Go Back   Movie Fan Central Discussion Forums > Movie Talk! > Best/Worst/Favorites/Etc..
MOVIE FAN CENTRAL FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

View Poll Results: Who's the best?
Christopher Nolan 8 23.53%
Darren Aronofsky 8 23.53%
David Fincher 18 52.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-15-2012, 08:57 PM
Christopher Nolan vs. Darren Aronofsky vs. David Fincher

All three are my top five of directors, but I sometimes have a hard time picking which of the three I like the most. Each have a style that makes them unique and the best in their class, but at the same time, each makes films that focus on obsession, psychological abnormalities, and the construct of ethical behavior. But, if I had to pick something I like about each one it would be Nolan's ability at creating male characters that are rarely just shown simply as good and evil without some sort of motivation that could easily label them as gray as opposed to black & white. I like Aronofsky editing style combined with his fixation on dwelling further into the human psyche--primarily with our addictions and where they can take us. Finally, Fincher uses color palettes--similar to Wes Anderson--that definitely follows the mood of the film, overall. I also like Fincher's sense of general realism, like all of his stories are set in a real world, with real characters, with real conflicts (to a greater or lesser extent). I'd like to know what you guys think.

Christoper Nolan
1. Following
2. Memento
3. Insomnia
4. Batman Begins
5. The Prestige
6. The Dark Knight
7. Inception
8. The Dark Knight Rises


Darren Aronofsky
1. Pi
2. Requiem for a Dream
3. The Fountain
4. The Wrestler
5. Black Swan


David Fincher
1. Alien 3
2. Se7en
3. The Game
4. Fight Club
5. Panic Room
6. Zodiac
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. The Social Network
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-15-2012, 09:32 PM
Voted for Fincher, I like more of his movies than from the other two. Then I'd put Aronofsky 2nd and Nolan 3rd.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-15-2012, 09:44 PM
Right now I'd lean towards fincher because of seven, the game, fight club and zodiac, but i haven't liked his last three movies. In a week from now after seeing the Dark Knight Rises I might be leaning towards Nolan depending on how well I think it can compare with the Dark Knight. In 10 years from now I'd lean towards Aronofsky when he gets some more films under his belt.

Conclusion: I'll officially vote either next week or next decade.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:00 PM
Nolan is my favorite. My ratings:

Spoiler:
4 stars
Memento (Nolan)
The Dark Knight (Nolan)
The Wrestler (Aronofsky)
The Social Network (Fincher)

3 stars
Following (Nolan)
Seven (Fincher)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher)
Black Swan (Aronofsky)
Fight Club (Fincher)
Inception (Nolan)
Zodiac (Fincher)
Batman Begins (Nolan)

3 stars
Insomnia (Nolan)
The Prestige (Nolan)
Alien 3 (Fincher)

2 stars
The Game (Fincher)
The Fountain (Aronofsky)

1 star
Pi (Aronofsky)

I still need to see Requiem for a Dream, Panic Room, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:02 PM
David Fincher for me i have seen more movies by him mainly enjoyed them all
Nolan I have only seen the batman movies and inception. all were great
Darren I have only seen the wrestler which is great. looking forward to his veirson of Noah
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:16 PM
My Ratings

Christoper Nolan
1. Following- 7/10
2. Memento- 9/10
3. Insomnia- 7/10
4. Batman Begins- 8.5/10
5. The Prestige- 8.5/10
6. The Dark Knight 9/10
7. Inception- 8/10
8. The Dark Knight Rises 7.5/10


Darren Aronofsky
1. Pi- 7.5/10
2. Requiem for a Dream- 10/10
3. The Fountain- 8/10
4. The Wrestler- 7.5/10
5. Black Swan- 9/10


David Fincher
1. Alien 3- 5/10
2. Se7en- 9/10
3. The Game- 9/10
4. Fight Club- 9/10
5. Panic Room- 7.5/10
6. Zodiac- 8/10
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- 8/10
8. The Social Network- 10/10
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- 8.5/10

I think Nolan's first 10/10 for me will be from The Dark Knight Rises, I hope.

Last edited by Roy Batty; 08-26-2012 at 05:59 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:35 PM
I have really grown to love Zodiac after a few viewings and I think it's the best movie since 2000 that any of the directors did, so I give Fincher the edge.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-15-2012, 11:34 PM
1. David Fincher
2. Darren Aronofsky
3. Christopher Nolan

David Fincher
1. Se7en - 10/10
2. Zodiac - 10/10
3. Fight Club - 10/10
4. The Social Network - 10/10
5. Panic Room - 8/10
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 8/10
7. The Game - 8/10
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 8/10
9. Alien 3 - 6/10

Darren Aronofsky
1. Requiem for a Dream - 10/10
2. Black Swan - 9/10
3. The Wrestler - 9/10
4. Pi - 8/10
5. The Fountain - 7/10

