Roger Deakins is a cinematographer who has been working in the film industry for over forty years.

He has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won three of them.

His movies include Unbroken, The Shawshank Redemption, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, and many more.

Roger Deakins started his career as an assistant cameraman on British television documentaries in the late 1960s before moving to Canada to work as a camera operator at CBC’s Calgary station CBRT-TV.

In 1974 he joined the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) where he worked as director of photography on numerous documentaries that took him all over North America from Alaska to Haiti.


Roger Deakins Cinematography

The cinematography of Roger Deakins is often described as rich, detailed and painterly.

Deakins is one of the greatest living cinematographers.

His style is strong, bold, and evocative.

He is a master at lighting and composing his shots so that they tell a story and visually support the characters and their emotions.

He’s a cinematographer who has been working in the film industry for more than 40 years.

He’s had an impressive career with credits on over 30 films, including The Shawshank Redemption and Fargo.


Who Is Roger Deakins?

Roger Deakins is one of the most sought-after cinematographers in Hollywood.

His recent work includes:

  • Sicario,
  • Skyfall, and
  • Prisoners.

Roger has won four Academy Awards for his work on The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and No Country For Old Men.

He is also known for working with directors like Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Sam Mendes (Skyfall).

Roger Deakins’ career started out as a still photographer before he moved on to films.

He was nominated for an Oscar at the age of 24! Some of his early works were documentaries about World War II survivors in Europe that were used by British schools to teach history lessons.

Roger Deakins Best Movies

Roger Deakins is a master cinematographer, having been nominated for 13 Academy Awards and winning 4 of them.

He has worked on some of the most iconic films ever made such as ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ ‘No Country for Old Men,’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049.’


Let’s jump into the list!

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

“The Shawshank Redemption” is a 1994 American drama film directed by Frank Darabont and based on the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King.

The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins), a former banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, a crime he did not commit.

In prison, Andy befriends fellow inmate Red (played by Morgan Freeman), who helps him navigate the harsh realities of prison life.

Andy uses his financial skills to gain the favor of the corrupt warden and his guards, and he eventually earns their trust and respect.

As the years go by, Andy and Red develop a close friendship and dream of life outside of prison.

Andy’s determination and resourcefulness are put to the test as he works to clear his name and secure his freedom.

“The Shawshank Redemption” is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, and for good reason.

It is a powerful story of hope, friendship, and the resilience of the human spirit.

The film features outstanding performances from its lead actors, as well as a strong supporting cast.

Darabont’s direction is masterful, and the film’s themes of justice and redemption continue to resonate with audiences today.

If you haven’t seen “The Shawshank Redemption,” it is definitely worth your time.

The Shawshank Redemption (Blu-ray)
  • Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman (Actors)
  • Frank Darabont (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Fargo (1996)

Fargo is a crime drama film directed by Joel Coen and written by Joel and Ethan Coen.

Set in a small town in Minnesota, the film tells the story of Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a struggling car salesman who hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in order to extort money from his wealthy father-in-law.

Things quickly spiral out of control as the plan goes awry and a pregnant police officer named Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) is tasked with solving the case.

As the investigation deepens, it becomes clear that nothing is quite as it seems and that the characters are more intertwined than they initially appear.

Fargo is a darkly comedic film that blends elements of crime drama and black comedy with its offbeat characters and quirky dialogue.


The performances are top-notch, with William H. Macy delivering a standout performance as the bumbling and desperate Jerry Lundegaard.

Frances McDormand also shines as Marge Gunderson, imbuing the character with a no-nonsense attitude and a sharp wit.

The film’s cinematography is also noteworthy, with Roger Deakins’ expert use of wide-angle lenses and muted color palette lending a distinct visual style to the film.

The Coen brothers’ script is full of memorable lines and moments that will stick with viewers long after the film has ended.

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Best Roger Deakins Movies

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Based on the dystopian novel by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a harrowing and chilling depiction of a totalitarian society in which individual freedom is nonexistent and every aspect of life is controlled by the state.

The film is set in a future version of Britain, where the ruling party known as “the Party” has absolute power and subjects its citizens to constant surveillance, propaganda, and punishment.

