Darren Aronofsky movies, ranked from least to most shocking

Darren Aronofsky‘s Whale It premiered with the highest debut for an arthouse film in 2022. The movie, starring Brendan Fraser In a performance of his career, it follows a reclusive, depressed, and overweight English teacher who tries to reconnect with his reclusive teenage daughter.


Related: Stream these Brendan Fraser movies before you watch Whale

Known for his in-your-face and often confrontational style of filmmaking, Aronofsky is one of the most iconic if polarizing directors in the film industry. His films are unique, offering cinematic experiences audiences won’t soon forget. And while they are all visually stunning and emotionally disturbing, some are undoubtedly more shocking than others.

8/8 “The Fountain” (2006)

Close-up of Isabelle staring into the camera at The Fountain.

Aronofsky is paired with his then-Oscar-winning partner Rachel Weiszfor the 2006 Surrealist Fiction Fountain. Weisz co-stars with the Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman In a story about a man’s quest to deceive fate. The film blends elements of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction to create what is, in many ways, Aronofsky’s most experimental film.

Fountain It received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office bomb. However, it is an underrated masterpiece on its way to becoming a cult classic. As Aronofsky’s most romantic effort, Fountain It lacks the same in-your-face approach as some of the director’s more famous projects. The film is heavily concerned with the spiritual, playing with heavy metaphysical concepts that can make it difficult to follow. However, it is far from a traumatic experience.

7/8 “Noah” (2014)

Noah poses with a huge rocky creature in front of a tent in Noah's 2014.

Next black SwanSuccessfully, Aronofsky had the industry in a stifle. His next effort, the high-budget fantasy Noah, was a surprising turn for the director who had always favored small productions. Starring Oscar winners Russell Crowe And the Jennifer ConnellyAnd the Noah is an ambitious retelling of the classic Biblical flood story.

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Visually impressive and featuring many of the director’s common themes, Noah is as close as Aronofsky can get to directing a blockbuster. The movie tries to be a classic epic in a vein The Ten Commandmentsbut Aronofsky’s passion—or obsession, as some might call it—with horror and existentialism creeps into the story. Noah It features large-scale battles to serve a timeless story but loses the intimacy and sense of dread that make other Aronofsky films so disturbing.

6/8 “B” (1998)

A bald man presses his pen to his forehead in 1998 Pai.

Aronofsky’s first feature is also his most underrated effort. with me It follows a mathematician obsessed with finding a number that apparently exists in nature’s universal patterns. with me It deals with several common themes found in Aronofsky’s impressive films, including obsession, descent into paranoia, and mayhem in the seemingly desperate pursuit of an unattainable goal.

Filmed on high contrast black and white reflection film, with me Hypnotic visually if not coherent in narrative – a burden shared by many of Aranofsky’s films. The protagonists’ delusions become more acute as the plot continues, culminating in a cathartic yet satisfying conclusion that stands as one of Aronofsky’s rare “happy” endings. with me It’s about the exciting and intense journey, and while it will certainly make an impression, it won’t be particularly painful.

5/8 “The Whale” (2022)

Charlie looks sad while sitting in The Whale.
Image via A24

Brendan Fraser at his best Whale. Participate in the reverse tournament Sadie SinkAnd the Hong ZhaoAnd the Samantha MortonFrasier is the best part of the movie – the only good part, some would say. In fact, Whale It is among the most divisive films of 2022, and for good reason.

Aronofsky does his best to provide the story with the empathy it so desperately needs. However, his relentlessly popular style may not be the best fit for such a delicate subject matter. Whale It may seem like an exercise in cruelty – many will find it difficult to watch the scene of Charlie’s binge eating. Still, Frasier’s tender, deeply human performance is more than enough to balance out Aronofsky’s provocative impulses, resulting in an intense but worthwhile cinematic experience.

4/8 “Black Swan” (2010)

Nina performs Swan Lake on stage at Black Swan

Natalie Portman She won an Academy Award for Aronofsky’s Psychological Horror black Swan. The film co-stars Mila KunisAnd the Vincent CasselAnd the Barbara Hershey It follows Nina, a stoic ballerina who explores her limits when she is swept up in the lead role in a new production of Swan Lake.

Movies about artists giving in to their obsessions are a popular trend in Hollywood. But, black Swan It stands out thanks to its intense yet fluid nature, blending elements of physical horror and thriller to craft an overarching story. As Nina’s reality becomes warped and her boundaries blurred, the film descends into the same turbulent yet seductive chaos that embraces her to become the Black Swan. With memorable action sequences and a tentative performance by Portman, black Swan It is a cinematic victory that audiences will not soon forget.

3/8 “The Wrestler” (2008)

Randy is in the ring looking tired in The Wrestler.

Mickey RourkeAronofsky’s comeback came in 2008 wrestler. The film follows an aging professional wrestler trying to mend his broken relationship with his daughter and start a romance with a stripper while clinging to former glory in his heyday. Marisa Tomei And the Evan Rachel Wood Co-star.

Related: 10 Sports Movies Where The Main Characters Actually Lose

Arguably Aronofsky’s most sympathetic film, wrestler is a heartbreaking exploration of life and love, elevated by the best of Roarke’s career. hard to sit through but ultimately rewarding, wrestler It may be the director’s best film. The final scene, which features some of the most haunting moments ever captured on film, will leave a deep mark on audiences, many of whom, fourteen years after the film’s premiere, have not been able to forget.

2/8 ‘the mother!’ (2017)

A mother with a confused expression looking at the mother!
Image via Paramount Pictures

2017’s the mother! He is Aronofsky at his most unrestrained. Starring Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence And the Javier Bardemthe film is a highly allegorical story about a woman and her husband who receive increasingly hostile visitors in their secluded home.

Elevated by a fiercely committed and vulnerable performance from Lawrence, The Mother! is Aronofsky’s most confusing and extreme movie. The third act of insanity, which depicts everything from a mob devouring a child to a bloodied Lawrence committing a mass murder, is one for the ages. Not everyone will be familiar with the film’s rambling tone, but one thing is for sure: no one will forget it.

1/8 “Requiem for a Dream” (2000)

Marion and Harry lie on the floor, under the influence of Requiem, for a dream

Aronofsky is best known with Requiem for a dreamthe story of four individuals whose lives descend into chaos and suffering due to their addiction to drugs. Written by Ellen Burstyn She received an Oscar nomination for her work in the film, which co-starred Jennifer Connelly. Jared LetoAnd the Marlon Wayans.

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say Requiem for a dream It has the most disturbing edge of a movie ever. Aronofsky is ruthless when he portrays his character’s pain and destruction, creating one of the most disturbing and uncomfortable portrayals of addiction. Requiem for a dream cemented Aronofsky as one of cinema’s great instigators and ensured that viewers would never listen to “Lux Aeterna” without wanting to assume the fetal position.

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