Christopher Nolan
1. Memento - 9/10
2. Inception - 9/10
3. The Dark Knight - 8/10
4. The Prestige - 8/10
5. Batman Begins - 8/10
6. Insomnia - 7/10

Fincher has made four modern masterpieces, Aronofsky has made one, and Nolan has come very close a couple of times. Fincher is the easy #1. Not only is he a genius on a technical level, but he always gets great performances out of his actors. It also seems like with every second outing, he gets his hands on an incredible script. Thematically, I find Aronofsky to be one of the most interesting directors working today. He's been examining self-destruction like few directors have since Scorsese. It'll be interesting to see what he does with a big budget film like Noah. Nolan has really interesting ideas and really knows how to make his films emotionally satisfying. I do think he has some issues with pacing though. Something like Inception is well-edited in terms of being able to weave in and out of several different dream levels masterfully, but there are some sections in that film that make it drag a bit. Memento was tight as a drum, but as his budgets have increased, his films have become a bit more indulgent. I still look forward to everything he does though. In summers like this where we get repeatedly smacked in the face with stupidity, there's always Nolan, giving us something we haven't seen before that is at least interesting, even when it's not perfect.

Last edited by Bourne101; 07-19-2012 at 06:46 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-15-2012, 11:48 PM
It's pretty close between Fincher and Nolan, but I give Nolan the slight edge.

Aaronofsky is a distant third.


Nolan:

Following - 7/10
Memento - 9/10
Insomnia - 9/10
Batman Begins - 8/10
The Prestige - 8/10
The Dark Knight - 9/10
Inception - 8/10


Fincher:

Alien 3 - n/a (need to give it a re-watch for a proper grade)
Se7en - 10/10
The Game - 8/10
Fight Club - 9/10
Panic Room - 7/10
Zodiac - 8/10
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 7/10
The Social Network - 8/10
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - 4/10


Aaronofsky:

The Fountain - 4/10
The Wrestler - 8/10
Black Swan - 9/10
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-16-2012, 05:54 AM
1. Aronofsky
2. Fincher
3. Nolan

1. Fight Club (10/10)
2. The Fountain (10/10)
3. Black Swan (10/10)
4. The Dark Knight (10/10)
5. The Wrestler (10/10)
6. Se7en (9/10)
7. Memento (9/10)
8. Zodiac (9/10)
9. Requiem for a Dream (9/10)
10. The Social Network (9/10)
11. Inception (9/10)
12. The Prestige (8/10)
13. Batman Begins (8/10)
14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (8/10)
15. Alien 3 (8/10)
16. Insomnia (8/10)
17. Pi (7/10)
18. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (7/10)
19. The Game (7/10)
20. Panic Room (5/10)

Last edited by Hucksta G; 07-16-2012 at 07:39 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-16-2012, 06:11 AM
Fincher is a much better director than Aronofsky who is considerably better than Nolan, who I don't think is a good director.

1.) Se7en -10/10
2.) Fight Club -9/10
3.) Memento -9/10
4.) Requiem for a Dream -8.5/10
5.) Zodiac -8/10
6.) The Social Network -8/10
7.) Pi -8/10
8.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -8/10
9.) The Game -7.5/10
10.) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -7.5/10
11.) Batman Begins -7/10
12.) Insomnia -7/10
13.) Panic Room -7/10
14.) The Wrestler -7/10
15.) Black Swan -7/10
16.) The Fountain -6/10
17.) The Dark Knight -6/10
18.) Inception -5/10
19.) The Prestige -5/10
20.) Alien 3 -5/10
21.) The Dark Knight Rises -4/10

Last edited by QUENTIN; 09-27-2012 at 05:35 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-16-2012, 06:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
Nolan, who I don't think is a good director.
I don't get how you can say you he's not a good director when you liked half of the movies he's done. And even in the bottom half, you gave one of the movies a 6, which means you must think the movie has SOME good qualities that you think it's so-so, in the middle rather than outright mediocrity/awfulness.

Rather, you find him on and off. Exactly down the middle, since you like half of his work and dislike half of his work.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
I don't get how you can say you he's not a good director when you liked half of the movies he's done. And even in the bottom half, you gave one of the movies a 6, which means you must think the movie has SOME good qualities that you think it's so-so, in the middle rather than outright mediocrity/awfulness.

Rather, you find him on and off. Exactly down the middle, since you like half of his work and dislike half of his work.
Some bad movies are well-directed, some good movies are not well-directed. Some movies are inhibited by poor direction but have other elements working for them like a great performance or story or cinematography or score, etc. There isn't a 1:1 correlation between a movie's quality and a director's talent or skill.