John Hurt plays the protagonist Winston Smith, a low-level Party member who secretly harbors thoughts of rebellion and individuality.

He meets Julia (Suzanna Hamilton), a fellow dissident, and they begin a clandestine affair.

But their rebellion is discovered by the Party, and they are subjected to torture and brainwashing to force them to conform to the Party’s ideology.

The film is a powerful commentary on the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of individual freedom and resistance.

The production design and cinematography are particularly striking, effectively conveying the bleak and oppressive atmosphere of the film’s world.

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Kundun (1997)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Kundun” is a visually stunning and spiritually uplifting biographical drama that chronicles the life of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

The film takes place in Tibet during the early 20th century, as a young Tenzin is chosen as the reincarnation of his predecessor and subsequently trained to become the spiritual leader of his people.

As Tenzin grows and becomes more involved in his role as the Dalai Lama, tensions rise between Tibet and China, culminating in a brutal invasion by Chinese forces.

The film depicts the struggles and conflicts faced by the Dalai Lama and his followers as they fight for their freedom and cultural identity.

What sets “Kundun” apart from other biopics is its attention to detail in capturing the spirituality and traditions of Tibetan culture.

The film’s striking cinematography and stunning score, composed by Philip Glass, further enhance the spiritual tone of the film.

Scorsese’s direction and the performances by the cast, particularly that of Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong as the adult Tenzin Gyatso, make “Kundun” a moving and thought-provoking exploration of one man’s journey towards enlightenment and the struggle of a people to preserve their identity in the face of oppression.

Kundun (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
  • Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin (Actors)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a comedic adventure film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, inspired by Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.

Set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film follows three convicts – Everett (George Clooney), Pete (John Turturro), and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) – who escape from a chain gang and go on a quest to find a hidden treasure.

The trio encounters a series of quirky characters and obstacles on their journey, including a blind prophet who predicts their fate, a trio of sirens who attempt to seduce them, and a corrupt governor who uses them for his own political gain.

The film is known for its distinctive southern soundtrack, featuring traditional folk, blues, and gospel music, and its stunning cinematography, which captures the beauty of the Mississippi landscape.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? received critical acclaim upon its release, praised for its clever writing, charismatic performances, and unique blend of comedy and drama.

It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” is a 2007 western drama directed by Andrew Dominik and starring Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford.

The film is based on the novel by Ron Hansen and depicts the last year of the notorious outlaw’s life and his relationship with the young, aspiring member of his gang, Robert Ford.

The film is a slow-burning character study that delves deep into the psyche of both Jesse James and Robert Ford.

Brad Pitt delivers a masterful performance as James, portraying him as a complex and haunted figure struggling to come to terms with his own mortality.

Casey Affleck also shines in his role as Ford, capturing the young man’s obsession with James and his desire for fame and recognition.

The film’s cinematography is breathtaking, with sweeping landscapes and intricate close-ups that capture the raw emotions of the characters.

The score, composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, adds to the film’s melancholic tone and sense of foreboding.

It may be too slow-paced and introspective for some viewers, but those who appreciate character-driven dramas and stunning visuals will find much to admire.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford [Blu-ray]
  • Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio and subtitles.
  • English, Latin, English (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall is the twenty-third installment in the James Bond film series and the third to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

Directed by Sam Mendes, the film was released in 2012 and quickly became one of the highest-grossing Bond films of all time.

The film begins with Bond on a mission in Istanbul, where he is tasked with retrieving a stolen hard drive that contains the identities of every NATO agent embedded in terrorist organizations.

During the mission, Bond is presumed dead after a confrontation with a mercenary named Patrice.

However, Bond resurfaces in London after MI6 headquarters are attacked by a cyber terrorist who goes by the name of “Silva.”

Silva is revealed to be a former MI6 agent who has a personal vendetta against M, Bond’s boss.

With the help of MI6 agent Eve and Q, Bond sets out to stop Silva from his ultimate plan of revenge against M.

Skyfall is a thrilling and action-packed film that showcases the best of the James Bond franchise.

