Se7en

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Arnold Kopelson, Phyllis Carlyle
  • Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, R Lee Ermey

In an unidentified city of near-constant rain and urban decay, the soon-to-be retiring Detective William R. Somerset (Freeman) is partnered with short-tempered Detective David Mills (Pitt) who recently transferred to the department. Somerset is eventually invited over to meet Mills’ wife, Tracy (Paltrow); when Somerset learns that she is pregnant but has not told her husband, he confides in her his fear that the city is no place to start a family, reiterating his own losses of his fiancée and unborn child years ago. Somerset advises her not to tell Mills just yet of their child.

Somerset and Mills investigate a series of crimes relating to the seven deadly sins, such as a man who was forced to feed himself to death to represent Gluttony. They find clues at the scene of the murders that connect to the other deaths, and believe they are chasing a serial killer. A set of fingerprints found at where the Greed murder occurred leads them to the apartment of a man, near death, who has been strapped to a bed for a year, representing Sloth. Though unable to learn anything from the delirious victim, the detectives agree that the serial murderer has been planning these killings for more than a year.

Doe directs the two detectives to a remote desert area far from the city, with Doe believing that his actions have helped to show the people what the world actually is and to punish the wicked, riling Mills further. After arriving at the location, a delivery van approaches; the scared driver tells the detectives he was paid to deliver a package precisely at this time and location, and is told to leave after handing it over. While Mills holds Doe at gunpoint, Somerset opens the package and recoils in horror at the sight of the contents. He races back, warning Mills not to listen to Doe, but Doe reveals to Mills that the box contains Tracy’s head. Mills, distraught, demands an explanation from Doe; Doe simply replies that he himself represents the sin of Envy, jealous of Mills’ wife, and then reveals her pregnancy to Mills. Somerset is unable to contain Mills as he unloads his gun into Doe, becoming the embodiment of Wrath and proving out Doe’s plan. After a catatonic Mills is taken away, Somerset is asked where he will be and responds, “around”, suggesting he will not go through with his retirement. The film ends with the sun setting over the desert, with Somerset quoting Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls:

Hostage

  • Directors: John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie, John Woo, Joe Carnahan, Tony Scott
  • Producers: Robyn Boardman, Mary Ann Marino, Robert Van de Weteringe Buys, Jacky Pang Yee Wah, Tapas Blank, Arthur Anderson, Tony McGarry, Leon Corcos, David Mitchell, Angelica De Leon, Nicole Dionne, Aristides McGarry, David Fincher, Philip Steuer, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jules Daly, Brian DiLorenzo
  • Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Carter, Joe Sweet, Guy Ritchie, Guillermo Arriaga, Greg Hahn, Vincent Ngo, Joe Carnahan
  • Genres: Short, Action, Adventure, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Clive Owen, Tomas Milian, Mason Lee, Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, Adriana Lima, Madonna, Lois Smith, Maury Chaykin, Kathryn Morris, Don Cheadle, F Murray Abraham, Clifton Powell, Gary Oldman, James Brown, Danny Trejo, Marilyn Manson

The plots of each of the films differ, but one constant remains: Clive Owen plays “The Driver”, a man who goes from place to place (in presumably rented BMW automobiles), getting hired by various people to be a sort of transport for their vital needs.

Star

  • Directors: John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie, John Woo, Joe Carnahan, Tony Scott
  • Producers: Robyn Boardman, Mary Ann Marino, Robert Van de Weteringe Buys, Jacky Pang Yee Wah, Tapas Blank, Arthur Anderson, Tony McGarry, Leon Corcos, David Mitchell, Angelica De Leon, Nicole Dionne, Aristides McGarry, David Fincher, Philip Steuer, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jules Daly, Brian DiLorenzo
  • Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Carter, Joe Sweet, Guy Ritchie, Guillermo Arriaga, Greg Hahn, Vincent Ngo, Joe Carnahan
  • Genres: Action, Short, Comedy
  • Actors: Clive Owen, Tomas Milian, Mason Lee, Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, Adriana Lima, Madonna, Lois Smith, Maury Chaykin, Kathryn Morris, Don Cheadle, F Murray Abraham, Clifton Powell, Gary Oldman, James Brown, Danny Trejo, Marilyn Manson

The plots of each of the films differ, but one constant remains: Clive Owen plays “The Driver”, a man who goes from place to place (in presumably rented BMW automobiles), getting hired by various people to be a sort of transport for their vital needs.

