music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross propel the director’s electric storytelling.

3) The game

A terribly underrated thriller starring Michael Douglas as a wealthy San Francisco banker who gets the opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, as his life is turned upside down and he begins to question his own reality and suspects that people are out to destroy it. A showcase for Fincher’s tight grip on suspense as well as Douglas’ main man chops playing the titular game’s stifling subject matter. Perhaps simpler than most of his other work, but still very effective thanks to an uncanny tension, rightly compared to Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

2) The social network

Fincher’s superb take on Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning script on the origin of Facebook remains one of the best films of the 2010s. it stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Rooney Mara. It probably says more about America than we’d care to admit, both about how social media reach has grown over the past decade and about how we’ll sacrifice valuable relationships in pursuit. power and status. It would be most other filmmakers’ best picture by a mile, and it still feels like a crime not to have won best picture (or director, no offense to “The King’s Speech”).

1) Seven

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, track down a serial killer who uses the Seven Deadly Sins as motives in Fincher’s masterpiece starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, the latter being the world-weary detective whose impending retirement can’t happen soon enough. As thrilling as it is unsettling, Fincher’s thriller remains the best of its kind, thanks in large part to career-best performances from two of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Each frame is beautifully composed by Fincher and cinematographer Darius Khondji, with Andrew Kevin Walker’s twisted script and Howard Shore’s ominous musical score setting the right atmosphere to tell such a dark story about the nature of man. and the intersection with violence. One of the great thrillers of all time with unparalleled payoff.

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