Ron Howard is a highly respected film director, producer, and actor who has been a major presence in the film industry for more than four decades.
He has directed a wide range of films, from comedies to dramas to biopics, and has earned numerous accolades and awards for his work. Here are some of his best films:
Apollo 13 (1995): This historical drama tells the story of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a catastrophic failure while en route to the moon.
Howard masterfully captures the tension and drama of the situation, while also exploring the personal struggles of the astronauts and their families.
A Beautiful Mind (2001): This biographical drama tells the story of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who struggles with schizophrenia.
Howard creates a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of Nash’s mental illness, while also exploring the impact of his work on the field of economics.
Cocoon (1985): This science fiction comedy follows a group of elderly people who discover a fountain of youth in a swimming pool next to their retirement home.
Howard balances the film’s light-hearted humor with a sense of nostalgia and reflection on the challenges of growing old.
Splash (1984): This romantic comedy tells the story of a man who falls in love with a mermaid. Howard imbues the film with a sense of whimsy and romance, while also exploring themes of love, identity, and belonging.
Frost/Nixon (2008): This historical drama depicts the interviews between British talk show host David Frost and former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in which Nixon attempts to rehabilitate his public image following the Watergate scandal.
Howard creates a gripping and nuanced portrait of two men at a pivotal moment in history.
Best Ron Howard Movies
These films are just a small sampling of Ron Howard’s impressive filmography. His films are known for their strong performances, powerful storytelling, and ability to connect with audiences on a deep and emotional level.
“Apollo 13” is a 1995 historical drama film directed by Ron Howard, based on the true story of the 1970 Apollo 13 space mission.
The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton as the three astronauts who were stranded in space after a catastrophic malfunction on their spacecraft.
The film is known for its gripping storytelling, technical accuracy, and superb performances. It was a critical and commercial success, earning nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Ed Harris. It won two Oscars, for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
“Apollo 13” is a celebration of the human spirit, and the power of teamwork, determination, and innovation in the face of adversity. It showcases the best qualities of the American space program and the men and women who worked tirelessly to bring the astronauts home safely.
The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of space exploration, or for those who simply enjoy a well-crafted and thrilling story.
“Cinderella Man” is a 2005 biographical sports drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, and Paul Giamatti.
The film tells the story of James J. Braddock, a struggling boxer who rose to fame during the Great Depression.
The film is notable for its exploration of themes such as perseverance, determination, and the struggle for survival in difficult times. It portrays Braddock’s journey from poverty to success, and the challenges he faced both inside and outside the boxing ring.
“Cinderella Man” is also notable for its strong performances, particularly by Russell Crowe in the lead role of James J. Braddock.
The film’s portrayal of the harsh realities of life during the Great Depression and the importance of family and community support has been praised for its authenticity and emotional depth.
The film was well-received by critics upon its release, and it was nominated for several major awards, including three Academy Awards. It remains a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of hope in the face of adversity.
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Rush” is a biographical sports drama film directed by Ron Howard and released in 2013. The film tells the story of the intense rivalry between two Formula One drivers, James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl), during the 1976 racing season.
The film explores the personal and professional lives of these two competitors, from their early days in racing to their dramatic collision at the German Grand Prix and Lauda’s miraculous recovery from severe injuries.
As the two drivers compete for the world championship, they also struggle with their own personal demons and the pressures of fame and success.
The film features exceptional performances from Hemsworth and Brühl, who bring depth and nuance to their portrayals of these complex and driven characters.
Howard’s direction creates a sense of excitement and energy that perfectly captures the high-stakes world of Formula One racing, while also exploring deeper themes of rivalry, courage, and redemption.
“Rush” is a thrilling and emotionally powerful film that offers a compelling portrait of two legendary drivers and the intense competition that drove them to greatness. It is widely regarded as one of Ron Howard’s best films, and a standout example of the biographical sports drama genre.
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“Frost/Nixon” is a 2008 historical drama film directed by Ron Howard, based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan.