Zodiac

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Mike Medavoy, Brad Fischer, Arnold Messer, James Vanderbilt
  • Writers: Book, Robert Graysmith, Screenplay, James Vanderbilt
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox

The film starts in July 1969 with the Zodiac killer’s second attack, the shooting of Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau at a lovers’ lane in Vallejo. Mageau survives while Ferrin dies from her injuries. A letter written by the Zodiac arrives at the San Francisco Chronicle in August of that same year.

Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) is a Chronicle crime reporter. Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a political cartoonist there. The newspaper receives encrypted letters that the killer sends, taunting the police. Because of Graysmith’s status as a cartoonist, he is not taken seriously by Avery and the editors and is excluded from the initial details about the killings despite his interest in the case. In particular, he is drawn to the encrypted code that is included with the letters and is given access to one. When he is able to crack one of the codes and makes several correct guesses about the killer’s actions, Avery begins sharing information with him.

The Zodiac killer stabs Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard (Pell James) at Lake Berryessa in Napa County. Shepard dies as a result of the attack. Soon afterwards, cab driver Paul Stine is shot and killed in Presidio Heights. San Francisco police detectives Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and his partner Bill Armstrong (Anthony Edwards) are assigned to the case, liaising with other detectives such as Jack Mulanax (Elias Koteas) in Vallejo and Ken Narlow (Donal Logue) in Napa. The killer, or someone posing as him, continues to toy with authorities by speaking on the phone with celebrity lawyer Melvin Belli (Brian Cox) when he makes an appearance on a television talk show. Avery and Graysmith form an alliance, delving deeper into the case.

Final title cards, however, inform the audience that Allen’s DNA did not match samples gathered from the Zodiac letters.

Panic Room

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Judy Hofflund, David Koepp, Gavin Polone
  • Writers: David Koepp
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, Jared Leto

Meg Altman (Jodie Foster), recently divorced from the owner of a pharmaceutical giant, and her 12-year-old daughter Sarah (Stewart), who has diabetes, are staying in a four-story townhouse that was previously owned by a disabled, reclusive millionaire. It has a panic room, an isolated room used to protect the owner from an intruder that is protected by a four-inch-thick steel door and an impressive security system, and features a separate phone line.

On the night the two move into the home, it is broken into by Junior (Leto), the grandson of the previous owner, and Burnham (Whitaker), an employee of the security company used by the residence. The two are after $3 million in bearer bonds, which is locked inside a floor safe in the panic room. Unknown to Burnham until after they’ve broken in, Junior has recruited Raoul (Yoakam), a bus driver who lives in Flatbush, to assist in the heist.

After discovering that the Altmans have moved into the home one week before they anticipated, the burglars decide to go on as planned with the heist. However, Meg wakes up and discovers the intruders from the CCTV monitors in the panic room when she wanted to switch off its glaring light. Before the three can stop her, she runs to Sarah, wakes her, and they escape to the panic room.

Following the trouble with the home invasion Meg and Sarah begin searching for a new house in the newspaper.

Alien

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill
  • Writers: Characters, Dan O Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Story, Vincent Ward, Screenplay, David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson
  • Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite

Following the events in Aliens, the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco experiences an onboard fire and launches an escape pod containing Ellen Ripley, Newt, Hicks, and the damaged android Bishop who are all in cryonic stasis. The pod then crashes on Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161, a foundry facility and penal colony inhabited by all-male former inmates with “double-Y” chromosome patterns. As the inmates recover the pod and its passengers, an Alien facehugger is seen approaching their dog. Ripley is taken in and awakened by Clemens (Charles Dance), the facility’s doctor, and learns that she is the only survivor of the crash. Many of the ex-inmates have embraced an apocalyptic, millenarian religion which forbids sexual relations, and Ripley is warned that her presence among them may have extremely disturbing effects.

Suspicious of what caused the escape pod to jettison and what killed her companions, Ripley requests that Clemens perform an autopsy on Newt. She fears that Newt may be carrying an Alien embryo in her body, though she does not share this information. No embryo is found in Newt’s body and it appears she simply died in the crash, however, the colony’s warden (Andrews) becomes increasingly angered that Ripley’s unusual behavior is agitating the prisoners. They perform a funeral for Newt and Hicks in which their bodies are cremated in the facility’s gigantic furnace. In another part of the facility the dog goes into convulsions and an Alien erupts from its body. The Alien soon begins to attack members of the colony, killing several and returning one man to his former insane state. To get answers, Ripley recovers and reactivates the damaged android Bishop, who reveals that there was an Alien on the Sulaco and that it came with them to Fiorina in the escape pod. She then informs Andrews of her previous encounters with the Aliens and suggests that the group hunt it down. However, Andrews does not believe her story and also informs her that there are no weapons in the facility anyway. Their only hope of protection is the rescue ship being sent for Ripley by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

