It is almost surprising to discover that David Fincher, who has been in the industry for more than three decades, has worked on only 12 movies so far including his next release, The Killer. The Michael Fassbender-starrer will be premiering on Netflix on 10 November and if early reviews are to go by, this is one of David Fincher’s best movies.
In The Killer, you will yet again get to see the filmmaker’s unique sense of movie-making that he is popular for. Known for his meticulous attention to visual detail, the latest David Fincher directorial will also be visually striking, featuring precise framing, innovative camera work, and a dark, atmospheric aesthetic that enhances the mood and tone of the story.
And this gives you a good enough reason to re-watch some of the previous best movies directed by David Fincher, who made his directorial debut with the science fiction horror film Alien 3 in 1992. With his old films, Fincher managed to tackle complex and thought-provoking narratives that offered carefully constructed narratives that built tension and suspense masterfully. The response to his films was always positive, with many of his films receiving cult status.
The list of best films helmed by David Fincher includes titles like Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), Zodiac (2007), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and the psychological thriller film Gone Girl (2014) — all known to resonate emotionally and intellectually with viewers. If you have not been introduced to his brilliant craftwork yet or are planning to watch The Killer this week, check out our list of must-watch David Fincher movies.
Witness the magic of David Fincher by watching some of his best movies
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. McGinley, Kevin Spacey, Richard Roundtree
Synopsis: Two detectives, William Somerset (Freeman) and David Mills (Pitt), investigate a series of gruesome murders based on the seven deadly sins. As they delve deeper into the case, they unravel a complex and disturbing plot orchestrated by a meticulous and sadistic serial killer, John Doe (Spacey).
More about the film: This David Fincher movie was a surprise success and the seventh highest-grossing film of the year.
Written by: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
Cast: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Carroll Baker, Peter Donat
Synopsis: Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas), a wealthy investment banker, receives a mysterious gift from his estranged brother, Conrad Van Orton (Penn). It consists of an invitation to participate in a life-altering game organised by a company called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). As Nicholas becomes immersed in the game, his reality blurs, and he finds himself questioning what is real and what is part of the elaborate, dangerous game.
More about the film: Fincher had planned to make The Game before Se7en. However, when Brad Pitt became available for Se7en, that movie became the top priority.
Written by: Jim Uhls
Cast: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto, Holt McCallany
Synopsis: The story’s narrator, an insomniac office worker (Norton) and a charismatic soap salesman Tyler Durden (Pitt) form an underground fight club as a form of male bonding and an antidote to their mundane lives. The club evolves into an anarchic and destructive organisation, leading to unforeseen consequences and a mind-bending revelation.
More about the film: Fincher defined the narrator as an “everyman”. The character is tagged in the script as “Jack”, but was left unnamed in the film.
Written by: David Koepp
Cast: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam
Synopsis: Recently divorced, Meg Altman (Foster) and her eleven-year-old daughter, Sarah (Stewart) move into a new home equipped with a secure panic room. On their first night, they are forced to use the panic room when burglars break into the house. The mother and daughter must outsmart the intruders and survive the harrowing ordeal within the confines of the panic room.
More about the film: Nicole Kidman was originally cast as the mother, but she left after an old injury began to worry her.
Written by: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Chloë Sevigny, Philip Baker Hall, Dermot Mulroney
Synopsis: Based on true events, this film follows the real-life investigation of the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who terrorised the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The story focuses on the journalists and investigators including Political cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal), crime reporter Paul Avery (Downey Jr.) and San Francisco police inspector Dave Toschi (Ruffalo), who dedicated their lives to solving the case, exploring the toll it takes on their personal and professional lives.
More about the film: Fincher along with his team spent 18 months conducting their own investigation and research into the Zodiac murders.
Written by: Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Mahershala Ali, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas, Tilda Swinton
Synopsis: Born with a rare condition that causes him to age backwards, Benjamin Button (Pitt) embarks on an extraordinary life journey. As he experiences the world in reverse, he meets and falls in love with Daisy Fuller (Blanchett), leading to a poignant and unconventional love story that spans decades.
More about the film: Fincher’s film received 13 nominations at the 81st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Fincher, Best Actor for Pitt, and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson. It went on to win for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Tyler Winklevoss, and Max Minghella
Synopsis: The film tells the story of the founding and rise of Facebook, focusing on Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) and his co-founders including Eduardo Saverin (Garfield). It explores the legal battles, personal conflicts, and ethical dilemmas faced as the social media platform transforms into a global phenomenon, highlighting the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and ambition.
More about the film: At the 83rd Academy Awards, the movie received eight nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Eisenberg, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. It also received awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.
Written by: Steven Zaillian
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson
Synopsis: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) and hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara) team up to solve a decades-old disappearance case in a wealthy family. As they delve deeper, they uncover dark secrets and corruption, leading to a thrilling and suspenseful investigation that puts their lives at risk.
More about the film: The movie bagged the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, while Mara received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Written by: Gillian Flynn
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon
Synopsis: On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Affleck) reports his wife Amy Elliott Dunne (Pike) missing. As the investigation unfolds, secrets and lies are revealed, turning public opinion and the media frenzy against Nick. The film explores the complexities of marriage, deception, and the media’s influence on public perception.
More about the film: Pike received nominations Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Actress. Fincher got a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Director.
Written by: Jack Fincher
Cast: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Joseph Cross, Jamie McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Monika Gossman, Charles Dance
Synopsis: Set in 1930s Hollywood, the film follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Oldman) as he battles personal demons and races to finish the screenplay for Citizen Kane, often regarded as one of the greatest films in cinematic history. The story delves into Mankiewicz’s relationships, creative struggles, and the political and social context of the time, offering a glimpse into the golden age of Hollywood.
More about the film: The film earned ten nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Oldman), and Best Supporting Actress (Seyfried), and won for Best Production Design and Best Cinematography. It received a leading six nominations at the 78th Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture – Drama.