There aren’t many directors who work with more precision than David Fincher. No matter what he does, he does it with a sense of perfection that has become all but iconic. Tomorrow, his latest film in The Killer hits Netflix after a limited theatrical run. The movie is one of my favorites of the year, and Fincher is one of the filmmakers that I enjoy taking in the most, so it felt like a perfect time to do a ranking of his works so far. His flicks are among the most discussed of the late 20th and early 21st centuries after all, so why not, right?
Fincher has crafted some of the most beloved works of this generation. If he has only done Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network, or Zodiac, he would be considered a master. That he did them all, and that’s only about half of his resume, well that just means he’s pretty much an all-timer. Even his purported lesser work like The Game or Panic Room is still massively entertaining and generates no shortage of conversation.
Below, you can see my ranking of Fincher’s filmography so far. I don’t think you’ll be particularly surprised by my list, but it’s mine, so I stand by it honestly. Truly, give or take Alien³, they’re all incredibly worthwhile. Be sure to let us know where you stand on the best of Fincher, especially once you see The Killer, if you haven’t been able to take it in already…
Here is how I would rank the films of David Fincher to date:
11. The Game
10. Panic Room
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. Gone Girl
4. The Killer
2. Fight Club
1. The Social Network
As an aside, if you weren’t able to see The Killer in theaters, you should make it your business to watch it on Netflix this weekend. Here is a bit from my New York Film Festival review:
Not everyone realizes the sense of humor that David Fincher has. Even his bleakest of works usually has some black comedy in it. With The Killer, Fincher has embraced that more than ever before. I’d posit that this might be his most humorous work to date. It’s gallows humor, to be sure, but this is an incredibly funny film. Now, it’s dark and violent as well, hallmarks of his career, but there’s a tongue in cheek quality as well. The movie manages to have its cake and eat it too, in that way. Playing as my final title at the New York Film Festival, the flick immediately becomes one of my favorites, not just of the fest, but of the year so far.
The Killer is savage as it is savagely funny. Once the narrative clicks in and you see what Fincher is up to, it becomes even funnier. That being said, you have to be on the film’s wavelength and vibe with what it’s doing, but once you do, it’s highly amusing. By working this sort of mood within over genre fare, Fincher has made one of his most entertaining movies, as well as one of the best new thrillers in some time. Between this, Hit Man (also phenomenal and a future excellent double feature on Netflix), as well as Knox Goes Away, it’s the year of the assassin on screen.
In the end, I think it’s safe to say that Fincher is one of our best directors, even if he’s not always making a movie that everyone gravitates towards. Whether you prefer Fight Club, The Social Network, or any of his other works, he makes things like no other. He’s a cinematic treasure, so a new work from him is always worth valuing!
What is your favorite David Fincher film? Let us know!