Just as the Alien is killed, the Weyland-Yutani team arrives, including a man who looks identical to Bishop, claiming to be the creator of the android. He attempts to persuade Ripley to undergo surgery to remove the Queen embryo. Ripley refuses and commits suicide, throwing herself into the gigantic furnace just as the Alien queen begins to burst out from her chest. However, as she is dying from the wound, Ripley grabs the Alien Queen and holds it as she falls in the furnace. The film ends with a sequence showing the facility being closed down, the last surviving inmate (Morse) being led away, and a shot of the Sulaco escape pod as the sound recording of Ripley’s final lines from the original Alien film is heard.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Cean Chaffin
  • Writers: Screenplay, Eric Roth, Screen story, Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, Short story, F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton

The elderly Daisy (Cate Blanchett) is on her deathbed with her daughter Caroline (Julia Ormond) in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina approaches in August 2005. Daisy tells the story of a blind clockmaker named Gateau (Elias Koteas), who was commissioned to create a clock to hang in the New Orleans train station. After receiving news of his son’s death in World War I, he continued work on his clock, but intentionally designed it to run backward, in the hope that it would bring back those who died in the war. After her cryptic story, Daisy asks Caroline to read aloud from a diary containing photographs and postcards written by Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt). Caroline begins to read as the story transitions to Benjamin’s narration.

On November 11, 1918, just as the people of New Orleans are celebrating the end of World War I, a baby boy is born with the appearance and physical maladies of an elderly man. The mother of the baby dies shortly after giving birth, and the father, Thomas Button (Jason Flemyng), takes the baby and abandons him on the porch of a nursing home. Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) and Tizzy (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a couple who work at the nursing home, find the baby. Queenie, who is unable to conceive, decides to take the baby in as her own, against Tizzy’s wishes. She names the baby Benjamin.

In the 2005 hospital room, the hurricane raging outside downs the electrical system. As Caroline briefly leaves the room, Daisy passes away, her wish of seeing Benjamin again seemingly answered by a hummingbird hovering outside the storm-drenched windows. Against the sounds of the city’s emergency sirens and reports of breached levees, the backwards clock is shown in a basement, still working, as floodwaters envelope the storage room where it is kept.

Fight Club

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Art Linson, Ross Grayson Bell, Cean Chaffin
  • Writers: Novel, Chuck Palahniuk, Screenplay, Jim Uhls
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

The narrator (Edward Norton) is an automobile company employee who travels to accident sites to perform product recall cost appraisals. His doctor refuses to write a prescription for his insomnia and instead suggests that he visit a support group for testicular cancer victims in order to appreciate real suffering. When he attends the group, the narrator allows himself to weep as a form of emotional release. He is then able to sleep soundly and subsequently fakes more illnesses so he can attend other support groups in order to get out his pent up emotions through crying. The narrator’s routine is disrupted when he begins to notice another impostor, Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), at the same meetings and his insomnia returns.

During a flight for a business trip, the narrator meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), who makes and sells soap. The narrator arrives home to find his apartment has been destroyed by an explosion. He calls Tyler and meets him at a bar. Tyler agrees to let the narrator stay at his home on the condition that the narrator hits him. The narrator complies and the two end up enjoying a fist fight outside the bar. The narrator moves into Tyler’s dilapidated house and the two return to the bar, where they have another fight in the parking lot. After attracting a crowd, they establish a ‘fight club’ in the bar’s basement.

The narrator faints and awakes to find Tyler has made several phone calls during his blackout and traces his plans to the downtown headquarters of several major credit card companies, which Tyler intends to destroy in order to cripple the financial networks. Failing to find help with the police, many of whom are members of Project Mayhem, the narrator attempts to disarm the explosives in the basement of one of the buildings. He is confronted by Tyler, knocked unconscious, and taken to the upper floor of another building to witness the impending destruction. The narrator, held by Tyler at gunpoint, realizes that in sharing the same body with Tyler, he is the one who is actually holding the gun. He fires it into his mouth, shooting through the cheek without killing himself. The illusion of Tyler collapses with an exit wound to the back of his head. Shortly after, members of Project Mayhem bring a kidnapped Marla to the narrator and leave them alone. The bombs detonate and, holding hands, the two witness the destruction of the entire financial city block through the windows.