Memento is a great movie and Nolan's direction is totally decent if unexceptional (it's the script that makes it sing), Insomnia is also pretty well-directed if I recall correctly. His "direction" of The Prestige, and especially The Dark Knight and Inception is largely abysmal, often ruining what might otherwise be interesting. I think he's pretty inept and to be reductive but brief, "covers action" rather than "directs movies." That none of his movies are terrible, some are fine, and one I even love doesn't mean I must think he's a good director.

He's bad at eliciting strong performances even from very talented actors, he's bad at staging and blocking and filming scenes, he's bad at establishing and maintaining tone and pacing, he's bad at human drama and emotion, he's bad at line editing, thus he's a bad director. You don't have to be making all 2/10 Pauly Shore movies to be incompetent.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-16-2012, 10:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
Some bad movies are well-directed, some good movies are not well-directed. Some movies are inhibited by poor direction but have other elements working for them like a great performance or story or cinematography or score, etc. There isn't a 1:1 correlation between a movie's quality and a director's talent or skill.

Memento is a great movie and Nolan's direction is totally decent if unexceptional (it's the script that makes it sing), Insomnia is also pretty well-directed if I recall correctly. His "direction" of The Prestige, and especially The Dark Knight and Inception is largely abysmal, often ruining what might otherwise be interesting. I think he's pretty inept and to be reductive but brief, "covers action" rather than "directs movies." That none of his movies are terrible, some are fine, and one I even love doesn't mean I must think he's a good director.

He's bad at eliciting strong performances even from very talented actors, he's bad at staging and blocking and filming scenes, he's bad at establishing and maintaining tone and pacing, he's bad at human drama and emotion, he's bad at line editing, thus he's a bad director. You don't have to be making all 2/10 Pauly Shore movies to be incompetent.
That's a beautifully balanced takedown of Nolan. I like everything he's done except Memento a tad less than you do, but even if one is entertained by his movies, there's very little of his direction that can be reasonably considered a valuable asset to his work. As you said, he didn't screw up Memento by any means, but there's nothing noteworthy there in terms of direction.

As to the whole topic... I can envision a world in which Aranofsky ends up making the single best movie of the three (which hasn't happened yet), but Fincher is the best director of the three by a country mile.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-16-2012, 12:32 PM
Love all three of them but when it comes down to it, I can't go against the Finchmeister. He's been my favorite director growing up and still is today. He isnt perfect though, I had tons of issues with Benjamin Button and I thought Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was ultimately pointless. But when Finchy is on, he is fuckin ON. Seven, Fight Club, Social Network and Zodiac are all masterpieces imo and some of my favorite films of all time.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-16-2012, 12:39 PM
I think it's also worth noting, for the most part, that Fincher has also had better scripts to work with, especially The Social Network and SE7EN.

Memento was a good script from Nolan, but he hasn't written anything as good since.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-16-2012, 01:30 PM
Aronofsky is the only one of the bunch who has made a truly terrible film, and that is Pi, so he's my least-favorite of the bunch.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-16-2012, 05:17 PM
Fincher all the way..followed close by Nolan and Aronofsky is an easy 3rd place
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:05 PM
1 Aronofsky, best film "Black Swan"
2 Nolan, best film "The Prestige"
3 David Who?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:38 PM
I went with Fincher over Nolan, but it's practically a toss up between those two for me. I'm not that big a fan of Aronofsky.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-19-2012, 02:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
He's bad at eliciting strong performances even from very talented actors.
Definitely gotta disagree with you on this. Guy Pearce and Joey Pants were fantastic in Memento. I would actually argue that Pacino does some of his finest work in Insomnia and Robin Williams is great in it too. Hugh Jackman gives what I think is one of his best performances in The Prestige. And of course his Batman movies are full of great performances. For instance, everybody hailed Heath Ledger's work in The Dark Knight, and he deserves all of his accolades for that performance, but I thought Aaron Eckhart was just as great.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-10-2012, 05:05 AM
Fincher
1. Seven 10/10
2. Fight Club 10/10
3. Zodiac 10/10
4. The Social Network 10/10
5. Alien 3 9/10
6. The Game 8.5/10
7. Panic Room 8/10
8. The Girl WIth the Dragon Tattoo 7.5/10
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 7/10


Nolan
1. The Dark Knight 10/10
2. Memento 10/10
3. Batman Begins 9/10
4. The Dark Knight Rises 8.5/10
5. The Prestige 8/10
6. Following 8/10
7. Insomnia 7.5/10

Aronofsky
1. Requiem for a Dream 10/10
2. The Wrestler 10/10
3. The Fountain 9/10
4. Black Swan 8.5/10
5. Pi 8/10

All three are amazing but Fincher has the most 10/10s imo

Last edited by echo_bravo; 08-10-2012 at 05:03 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:22 AM
Fincher is for sure my favorite out of the three. Nolan follows him and then Aronofsky. Aronofsky may take Nolan's place but since I haven't seen Pi or Requiem For A Dream, I still can't judge his entire body of work. Each director attracts some of my favorite performers working today. Each director is also responsible for some of my favorites from the past few years.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:09 PM
NOLAN
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-10-2012, 04:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by magjournal View Post
Aronofsky is the only one of the bunch who has made a truly terrible film, and that is Pi, so he's my least-favorite of the bunch.
Yeah but Pi was made for 60 grand by an inexperienced and practicing/learning Aronofsky whereas Fincher's had film budgets of tens of millions of dollars after a long career already honing his craft on music videos (which themselves each cost more than Pi).

