David Fincher’s Top 10 Movie Performances

David Fincher’s Top 10 Movie Performances

Renowned filmmaker David Fincher is hard at work on The murderer, his upcoming action thriller starring Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. There are many trademarks of Fincher’s films that are likely to be present in The murderer including stellar performances from the cast.

Fassbender and Swinton are great actors, and with Fincher getting top-notch work from his cast, they get to join the impressive array of performers who have shone in their films. Some ended up being nominated for major awards, some have chilled audiences with their performances, and some are underrated but deserving of love.


Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Like many great filmmakers, David Fincher has a handful of actors that he works with on a regular basis. Brad Pitt is one of those artistshaving appeared in three of his films beginning with se7en. He had roles that could be considered the second lead until he landed the leading role in The curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Based on a short story of the same name, Pitt played the titular Benjamin Button, a man who ages backwards. Pitt brought a vulnerability to the character and nailed it across the ages, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, the first time he’d been nominated for an Academy Award in more than a decade.

Jodie Foster – Panic Room (2002)

Meg and Sarah in the panic room in Panic Room

David Fincher is the type of director who can deliver an exciting film on both a small and large scale. He did it with the latest configuration in panic roomwhich tells the story of a mother and daughter whose home is invaded by a group of thieves.

While the supporting cast is strong, including Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and a young Kristen Stewart, it’s Jodie Foster who shined the brightest. She really did feel like a mother in distress, but also one who showed toughness in the face of danger. She earned him a Saturn Award nomination.

Edward Norton – Fight Club (1999)

Starbucks Fight Club Starbucksucks Fight Club

For the most part, there weren’t a ton of positive reviews for fight club after its release. In fact, many critics were not satisfied with the film and even some moviegoers did not like it, but over time it became one of the the most iconic cult classics ever.

The performances of the two lead actors are a big reason for its success. Edward Norton’s turn as the narrator is sometimes overlooked alongside Brad Pitt’s work as the effortlessly cool Tyler Durden, but it’s the nuanced and subtle effort that makes this character work. Norton has to be much more subdued compared to Durden and he makes it work.

Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network (2010)

Mark Zuckerberg looking at a Facebook business card on The Social Network

On paper, telling the story of the creation of Facebook doesn’t seem like the most interesting movie, however, the combination of David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin made it The social network into something spectacular. To play Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg was cast.

Eisenberg had a tough job as he was tasked with playing a leading man who was designed to be unlikable. That’s not something that happens often, however, Eisenberg managed to bring the character to life and earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Amanda Seyfried – Man (2020)

Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies in Mank

The most recent movie released by David Fincher was Men, which ended up being another critical favorite for Netflix. Based on a screenplay written by his father, Fincher made this film in his honor to tell the story of screenwriter Herman J. Makewicz and how he developed Citizen Kane.

The standout performance in this film came from Amanda Seyfried as the real-life actress Marion Davies. Every scene she appeared in stole the show from everyone else to the point where Seyfried earned an Academy Award nomination.

morgan freeman – se7en (1995)

Se7en - Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt with flashlights

After beginning his film career with alien 3which received mixed reviews, Fincher’s next release se7en it was a success. Directed by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, the film follows two detectives investigating a killer who models his murders after the seven deadly sins.

Although the film is packed with good performances, Morgan Freeman’s veteran know-how was the highlight. He gave the impression that he was really a hardened detective dealing with something he couldn’t fully comprehend. It’s one of the main reasons he was nominated for a Saturn Award.

Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson’s novels and Swedish adaptations starring Noomi Rapace set a high bar for David Fincher’s American version of The girl with the dragon tattoo. With expectations this high, he needed a powerful leadership performance and Rooney Mara delivered.

Mara went all out for the role of Lisbeth Salander, dying and cutting her hair in addition to getting whatever piercings Lisbeth had. She was up for a handful of awards (including the Oscars and Golden Globes) and she nailed just about every character’s mannerism from the books. Unfortunately, a sequel was never greenlit.

Brad Pitt – Fight Club (1999)

Tyler Durden

As noted above, Brad Pitt’s performance as Tyler Durden has become the stuff of legend. he he appears in fight club to immediately change the status quo of The Narrator, bringing freshness and edge to his life, leading to the start of the titular club. He was the perfect embodiment of 90’s grunge era.

Although Pitt wasn’t mentioned much during awards season, his work has stood the test of time. In fact, there isn’t a more recognizable character in any David Fincher movie than Tyler Durden, and a big reason for that is how Pitt portrays him, always being the center of attention.

Rosamund Pike – Lost Girl (2014)

Amy Elliott Dunne looking up in Gone Girl

There is no David Fincher film with a most shocking plot twist that girl is gone. The first half of the movie makes you wonder where Amy Elliott Dunne went when she disappeared, but then it turns the tables and reveals that she set up her entire disappearance.

It’s an iconic scene thanks to Rosamund Pike’s work as Amy. Sometimes she appears as a victim, but in most cases, Pike brings to life the chilling aspects of this scheming and cunning character. His Oscar-nominated performance is a little scary because she’s so good.

Andrew Garfield – The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network Andrew Garfield Eduardo Saverin

If Mark Zuckerberg was designed to be nasty, The social network he needed someone to root for the audience. That person was Eduardo Saverin, who was one of the co-founders of Facebook and a former friend of Zuckerberg’s in college.

Saverin was played by Andrew Garfield in his title role. While almost every aspect of the film was met with critical acclaim, Garfield’s performance seemed to receive the most praise. His snub at the Academy Awards was a topic of conversation, but luckily he was nominated at the Golden Globes.

NEXT: David Fincher’s 10 Best Movies, According To Metacritic

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