David Fincher is a director who has become famous first for his music videos. There are so many of them that we can’t even count them anymore. And then he decided to make movies. And it was such a good move. He proved to be one of the most talented directors of his time with the most anticipated movies. He is a three times Oscar nominee for the best director.
His psychological thrillers are among the best ever. They are dark and gloomy, often full of deeply disturbed and twisted characters. And the twists in his movies are unforgettable. Making a list of his works and ranking them from worst to best is not easy at all, since it seems that he hasn’t made a bad movie in his life. And this one is subjective, based on no rankings and awards. Still, these are all David Fincher movies ranked from worst to best.
11. Alien 3 (1992)
Being somewhat different from its two predecessors and one of the most important and best Sci Fi movies of all time, Alien 3 had a pretty hard time continuing the cult status of the first two sequels. And it is also something that David Fincher isn’t at home with. We all know him as a master in thrillers. This was a nice experimental ride for him.
In this sequel, Ripley finds herself in a maximum security prison and after a series of unexpected and unpleasant events, she realises that she has brought along an unwanted visitor.
10. Panic Room (2002)
This is typical Fincher. Dark, claustrophobic and intense until its very end. And with its stellar cast and interesting plot, it is still not as mysterious and dynamic as his other thrillers. But it gained really positive reviews after its release and it remained one of his most famous movies.
We have Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as mother and daughter who need to hide from the burglars who break and enter their house in search of a missing fortune. Jared Leto and Forest Whitaker can be pretty convincing as bad guys and here they make a perfect choice for those unusual burglars.
9. Mank (2020)
Taking an interesting individual connected to an even more interesting and famous movie can be a good and secure choice. This is a story about the social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewitz played by the always remarkable Gary Oldman. He plays the screenwriter who has to finish the screenplay for Citizen Kane but ends up in different unpleasant situations due to his private problems.
This is Fincher’s last movie and his third Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive it this time either. We are still waiting for something of the same quality and intensity as for example Seven and Fight Club, even though he wasn’t even nominated for these two.
8. The Social Network (2010)
This was one of the most anticipated movies in the year of its release. Writing a biographical movie about one of the richest people in the world, Mark Zuckerberg, was a pretty bold move. But Fincher did an excellent job and once again received an Oscar nomination. Once again, he left empty handed but that didn’t stop him from making even more memorable movies.
He gathered a group of some of the most promising young actors, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfiel and Armie Hammer. They were brilliant in their roles and we were given a glimpse of Zuckerberg’s early business life. After he created a social network that would later become famous as Facebook, he was sued by the twins who wanted to convince everyone that he stole their idea.
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Filming a remake of a very successful original based on an even more successful book can be a pretty risky move. But Fincher pulled it off and brought us a remake worth mentioning. He chose an interesting combination of actors and left the overall depressive and dark tone to the movie. It will give you a feeling of unease and discomfort.
A crime mystery drama about a detective who is in search of a woman who has been missing for forty years. He teams up with an asocial female hacker who helps him solve a years old unknown mystery that will leave everyone speechless. It is a remake which serves its original and you won’t be disappointed even if you see it before the Swedish one.
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009)
An original and breathtaking story about a man who ages backwards. Fincher showed his sensitive side with this movie and once again nailed it. Featuring a beautiful score and accompanied by masterful performances, this movie brings us something a bit different. It is beautifully delivered and emotional.
Benjamin Button was born shrivelled and old and we are watching him as a baby and a young boy in the body of a very old man. As the years go by, he is becoming younger on the outside. This is a heartbreaking story that shows us the power of love and friendship, but in a somewhat different way. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are simply irresistible here. And the array of brilliant supporting actors and their roles makes it a fantasy that we don’t see so often.
5. Gone Girl (2014)
The book Gone Girl was a huge bestseller upon its release. Gyllian Flynn once again showed her talent in writing a story about complex and disturbed characters and their deeds. It wasn’t a surprise when we found out that its filming is about to take place. And what a delight as we learned who is going to be behind the camera.
A woman is gone missing and very soon her husband becomes the main suspect. He is portrayed as a sociopath and is having a hard time proving the opposite. But as the days go by, we are starting to be aware of the diabolical game and a sick relationship behind everything.
Nothing is as it seems here. Once again, Fincher aced it with the choice of his main actors.Rosamund Pike gave an unforgettable performance as the missing Amy Dunne and Ben Affleck was an excellent choice for the role of her husband Nick.
4. Zodiac (2007)
It is obvious that Fincher likes to bring us stories inspired by true events. He resurrected the case of notorious serial killer Zodiac and sucked us into a scary game of cat and mouse. San Francisco was terrorized by him for a period of fifteen years and we will find out what has happened between 1968 and 1983.
Slow, very detailed and tense, this movie doesn’t give us numerous shocking scenes and isn’t action packed. Instead, we are getting an excellent portrait of the mind of a serial killer when a cartoonist becomes an amateur detective who wants to track him down. Jake Gyllenhall, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. delivered outstanding performances and proved to be a perfect choice for this claustrophobic and difficult movie.
3. Seven (1995)
There doesn’t exist a list of psychological thrillers without this masterpiece on it. A movie which you will never forget, one that we still quote and very well deserved mention as one the must see not only from its genre. It is absolutely remarkable in its sickness and complexity.
Two detectives, a veteran and a rookie are faced with the most horrifying case they have encountered and might encounter in the future. They are in search of a serial killer who uses seven deadly sins as a motive for his monstrous actions. Extremely dark and depressing, without even a ray of sunshine or a glimpse of hope, this thriller will really give you discomfort and won’t stop shocking you until its very end.
Because this is so much more than a crime and detective movie. It is a story that messes with your brain and an excellent insight into a twisted mind. Kevin Spacey couldn’t have delivered a stronger and more accurate performance of a man who thinks that there is justice and meaning in what he does. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt have also given us strong performances as the detectives who don’t know what to do anymore.
2. Fight Club (1998)
David Fincher is the one who saw the real potential in Brad Pitt and wasn’t afraid of giving him the roles where his pretty face didn’t matter at all. And he paid him back by showing us some of his best work. We knew what we could expect after seeing him in California and 12 Monkeys and he once again proved his talent for playing quirky and disturbed characters.
Based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is a movie which will blow your mind. It is always a step ahead of us, surprising us with its quotes and crazy characters and plot. Two individuals, a quiet insomniac and a laid back soap maker form an underground fight club which soon proves to be much more.
There is simply nothing boring or uninteresting about this movie. It is a rollercoaster that never stops, culminating in an ending which no one foresaw and expected. David Fincher at its best, here we have literally everything why we love him and respect him.
1. The Game (1997)
And the first place goes to The Game. Maybe a surprise, but as I stated at the beginning, this is a highly subjective list. It is a movie which I could see on and on. Its ending was one that surprised me the most, its twist is unforgettable. From the very first minute, this movie causes something unnerving in us. And it only grows as we approach its climax.
After a wealthy banker agrees to participate in a mysterious game, slowly he starts to question his reality and people around him. What is real and what is part of this twisted game? And we are involved in everything as the main character.
I love Michael Douglas and simply adore him in this role and Sean Penn never disappoints. A true Fincher movie, full of twists, adventure, never boring and an example for other filmmakers on what an unforgettable psychological thriller should look like. A true masterpiece.