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Thirteen Lives: Ron Howard's 10 Best Movies, According To Letterboxd

Thirteen Lives: Ron Howard's 10 Best Movies, According To Letterboxd Image
  • Posted on 09th Aug, 2022 09:15 AM

Ron Howard is one of Hollywood's most active filmmakers, and his output has been surprisingly consistent. Letterboxd ranks his best movies here.

Audiences worldwide are currently loving Ron Howard's latest film, Thirteen Lives, which is so intense that it caused lead star Colin Farrell to allegedly suffer from panic attacks during filming. The film details the real-life dangerous rescue of 12 young boys and their soccer coach from a flooding cave in Thailand.

Ron Howard has been providing audiences with great films for many years now, but Thirteen Lives is arguably one of his best in a few years. It's tense, exciting, and thought-provoking in all the right ways, with standout performances from Farrell and his co-star, Viggo Mortensen. Fans of the film should head to check out Howard's other top-rated movies, ranked here by Letterboxd.


10 Rebuilding Paradise (2020) - 3.5/5

In one of his most topical documentaries to date, Ron Howard explores the omnipresent danger of forest fires in America, navigating the deadly consequences and difficult fallout for many of the families that lost their property to the fires. Not only is Rebuilding Paradise one of his best-looking films to date, but it's arguably also one of his most important.

Rebuilding Paradise certainly isn't Howard's first attempt at documentary filmmaking, and that's clear from the level of technical talent and experience on display. The film moves at an entertaining pace, always keeping the central figures at the heart of the story.

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9 Pavarotti (2019) - 3.5/5

Another of Ron Howard's acclaimed documentaries, Pavarotti explores the life and career of Luciano Pavarotti, one of the most famous opera singers ever to have lived. It offers an extremely intimate analysis of the figure, with the film's main highlight being the never-before-seen concert footage of the late singer.

As with all of his documentaries, Howard proves with Pavarotti that he understands exactly what is important in these kinds of stories. He neglects the information that audiences don't necessarily need to know, focusing instead on the singer's accomplishments and life milestones.

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8 Frost/Nixon (2008) - 3.6/5

Many film fans consider Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon to be one of the best historical dramas ever made, and it's obvious why - the film is incredibly engaging and insightful, retelling the iconic interviews that David Frost conducted with Richard Nixon in the fallout of the Watergate scandal.

Nixon was undoubtedly one of America's most controversial and scandalous presidents, so Howard goes much further than the surface level of this story and offers some poignant insight into Nixon's life and tenure in the White House. It's an incredibly-acted and well-produced film that sheds plenty of light on one of America's biggest scandals.

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7 We Feed People (2022) - 3.6/5

One of Howard's most recent entries in his top 10, We Feed People is an incredibly important documentary that follows the career of Jose Andres, a professional chef who provides food to communities struggling with disasters through his nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen.

Howard has a habit of choosing admirable, selfless figures as the subjects of his documentaries, and We Feed People is no different. Andres is this person, and the documentary follows his story in an inspirational way, making it one of the best documentaries of 2022, so far.

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6 Cinderella Man (2005) - 3.6/5

Cinderella Man is one of Ron Howard's most well-known films to date, telling the story of a professional boxer named James J. Braddock who finds himself forced out of retirement in order to survive during the Great Depression. It's both a great sports movie and also an arresting examination of America's financial instability.

Cinderella Man is one of the greatest underdog stories ever told, which is why the story has resonated with so many audiences across the globe. It's inspirational and powerful without ever being too sensationalised, which creates a uniquely grounded style that Ron Howard captures so well.

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5 Thirteen Lives (2022) - 3.7/5

There was hardly a person in the world that wasn't following the story of the Tham Luang cave rescue in 2018 when 12 young boys and their coach were rescued from a flooding cave by an expert team of international divers - and Howard's latest film effectively recreates this tragedy in a thrilling and relentlessly intense way.

In spite of Howard's effective direction and inventive filmmaking, the highlight of Thirteen Lives is definitely the lead performances from Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen - with both of them playing extremely grounded and naturalistic characters in a very compelling way. In particular, Mortensen makes Thirteen Lives one of his best films through an extremely subtle and nuanced performance.

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4 Apollo 13 (1995) - 3.7/5

Almost everybody will be familiar with the story of Apollo 11, which carried mankind onto the surface of the moon for the very first time - but fewer will recognize the story of Apollo 13, the program's ill-fated and underappreciated mission. Howard finally tells this thrilling story in Apollo 13following the mission in astute detail.

The film sees Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon in the three lead roles as NASA astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert respectively - who found themselves stranded in space after the Apollo 13 spacecraft failed during their mission.  The film is extremely intense and chilling, shedding light on a near-tragic event that surprisingly few people are aware of.

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3 Rush (2013) - 3.7/5

Niki Lauda and James Hunt had one of the most famous sports rivalries of all time, so it's no surprise that their complex relationship made for such an engaging film with Ron Howard's Rush. Played by Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth, the two characters both get plenty of time to shine in this thrilling film.

For fans of sports movies, Rush has pretty much everything one could hope for: a compelling narrative, some thrilling race sequences, and an inspirational story of ambition and resilience that's told through the real-life rivalry between Lauda and Hunt.

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2 A Beautiful Mind (2001) - 3.8/5

Though many people criticize A Beautiful Mind for its conventional and formulaic story, that actually couldn't be further from the truth. Howard displays some seriously bold storytelling talent in this film, keeping the true story of John Nash exciting and unpredictable from beginning to end.

Russell Crowe obviously provides one of his most acclaimed performances in the film, even going so far as to earn an Oscar nomination for his work. He brings John Nash to life in an incredibly compelling and relatable way, which makes his story so much more tragic.

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1 Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years (2016) - 3.8/5

The Beatles were undeniably one of the greatest and most innovative bands of all time, and Ron Howard's intimate documentary about their early years perfectly displays the charm and charisma that inspired the worldwide phenomenon of Beatlemania.

Through touching interviews with McCartney and Starr (and existing footage of Lennon and Harrison), the film paints a clear picture of the Beatles that accurately conveys exactly why they were so beloved - beyond just their music. The musical greatness and surprising intimacy make Eight Days A Week one of Ron Howard's best films.

NEXT: 10 Best Quotes From The Beatles in Get Back

Next The 10 Lowest Rated MCU Movies, Ranked According To Letterboxd
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