The performances are outstanding, especially from Craig as Bond, Judi Dench as M, and Javier Bardem as Silva.

The film also features breathtaking action sequences and stunning cinematography, with locations ranging from the streets of Istanbul to the Scottish Highlands.

Skyfall [Blu-ray] [2012]
  • Skyfall [Blu-ray] In Good Condition
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

Sicario (2015)

Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario is a tense and suspenseful thriller that explores the dark world of drug trafficking along the US-Mexico border.

The film follows Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an idealistic FBI agent who is recruited by a shadowy government task force led by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a mysterious consultant with a violent past.

Their mission is to take down a dangerous drug lord, but as Kate becomes increasingly involved in their operations, she begins to question the legality and morality of their actions.

Sicario is a masterclass in tension-building and atmosphere, with stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins and a haunting score by Jóhann Jóhannsson.

The film’s portrayal of the brutal violence and corruption of the drug trade is unflinching, but it’s the moral ambiguity of the characters that truly sets it apart.

Emily Blunt delivers a powerful performance as Kate, a strong-willed but conflicted agent who is torn between her duty to the law and her own conscience.

Josh Brolin is charismatic and enigmatic as the charming but ruthless Graver, while Benicio Del Toro is utterly captivating as the enigmatic and deadly Alejandro.

Sicario is a thrilling and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities and moral ambiguities of the war on drugs.

It’s a movie that stays with you long after the credits roll, and a testament to the power of great filmmaking.

Sicario [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]
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  • Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin (Actors)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Director) - Edward McDonnell (Producer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner is a science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve, and is a sequel to the 1982 cult classic Blade Runner.

Set 30 years after the events of the first film, the story follows a new Blade Runner, LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling), who discovers a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what remains of society into chaos.

This discovery leads K on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former Blade Runner who has been missing for decades.

The film is visually stunning, with breathtaking cinematography by Roger Deakins and incredible production design that immerses the audience in a dystopian future world that feels both familiar and completely alien.

The score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch is haunting and atmospheric, perfectly complementing the film’s visuals.

The performances in the film are also outstanding, with Ryan Gosling delivering a nuanced and compelling portrayal of a conflicted and haunted protagonist, and Harrison Ford bringing a world-weary gravitas to his role as Deckard.

The supporting cast, including Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, and Robin Wright, also deliver strong performances that add depth and complexity to the story.

1917 (2019)

Sam Mendes’ World War I epic, “1917,” follows two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), as they are given a seemingly impossible mission: to deliver a message to stop a British battalion from walking into a deadly German trap.

The film’s greatest technical achievement is its cinematography, which was masterfully executed by Roger Deakins.

The movie appears as one continuous take, making the audience feel as if they are following the soldiers in real-time.

This innovative approach also creates a sense of urgency and immediacy, enhancing the emotional impact of the story.

The film also boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch, though the focus remains on the two young soldiers.

MacKay and Chapman deliver powerful performances, effectively conveying the horrors and emotional toll of war.

The film’s plot is relatively straightforward, but the intensity of the action and the depth of the characters keep the audience engaged throughout.

The score, composed by Thomas Newman, complements the film’s emotional beats and intensifies the already harrowing moments.

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What Can You Learn From Roger Deakins?

Roger Deakins is one of the most celebrated cinematographers in Hollywood, and his work on films like “Blade Runner 2049” has earned him 12 Oscar nominations.

Roger’s style can be described as a “naturalistic” approach with “a slight touch of surrealism.”

He believes that less light is better than more light because it gives the viewer something to focus on.

He also often shoots at eye level instead of from above or below.

Roger Deakins is one of the most celebrated cinematographers in Hollywood.

He has been nominated for thirteen Academy Awards and won four times- more than any other living cinematographer.

His work on films like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Blade Runner 2049” have made him a legend in his field, inspiring generations of filmmakers to shoot their movies with the same meticulous style he’s known for around the world.

Do you love movies? Have you ever wondered how the director chooses a cinematographer, or why they chose that cinematographer for that particular film?

Roger Deakins is one of the best in Hollywood and he offers some great insight into what it takes to be an excellent Cinematographer.

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