The Definitive Ranking Of David Fincher Films (For Real This Time)

10.08.14 4 years ago 68 Comments
Editor’s Note: Yesterday, I ran a joke ranking of David Fincher films making fun of peoples’ constant need to rank things. Nonetheless, it’s a desire I understand, and Laremy wrote a more earnest ranking, so I’m going to publish that too. What can I say, we contain multitudes.

It’s time for the Internet’s most popular running listicle, the one where Laremy treats movies as if he’d like to date them! This time our subject is David Fincher, hero to the common man.


Alien 3
It’s not that Alien 3 is a bad film, by any stretch, it’s just that it is Fincher’s worst. No one (NO ONE) could have known that this fellow Fincher would go on to direct legit movies. Hell, even Fincher himself wasn’t sure, he was so disenchanted (possible porn parody for Enchanted?) by the process of making this film that afterwards he went running into the arms of Sting (real name: Gordon) to make a music video for him. Folks, there’s depression, there’s languishing in one’s own misery, and then there’s making a Sting video. The Police? I could see it. But not Sting, dear God, not that.

Panic Room
Kristen Stewart! Jodie Foster! Forest Whitaker! And soooooo much panic! I’ve always kind of wanted a panic room. I have these elaborate fantasies of an underwater lair or perhaps one of those bookshelves that slides out to reveal my own Chipotle franchise, stocked and ready for my panic eating. As for the movie, which I guess is theoretically the point, it’s much more melodramatic and overplayed than later DF movies would come off. Again, it’s not awful, and this would rank as many directors best film, but we’re not talking about “most”, we’re talking about David “the” Fincher “King”. Hell of a weird nickname they’ve given him, but it only underscores the point that the man can direct his way around a bedroom.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
And so begins the area where everyone can start throwing fisticuffs. I can hear it now, “This dude friggin’ aged backward!” I know he did, and I liked little baby Brad Pitt too. Who didn’t? Kid was adorable, and thinking of little baby Pitt being adopted and then robbed from the cradle by Miss Jolie stirred my heart to ten times normal size. But that’s not the point. This was a highly artful, and also highly boring, film. It doesn’t have the rough edges of Panic Room or Alien Tres, but it’s also pretty gosh darned toity (as they used to say in the hood). Well done, but also relatively not worth doing, like Vince’s LinkedIn Profile.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The last of our “in a pinch titles”, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Why remake this one after the Swedes crushed it so hard? When Sweden does something right, you let it well enough alone, lest they rouse their furious and righteous anger. Meatballs, bikini teams, and massages – when this country puts its mind to something it cinches it up tighter than a well digger’s pucker hole. But Fincher DID do a good job here, the film is pretty solid, and Rooney Mara is extremely convincing as a “dead behind the eyes” (justifiably) psycho who also can’t go out in windstorms without an anvil. They’re never going to make the next two of these, a shame that, because they probably would have gotten better. Fincher was laying the groundwork with Tattoo, the plane was to come later.

The Game
I’m one of these The Game fans, though I know many aren’t. I suppose I just like the idea that if one of my relatives decides to push me right to the edge of sanity, it will eventually be revealed that it was just an elaborate “love you, bro”. This time around, that’d be really nice, ask Randy Quaid if you want to know what I mean. Sidenote: what do you suppose the bill on this one, say if I wanted to The Game someone? The budget is listed as $50,000,000. That seems excessive, but that’s the movie budget, so I’m not sure it’s totally commensurate. What if you and I started a The Game company? Who would we The Game first? I’m being jocular, admittedly, but I really did like the movie. Especially the part with the day-glo paint. Pretty boss.

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