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What Does Your Favorite David Fincher Film Say About You?

Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac

David Fincher is one of those directors who has such a wide range of films that you can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite one. Now, this is just my own personal assessment, but I feel like, with Fincher, you can basically split fans of these films into four separate categories: parents, people who probably murdered someone or would murder someone, people you can trust to call up if you ever get into trouble, and people with taste.

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As we go through these movies, I will explain more, but Fincher films are typically dark, artsy, and before 2020, made us see how macabre life could be. Now, David Fincher’s movies are almost … better than the hell we’re living in. Anyway, buckle up and let’s analyze each other!

Alien 3

alien 3 gif

(20th Century Fox)

Really? The third Alien is your chosen Fincher film? Do you just WANT to be a contrarian? I mean, look, to each their own, but if you tell me that your favorite Fincher film is Alien 3, everything out of your mouth is going to be taken with a grain of salt. On the flip side of that, if you tell me you recognize Fincher is a great filmmaker, but you just love the Alien movies? I respect you. It’s a delicate balance to walk, but if explained correctly, I will respect you and your kind.

Gone Girl

Amy Dunne in Gone Girl

(20th Century Fox)

While I, personally, would be very afraid of you, I feel like you either have taste in films or you’re someone who I could call if I get into trouble. Either way, I respect it. Following the disappearance of Amy Dunne (Rosemund Pike), we follow her journey of framing her husband, killing people along the way, and coming back home to Nick (Ben Affleck) in an almost warped sense of romance? I will say that I never read the book, and there is also a clear divide between those who read the book Gone Girl and those who didn’t. Still, if this is your favorite Fincher movie? I want you on my side, not as my enemy.

Fight Club

Fight club gif

(20th Century Fox)

Sigh. I feel bad for fans of Fight Club who aren’t obnoxious dudebros, but unfortunately, they have forever tainted the film. When you hear “Fight Club is my favorite movie,” you know to run. So, if you tell me it’s your favorite Fincher film and do not follow it up with “I know that is a bad thing, but I just enjoy it,” then I do not trust you or your views.

I didn’t make this rule. Multiple firsthand accounts of people being the WORST for loving Fight Club did it for you. If you seriously like Fight Club and fight people about it? You fall into the category of maybe having murdered someone. I don’t make the rules.

Panic Room

Panic Room gif

(Columbia Pictures)

This is one I have recently come in contact with. Panic Room terrified me when I saw it back in 2002, but seeing Jodie Foster take on three bad guys from inside a room with her daughter, Kristen Stewart? I respect the choice. I just think it’s a strange fave out of Fincher’s entire catalog. This falls into the “I want you on my side” category because I feel like you probably like Panic Room because you would be able to survive a situation like that.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(Warner Bros.)

I will grant you this: You have taste. I love The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It isn’t my favorite, but it’s in the top because I think it did a beautiful job of bringing the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story to life. It is also the only movie where I finally understood the attraction people have to Brad Pitt. (I get it now, I swear.) So, if this is your favorite? I respect it. It’s a choice and one that shows you have some great taste in movies, and I’d probably continue to talk to you about your faves.


Se7en gif

(NewLine Cinema)

I feel like everyone at some point has to say that they like Seven. I will say, it isn’t as obnoxious as saying your favorite is Fight Club, but Seven is, in a lot of ways, the easy option. The minute anyone starts talking about this movie, they scream “WHAT’S IN THE BOX” about Gwyneth Paltrow, and that’s about all that anyone remembers—not that this is a film about a serial killer. That being said, I do think you have taste because Seven isn’t for everyone and is a very good movie.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gif

(Columbia Pictures)

Another taste-filled film, maybe because of Daniel Craig. He wears fluffy sweaters, walks around in his underwear, and tries to solve some stuff. I love him, I love it, and it is a beautiful look at the way that David Fincher shoots film. There is a very distinct style to a Fincher film that you can instantly spot, and honestly, maybe that’s why his films are so popular. They’re aesthetically very pleasing.

The Game

Michael Douglas in the Game

(Propaganda Films)

First, I’m going to assume you’re someone who is the same age as my parents. That’s not a bad thing. I just instantly assume that if a Michael Douglas movie is your go-to choice, you have to at least be in your 60s. If not, I’m going to then assume you have older parents.

Nicholas van Orton (Douglas) is haunted by the suicide of his father and goes to a company called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS) as a birthday gift from his brother to enter into “The Game.” With twists and turns and a “rejection” of his original application, Nicholas learns that it is all a part of this game his brother set him up for. So this one? This movie is a “parents” movie. If you’re not a parent and you love it? You’re the mom or dad friend.

The Social Network

andrew garfield in the social network

(Columbia Pictures)

Let me guess: You were a teenager or someone in their early 20s when this movie came out. I say that as someone who was a teenager when this movie came out and who has it as my second-favorite Fincher film. It’s just that it’s very much a movie my generation would flock to. So, you have taste, but you’re also most definitely a millennial. If you’re not? Well, we welcome you to our ranks. “Lawyer up, asshole” is our greeting.

And finally the best, the perfect:


(Paramount Pictures)

Zodiac is easily the best Fincher film. So, you have taste, you have a brilliance to you, and you recognize a perfect film when you see it. If you like Mindhunter, then you probably would also like Zodiac if you haven’t watched it yet. Following the twists and turns of investigating the Zodiac killings, the film shows how many involved in the case lived in fear of being next and how these killings continued to confuse and torment those living in the San Francisco area. Filled with actors from the MCU before they were in Marvel movies, Zodiac is the movie that if you say you love it, I’ll know I can trust you.

So … what does your favorite Fincher film say about you? Do I need to fear you, or are you my ally? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

(image: Paramount Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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