Panic Room. Nicely constrained in time and space. I like the hints for stuff that comes up in the story later on, little things that foreshadow and reward your attention. Things are often in the frame for a reason.
Gone Girl. I loved this one. Pike and Affleck work as both archetypes and just really odd layered characters. Highly disturbing, and like Zodiac, has this seductive quality where you don’t care how long it takes to unfold. I saw it when I was ~80-85% finished with the book – I didn’t want to wait another day. There’s a good chance I’ll catch it in the theaters again. The soundtrack is great, too. As for updated David Fincher rankings… I’ll use recency bias as a tiebreaker, and let this edge in to the second slot:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved the trippy oozy music video opening. Seemed like they were trying to kick off a brand. (I’m glad Fincher didn’t get sucked into a trilogy though). Dunno. It’s good. A little cold. Might as well try some David Fincher rankings. I’ll go with…
Zodiac. A serial killer is the impetus, but the theme is obsession. So good. If only all directors could use their minutes this well.
It’s a neat trick on Fincher’s part. It’s difficult to render knowledge work cinematically (quick, what’s the last great movie about writing you remember seeing?), as opposed to physical work which more readily lends itself to Rocky-style montages, but Fincher has figured out a way to short circuit the process. Like all good filmmakers, he knows that if he gives us the signs, we will fill in the rest.
The Social Network. No joke, this is a pretty amazing movie. Just like everyone says. Great tale, whether accurate or not. It’s refreshing to see a movie about this kind of creativity and this kind of business. Great editing. I didn’t like the soundtrack much when I listened through it as a stand-alone, but it’s just about perfect in context. Of the David Fincher films I’ve seen, I’d rank this one first or second, with Zodiac giving it stiff competition. Maybe Fight Club slightly edges Seven, but neither one is nearly as good as the other two.