The film depicts the series of interviews between British talk show host David Frost (played by Michael Sheen) and former U.S. President Richard Nixon (played by Frank Langella) in 1977, three years after Nixon resigned from office following the Watergate scandal.
The film is known for its superb performances, particularly Langella’s portrayal of Nixon, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The film also received four other Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Howard.
“Frost/Nixon” is a compelling and suspenseful look at one of the most important political events of the 20th century. It explores themes of power, ambition, and redemption, and raises questions about the nature of truth and accountability.
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“A Beautiful Mind” is a 2001 biographical drama film directed by Ron Howard, based on the life of mathematician John Nash. The film stars Russell Crowe in the lead role, along with Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris.
The film tells the story of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who struggles with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects his ability to distinguish between reality and delusion. Despite his challenges, Nash continues to work on his theories and eventually wins the Nobel Prize in Economics.
“A Beautiful Mind” is notable for its sensitive portrayal of mental illness and the challenges that individuals with mental health issues face.
The film also explores themes such as the power of love and the importance of human connection in overcoming adversity.
The film was well-received by audiences and critics upon its release and won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
It remains a powerful and inspiring story that highlights the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of compassion and understanding in dealing with mental health issues.
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“Parenthood” is a 1989 comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring an ensemble cast, including Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, and Dianne Wiest.
The film follows the ups and downs of a large and complex family, exploring the challenges and joys of parenting, marriage, and life in general.
The film is notable for its honest and nuanced portrayal of family life, addressing themes such as the struggles of balancing work and family, the challenges of raising children, and the complexities of family relationships.
“Parenthood” features a talented cast and features strong performances from Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, and Dianne Wiest, among others.
The film strikes a balance between humor and drama, effectively capturing the highs and lows of family life.
The film was well-received by both critics and audiences upon its release, and it has become a beloved classic that continues to resonate with viewers today.
Its themes and messages about the importance of family and the challenges of raising children continue to be relevant, making it a timeless film that is well worth watching.
“Ransom” is a crime thriller directed by Ron Howard and released in 1996. The film stars Mel Gibson as Tom Mullen, a wealthy businessman whose son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
As the police investigation stalls, Mullen decides to take matters into his own hands and offer a ransom of his own – but with a dangerous twist.
The film explores the high-stakes world of kidnapping and extortion, as Mullen and the kidnappers engage in a tense and deadly game of cat and mouse.
Along the way, Mullen also confronts the difficult moral choices that come with having vast wealth and power.
“Ransom” features excellent performances from the entire cast, including Gibson, Rene Russo, and Gary Sinise.
Howard’s direction creates a sense of tension and urgency that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, while also exploring deeper themes of family, loyalty, and justice.
Overall, “Ransom” is a well-crafted and suspenseful thriller that showcases Ron Howard’s ability to create gripping and emotionally powerful films.
It is widely regarded as one of his best works in the crime genre, and a standout example of the kidnapping thriller subgenre.
8. Splash (1984)
“Splash” is a 1984 romantic comedy-fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.
The film tells the story of a young man named Allen Bauer (played by Tom Hanks) who falls in love with a mysterious woman named Madison (played by Daryl Hannah), who turns out to be a mermaid.
The film was a commercial success and helped to establish Tom Hanks as a leading Hollywood star. It was also notable for its innovative use of special effects and for its memorable soundtrack, which included the hit song “Love Came For Me” by John Denver.
“Splash” is a charming and lighthearted romantic comedy that blends elements of fantasy and mythology. It explores themes of love, acceptance, and the search for identity, and features a cast of lovable and quirky characters.
The film is a fun and engaging ride, and is perfect for a romantic evening or a family movie night.
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“The Paper” is a 1994 comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, and Randy Quaid.
The film tells the story of a day in the life of a New York City tabloid newspaper, as the staff works to cover a breaking story and deal with various personal and professional challenges.
The film features a talented cast and showcases Howard’s skill at combining humor and drama.
The fast-paced narrative provides a compelling look at the inner workings of a newsroom, while also exploring themes such as the ethics of journalism, the importance of professional integrity, and the struggle to balance work and family.
