David Fincher Movies Ranked

8. Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club is a film that nearly everyone has seen – and if they haven’t seen it, they know of it. The film was Fincher’s cult hit that now transcends its director and represents a phenomenon all its own.

It is stylized, funny, and quotable, capturing the spirit of rebellion against corporate America from the 1990s. But what is Fight Club saying about masculinity and consumer culture? Is it a glorification of jaded violence? A statement in favor of men’s rights? No, but that doesn’t stop the decontextualization of Edward Norton and Brad Pitt’s iconic characters to justify talking points one way or another.

Fight Club is a smart critique of toxic masculinity that is weighed down by the way its own premise and absurdity affect the reception of meaning.

Recommended for you: Every Darren Aronofsky Directed Film Ranked

7. Se7en (1995)

Se7en Review

David Fincher’s first foray into serial killer media was also his first film where he had his expected amount of creative control throughout the process.

Se7en’s cinematography exists at a middle point between Alien 3 and later, more refined versions of his target aesthetic – the high-contrast lighting is present (adding a classic Hollywood noir layer to the hyper-violent plot that fits right into the 90s), but the color is a muted version of Alien 3’s palette. There are some striking shots in Se7en, and it has its fair share of iconic moments.

What really makes Se7en great is the suggestive violence. The camera shows the crime scenes, but it doesn’t revel in the act of slaughter. It’s a mature take on the edgy serial killer narrative that another filmmaker may have been too blunt with. While the themes are rather broad in Se7en, this is the stunning debut Fincher should have had. The only thing holding Se7en back in this ranking is that Fincher went on to make even better films than this.

6. The Killer (2023)

The Killer Review

David Fincher’s second cinematic release through Netflix is probably his funniest. The Killer is a sardonic take on agent and assassin stories, as Michael Fassbender plays the titular killer on a quest to avenge an attempt on his life and family. The tone and discordance between genre expectations and presentation, both by the audience and character, put the film among the director’s best.

Films like John Wick and Taken are driven by action, while The Killer deconstructs the mindset that drives Wick or Bryan Mills. The idea of complete solemn stoicism creating an ubermensch who can never fail is absurd, and the film shows the ways in which such figures inherently violate their codes even with great awareness and stellar habits. Fincher also uses the role of the assassin to investigate the state of the world in 2020, where assassin has become the ultimate consumerist gig job. The busy, boring days fueled by cheap food, coffee, and Amazon orders aren’t just for office workers, as the sociopathic lead embraces stratified 21st century life, hoping to place himself among the elite due to his special philosophical take on life.

The Killer is another example of Fincher’s continuing embrace of new technologies and forms in media in addition to perpetuating his excellent track record of aesthetic precision, Kubrickian analytical presentation, and dark subject matter.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Comment