films seen
average score
USA - 69 years old
Alive and kicking
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A Hollywood icon who made his fair share of popular films, sadly his quality output is few and far between. Most of it is too sentimental, too overdone and too fake for me, but if you care about popular cinema there's no way around Howard's oeuvre.


In the Heart of the Sea

2015 / 122m - USA
In the Heart of the Sea poster

A surprisingly strong and capable film by Ron Howard. Not a big fan of the man's work, but the camerawork here was well above average, the actors did a really fine job and the adventure itself was quite a thrill, though a tad long. The film lacks something to make it truly stand out, but it's by far the best thing I've seen from Howard so far.

Angels & Demons

2009 / 138m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
Angels & Demons poster

The Da Vinci Code

2006 / 149m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
The Da Vinci Code poster

Cinderella Man

2005 / 144m - USA
Drama, Sport
Cinderella Man poster

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

2000 / 104m - USA
Comedy, Fantasy
How the Grinch Stole Christmas poster

Thirteen Lives

2022 / 147m - UK
Thirteen Lives poster

Ron Howard doing a low-profile disaster flick. No continents, countries, or cities in danger here, just thirteen lives. The story of the Thai football team stuck in a cave was pretty popular at the time though, so it was inevitable that it would be made into a film. The result is decent enough, but hardly memorable.

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After winning a football game, a young team heads down into a cave to celebrate. An unexpected torrent of rain leaves them stranded, and with the monsoon closing in, there's a real danger of the cave being completely flooded. Expert divers are joining the rescue mission to get the boys and their coach out.

People who remember the news story will know the outcome, even then the Hollywood-like approach (and Howard's involvement) leave little to the imagination. Because of that, it never gets all that tense and while the build-up is solid, the runtime is a bit excessive. I wasn't bored, but that's about all the praise I have.


2016 / 121m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
Inferno poster

A rather tired rehash of the previous films. The mystery is a bit too simple, the threat isn't strong enough and it's all a bit too predictable. Hanks lacks character and Jones is too on the nose. I still like the setup of these films, but unless they find a better director, I think it's better to just bury Langdon.


1999 / 122m - USA
Comedy, Drama
Edtv poster

Light-hearted social commentary on reality TV. A cast filled with famous faces, some romance, some drama, some overstated morality. It's all rather plain and overdone, but if you look beyond the social commentary there's a pretty passable film underneath. Not great, but not the worst thing either.


1991 / 137m - USA
Drama, Thriller
Backdraft poster

Ron Howard's ode to the firefighters, Hollywood-style. That means you can expect some pretty big and expensive action scenes, mixed with some very cringeworthy drama. Sadly the balance is a little off and the wait between the action set pieces is a little too long to keep the film interesting.

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Performances are quite poor, with Kurt Russell and William Baldwin playing two bickering brothers. Russell is the older brother, while Baldwin is a fresh recruit that joins the firefighter squad. This doesn't sit well with Russell etc. It's all very predictable and with a cast of second grade actors it doesn't make much of an impression.

But at least the fires are impressive and Howard does a decent job milking these scenes for adrenaline. There just aren't enough of them and the film runs 140 minutes long, which is ridiculous for a simple story like this. It's all supposed to be very epic and heroic, but it would've been a lot better if someone had realized this is really just cheesy action flick material.


1988 / 126m - USA
Fantasy, Adventure
Willow poster


1984 / 111m - USA
Romance, Fantasy
Splash poster

This certainly wasn't the worst Ron Howard film out there. That's not saying a lot, but since Howard's films can be pretty damn awful, it's at least somewhat comforting to know this isn't one of his ulterior slogs. There's a pleasant goofiness that makes it an easy watch, even when the rest of the film isn't all that great.

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As a young boy, Allan was saved from drowning by a mysterious woman. Years later, they find each other again, though Allan has forgotten all about her. What Allan also doesn't know is that the woman is actually a mermaid. The two start a relationship, which leads to some predictable problems.

Hanks and Hannah are pretty decent, the film is quite cheesy but at the same time doesn't take itself too seriously, the pacing is solid, and it chooses its moments wisely to go just a little over-the-top. The rest of it is pretty basic romcom kitsch, very safe and somewhat bland, but you can certainly find a lot worse.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

2018 / 135m - USA
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Adventure
Solo: A Star Wars Story poster

Better than the current batch of Star Wars films, but that's not saying much. Because the story is more straight-forward, the sci-fi get a little extra room to breathe. The comic relief is terrible, action scenes are poor and the fanboy pandering annoying, but at least there are some good moments to balance it out.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

2016 / 106m - USA
Documentary, Music
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years poster


2013 / 123m - USA
Rush poster

The Dilemma

2011 / 111m - USA
Comedy, Drama
The Dilemma poster

Apollo 13

1995 / 140m - USA
Drama, Adventure
Apollo 13 poster


1989 / 124m - USA
Comedy, Drama
Parenthood poster

Like most American comedies, the film start off as a full-blown comedy but is ruined by some ill-advised drama during the second half. The characters become truly annoying, the light-heartedness disappears almost completely and the drama has absolutely no impact whatsoever. Should've been 30 minutes shorter.

A Beautiful Mind

2001 / 135m - USA
A Beautiful Mind poster

Hillbilly Elegy

2020 / 116m - USA
Hillbilly Elegy poster

For those looking at the poster of Hillbilly Elegy and telling themselves it can't be as bad as it looks ... it's really that bad. Ron Howard is hardly the most subtle director and even though he can turn out a decent film if all the stars align, Hillbilly Elegy is the worst imaginable kind of Hollywood dreck.

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The film serves family drama, following three generations of trashy hillbillies. It's a subject that has the potential to quickly dissolve into clichés, rather than try a more subtle approach Howard goes full in and exploits those clichés until the film becomes an absolute parody of itself. It's just a shame he never even seems to realize it, as it tries to keep a straight face from start to finish.

Not sure if the Razzies are on this year, but Close and Adams certainly deserve one. Howard and Zimmer too, just invite them all on stage at once and it'll be a short show. This was absolute drivel, the worst kind of drama stretched to reach the 120-minute mark. A real low point in Howard's career.


1996 / 121m - USA
Action, Thriller, Crime
Ransom poster