“The Paper” is a well-crafted film that combines witty humor with thoughtful insight, making it an enjoyable and thought-provoking watch.
Its themes and messages about the importance of journalistic integrity and the challenges of balancing work and family continue to be relevant today, making it a film that is well worth revisiting.
10. Night Shift (1982)
“Night Shift” is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard and released in 1982. The film stars Henry Winkler as Chuck, a morgue worker who teams up with his colleague Bill, played by Michael Keaton, to turn the somber work environment into a thriving prostitution business.
The film explores the absurdity of their situation and the comedic hijinks that ensue as they try to balance their illegal enterprise with their day jobs.
Along the way, they also encounter a number of eccentric characters, including a corrupt businessman and a flamboyant pimp.
“Night Shift” features excellent performances from the cast, particularly from Winkler and Keaton, who showcase their comedic talents and great chemistry on screen.
Howard’s direction captures the film’s playful tone and humor, while also exploring themes of friendship, ambition, and the American dream.
Overall, “Night Shift” is a hilarious and offbeat comedy that showcases Ron Howard’s versatility as a director. It is widely regarded as one of his most entertaining and memorable works in the comedy genre.
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3 Characteristics of Ron Howard Films
Ron Howard is a versatile filmmaker who has directed films across a range of genres, from historical dramas to comedies to fantasy adventures. Here are three characteristics that are common in many of his films:
Strong storytelling: Howard is known for his ability to tell a compelling story, and his films often feature richly drawn characters and intricate plots that keep the audience engaged from beginning to end.
Focus on human relationships: Many of Howard’s films explore the dynamics of human relationships, whether it’s the bond between a father and daughter in “Parenthood,” the unlikely friendship between two astronauts in “Apollo 13,” or the romantic connection between a mermaid and a human in “Splash.”
Howard has a knack for portraying complex emotions and interpersonal dynamics with sensitivity and nuance.
Technical proficiency: Howard is a skilled technician who pays close attention to the visual and auditory elements of his films.
He is known for his use of innovative special effects, immersive sound design, and creative camera work, all of which help to transport the audience into the world of the film.
3 Reasons Why You Should Watch Ron Howard Films
Sure! Here are three reasons why you should watch Ron Howard films:
Versatility: Ron Howard is a versatile filmmaker, having directed films in a range of genres, from comedy and drama to science fiction and action. His films often explore complex themes and issues, while also showcasing his talent for creating compelling and memorable characters.
Award-winning: Howard has been recognized for his work with numerous awards and nominations, including multiple Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys. His films have been praised for their craftsmanship, storytelling, and ability to connect with audiences on a deep emotional level.
Timeless stories: Many of Howard’s films tell stories that remain relevant and resonant with audiences today, exploring universal themes such as love, family, and personal growth. Whether you’re watching “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” or “Frost/Nixon,” you’re sure to find a story that will capture your imagination and leave a lasting impression.
Best Ron Howard Films – Wrapping Up
In summary, Ron Howard has had a long and successful career as a filmmaker, with a diverse range of films spanning multiple genres. Some of his best works include:
“Apollo 13” (1995) – a gripping and emotionally powerful drama about the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, featuring outstanding performances from Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Ed Harris.
“A Beautiful Mind” (2001) – a biographical drama about the brilliant but troubled mathematician John Nash, featuring a standout performance from Russell Crowe.
“Rush” (2013) – a biographical sports drama about the intense rivalry between two Formula One drivers, featuring exceptional performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
“Cocoon” (1985) – a science fiction comedy-drama about a group of elderly individuals who discover a rejuvenating alien pool, featuring a strong ensemble cast led by Wilford Brimley and Jessica Tandy.
“Parenthood” (1989) – a comedic drama about the joys and challenges of family life, featuring an outstanding ensemble cast led by Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen.
Overall, Ron Howard is a talented and versatile filmmaker whose films have left a lasting impact on audiences around the world. His ability to combine gripping drama with heartfelt emotion and humor has made him one of the most successful and respected directors in Hollywood.