So it's not at all a 1:1 ratio.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:12 PM
I'm gonna do averages!

Christoper Nolan
1. Following - 6/10
2. Memento - 8/10
3. Insomnia - 8/10
4. Batman Begins - 8/10
5. The Prestige - 7/10
6. The Dark Knight - 9/10
7. Inception - 8/10
8. The Dark Knight Rises - 9/10

Average = 7.9/10


Darren Aronofsky
1. Pi - n/a
2. Requiem for a Dream - 8/10
3. The Fountain - 6/10
4. The Wrestler - 8/10
5. Black Swan - 8/10

Average = 7.5/10


David Fincher
1. Alien 3 - 7/10
2. Se7en - 9/10
3. The Game - n/a
4. Fight Club - 8/10
5. Panic Room - 6/10
6. Zodiac - 8/10
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 8/10
8. The Social Network - 9/10
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - 8/10

Average = 7.9/10

Well...Fincher is my favourite of the three for sure. I couldn't decide between Aronofsky and Nolan so I'll let the ratings speak for me on that. I admire all three for reasons that have been discussed here, but Fincher is probably the only one who could be in my top ten directors should I make such a list.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw2929 View Post
Voted for Fincher, I like more of his movies than from the other two. Then I'd put Aronofsky 2nd and Nolan 3rd.
Yep, Fincher is #1. He has several 9/10 or 10/10 masterpieces, including:

Se7en (10/10)
Fight Club (10/10)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (9.5/10)
Zodiac (9.25/10)
The Social Network (9.25/10)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:25 AM
I would like to switch my vote over to David Fincher because he doesn't have an annoying legion of mindless fanboys like Christopher Nolan does.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-30-2012, 01:01 PM
This is an interesting discussion. It is hard to pick a favorite which is the best because they have all made their share of high quality cinema.
Fincher has made the most masterpieces but what would kind of films would Nolan have done if he hadn't spend most his career on the Batman trilogy? (Not to say that is a bad thing at all)
Requiem for a Dream is also a masterpiece. That film is an emotional roller coaster that stays in your head forever. (The score by Clint Mansell deserves just as much credit as D.A.) That film along with the Wrestler and Black Swan have the best performances out of this whole discussion.
The Fountain is vastly misunderstood. I don't completely understand it myself but I would still give it a better rating than most of the mediocre ratings it has received.
Also, people really shouldn't rate the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo if they haven't read the book. Fincher nailed everything about that book, matching it with his own gritty style.

Finally,
it would be interesting to see Paul Thomas Andersoson and the Coen Brothers in this discussion. That would make up my top 5 modern directors. Oh, and cannot forget Tarantino either.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-30-2012, 01:06 PM
This is an interesting discussion. It is hard to pick a favorite which is the best because they have all made their share of high quality cinema.
Fincher has made the most masterpieces but what would kind of films would Nolan have done if he hadn't spend most his career on the Batman trilogy? (Not to say that is a bad thing at all)
Requiem for a Dream is also a masterpiece. That film is an emotional roller coaster that stays in your head forever. (The score by Clint Mansell deserves just as much credit as D.A.) That film along with the Wrestler and Black Swan have the best performances out of this whole discussion.
The Fountain is vastly misunderstood. I don't completely understand it myself but I would still give it a better rating than most of the mediocre ratings it has received.
Also, people really shouldn't rate the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo if they haven't read the book. Fincher nailed everything about that book, matching it with his own gritty style.

Finally,
it would be interesting to see Paul Thomas Andersoson and the Coen Brothers in this discussion. That would make up my top 5 modern directors. Oh, and cannot forget Tarantino either.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-30-2012, 06:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMN View Post
Finally,
it would be interesting to see Paul Thomas Andersoson and the Coen Brothers in this discussion. That would make up my top 5 modern directors. Oh, and cannot forget Tarantino either.
Anderson and Tarantino could fit into this discussion since they're in the same generation of filmmakers and have legions of young cinephile fans just like the three we're discussing, but I think the Coen Brothers are a generation earlier. They had already released four films--all of them critically acclaimed--before any of the other guys here even got started. It's debatable, but I consider the Coens to be more in line with the Spike Lee/Oliver Stone generation of filmmakers that emerged in the 80's. The rest of these guys emerged in the 90's.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump