Most directors find their niche and stick to it, creating a style that fans can fall in love with and adding to their works with more of the same. Some filmmakers, however, choose a much more varied path, branching out into several genres. There are even filmmakers who dip a toe in uncharted waters and make a film almost completely the opposite of what audiences expect of them.
In most cases, these cinematic experiences produce very different results in the eyes of critics. There’s an argument to be made that there’s a tremendous amount of intrigue in watching a director best known for R-rated cinema try his hand at a more family-friendly fare or vice versa.
ten Eli Roth usually produces top-tier terror, but he’s capable of much more
Few people would ever have expected the man behind the horrible gorefest that is Hotel to serve a healthy and heartwarming image aimed at young children and families, but that’s exactly what Eli Roth did when he directed the fantasy comedy The house with a clock in its walls in 2018.
The Torture Movie Master has a soft spot after all, but it’s still shocking, especially considering Eli Roth is the monster with the baseball bat in Quentin Tarantino. Inglorious Basterds. The Bear Jew was a brutally heroic character, but it turned out that this director needed a little break from the blood and guts he had become so famous for.
9 Francis Ford Coppola and Robin Williams have already proven a perfect combination
Horse heads and the smell of napalm in the morning are familiar aspects to fans of Francis Ford Coppola’s most famous works, but they might be shocked when learning about the iconic director’s lesser-known family films. The heartwarming humor of the 1996 comedy Jack with Robin Williams is a world away from the murder and chaos of The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse now.
Coppola also directed Disney’s Captain EO, a short film starring Michael Jackson specially made for theme parks, packed with all the wacky gags and low-stakes action you’d expect from a day at Disney World.
8 Martin Scorsese traded Wiseguys for Wonder when he made Hugo
Another master of mob film, Martin Scorsese’s gangster films have regularly defied the record books when it comes to most uses of certain swear words. Brutal, dark and often with black humor, the likes of Goodfellas and Casino are undeniable classics.
The director was one of Hollywood’s biggest R-rated filmmakers, so it was a pleasant surprise when Scorsese released the fantasy adventure. Hugo in 2011. Scorsese proved he can do it all by winning his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director for the film.
7 Robert Rodriguez passes his style on to all those for whom he makes his films
A film magician who made a name for himself with hard-hitting and brutally violent action films like Desperado and From dusk till dawnRobert Rodriguez has since proven himself to be a master of several genres and films aimed at very different demographic groups.
The spy on children the franchise is a very pleasant and child-centered stage, far from the tastes of Machete, but admirably, Rodriguez still finds room for the legendary and lovable badass Danny Trejo in both series.
6 28 days later and millions are talking about Danny Boyle’s versatility
The two Trainspotting and 28 days later are exceptionally gruesome films albeit for vastly different reasons, and Danny Boyle’s handling of addiction, the zombie apocalypse, and later Gruesome Terrors of Man Against Nature in his 2010 film 127 hours certainly portray the British filmmaker as an unsuitable filmmaker for all ages.
However, Boyle also made a family movie that may have gone unnoticed. Millions, released in 2004, is a wellness and dream movie with tons of charm for the whole family.
5 Zack Snyder loves his R-rated movies, but it wasn’t always so
Before Zack Snyder was best known for his exploits in the DC Universe, the director actually made a movie aimed at young children and families. Legend of Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole was a computer-animated fantasy film, and although it received mixed reviews from critics, Snyder deserved credit for expanding his line of directors.
Snyder’s best film is arguably his debut. The gore-tastic Dawn of the Dead the remake is one of the best deals in the zombie genre, and although Army of the dead not meeting as much success, Zack Snyder seems far from done when it comes to R-rated cinema.
4 Marc Forster can do both hard-hitting drama and heartwarming comedy
The German-Swiss filmmaker may be best known for the award-winning film Monster ball, the brutal and often difficult-to-watch drama for which Halle Berry won an Oscar. He followed this up with Machine gun preacher and Second World War but then took a pretty drastic left turn in children’s cinema.
Christophe robin is a wonderful and very imaginative film centered around an adult Christopher Robin and his best friend Winnie the Pooh. Apparently dissatisfied with stopping at a children’s film, Mattel announced that Forster will direct the next Thomas and his friends film, an adaptation of the classic British children’s show.
3 Happy Feet and Mad Max prove George Miller excels at both ends of the spectrum
George Miller is an outstanding filmmaker with the rare distinction of having won Oscars for both his R-rated efforts and his more child-focused films.
Mad Max: Fury Road is Miller’s most steadfast R-rated film, but heartwarming happy feet and baby are proof that Miller is a director who also knows how to make good children’s films. He also proved himself good at drama, with his 1992 photo Lorenzo’s oil to be a poignant and deeply moving story about love and loss.
2 From demons to delicious superheroes, Sam Raimi can do it all
Sam Raimi may have marked superhero cinema with his Spider Man films which he remains best known for his bright, colorful and family films starring the best of Marvel. It will only get stronger with the next Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
For older moviegoers, Raimi is one of the kings of horror. His evil Dead the trilogy is a real favorite among fear fans, and its 2009 film Drag me to hell is an underrated scare-athon. The movie that perhaps best proves Raimi’s versatility, however, is Oz the Great and Mighty, a dazzling, charming and child-friendly adventure.
1 A Disney movie is a rare find among Guy Ritchie’s gangster greatness
Great gangster movie, British director Guy Ritchie burst in 1998 with Lock, reserve and two smoking barrels, an elegant and very violent film filled with quoted dialogues and filled with curses. He added To tear out to his mastery of crowd filming two years later before embarking on the action adventure with the Sherlock holmes series.
Movies starring Robert Downey Jr. were largely appropriate for families, but with his remake of Disney’s Aladdin in 2019, Ritchie planted his foot firmly in children’s cinema. It didn’t last long, as that same year the brilliant Briton returned to his roots with another fantastic gangster flick, gentlemen.
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